Salinas, CA 614

Lodge #614 History

Salinas Lodge #614 began proudly with the start of the 20th century holding its centenial celebration in the year 2000.

On Saturday August 25, 1900 a degree team from San Jose Lodge #522, accompanied by more than 100 of their fellow Elks and the Fifth Regiment Marching Band, arrived by train to celebrate the institution of the Salinas Lodge. The team initiated 35 Salinas men into membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (B.P.O.E) that Saturday in the Lodge rooms above the Ford & Sanborn Company's hardware and grocery store on the southeast corner of Gavilan and Main Streets. After completion of the formal ceremonies, the celebration continued at the Hotel Abbott, hosted by J.J. Thompson. According to newspaper accounts, "It was Sunday morning before the 'feast of reason and flow of soul' came to an end.

Membership grew rapidly resulting in the acqusition of new quarters in 1904. The old Farmers Union building on Main Street was purchased,renovated, and dedicated as the new home on May 10,1905. Several additions and remodels occured between 1921 and 1938 allowing the site to serve as home until the current location was dedicated in 1965.

The current facilities were dedicated on Feb. 17, 1965. The 12 acre site was purchased by 36 dedicated brothers and donated to the lodge with one stipulation. New facilities were to be built in a timely fashion. We can only assume that 8 years was timely enough! A number of improvements have been made since the dedication and with continued improvements members will enjoy the facilities for the next 100 years.

Always active in community projects, on April 23,1924 Lodge #614 sponsored a movement to recruit the 40th Tank Company to full strength. This Company was federally activated on June 18, 1924 and went on to write history at Bataan in WWII. When the Company marched off to service in 1940, the Lodge entertained tham at a unforgettable farewell dinner. For many it was their last glimps of home. On February 23, 1947 Lodge #614 honored the Company members that had survived the Bataan Death March with another dinner. We continue to honor these brave mem along with others in our Veteran's Day Ceremonies.

Salinas Lodge #614 has been a leader in charity. We contribute strongly in total dollars and per capita dollars to our main charity, California-Hawaii Elks Major Project. Supported local charities include; scouting, Special Olympics, and Christmas programs for Veterans and the A.B. Ingram School for developmentally and physically disadvantaged youth.

Our Lodge has been a loyal supporter of the Grand Lodge and has had the honor of providing brothers to serve as Grand Lodge, California State Assocition, and district officers. Some of the examples are:

F.Eugene "Gene" Dayton Initiated 2/10/1009
District Deputy Grand Exaulted Ruler 1925-1926
California State Assoc. President 1931-1932
Grand Esteemed Leading Knight 1945-1947

Horace R Wisley Initiated 10/16/1931
District Deputy Grand Exaulted Ruler 1941-1942
California State Assoc. President 1945-1946
Grand Lodge Trustee 1954-1958
Grand Exhaulted Ruler 1958-1959

Walter Schween Jr. Initiated 6/23/1937
District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler 1959-1960
California-Hawaii Association Trustee 1963-1969
CHEA President 1971-1972
Grand Lodge Activities Committee 1962-1963

Elmer Lanini Initiated 12/4/1940
California State Assoc. Vice Pres. 1968-1969
District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler 1970-1971
CHEA Sargent at Arms 1972-1973
CHEA Trustee 1973-1974
CHEA Trustee Chairman 1973-1974
CHEA Major Projects Trustee 1981-1983,1984-1989
CHEA President 1983-1984

The following brothers have also served as District Deputy Grand Exaulted Rulers.

Francis Cislini 1955-1956
James F Sloan 1964-1965
Andrew J Parola 1978-1979
Doug Larson 1989-1990
Eugene Bonifacino 1993-1994