[Pauline is a Life Member of Boca Raton Does Drove 173. She served as president in 1986, 1991 and 1992.]
My memories of the Elks in our area go back to the early 1930s. Guy Bender, who owned a garage on Dixie Highway in Boca Raton, was the second exalted ruler of the Lake Worth Elks Lodge. That lodge was the nearest for the men in our area, and many belonged. Their ladies became members of the Anna Miller Circle, also in Lake Worth.
When the Delray Beach Elks Lodge was chartered in 1949, most Boca men dimited to the closer location, and their ladies joined the Delray Does.
My late husband, Lawrence Aylward, dimited from Rockland (Maine) Lodge 1009 in 1960 when Boca Raton Lodge 2166 was chartered. He, and my father, Charles Raulerson, were among the charter members of the new lodge. Two years later my mother, Eula, and I became charter members of Does Drove 173.
Today, our son, Charles "Bill" Aylward, is a third generation Boca Elk, and his wife, Carol, is a Doe.
A B.P.O.E. 2166 Memory Shared by Steven C. Merena, PDDGER
[The following tribute was written following the death of PER Steve Datzyk in July 2000.]
In January 1970, I arrived in Florida and one of my first acts was the submission of my request to dimit to the Boca Raton Elks Lodge. The first person I met in this lodge was Exalted Ruler Steve Datzyk.
The lodge at that time was on the other side of the tracks and preparations were in progress to move to our new quarters, which we now occupy. In charge of all of the details and the other problems associated with the move was Steve, and without much hesitation he asked me to be his chaplain. Without much hesitation, I declined, for I did not believe I was capable of the assignment. Steve was persuasive, and he prevailed as he continued to work on the new building, which was a shell and needed days of work. His dedication and energy in this task were endless, and in spite of the hours of labor given to complete, we had a dedication ceremony at the end of June without the west wall of the lodge room being finished. In attendance were both past Grand Exalted Rulers Wall and Grafton.
For many years thereafter, Steve gave of himself and his time fixing, repairing and maintaining the new lodge.
Again, in 1976, he supervised and led the expansion of the new addition of the southeast corner of the building.
I know that on many occasions he neglected his domestic duties to take immediate care of the problems that arose. On behalf of the membership of this lodge I wish to express my gratitude to his family for all of the days that we have known Steve, and for the days of his life that he gave to the B.P.O.E. ~Pax Vobiscum~
A B.P.O.E. 2166 Memory Shared by Harold Mangus, PDDGER
My first visit to the Boca Elks Lodge was when it met at a warehouse facility on NW 11th Street just east of 2nd Avenue. I don't recall the year, but Florence and I were visiting family here, and being active in the South Miami Lodge, we just naturally gravitated to the local lodge. We were welcomed by a "stand-up" group of members who were, indeed, representative of the original "Jolly Corks."
Another visit I recall was after our move to Boca Raton and I was the south district vice president. It was 1976, and state president at the time, Charlie Pride, was making his official visit to the lodge, where Steve Merena was the district vice president.
Another memorable time was during Hal Goldrick's first term as exalted ruler in 1978-79. My favorite uncle and sponsor into Elkdom, along with my aunt, were our houseguests. We, of course, took them to whatever Elks affair was scheduled that weekend. The gracious welcome by Florence and Hal Goldrick began a special friendship which we still enjoy today.
A B.P.O.E. 2166 Memory Shared by Harold Goldrick, PER
During my 1978-79 term as exalted ruler I was approached with an offer by good friend Hal Mangus, a past district deputy from the South Miami Elks Lodge. Hal's son-in-law, Greg Bean, who promoted the annual visit of a large rodeo at the old Palm Beach Arena, was offering to donate $1,000 to our lodge if we furnished people to sell programs and western goods at all four performances during a three day weekend.
We gathered a group of about 30 Elks, wives and Does. We peddled their goods in the parking lots, at the entry gates and in the aisles during the performances.
Greg and his wife, Pat, were very pleased with the great number of sales we made. He said no group before had ever done as well as we did. We had a good time and many laughs during that weekend. After the final performance we received a $1,000 check, which we took home for the Lodge Charity Fund.