Welcome to the land of “Red or Green”!
The New Mexico Elks Association is very proud of our Lodges, 21 in New Mexico and 1 in El Paso, Texas. New Mexico is an enchanting experience so let me give you some interesting information about our Great State.
New Mexico is the fifth largest State, by size, and the forty-seventh State, admitted on January 6, 1912. Our State flower is the Yucca, State Bird is the Roadrunner, State Tree is the Pinon, State fish is the Cutthroat Trout with the Black Bear as the State Mammal.
Santa Fe is our State Capitol which is the highest Capitol in the United States at 7,000 feet above sea level. Located in Santa Fe you will find the Palace of Governors which was built in 1610 and is one of the oldest public buildings in America. Year around you will find Native Americans in front of the Palace of Governors selling their beautiful handmade jewelry.
Each year in October, Albuquerque hosts the world’s largest hot air balloon Fiesta. Hundreds of balloons fly during the weeklong event.
Philmont Scout Ranch is located in Cimarron and more than one million Scouts, Ventures and Leaders have experienced the adventure of Philmont, since the first camping season in 1939.
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.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Andrew Housley, President
New Mexico Elks Association, 2023-2024
External Web Site: nmelks.com