Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 3 Virden Royal Purple Lodge celebrated 60 years as a service club in Virden. The public joined the group for a special anniversary tea in the New Horizon Centre.
Later on that day, despite snowy conditions, Canadian Royal Purple National President Kelly Christman from Calgary arrived in Virden. The 60th celebration continued in an evening meeting.
“The mandate of the National President is to visit. We celebrated 60 years in Virden.” Christman said. “What an honour!”
History of Virden Royal Purple
By Betty Anderson
The Virden Royal Purple Lodge was instituted as the Auxiliary of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of Canada on June 26, 1958 with a membership of 23 members. The Charter was granted on August 27, 1958.
Our main objective was to give aid and assistance to children up to the age of 18 years, for the child’s welfare and betterment of education (speech and hearing). This was done through our contributions to our National Charity, “Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children” to which we donated many dollars and used this fund to help many children in this area.
After many years of working with the Virden Elks Lodge, it was a sad day for the Virden Royal Purple when the Elks had to relinquish their Charter and sold their hall. We no longer had a meeting place or a hall to cater out of; where we had worked very hard over the years raising money to donate to various needs of the community.
Wanting to still carry on, we found our new meeting place in the basement of the Baptist Church. Shortly after this, there were big changes being made at the national level with the Elks and Royal Purple. After much discussion and voting, we became part of the Canadian Royal Purple Society, no longer affiliated with the National Elks of Canada. There have been many growing pains since this happened in 2014, but the Canadian Royal Purple Society will hold their fifth National Convention in 2019 in Prince George, B.C.
Our Virden Lodge has celebrated many anniversaries and we need only to look through our history books that bring back so many memories of all the good times we have shared; and the sad times we have encountered when members passed away or left the Lodge to move on to other things.
We have a membership of 34 and are always open to others joining us. We still do a lot of work in the community volunteering. Through our Manitoba Provincial Association, we are involved with the Manitoba Brain Injury Association raising funds for their cause.
Sixty years as an organization in this community has been very rewarding and of which we, as members, are very proud.