On February 11, 1960, ten men met at the Alexandria Elks Lodge with Northern Virginia State New Lodges Chairman, Woodrow L. Corbin and Co-Chairman John V. Harrigan. The intent of this meeting was to consider the establishment of an Elks Lodge in Arlington County.
Records of the Virginia State Association, B.P.O.E. indicated that several previous attempts had been made to establish an Arlington Lodge but failed. The primary reason seemed to be that sufficient interest and the willingness to work was lacking.
In this instance, Providence favored us to the extent that on August 20, 1960, a formal installation of the Arlington/Fairfax Lodge number 2188 was held with one hundred and ninety-two charter members. Among the first objectives of the new lodge was the obtaining of a lodge home. In this respect, five acres of land were purchased on Highway number 50 in Fairfax County and a program was launched to raise the necessary funds. The actual building of the lodge home was begun in early 1963 with a scheduled completion date of November 1, 1963.
Although the new lodge home was to occupy much of the time and attentions of B.P.O.E. #2188 during the first three years, many other worthy projects were begun and carried out also.
A scholarship program was initiated and continued. The Lodge became extremely active in its support of the Virginia State Elks Boys’ Camp. In 1962-63, a program in Americanism, “Know Your America”, was conducted with outstanding success in the Northern Virginia Area. For this effort, the lodge received a national award from the All American Conference to Combat Communism. In addition, B.P.O.E. #2188 received one of four national Golden Antler awards from the Elks Grand Lodge for an outstanding yearly program in Americanism.
During the second year of the lodge, the Ritual Team was organized and participated in the state contest and placed second. In 1962 the Ritual Team again entered the state contest, being named the outstanding Ritual Team in the State of Virginia. In 1963, the Ritual Team placed second in the state contest.
During the three years that the lodge has been organized, the membership has grown steadily to a total of 419 members on August 31, 1963. Perhaps these will serve as information to some reader of the future and as a reminder to us that this lodge home is dedicated to the cardinal principles of our order, Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity.
(reprinted from dedication brochure Nov. 16-17, 1963)
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