New Mexico Elks Association

"Get Involved"

On behalf of the New Mexico Elks Association, I would like to welcome you to New Mexico! From our mountains in the North, to our deserts in the South, we have something for everyone. We are not only geographically diverse, but our combination of Hispanic, Native American and Anglo cultures offers a truly unique Southwestern experience.

Our 23 Lodges are spread all across the state – from Farmington and Raton in the far North, Tucumcari and Clovis-Portales in the East, Gallup and Silver City in the West and Carlsbad and El Paso to the South, wherever you go in New Mexico there is an Elks Lodge close by.

Our State project is Cerebral Palsy, dedicated to providing assistance to the children afflicted with this disease and their families. The New Mexico Elks CP program developed the “walkable” physical therapy system which is now in use in several states across the country. We also provide grants for research into the disease and alternative forms of therapy.

So come and visit us; mile high turquoise blue skies, white sand deserts, incredible mountain vistas and friendly people await you. One word of warning – color does not determine how hot the chile is; red can be as hot as or hotter than green, and vice versa. Try either, or be adventurous and get both; we call that “Christmas.”

And don’t forget to stop in one of our Lodges – you won’t regret it!

History of New Mexico provided by PSP Rohnnie Tupin

I would like to share some interesting fact about New Mexico that even some of the native New Mexicans may not know. For the first 14 years of statehood, New Mexico had no official flag. During the San Diego World’s Fair of 1915 the fair featured an exhibit hall in which all the state flags were displayed. Since New Mexico did not have an official flag, and unofficial flag was displayed.

The Daughters of the American Revolution pushed New Mexico to design a contemporary and unique flag in 1920. A contest to design the new state flag was won by Dr. Harry Mera of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mera was an archaeologist who was familiar with the Zia sun symbol and found at Zia Pueblo on a 19th century pot. The symbol has sacred meaning to the Zia. The yellow field and red symbol colors are the colors of Spain, first brought to New Mexico by Spanish explorers in 1540. On New Mexico’s flag we see a red sun with rays starching out from it. There are four groups of rays with four rays in each group. This is an ancient sun symbol of the Native American people called the Zia. The Zia believed that the giver of all good gave them gifts in groups of four. These gifts are:

The four directions - north, east, south and west.

The four seasons – spring, summer, fall and winter.

The day – sunrise, noon, evening and night.

Life itself – childhood, youth, middle years and old age.

All of these are bound by a circle of life and love, without a beginning or end.

New Mexico became a state on January 6, 1912. The state’s total area is 121,412 square miles. The State Capital is Santa Fe. The largest city is Albuquerque. The smallest village is Jemez Springs. There are 33 counties in the State. There were eight (8) counties founded in 1852; they are Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, and Valencia. The last county to be founded in New Mexico was Cibola County created in 1981. The largest county by area is Catron County with 6,928 sq. mi. and the smallest county by area is Los Alamos with 109 sq. mi. The largest county by population is Bernalillo County and the smallest county by population is Harding County.

The State of New Mexico is a state of contrast, the New Mexican landscape ranges from wide, rose-colored deserts to broken mesas to high, snow-capped peaks. Despite New Mexico’s arid image, heavily forested mountain wildernesses cover a significant portion of the state, especially toward the north. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost part of the Rocky Mountains, run roughly north-south along the east side of the Rio Grande in the rugged, pastoral north. The most important of New Mexico’s rivers are the Rio Grande, Pecos, Canadian, San Juan and Gila. The Rio Grande is tied for the fourth longest river in the U.S.

Now that you have been provided with some information about our state I will take this opportunity to let you know some of the things the Elks of New Mexico are involved in. We are well known for our accomplishments in the ritual program with three National Championship Team Winners from our state, Roswell Lodge #969, Artesia Lodge #1717, and Carlsbad Lodge #1558. As well as 49 All-American awards.

Our state Major Charity is Cerebral Palsy; we have a grant program established to assist all New Mexico citizens, not just Elks, with financial aid to modify their living spaces, assist them in purchasing specialized care appliances or equipment, or assisting in the purchase of items to enhance their transportation of cerebral palsy patients.

Another part of our charity program is the Charitable and Benevolent Trust. This fund helps New Mexico residents and Elks with unforeseen medical expenses or financial problems. The trust also provides funds for scholarships to deserving students each year.

I hope I have heightened your interest in our state. My wife Connie and I invite you to come to our state to visit and see the wonders of New Mexico and to visit all of our 23 friendly lodges.

Sincerely and Fraternally,

Larry Curtis, President

New Mexico Elks Association, 2016-2017

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