History of the Ontario Elks Association

The first reported meeting was a union meeting of Lodges located in Ontario and Quebec held in the Walker House in Toronto on July 28th , 1918. GER W.T. Perkins of Windsor was the presiding officer. Important matters taken up included the organization of clandestine Lodges in Ontario and Quebec by one A.L. Aikman, the duplication of publication of Elks papers and the question of representation for Eastern Lodges at the Victoria, B. C. convention. Lodges present were Woodstock # 21, Toronto # 16, North Bay # 25, St. Thomas # 36, Cornwall # 38, Windsor # 33, and London # 35 from Ontario and Richmond Lodge from Quebec. It was considered that this meeting would be an annual affair considering the success that attended the first meeting of Ontario and Quebec Lodges.

The next reference comes through the 1928 Canadian Elks magazine in November when it states that the Ontario Elks Association was formed on October 20th, 1928. Bro. William Snyder of North Bay was elected the first President and served two terms. In July 1930, Col. W.F. Eaton of Hamilton Lodge # 28 was elected President, succeeding Bro. Snyder.

There is a report of an Ontario District Association being formed in early 1930 according to a report in the Canadian Elk. At this meeting, a new Association to be called the Northwestern Ontario Elks Association was formed to comprise the territory between Chapleau and Kenora and consisting of Port Arthur # 95, Fort William # 82, Kenora # 74, Nakina # 107, Sioux Lookout # 103, Schreiber # 98 and Chapleau # 61. The President elected was Bro. Fred Green of Fort William # 82 with a full slate of Officers. It is uncertain what transpired after these dates.

The proceedings of the Grand Lodge Convention held in Calgary, Alberta on July 23rd thru 26th, 1962 records this Motion “That the formation of an Ontario Elks Association be deferred until a further request for such an Association is received from our Ontario Lodges.” This Motion “Carried”.

Efforts were undertaken to create the Association and a Motion was made to petition for a Charter.

The Charter was issued on November 1st, 1965 by GER Adam Deminick with the Charter Lodges including Levack-Onaping # 345, London # 456, Creighton- Lively # 356, Sault Ste. Marie # 341, Fort Frances # 313, Nipigon # 337, North Bay # 25, and Kingston # 405. Also included were Espanola # 346, Picton # 326, Sudbury # 329, Toronto-Scarboro # 302, Temiscaming # 463, Geraldton # 364, Fort William # 82, Glencoe # 507, Sarnia # 503, Lake of the Woods # 454, Belleville # 325, Timmins # 427, v Atikokan # 335, Red Lake # 432, Trenton # 486, and Chatham # 570.

The reorganization of the Association occurred at a special meeting held in Sault Ste. Marie in 1966. Bro. Gene Souliere of North Bay was the Chairman of this meeting and was subsequently elected President. He remained in this office for three years being succeeded by another organizer Bro. Ron Witherell (PGER) of Creighton- Lively/ Espanola followed by another organizer- Romeo Renaud of North Bay.

The first formal meeting of the Association was held in North Bay.