Elks throwing open doors in Duncan on Canada Day

The Duncan Elks are having an open house on Friday, July 1, Canada Day, from noon to 5 p.m.

The Duncan Elks are having an open house on Friday, July 1, Canada Day, from noon to 5 p.m.

There will be live music from 2 to 5 p.m. and free hot dogs will be served.

The occasion is to mark the group’s 87 years in the community and show the public what the group is all about, according to Elk Karl Brust. Elks Canada, which is not affiliated with Elks USA, was founded on Sept. 26, 1912 in Vancouver. The group now has 250 lodges across the country, including the Duncan Elks Lodge #69, which received its charter in 1923.

That first Cowichan Valley group had 40 members and included Joseph Dawe, Walter Evans, James C. Hawkins, W. H. Maysmith, Charles O’Neill and A.G. Archer among its first officers.

In 1929, the lodge acquired the property at 149 Station St. in Duncan, which at that time included a large Victorian-style mansion.

A provincial liquor licence, issued that same year, gave the group the opportunity to operate a small lounge.

By the mid-1960s, the club had bought the property behind the Elks building, 163 Kenneth St., which meant a big expansion of the group’s facilities. Two commercial stores were added to the front of the original building, the back of it was expanded and a parking lot was created.

The group still operates out of the same location today, supporting both province-wide and local charities and people in need with such events as meat draws, steak night and more.