Every organization/club has its' own language, internal buzzwords, phrases, acronyms, etc. Sometimes it may take years to figure what some of the terminology means. With the power of the internet, you can now learn what the terms are in just a few minutes. We will start with what you are mostly likely to see and hear first.
ER - Exalted Ruler
ENF – Elks National Foundation. It is sometimes referred to as, "the Great Heart of Elkdom". This is a scholarship program administered on a national level. Every Lodge is has the challenge of raising $4.65 per member.
Major Projects – Every state of the union has a charity which they have chosen to put an emphasis on. Massachusetts Elks Association has chosen to support Massachusetts Elks Scholarship Fund. Massachusetts Elks Scholarship Fund issues Scholarship grants to student applicants in sums from $500.00 to $1,500.00 .
DDGER – District Deputy to the Grand Exalted Ruler. Sometimes, "DD – District Deputy" is used for short. There are 9 districts & 71 lodges in Massachusetts. One District Deputy is appointed per district. The District Deputy represents the Grand Exalted Ruler. This is a one year term.
LM – Life Member: To be nominated as a Life member, the member needs to have been in good standing for 30 years and be at least 65 years of age. The last 10 of those 30 years he/she must be a member of this Lodge. Then must be elected by a 2/3 of those present at a regular Lodge meeting.
HLM – Honorary Life Member: The Lodge may by an affirmative secret ballot of 2/3 of those present at a regular Lodge meeting, elect a member in good standing to Honorary Life Membership for distinguished services to the Lodge. Mere services as a Lodge Officer or Committee person shall not be considered as sufficient distinguished service.
MEA – Massachusetts Elks Association.
SVP – State Vice President. There is one State Vice President appointed per district very similar to the DDGER. In this case, the SVP represents the President of the MEA.
SP – State President.
The following terms, you may hear a lot. It is the above alphabet soup with the letter "P" in front. The letter "P" stands for the word "past".
PER – Past Exalted Ruler
PDDER – Past District Deputy to the Grand Exalted Ruler. Can be abbreviated as "PDD – Past District Deputy".
POOTY – Past Officer Of The Year
POETY – Past Elk Of The Year
PSP – Past State President
PSVP – Past State Vice President
Transfer Dimit – Allows an Elk member to transfer to a different Lodge.
Absolute Dimit – Allows an Elk member to leave a Lodge in good standing.
The following terms are easily confused by new members and sometimes by our older members: Indoctrination, Initiation, and Installation.
Indoctrination – A class designed to explain to new members what being an Elk member entails.
Initiation – Refers to the initiation of new members into the Lodge.
Installation – Refers to the swearing in of new Officers.
Hoop Shoot – A contest held by Lodges in which children shoot basket from the foul line.
Soccer Shoot – A contest held by the Lodge in which children shoot goals into soccer goal.
DD/SVP Visits – During the fall season of each year, the SVP and DD will make a personal visit to each Lodge in the district and attend their Lodge meeting. They inspect each Lodge and deliver a message to the membership. The SVP and DD do not make the same speech at each Lodge meeting. Thus, Officers and members of other Lodges are invited to attend the meeting to hear the message.
Memorial Sunday – Every Lodge in the country is required to hold a memory services to honor our, "absent members" on the first Sunday of December.
The 11 O'clock Toast – At a 11pm, providing the Lodge is open, the eleven o'clock toast is given. There is a tolling of eleven strokes. Even if you have to tap a glass eleven times, is acceptable. Then the following toast is given:
You have heard the tolling of eleven strokes. This is to remind you that with Elks, the hour of eleven has a tender significance. Wherever Elks may roam, whatever their lot in life may be, when this hour falls upon the dial of night, the great heart of Elkdom swells and throbs. It is the golden hour of recollection, the homecoming of those who wander, the mystic roll call of those who will come no more. Living or dead, Elks are never forgotten, never foresaken.
Morning and noon may pass them by, the light of day sink heedlessly in the West, but ere the shadows of midnight shall fall, the chimes of memory will be pealing forth the friendly message: To Our Absent Members.
All members reply in unison: "To Our Absent Members"