Back in 1886 several gentlemen had an idea, "What could be done to be able to get together
weekends and enjoy the things we have in common". These gentlemen became known as the
and founded what became one of the greatest benevolent organizations known today,
this being the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
From this meager beginning, Gilroy had the opportunity to become part of this organization and again,
men of vision got together to form an exploratory committee to find out what had to be done to become
part of this organization called "ELKS". These men petitioned the Grand Lodge of the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks and were granted a Certificate of Dispensation. This allowed these gentlemen to
proceed to get the Lodge established.
The Lodge was finally granted a Charter and became known as "Gilroy Elks Lodge No. 1567. The Lodge
was instituted on August 8, 1929. There are many men who were instrumental for our Lodge to receive its
charter. Men like Lin Walker Wheeler, or as he was known around the City of Gilroy, "LW", Brother
Wheeler was a devoted Elk and was very instrumental in the Lodge obtaining its Charter. In addition,
"LW" donated the building on Monterey Street to the Lodge, then valued at around $40,000.00 and this
building became the first Lodge. The original building still stands downtown Gilroy and the corner stone
is still intact.
Because of this donation, the Lodge sold the building and was able to acquire a new building which is
its present location and has been since 1969. In 1986, additions were added to the building. These additions
were a Members Lounge, Exercise Room and a Sauna.
One of the interesting things to see at the Lodge when you visit, ask to see our "Clock" in the
Lodge Room. This clock was built by C.R. Weaver. Dr. Weaver, a local dentist, attended the Grand
Lodge Convention in Portland, Oregon in July of 1912 with the hopes of selling his invention of an
electrical clock for use in ritualistic works of the Order. Dr. Weaver had two clocks made. The first clock
was presented to the Alameda Elks Lodge where it is still to this day. The second clock was presented to
the Gilroy Elks Lodge. This clock is described as being "32 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep with a
22 inch dial composed of 52 pieces of the finest French Art Glass. Each lamp, from 1 to 11, is lit
simultaneously with the stroke of the gong and all the lamps remain lit after the eleventh stroke.
The center of the dial is lit, showing the Stars and Stripes in their respective colors". When the lights
in the clock are turned out, it automatically sets itself for the next operation. Since August 8, 1929 and
to this present day, our Clock strikes the "Hour of Eleven" as a reminder of our Departed Members.
The Clock is used during Lodge meetings, Memorial Services and during Initiations of New Members.
The pictures below represent the badges worn by the Officers of Gilroy Lodge Nr. 1567 from 1929 to our present Officers.
Picture #1 is the Badge from the 1929 to the 1930 - Badge #2 from 1930 to 1940 - Badge #3 from 1940 to 1950 and Badge #4
is the current Officer Badges.
1929 to 1930
1930 to 1940
|1940 to 1950
1950 to Current
Several years ago, a hand blown pig, now known as "Gilly", was found sitting in the corner covered with dust in an antique shop downtown Gilroy. Gilly was purchased for $25.00 with the thought to be painted Purple because the California-Hawaii Elks Major Project is symbolized by the Purple Pig. Gilly was given to Steve Barnard, Member of Watsonville Lodge Nr 1300, who as a hobby, is a Glass Blower. A cut was made on the top so money could be put into the Pig and eventually turned over the the Exalted Ruler for the Major Project Piggy Bank walk at the California-Hawaii Elks State Convention. It was determined that "Gilly" was produced in his present stage in August of 1929, the same year as the Gilroy Lodge was formed.
The Lodge has many functions they are proud of, like the Ladies Fashion Show. Held, usually during the first weekend of March, this function, started by Dorthea Broderson, has become a tradition for well over 50 years. The proceeds from this function are donated to the California-Hawaii Elks Major Project. CHEA as it is know, was established in 1955 to help less fortunate children in California and Hawaii. We here at the Gilroy Lodge have been able to be very active in this program. Our members are very proud of our yearly contributions to this great program. Our ladies have contributed in excess of $65,000.00. to help California-Hawaii Elks Association and the Major Project.
The "Great Heart of Elkdon" which is the Elks National Foundation is supported by our members through the Mother's Day Breakfast. Our Mother's Day Breakfast has raised well over $67,000.00 for ENF. We don't forget the fathers of our community and Lodge. because our Father's Day Breakfast is conducted by the Ladies of our Lodge. Two great functions and fun had by all.
When at the Lodge, you can get a copy of our Calendar of Events to find out what is going on during this
month and next month. Our Lodge always has something going as a special event that you might enjoy. Our
Monthly Calendar of Events is on this site, just select "Calendar" and it is updated each and every month.
The Dictionary Program stated in our Lodge during 2006 has been great success. The Grand Exalted Ruler called on all the Lodges within the United States to get behind this program started in 1955 by Mary French in Charleston, SC. This program has given students in the 3rd grade a dictionary for their own private use. Well over 5 million dictionaries have been distributed throughout the United States. Our Lodge has now made this one of its major functions through the year, giving dictionaries to all 3rd Grade Students in Gilroy, San Martin, and Morgan Hill Area Schools. Our total distribution to 7000 since this program has started. If you would like to get involved with our Officers on this great project, give us a call. We always can use the help.
"So long as there are veteran, The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them". This is a motto that is very near and dear to the hearts of every Elk in the United States. Twice a year, the Members of our Lodge go to the Veterans Hospitals in Palo Alto and Menlo Park to BBQ a feast fit for a KING. Yes, our vets are Kings and we will never forget the sacrifice they have made for this Country. Each year, when we celebrate Veterans Day, our Lodge puts on a video display of all the Lodge Members who have served in our Military. This is a MUST when you come to our Lodge in November.
Last, but of course not least, let's not forget our famous "RIB NIGHT". The 4th Friday each month, except July because of the Garlic Festival, and November because of Thanksgiving and December because of Christmas, our cooks, of course with a "SECRET" recipe, prepare Baby Back Ribs that fall off the bone. A MUST when you are at the Lodge on our Special Rib Nights. Be sure that you RVSP for this function, because if you don't, there might not be any Ribs for you.
OUR DEPARTED MEMBERS
Past Exalted Ruler Donald Crowthers ( ER 1985-1986)
Frederick Ziemann (February 7, 2013 - James A. Murray (April 1, 2013)
Jacob C. Lebeck (July 18, 2013) - K.A. "Mike" Gilroy (Nov 13, 2013)
Warren A. Bryers (Dec 25, 2013) - Gary L. Colla (Feb 2, 2014)
Robert H. Taylor, PER (Feb 19, 2014) - Albert Filice (2-25-14)
George W. Robinson (3-14-14) - Reginald Bravo (5-1-14)
The clock of their last day has stopped.
"Tis the hour of eleven."
Remember, the faults of our members we write upon the sand;
Their virtues upon the tablets of love and memory.