The Escondido Elks Lodge #1687 held their annual First Sunday in December Memorial Service this week.
Tradition of the Elks Memorial Service:
The tradition of the Elks Memorial Service began when the organization was originally created. On February 16, 1868, the Elks organization was formed by individuals in the theatrical field who named the group the “Jolly Corks.” For the next two years, whenever a member passed, a funeral ceremony, known as a “Lodge of Sorrow” was held. On March 20, 1870, the first Elks Memorial Day took place for Elks member George Farmer and John Glenn. Later that year, services were again held for other members which included one of the Elks Founders, James Lingard. From then on, the services continued until a formal designation took place in 1889 at the Grand Lodge Convention proclaiming that the first Sunday in December would be designated as a time that Elks would pay tribute to their absent members. December was selected since that is the time of year which was quieter for those in the theatrical professional. Today, the tradition continues.