MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT, VAINO PENNANEN
January 14, 2017
Happy New Year, Brothers and Sisters. It is hard to think that there is only less than five months left until my term as President is over. During the last seven months I have done 10 of my 14 required Lodge visits. I will be visiting four more in February and March as this will be before any of the Regional meetings are held. I thank all the lodges I visited for the kindness shown to me and the warm welcome I received. If time and funds were available, I would visit all of our Lodges or at least the ones that have not been visited in the past two Presidential terms. My Executive have completed all or most of their visits and will complete the rest of them before their spring regional meetings. I also attended Nanaimo on their 100th Anniversary on October 22, 2016. It was enjoyed by all in attendance. It is sad to think of the lodges that will not reach this milestone as they have, due to lack of members or other reasons given or will give up their charters.
We had two missing lodges and we are now working to bring them back into the fold. These two lodges both have only a few members but the information they have given to the Regional Directors is that they want to carry on and not give up their charter. Any lodge whether large or small is worth having a member.
At our Executive meeting early October, we spoke about whether to purchase the Elks Mascot. It was decided that we would leave it up to the membership to see if it was worthwhile to spend $5,000.00 on this. We have been taking a poll of all lodges and to date have received answers from 22 lodges, 16 with no and 6 with yes. The lodges that have not answered are again being reminded to send in their poll answers as soon as possible. At our Fall Executive meeting we took, some time to go over the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The big problem we have is that the majority of lodges now only do roundtable meetings and do not practice any opening and closing ceremonies. I must admit that some newer members have never seen this done. I therefore felt we should practice this as it looks better when properly done. We will also practice again at our spring Executive meeting on April 29, 2017.
I commend all of our Lodges for what they do for their communities. Each lodge is different and supports their community in its own way. Some of the BIGGER activities that some lodges do is organize rodeos, blue grass festivals, pioneer days and apple runs. I am sure there are many more that I do not even know about. They do this without the need of accolades but just for wanting to do something for their communities. I thank all lodges for what they do.
Due to the new Societies Act coming into effect we are in the process of updating the Constitution and By-Laws for our Children's Camp Society. It is in the hands of our Lawyer at present to finalize the wording. This will be looked at first by the Executive at our spring meeting and then presented to the members of our Conference in June for approval.
The Elks Children' s Camps except for Elkgrove are still not being utilized as much as they could. We have in the last year given information to school boards and sports clubs about our free use of the facilities and I believe due to this and the lodges promoting Elkhaven that we are starting to see more bookings there. The Elk Lodges from the Island had a weekend gathering there last year and have planned another for July, 2017. This is the kind of use I would like to see for Elkhaven as this is one that we own and can use as such. We also have a hospitality suite there for any Elk that would like to use it for a minimal cost of $10.00 per night. We need to do more work on Elkcanoe.
I wish you all a prosperous and fulfilling 2017.
Vaino Pennanen, President, BC Elks Association
November 30, 2016
GREETINGS to all B.C. Lodge members. It is hard to think that it has been half a year since I started this journey as your B.C. Elks Association President. During this period I have visited 10 lodges
all around the Province and have four more to visit in March, 2017. I wish I could visit all lodges but time and cost do not allow, I must also admit the weather also has something to do with it. I also attended Nanaimo's 100th Anniversary on the 22nd of October. This was a great time of celebration. It is sad that not all lodges make it to 100 years. I must add that my Executive have been able to carry out some of their visitations.
We have dealt with some problem Lodges but things seem to have settled down at the present time. There were a couple of lodges that no-one seemed to be able to contact but we are now in contact with them and they state that they have no plans to give up their charters, are planning to work on getting more members as well as catch up on their per capita payments. One of these lodges has four members and they are all around 40 years of age which is the age group most lodges would like to see in their own. The other lodge has only about three members but their intention is to keep going. They have sold their building and have funds to carry on. This is a lodge I was told by a member of the Grand Lodge office to just forget about. I definitely do not want to give up on any lodge as long as there is some breath remaining. This is a great ORDER and there is a great many things we do for our local communities, provinces and the country of Canada. I say help any lodge big or small to carry on. If we do not do this then we might as well give up and die as some have done. These are strong words but sometimes they need to be said.
We had our Executive meeting in early October, it went very well and all business was dealt with in a timely manner. It was much easier to transition into the camp society business as the Executive of the Association are the Directors of the Camp Society. During the session we practiced the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the B.C. Elks Conference. The reason for this was due to members not being familiar with the ceremonies as many lodges now have roundtable meetings and are not following the formal opening and closing. We will have another practice at the spring Executive meeting. Our Camp Society Constitution and By-Laws has now been updated to be more inline with the requirements of the Societies Act. We also had a discussion on our camps and how to improve usage. It was decided to send letter to school boards and in turn to the Parent Advisory Committees (PAC) to let them know about our camps, hoping that the schools will utilize them for their spring campouts. Letters and brochures are going to all youth organizations, ie: scouts, guides, cadets, etc., to let them know about these camps, hopefully getting them to use them more.
"May your problems be small and insignificant so they can be written on the sands of the seas where they can be quickly effaced and forgotten. May your accomplishments be so great that they can be written on the tablets of your hearts to be never forgotten
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
to you and your families
VAINO AND MERRILYN PENNANEN
Brothers and Sisters:
My Theme for this year is "Together'
On of Webster's Dictionary definitions is "in a close relationship." The reason I picked this theme is because I believe that it is imperative that we as volunteers work together in making this organization the best that it can be. Sometimes difficulties occur with differences of opinion, especially when it comes to change. We can only move ahead if we are willing to change. So by working together can we solve these differences and hopefully make us better individually and our lodges stronger. As the organization grows it take some of us longer to adjust to the change. By having a close relationship, sharing ideas and listening to each other we can accomplish more and work towards a common goal.
We as Elks need new members. How many times in the last year have you told someone about what Elkdom is, how many times have you asked someone if they would be interesting in coming to an Elks meeting and see what it is about. Have you in the last month asked someone to join, I would guarantee that our numbers would increase. Only if we do this together and on a consistent basis will it work. We have to find out what will make people want to join us. What kind of programs we need to have in place for this to happen. Our Lodges have to work together and have fun doing whatever we do.
I congratulate my Executive for volunteering to take time from their busy schedules to help lead the BC Elks Lodges. This is a great responsibility that we now have. The BC Elks Association works for the welfare of the children through our Children's Camps and BC Family Hearing Resource Society which are our two main Provincial Charities. The individual lodges also help out in their own communities looking after groups that require assistance.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you the members for the confidence you have shown in me, choosing me to be your President for the ensuing year.
We can accomplish more together than we can apart.
Vaino Pennanen, President, BC Elks AssociationPRESIDENT'S LODGE VISITATIONS FOR 2016-2017
Monday 19th Quesnel No. 298 Lodge Visitation
Tuesday 20th Cariboo No. 237 Lodge Visitation
October, 20, 2016
Saturday 8th B.C. Elks Executive/Board of Directors Meetings
Wednesday 12th Duncan No. 69 Lodge Visitation
Thursday 13th Courtenay No. 60 Lodge Visitation
Wednesday 19th Penticton No. 51 Lodge Visitation
Saturday 22nd Nanaimo No. 26 100th Anniversary
Monday 24th Kelowna No. 52 Lodge Visitation
Wednesday 26th Osoyoos No. 436 Lodge Visitation
November, 2016Monday 7th Prince George No. 122 Lodge Visitation
Tuesday 8th Smithers No. 240 Lodge Visitation
Saturday 12th Burnaby No. 497 Lodge Visitation
Thursday 2nd Port Coquitlam No. 49 Lodge Visitation
Tuesday 21st McBride No. 247 Lodge Visitation
Tuesday 14th White Rock No. 431 Lodge Visitation
Wednesday 15th Agassiz No. 311 Lodge Visitation