ADAMS >> In the same low-key but dignified manner in which they have been serving their community for the past century, the Adams Lodge No. 1335 of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks observed their 100th anniversary on Sunday.
More than 150 people attended the main ceremony, which took place in the club's meeting room. This group was composed of members, past members, friends, relatives and officials from other Elks Lodges from throughout the state.
In addition, many more people arrived at the club's headquarters at 63 Center Street to extend their good wishes.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a national service organization that provides a vast array of funds, goods and services for their individual communities. In Adams, this has come in the form of just about every service imaginable, from blood drives, to a host of services for veterans, to financial donations to schools, nursing homes, churches, the police, the volunteer fire department, other service organizations and a host of other groups and individuals.
"We are a service organization, and we help the community in a variety of ways," said five-time past Exalted Ruler Melissa Martin. "We offer scholarships, we supply dictionaries to third grade students, we have an annual veterans' picnic. There's a lot we do, and we're happy to do it."
The club presently has 217 members, she said.
The Elks meet every second and fourth Wednesday in the former St. Paul's Universalist Church. The church was founded in 1867. The Elks purchased the building and surrounding lot in 1929.
The building was renovated and reopened as the group's clubhouse in 1932. The total cost of the purchase and renovation was $37,800, according to Elks files.
The one thing that remained after the renovation is a huge pipe organ that dates back to 1872, according to Elks' Lodge files.
"It's one thing for a person to reach 100 years," said Elks Secretary Paul Hutchinson, "I think it's even more impressive for an organization like the Elks to do it."
At Sunday's ceremony, Michael F. Zellen, the endorsed candidate for the Grand Exalted Ruler of the National Organization of Elks, was the principal speaker.
"Anniversaries give us chance to reflect," he told the audience. "And we reflect today on your many years of service to veterans, children and this community.
"You should pleased with the work you've done here," said Zellen.
He read a special citation from the Grand Lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, congratulating Adams on its century of service.
State rep. Gailanne Cariddi read another citation from the State House, as well as a proclamation signed by Gov. Charlie Baker congratulating the Adams Lodge for its 100 years of service.