District No. 6120

A Short History of Huntington Lodge, No. 1565 B.P.O.E.

Huntington Lodge turns 80 years old on June 29th, 2009. Its history during those 80 years is known by some of you, but to those of who may not know, the following are the circumstances of our origin.

The spark of Elkdom existed some years in Huntington before it was actually instituted as a Chartered Lodge. There were a number of Elks who lived in Huntington, who were either members in the Glen Cove Lodge or other neighboring communities. The element of distance, however, prevented them from enjoying the full fellowship and benefits of the fraternity. Because of this they sought ways and means whereby they might meet together as Huntington men with a common interest in the Order of Elks. It was said, however, that the rules of the Order did not permit the institution of a separate club in the name of Elks, even though it might be composed of only Elks.

Nonetheless, a club was formed and became known as the Good Fellowship Club. Its membership consisted of 49 Elks and one other gentleman. This was in August of 1924 and was the forerunner of the Elks Lodge in Huntington.

In the early days the Club had no home of their own. They met in rooms over a store, which was located on New York Ave. a bit south of the Huntington Theater.

They looked around for a home and found a residential building on the corner of East Main Street and Gibson Ave. Forming a holding corporation and purchasing the stock thereof, they were able to take possession of the house, the present home of the Huntington Elks. It was here that they started the activities in the interest of the community that Elks for which Elks are noted. To Elks everywhere they offered hospitality. Their reputation became widespread and as good as their name implied.

Never did The Good Fellowship Club lose track of their objective to have an Elks Lodge in Huntington and they tried constantly to find the ways and means by which this could be accomplished. There was one major obstacle: Grand Lodge Statutes mandated that a Lodge could only be formed in an incorporated village. It was eventually discovered that Huntington Bay, a community of about 1800 residents, was an "incorporated village". Therefore, In the name of Huntington Bay, an application for dispensation was made. At the Grand Lodge Convention held in Los Angeles in 1929, then Grand Exalted Ruler Judge Murray Hulbert stated:

"...........application for a dispensation to establish a lodge in an unincorporated community, Huntington, NY, an unincorporated village on Long Island has a population of 10,000. If a lodge was established there, the jurisdiction of the new lodge would have a population of 30,000. It so happens that within that jurisdiction there is an incorporated village known as Huntington Bay, having a population about 1000. The application was made in the name of Huntington Bay for a dispensation for a lodge to be known as Huntington, and by the power in me vested by Constitutional amendment adopted at Miami last year, I was able to grant this dispensation."

At last came the fulfillment of the dream

On the evening of June 29, 1929, Huntington Lodge was formally instituted in ceremonies that were held at St. Patrick's School auditorium.

The Good Fellowship Club immediately turned their clubhouse over to the Elks. For a while meetings were held in the Masonic Lodge, as the Elks Clubhouse was not appropriate for formal meetings. Within two years the Lodge acquired full title to the Gibson Avenue property. This was due to the generous contribution of their stocks and cash by the Good Fellowship Club.

To the Good Fellowship Club, therefore, must go the credit. They cradled, nursed, and nurtured to health the Elks Lodge that now plays so active a part in the life of the community. A resolution, expressing lasting gratitude to the Good Fellowship Club was adopted by the Lodge and signed by Exalted Ruler, Raymond LaClair. In part, thereof, were these words:

".....Be it further resolved that in perpetual testimony of this recognition, a copy of this resolution be compiled, framed and displayed in our club rooms with this well deserved caption."

Well done Thou Good and Faithful Servant.

From these humble beginnings in 1929, Huntington Lodge has had many triumphs, some seemingly insurmountable tragedies, innumerable charitable donations and many, many good times.

Perhaps our most visible triumph can be seen as our Lodge appears today. This certainly did not occur by happenstance. It is the result of continuing efforts by the dedicated individuals who held in their hearts the basic tenets of Elkdom -- Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and fidelity!

Theirs were hardworking, often tedious, hours spent on behalf of the Lodge and the members. We owe them deep, heartfelt gratitude.


The Officers of Huntington Lodge has also achieved outstanding rewards for their Ritualistic endeavors - Thirty-one East District, Fourteen New York State and Four National Championships.

Our triumphs also include many, many "silent" achievements. They are best described as "expressions":

The expression of gratitude on the happy face of a scholarship recipient.

The grin of Patty and her fellow patients at the Suffolk Developmental Center at the Halloween and Christmas parties--both at the Lodge and at the Center.

The similar expression by all the Vets as Sasha and her gals entertained at the Annual Veterans Dinner at the Lodge.

The many smiling Vets at the Half-way Houses as receive clothing, food and furniture.

Their laughter as they swat mightily at a golf ball during our Summer Golf Program--and the pizzas and soda that follows.

"Charity, the cornerstone of every Elk structure, The highest virtue of every Elk creed"

Sometimes, the "expression" is reversed! In late 1998, Gene Okray, as part of his duties as Exalted Ruler (the days of Lou, Biff and Jimmy were long gone--but not forgotten!) was tending bar on a Tuesday evening. the phone rings and the caller identified himself as a former recipient of a Huntington Lodge Scholarship in the amount of $2,400.00 and stated that he wanted to pay it back--100 fold! Gene is a fast thinker and did the math. Gene was, to say the least, a bit skeptical. I believe that he replied, "Yeah! Right!". But, the caller persisted. He took down his name and number and promised to get back to him.

The next morning the caller, Roger E. Tetrault was determined to be bona fide. To celebrate his presentation, a gala Valentine's Day Party was planned. All was going well until a scant three days before the event. Roger called to say that he couldn't be here. It seems that Roger, as CEO of McDermott International headquartered in New Orleans, was scheduled to ride on a float in the Mardi Gras parade and to give out "beads". (Later on, when asked what one had to do to get the beads, he winked and with a sly grin stated, "You gentlemen wouldn't qualify". Hmmmm! wonder what he meant?) We were devastated, and pleaded our case.

When he realized the extent of our plans, he arranged to have the company jet fly him to Republic Airport where he was met, brought to the Lodge by limousine, enjoyed some socializing, presented his check (in his presentation comment he stated, "When I started to write the check, $240,000.00 looked a little chintzy so I rounded it out to $250,000.00", which received lots of laughter as well as a deserved standing ovation) and was then whisked back to Republic for a quick flight home. He arrived there on time and did get to distribute quite a few "beads".

Our scholarship to him in 1959 allowed him to attend Annapolis and go on to a very successful life. So much so that, after the Columbia Shuttle disaster, he was the ninth person appointed to the Accident Investigation Board.

The tragedies included 2 devastating fires, and, more importantly, the loss of all our departed brothers who will come no more. We miss you all!

Our many, many good times include the socializing at the various parties where we enjoyed the sincere pleasure of one another's company, and to our outstanding brothers whose dedication to Elkdom was extraordinary, and to our milestone anniversaries 25th, 50th, 75th and now our 80th!

From Our 50th Anniversary Journal comes the following:

"There is a sentinel that has long stood watch over all our doings. It's sole purpose has been to tick off the moments flight. As the shadows of night encompass the evening of June 29, 1979, it's familiar chimes will toll the Eleventh Hour. Shortly thereafter, Huntington Lodge will be launched into the scheme of time and it's next half century. May they be glorious years. Few now are to likely to know who will be at the helm during the years to come and they are not likely to know who we were for "our action on the stage was but brief, yet in the drama we played our part."
Chester L. Murray, Lodge Historian"


In 1936 a rather disastrous fire destroyed most of our clubhouse which necessitated a rebuilding of our quarters. Upon its completion, new furnishings were required to bring about its former old-fashioned appearance, which was done. One of our members, Jake Patiky, an auctioneer, while admiring the appearance of the newly refurbished sitting room remarked on its lack of a chime clock. Citing the fact that he had in his showroom a Grandfather's Clock, which was the perfect timepiece to accentuate that area, he suggested that it could be acquired at a reasonable figure. The clock in question hade been obtained from a local estate that was in financial difficulty brought on by the stock market disaster and the following depression. Brothers Al Miltner and Howard Schow, who both later became Exalted Rulers of our Lodge, were delegated to look over this timepiece to see if it fitted in with the decor of our newly decorated quarters. After reporting that the clock, a Tiffany & Company hand carved mahogany work of craftsmanship, would enhance the appearance of the lodge room in which it would be displayed, they were instructed to dicker with Brother Patiky. The latter suggested that they attend an auction at which he would put it up for sale and they make a token bid, considerably below his first offering, hesitate awhile, and then make a second bid, after which he would sell it to them at that price. Properly instructed, Brothers Miltner and Schow went to the auction, which was attended by very few people because money was not too plentiful due to the depression, and they successfully obtained the clock at a ridiculously low figure.

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