In the hours and days after the April 18, 1906, San Francisco earthquake, the BPOE considers it was among the first organizations to respond to distress and injuries that resulted. Within 12 hours, their relief efforts were operating. In Oakland, CA, the Elks equipped hospitals, established temporary shelters for nearly 2,000 displaced persons, and arranged for provisions to be delivered. Financial donations came from lodges across the US. All lodges and members gave $109,000.00 [in 2014 = $2,828,287].
Among those donating was Honolulu Lodge 616 and its members. When news of the tragedy reach Honolulu by the ‘instant messaging’ of the day, the undersea telegraph cable, the city was shocked. San Francisco was Honolulu’s financial anchor and disaster in San Francisco was sure to spell financial distress for Honolulu. Despite worries for her own economy, Honolulu responded generously. Fortuitously, Lodge 616 had a meeting scheduled within days, April 20, 1906. The meeting quickly voted to send a donation of $1500 [$38,921] to the “San Francisco sufferers” with $1000 to come from Lodge funds and the rest to be subscribed from members. Immediately $700 [$18,163] was subscribed from the 65 Elks in attendance. Additionally, a unanimous vote suspended the Lodge’s Annual Banquet celebrating the Lodge’s founding and turned those funds over to the relief fund as an additional contribution.
The First Elks set a high standard of concern and participation for us to live up to.
ELKS CARE ELKS SHARE
Anita Manning, Lodge Historian, 2006
http://www.meer.net/~snida/bpoe1135/feb02.pdf accessed 2006 – no longer posted
http://www.myelkslodge.com/~elks794/html/Community_Service.html accessed 2006 – no longer posted
Minutes Elks 616