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History of your local ELKS Club

THE BEGINNING

Founded in July of 1929, the Carlsbad Elks Lodge #1558 was the 11th lodge begun in New Mexico. The very first Elks Lodge in the state was Las Vegas Lodge which bears #408 begun in 1898. The first actual meeting of members of Carlsbad Lodge took place on July 2, 1929. However, this was not the first contact that Carlsbad had with the Elks. Records indicate that Roswell Lodge #969 members and officers were in Carlsbad on August 12, 1917 for the purpose of recruiting and initiating Elks into the Roswell Lodge, the only area lodge. It wasn’t long before those Elks, now living in Carlsbad, were making it known that they wanted a lodge in their own town.
It took twelve more years to make that a reality. Records indicate that the actual first person to join the new Carlsbad Lodge R.N. Morrison, who was issued a transfer by Roswell Lodge #969 to Carlsbad Lodge in February 2, 1929, but when the rolls of membership was finally set forth in an roll book (which we still have) he was issued membership #2. Membership #1 was issued to H.E. Cawley, who transferred from Roswell Lodge #969 on July 24th, but was not actually listed as charter member.

FIRST OFFICERS

George S. Westfall: Exalted Ruler
Joseph Wertheim: Leading Knight
G.K. Richardson: Loyal Knight
James N. Bujac: Lecturing Knight
G.H. Sellmeyer: Treasurer
W.J. Smullens: Secretary
H.E. James: Tiler

Wilhelm A. Wunsch: Chaplain
H.J. Hal:l Inner Guard
J.R. Linn: Three Year Trustee
L.H. Pate: Two year Trustee J
ames Stagner: One Year Trustee

OTHER CHARTER MEMBERS
Harry Adams, Lewis Adams, George Brantley, R. U. Boyd, R.R. Carter, W.A. Cloman, Walter Craft, Pruitt Dawson, D.C. Ellison, George A. Fessler. Frank James, L.W. Jernigan, J.R. Linn, Sam J. Lusk. G.H. Mann, W.F. McCollum, C.C. Montgomery, R.N. Morrison, E. K. Neumann, C.L. Porter, Ben J. Roten, J.B. Sears, G.O. Skinner, Allan K. Richardson, Burl Sears, G.H. Sellmeyer, R. W. Thorne, H.W. Toffelmire, R.W. Westaway, R.W. Wilkinson, H.B. Wilson, A.C.. Windham.

A formal Charter designating Carlsbad as Lodge #1558 was granted by the Grand Lodge on July 11, 1929. Money was also needed to get the lodge going and at its inception, Carlsbad Lodge had exactly $770.70 on hand to get things started. Much work had been done by members of our sponsoring lodge, Roswell #969 to get the fledgling Carlsbad Lodge finally going.

The set of original lodge officers jewels, presented by the Roswell Elks to Carlsbad are displayed on the wall at the top of the stairs of the main entrance surrounded by all but two of the photos of the Past Exalted Rulers who have served Carlsbad Lodge through its history.

FINDING A HOME

The first formal meeting of the Carlsbad Lodge was held in an upstairs room of the then National Guard Armory at the corner of Fox and Canal Streets. The members continued to rent space for their gatherings until they were able to purchase the building in 1941 for $22,500, much due to the efforts of Charter Members Dick Westaway and Charlie Montgomery.

The downtown lodge, with its large upstairs ballroom, was a site of many an activity for both the members and the community. Groups such as the Dorsey Bands and the Inkspots performed. Stories are told that even the “King” himself: Elvis Presley performed in that room sometime in the 1950’s.

Downstairs, the members were enjoying the lounge area, but a need for a dining area was emerging. However, there was just one major problem…no real cooking facility. That didn’t stop some of the members who gathered up their charcoal grills and set up on the corner of Fox and Canal and cooked steaks.

Forty three acres east of Muscatel Ave. had been purchased in the 1950’s for $1,000/acre, with and an option to purchase additional acreage for the same price, to make room for the Elks Junior Olympic size swimming pool which was completed in 1959. From the 60’s to the 80’s members were finding is inconvenient to plan activities at the pool when everything had to be shuttled from the downtown lodge building. And many times when those activities were rained out, the attendees loaded the food and drinks into cars and headed back downtown to finish the party

By 1980, membership and an expanding bank account led leaders of the now over 1,600 member lodge to begin to plan for a new home. On November 12, 1980, a motion was made at meeting to propose a new $700,000 facility, with 50% of the cost to be financed over a 10-year period. On December 10th, the members approved the preliminary plans for the new building to be submitted to Grand Lodge for approval. Unfortunately, the actual bid came in considerably higher. Following the 117th Grand Lodge Convention at Las Vegas, NV, where approval was sought and gained for the new addition, 133 members pile into the ballroom on August 26t, 1981 (the lodge room was too small to hold such a large gathering as well as poor ventilation) and voted 103 “for” and 30 “against” beginning construction.

A fair percentage of members did not feel a million dollar expenditure was prudent at that time and many of them did not want to give up the downtown location. Regardless, of their feelings, Wesco Construction was hired and construction scheduled to begin shortly after September 1st. Many of the 1,800 plus members made it part of their daily routine to drive out to the construction site, scratching their heads, trying to envision what would someday become their lodge home and giving advice, citing changes that they though should be done.

The 1.2 million dollar facility officially opened it doors on May 15, 1982, and that 10-year financial period was cut in less than half, as the mortgage was burned in April of 1986. Some changes have been made inside of the building since it opened. New “air-lock” doors were installed outside of the ballroom and east lounges entrances, the offices had been remodeled, giving the Exalted Ruler his own office, the “Close Quarters” Casino has been opened and a “records & historical room” was build for the lodge secretary.

Future expansions are in the discussion stages but nothing formal has been put forth.

MEMBERSHIP

The first year of existence really couldn’t have come at a worse time for a struggling fraternal organization as the Great Stock Market Crash was just around the corner on October 29, 1929. In spite of the bleak foreboding economic picture the lodge from July of ’29 to April of 1930 the Carlsbad lodge put 70 members on the rolls.

By the time the second year ended in April of ’31, membership had double to 140 members. But the worsening economy stemming from the “Great Stock Market Crash” caught up with Carlsbad Lodge and by the end of March 1932, membership has shrunk to 105 active members. The lodge went into stagnant growth period from 1932 to 1936. Information is sketchy, during this period. They were in trouble. The worsening health of then Exalted Ruler O. O. Stewart, serving his second term as Exalted Ruler at the beginning of the 1937-38 lodge years and his subsequent resignation put the lodge on notice.

By the end of April, 1937, membership in the Carlsbad Elks lodge had shrunk to just 83 members. From April, 1937 to mid-summer the lodge took in exactly one new member. Along came a gentleman named Leslie D. Israel, a Past Exalted Ruler from Morgan City, LA Lodge #1121 whose transfer of member to Carlsbad was approved on July 25, 1937, elected as Exalted Ruler the same night and subsequently installed. During his one-year tenure as Exalted Ruler. Israel presided over, at that time, the largest initiation class ever in our lodge. On September 27, 1937, Israel welcomed 127 new members into our lodge.

By the end of his term ending in April of 1938, the struggling Carlsbad Lodge gained 198 members, growing to 282. By the beginning of WWII local membership had dropped slightly to 262. The “war years” did not appear “unkind” to the Elks as membership grew to 526 just following the end of hostilities in the Japanese Theatre.

The Carlsbad lodge issued membership No. 1000 on November 30, 1947, but was still a long way from having 1,000 active members. By the end of 1950, membership growth in the Carlsbad Lodge had topped out at 708. Growth in Carlsbad Lodge continued slowly and steadily throughout the next several decades, hitting the 800 active member mark by the end of the 1960 lodge year. Most membership records from the 1960’s and early 70’s were destroyed by water, and as record keeping goes, some eras of record keeping were done so with great care while others appeared to be boxed up together and set aside. That appears to be what happened with the membership records from the 60’s and early 70’s.  Space becomes a problem when maintaining so many records and apparently those records were in a store room at the time. However it appears that membership in the Carlsbad Elks lodge did not rise above the “1000 active member” mark until sometime in the early 1970’s.

The banner year in membership for the Carlsbad Lodge was during the “oil boom” year and in 1983 the active membership rolls rose to 1,895. The lodge had just moved into the new facility, the pool constructed back in the late 1950’s was now adjacent to the new lodge and money was aplenty. Over the next 20 years, membership figures for Carlsbad settled down a bit, falling to a low of 1,625 in 1992.

Carlsbad Lodge became the largest lodge in New Mexico in 2002 after chasing the Farmington Lodge #1747 for decades. However, we slipped back in 2003. By 2004 we had taken the lead in the state for good and membership topped the official “2,000” mark on August 21, 2010 and appears headed for the 2,100 mark by the end of the 2011-12 lodge year.

Carlsbad is only the 2nd lodge in New Mexico ever to top the 2,000 mark. Albuquerque soared to over 6,000 members in the 1960’s but had dropped significantly below the 1,000 mark by the turn of the century.

Significant member issue numbers:
(* inactive membership numbers)
#1* H.E. Cawley, Oil Field Dealer, Transferred from Roswell Elks 969 ; July 24, 1929
#9* George Westfall, (First actual number issued for a member initiated by Carlsbad)
#100* Don Hamm, Merchant; Initiated Oct. 16, 1930.
#443 Henry Grandi “Oldest Active Membership Number: 71 year member; Initiated November 7, 1939
#1000* Don G. Childress, Boilermaker; Initiated September 30, 1947.
#1558* Ian A. Urquhart, Physical Therapist; Initiated August 22, 1956.
#2000* Roy Frintz, Duval Potash; Initiated October 23, 1963.
#3000* James R. Ballard, Building Contractor; Initiated September 10,1975.
#4000 Don W. Findley (Currently resides in El Paso); Initiated October 20, 1981.
#5000* Jim Koch (Former Chief of Police)...resides in Kerrville, TX; initiated January 9, 1991.
#6000 Hyrum Laird, Mine Mechanic; initiated April 23, 2001.
#7000 William Muhovich, Retired; initiated May 27, 2009

 LEADERSHIP: COMMUNITY & FRATERNAL

One of the reasons that the Carlsbad Elks Lodge has been so successful is the quality of leadership of members of the lodge. Those members include many business and community leaders. The rolls of the lodge show members and past members who have served as state representatives , state senators, mayors, mayor pre-tem, county commissioners, judges, city councilman, chiefs of police and sheriffs.

Elks serving as mayors of Carlsbad: Past to Present
Scott Etter: 1928 –30
L.A. Swigert: 1930- 34
MC. Johnson: 1934-36
Sam G. Horne: 1940 – 42
Walker Bryan: 1950 – 56
Adair Gossett: 1954 – 56
Elmer Skinner: 1956 – 57
John Pulice: 1957 – 58
Hampton Martin: 1962 – 64
Robert Boyd: 1966 – 68
Walter Gerrells: 1970 – 86
Bob Forrest: 1986 – 84
Gary Perkowski: 1994 – 2002
Bob Forrest: 2002 - 2010

The leadership within the lodge did not just apply just to the community of Carlsbad. Ten members of Carlsbad Lodge have served as President of the New Mexico Elks Association which greatly affects how the Carlsbad Lodge operates.

Past Elk “State Presidents” of Carlsbad Lodge
John Pulice: 1942 – 43
Robt. Cunningham:1954 – 55
Hampton Martin: 1958 – 59
Bill Davidson: 1962 – 63
Walter Gerrells: 1964 – 65
Robt. Boyd: 1966 – 67
Ray L. Camp: 1976 – 77
William B. Davis: 1986 – 87
Fred Bloss: 1992 – 93
Everett Wheeler: 2000 - 01

Additionally 14 members of the lodge have been selected by the Grand Lodge to serve as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler for the Southeastern District of New Mexico which oversees operations of 5 lodges, including Carlsbad.

District Deputies
James Bujac: 1959-60
Robert Boyd: 1961 – 62
Walter Gerrells: 1968 – 69
William B. Davis: 1971 – 72
Bill Davidson: 1975 – 76
“Bud” Linneweh: 1979 –80
Ray L. Camp: 1981 – 82
Fred A. Bloss: 1985 – 86
Jack Lanier: 1989 – 90
Everett Wheeler: 1993 – 94
Ron Mathews: 1996 – 97
Kent Hitchens: 1998 – 99
Donn Mack Mathis: 2001-02
Lucky Heath: 2004 – 05
Dean Calvani: 2006-07
Kent Frink: 2009-10
Kent Frink: 2010 – 11

CHARITIES

Charity has always been a cornerstone for this B.P.O.E. organization…the “B” standing for Benevolent. In the first year of business, Carlsbad Lodge managed to donate $105.66 to charity. And while that may not seem like a great amount, that was 1930 and the young lodge had only taking in a total of $1,827 the entire lodge year. Of that income, $94.50 had to go to the national organization for dues, and $900 was spent on furnishing the building and of course, monthly rent. Records indicate that the earliest charities undertaken by the lodge were “food baskets” at Christmas and Thanksgiving and those donations comprised $98.21 of the charity money spent. That tradition of providing for the needy at the holidays still goes on today.

While numerous donations are spread throughout the community during the year, there are four major charities that the Carlsbad Lodge involves themselves in each year: Cerebral Palsy, Elks National Foundation (ENF), New Mexico Charitable and Benevolent Trust (C & B), and Veterans Service. The ENF and C & B are irreducible trusts operated at the national and state levels to fund many of the programs throughout the state, but it also filters back to our lodge. While the members of Carlsbad Lodge donated a little over $10,000 to the C & B Trust and Carlsbad High School senior receive thousands of dollars in scholarship monies anually from both the C & B Trust and the ENF Each year Carlsbad members contribute thousands of dollars the Cerebral Palsy program of the New Mexico Elks Association which provides medical assistance and support for those stricken with disabilities.

Our support for the Veterans has been ongoing for many years. In 1987, a “Christmas” program was begun to support the Veteran’s Center at Truth or Consequences which then, just included used paperback books and a few donated items. Since that time, the program has grown to include the veterans in our local nursing homes and Elks members generously donate over $5,000 each year in support of this program.

Annually, Carlsbad lodge spends over $150,000 on charities, much of it local. Since 2003 our casino operation has allowed the lodge to donate over $600,000 to charity with over $100,000 going to traditional and non-traditional scholarships.

LODGE TRADITIONS

Youth: A focus Carlsbad Lodge has always maintained a large presence in the youth community of Carlsbad. The Elks Little Cavemen Football program was adopted by the lodge in about 1986 and sees over 300 boys participate each year in full contact football. The Elks “Hoop Shoot” touches over 1,000 of Carlsbad’s youth each year. Eight year old Carol Tabor, daughter of member Claude Tabor, was the state’s very first winner and part of the very first National Hoop Shoot Championship program, winning her division back in 1975. Her name, along with all of the other names of former National Hoop Shoot Champions is engraved in a “Hall of Honor” at the Elks National Headquarters in Chicago.

From 1983 – 1990, the Carlsbad Elks were the host of the New Mexico-West Texas Soap Box Derby, sending each year’s winner to Akron, Ohio for the National Championship.

The Elks Lodge, sponsors more athletic teams than any other organization in Carlsbad. Those include Little League Baseball, T-Ball, Little Girls Softball, Softball, AAU Basketball, and Soccer. Throughout the school year, the lodge’s support includes many of the C.H.S. varsity athletic teams, teen of the month and year programs, as well as many school organizations. The lodge annually donates over $10,000 to Carlsbad School Municipal School programs Through the years, some programs have fallen by the wayside due to lack of interest or required “Elk” manpower. Those include Little Cavemen Basketball (now run by the Boys & Girls Club), Golden Glove Boxing, Junior Rifle Team, Soap Box Derby, Rodeo and the Elks Swim Team. Charity Ball Beginning in the 1970’s and continuing for 25 years, the Elks Annual Charity Ball raised money specifically for those charities that supported Carlsbad. The main drive behind the annual event was to support the Childhood Development Center built by the lodge at the C.A.R.C. Farm.

Through the 25 years of the fundraising program, thousands of dollars were donated back to the community to support such programs as the Special Olympics and United Way. Times change and so did the nature of this fundraiser. The ball has been replaced with more modern activities such as the annual Elks Casino Royale. It is a fun-filled night for all attendees with the same purpose in mind: giving the proceeds back to the community. Ritual: A Corner Stone

The initiation ritual which formally brings new members into the lodge on almost a monthly basis is the glue that binds the officer core, which come from many walks of life. Additionally the initiatory ritual is also a contest that the local lodge takes great pride in performing. The early records indicate that the Carlsbad Team won its first State Ritual Contest, in 1953, competing against the other lodges in the state for the right to represent New Mexico in the national ritual contest each summer at the Elks National Convention.

The local team has dominated the state ritual competition, winning the state contest 27 times since 1953 when the State Contest was begun…having more state titles than any other lodge.
“State Champion Years” 1953 1954 1955
1956 1959 1961 1964 1965 1966 1967
1973 1977 1982 1988 1992 1993 1994
1995 1999 2000 2001 2002 2004 2005
2006 2007 2009

Carlsbad Lodge has also placed more teams in the Grand Lodge “Final Four” than any other lodge, having reached the finals in 1987, 2007 and 2009.The best two teams from the Eastern U.S. and Western U.S. divisions were matched up in a showdown to determine the best ritual team in the United States.

The 1988 Team, 4th in the United States consisted of the following officers: (Las Vegas, NV)
 Exalted Ruler: Alan Fuqua
Leading Knight: Kent Hitchens
Loyal Knight: Jerry Northcutt
Lecturing Knight: Ed Gidak
Esquire: Rick Justice
Inner Guard: Dean Calvani
Candidate: Tim Stephens
Asst. Coach: PER Eddie Mayrhofen
Coach: PER Jack Lanier
(1ST Team from New Mexico to reach Final Four)
1988 National Contest Scores
1. Wellington, KS 95.6209
2. Ocala, Fl 95.1924
3. Dalton, GA 94.9824
4. Carlsbad, NM 94.7250

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The 2007 Team, 2nd Place in the United States, consisted of the following: (Charlotte, NC)
Exalted Ruler: Tom Huff
Leading Knight: Bob Cullum
Loyal Knight: Glen Pierce
Lecturing Knight: Aaron Ballew
Esquire: David Bradley
Chaplain: Wes Carter
Inner Guard: Jason Bindel
Candidate: Bill Scott
Asst. Coach: PER Lucky Heath
Head Coach: Kent Hitchens

2007 National Contest Scores
1. Sturgis, MI 96.9651
2. Carlsbad, NM 95.8753
3. Ogallala, NE 95.1335
4. Atlanta, GA 94.9690

The 2009 Team, 3rd Place in the United States, consisted of the following: (Portland, OR)
Exalted Ruler: Aaron Ballew
Leading Knight: Jason Crockett
Loyal Knight: Wes Carter
Lecturing Knight: David Bradley
Esquire: PER Wilson VanLoon
Chaplain: Larry Tupper
Inner Guard: PER Dean Calvani
Coach: PER Kent Hitchens

Ritual “All-Americans” Individual honors are also possible as Carlsbad Lodge has New Mexico’s largest group of former “All-American” ritual officers. (Carlsbad-14; Artesia-6; Albuquerque -4; Farmington-3, Roswell-3)

The “All-American” honor is presented to that performer who the national ritual judges deem the best in the nation at his position or Coach of the Winning Eastern or Western Division Team.

"Carlsbad “All-Americans”
Bruce Lanier: Loyal Knight: Dallas - 1992
Dean Calvani: Candidate : Chicago - 1994
Matt Hentrick: Lecturing Knight: Chicago – 1994
Tim Stephens: Loyal Knight: Chicago – 1994
Matt Hentrick: Leading Knight: New Orleans 1995
Bruce Lanier: Candidate: New Orleans – 1995
Jim Miller: Leading Knight: Reno – 2002
Wesley Carter: Chaplain – Charlotte, NC – 2007
Aaron Ballew: Exalted Ruler – Portland, OR – 2009
Jason Crockett: Leading Knight – Portland, OR – 2009
Wes Carter: Loyal Knight – Portland, OR – 2009
David Bradley: Lecturing Knight – Portland, OR – 2009
Dean Calvani: Asst. Coach – Portland, OR – 2009
Kent Hitchens: Head Coach – Portland, OR - 2009

Additionally, several of our former (and current) ritual coaches have had the honor bestowed upon them by Grand Lodge to be judges for the Grand Lodge Ritual Contest. Those include Ron Mathews, Ray Camp and Kent Hitchens.

The “Dirtiest Program”

While the Elks do have and have had many volunteer committees on which its members gladly and willingly serve, in the past, there was one particular committee in the lodge that you outright had to “beg” people to help with. The vaunted “deer hide” committee was set up to assist the veterans homes with leather products and funds for programs for the veteran’s. Deer hides from the local hunters were gathered each day of the hunt, salted, stored and eventually taken to a tannery. The job wasn’t; bad if the weather was cold and the hides got picked up every day. But that didn’t always happen. That is when that first time “volunteer” became a “one time” volunteer.

The “Big Headache”…The Swimming Pool

The swimming pool of the Carlsbad Elks Lodge which is a focal point for many summer activities at the lodge almost became just a rather large hole in the ground when problems mounted during construction in the late 1950’s. The contractor underestimated the thickness of the cap rock on the hill. Financial problems plagued the construction which had to be finished by the members when the contractor went bankrupt. The hole was dug too deep, had to be refilled, the pump house could not be placed in the ideal location for maximum circulation and the south side of the pool is two inches lower than the north side. But the main pool and wading pool were finished and dedicated in July 4th 1960.

At some point in the years to follow, an elaborate brick lined “sandbox” was constructed for the little kids. It was soon discovered that the little ones, after playing in the sandbox, would go over to the wading pool and wash the sand off. That caused the drains in the wading pool to shut down and was one of the reasons that major remodeling of the pool had to be done in 1987.

At first it was though that simply upgrading the filters would be an answer. When the manufacturer was called, it was discovered that the “heads” to the filters were out of production. Worse, spare parts were no longer available; the last having been sold to the White House. Yes, you guessed it. A call was put in to the White House which was transferred to Camp David where the pool was. We tried to purchase spare parts but were politely refused. So, the $53,000 remodeling project was on.

The work took all summer and was finished at 10:30 p.m. on a Friday night, prior to the season opening of the pool on Saturday morning for the 1987 season. In 2008, a “band-aid” remodeling of at least the operational portion of the pool was undertaken just to get the pool open, but it was clear that a major remodeling job would have to be approved if the pool were to re-open in the future.

In October of 2008, the lodge approved a $400,000 remodeling project to take 5-months…just in time for the 2009 pool season. It wasn’t to be. State “red tape” and construction delays kept the pool closed the duration of the 2009 Pool Season. The cost escalated above the $400,000 mark approved by Grand Lodge and an additional $42,000 was approved in April of 2010. Major construction was completed just prior to the pool opening for the 2010 pool season. Remodeling concluded in October of 2010 with the erection of a “roofed structure” to replace the old brick gazebo accidentally torn down during pool reconstruction. The final cost of the pool project came in at $439,980.

1994-95: A Banner Year

Each Exalted Ruler who serves his year as the CEO of the local lodge can tell you that “his” year was the best ever. And who can argue. It seems he spends day and night here, rarely sees his family, spends way too much money, gives the credit to someone else when things go right and take the “heat” when things go wrong. That being said, the Grand Lodge thought that in 1994-95, the Carlsbad Lodge was the best in the U.S. and proclaimed it “All-American” Lodge, which basically means that in competition with lodges of its size in the U.S., we were the best. Only one lodge from each of 6 membership categories is designated “All-American”: each year. Then Exalted Ruler Lonnie Smith said, “I never set out to win this honor for the lodge.

After crunching some numbers we were surprised to see how many contest points we had amassed (from the various programs).” “We didn’t know what was competitive so we made some phone calls and what we found out excited us.” In the spring of ’96, when the Elks State Convention was hosted by Carlsbad Lodge, the Elks of New Mexico saw the “All-American” lodge banner hanging proudly on the front of the building as American Flags lined the driveway and surrounded the parking lot.

What do all of those abbreviations mean?

Sometimes, around the Elks Lodge a translator is needed to figure out what all of the abbreviations mean. Let’s see if we can make sense of some of it.
ENF – Elks National Foundation: an irreducible trust from which only the interest is spent. Funds Elks National Charities.
C & B – New Mexico Elks Association Charitable and Benevolent Trust. Works like the ENF only at the state level.
C.P. – Cerebral Palsy Program: New Mexico
D.D.G.E.R.- District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler. Appointed by the new Grand Exalted Ruler to oversee lodges in the district. Nicknamed the “DD”. E.R. – Lodge Exalted Ruler
G.E.R. – Grand Exalted Ruler, or National Elks President
G.L. – Grand Lodge: refers to the national level: Offices in Chicago.
H.L.M. – Honorary Life Member
I.P.E.R. – Immediate Past Exalted Ruler. He’s the “baby” P.E.R.
L.M. – Life Member
NMEA – New Mexico Elks Association.
P.E.R. – Past Exalted Ruler
P.D.D.G.E.R. – Past District Deputy
P.G.E.R. – Past Grand Exalted Ruler
P.S.P. – Past State President
S.P. – State President

So the next time you read that the ER, who is actually the IPER, received a GL award from ENF, at the NMEA Convention, presented by the S.P., G.E.R., P.G.E.R. and the D.D., and the ENF Chairman is a PDDGER and there were a couple of PSPs in the photo, you’ll understand completely. Right???