Elks Care, Elks Share
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House Committee

Shannon Albertson - President, Steve Bodnar,  Bucky Ridall, George DiFebo, Roland Shotwell, David Bogart, Ronald Schell,  Brad Collins, Calvin Keefer


Board of Directors

Donna Peters - President,  John Buckeye, Krunal Thakore,  Charlie Yohe,  A.D. George, James Stradnick



About Us

104 years ago, a magnificent event occurred.  BPOE Berwick Elks 1138 opened it’s doors to our community.  Our very first Exalted Ruler was Edward Davis.  Many Exalted Rulers were to follow and made ‘OUR LODGE’ was it is today.  Our motto – ‘Elks Care-Elks Share’ continues to grow and cherish with so many wonderful members who contribute to our just cause of benefiting for our Youth and our Veterans.  How many remember the great bowling alley we used to enjoy?  How about the second floor where many of us were initiated?  Above all, most of remember and continue to our Loving, John Phillips, who went out of his way to keep our Lodge in tact.  He would be so proud of all the has been accomplished since he has been our ‘absent member’. He would also love the beautiful Elk out front that stands proud in his name.  To date, our Lodge has over 300 active members.  112 of which are Life Members.!

Lodge Officers for 2015-2016

Exalted Ruler - James Stradnick
Esteemed Leading Knight - Donna Peters
Esteemed Loyal Knight -  John Buckeye
Esteemed Lecturing Knight - Krunal Thakore
Secretary - Jodie Stradnick
Treasurer - Jim Camillocci
Tiler - Bradley Collins
Chaplain - Patrick Hill
Inner Guard -  Theresa Hampton
Esquire - 
Organist - Beverly Collins
Trustee - 
Trustee - A.D. George
Trustee - Charlie Yohe (PER)



The following Press-Enterprise article was found recently at the Elks Lodge and thought it would be interesting information to any one who visits our lodge.  This article appeared in the newspaper on Monday, August 7, 1987 on page. 10.

"Tracking Yesterday - Ted Fenstermacher

Possible Sale of Berwick Elks Lodge

    The appearance of a "FOR SALE" notice on the lawn of the Berwick Elks Home at first seemed a discouraging sign.  But it isn't as disheartening as it seems.
    Said one member: "The home will be sold ONLY if the lodge gets a decent price for the property.  Then the plan is to secure a property and build a smaller easier-to-maintain home."
    It is a well-known fact that membership in practically all lodges has been declining in recent years and the Berwick Elks are not the only unit planning smaller homes.  The Masons in Berwick have been seeking to sell their large building at Market and Second streets and have purchased another property in the hope of building a new but smaller home.  Berwick Lodge of Eagles lost
their pretentious home and have been renting quarters.
    In contrast to the situation in most - practically all - communities is the Masonic Lodge at Orangeville which built a fine new home in very recent years.
    Some time ago we wrote a TY column that told of the demise of most POS of A (Patriotic Order Sons of American) lodges in the region and of decreases in the number of Odd Fellow, Knights of Malta and other secret orders.  All had been extremely prominent in earlier years.
    Although here has been a decreased attendance, the Berwick Lodge of Elks still has a large and impressive membership.   A few months ago Lou Muehlhof, of the lodge, gave me a photo of the earlier lodge home, also on Second Street, and gave me much data on the lodge's history.  I had planned a Tracking Yesterday column on it before this but - procrastinator that I am - had let other topics precede it.  Now - as a result of that sign - the inaction is over.
    The Berwick Lodge could be said to have grown out of the Bloomsburg Lodge.  The Bloomsburg roaster had included four Berwickians as charter members.  They were H. W. Bower, J. U Kurtz, A.D. Seely, and Edward Schenke.
    Many other Berwick area men joined the Bloomsburg Lodge later.  Then in 1908, a majority of the members from Berwick decided to organize a Berwick Lodge.  There were 40 transfers from the Bloomsburg Lodge, which had been organized 10 years earlier in 1898.  A temporary organizational meeting was held in the Hanover Hotel, then a prominent hotel at West Front and Oak streets, Berwick, with each of the 40 transferees assessed $2 for "working capital" for the new unit.
    At the next session, a committee was directed to secure an option on the John W. Evans residence on West Second Street.  The extensive work necessary in organizing the new lodge was progressing too.  The Evans home was leased and bids were secured for remodeling it. (That first Berwick Elks home is shown in the accompanying photo.)  Rent was $25 per month, a substantial rent at that time.  Extensive alterations were made by contractor William Krug at a cost of $171.50.  That's right, $171.50!
    Dr. E. L. Davis, as chairman, was notified the Grand Lodge needed to know the population of Berwick but council said it did not have such a record.  The Elks then employed five members at the sum of 20 cents per hour to make a census.  They learned Berwick then had 5,094 residents.  Cost of the census was $24.70.
    Officers elected for the first year, in their order, were Dr. Davis Mahlon Hetler, Laurence Clewell, John Sutton, H. R. Oliver, James Fox, Oscar Letteer with J. A. Smurl, J. U. Kurtz and H. W. Bower as trustees and Avery Sickels (of local trolley fame) as chaplain.  All were prominent in the community.
    The lodge grew rapidly. They borrowed from the First National Bank of Berwick for $1,500 worth of furnishings.  Evans offered to install a new steam heating system if he could raise the rent, under the lease, to $28 per month.  It was done.
   In 1912 the lodge talked of buying "our own home" and nine locations were considered but the project was then postponed.  Two years later there was discussion of buying the already occupied Evans property for $7000 or the Ranger Hose Company building, complete with its furniture, for $7,000, but no action was taken.  Then, in 1915, an option was taken to buy the Hanley residence (site of the present Elks home at $9,000.  It was bought with its 123-foot frontage.
   A long series of improvements and additions then was begun.  In 1956, there was a $67,000 improvement, including a new kitchen, air conditioning, etc.  In 1969 fully automatic pinsetters were placed in the bowling alleys.  In 1982, there were $33,000 worth of improvements made.  Funds came from food sales, beverages, parties, dances, and gambling devices and donations.
   Inter-community events by Elks were common and every lodge had its baseball team.  Berwick Lodge was among those with a rifle team.  A tennis court had been built in 1915.  There were all kinds of community activities.
    In 1952, V. R. Crisman headed a group that began sponsoring attendance at Protestant and Catholic Sunday Schools and at the local synagogue.  The thing we most vividly remember was that the Elks was the only location, for years, for the monthly bloodmobile visits - back when we had the Committee of Five for Blood procurement, headed by Dr. Jacque Mitrani.
    During the salad days of the lodge, Dale C. Andres, our cousin, was instrumental in setting up a trust fund, interest on which was to go for such things as taxes, insurance, upkeep, etc.  That trust fund, which has been so important, is over $100,000 now.  Taxes on the property are about $5,000.  The lodge has eight employees.
   Those are some of the interesting angles in the history of a long prominent lodge.  We feel its future is secure, despite financial problems.

The Fenstermacher is retired editor of the Berwick Enterprise and Press Enterprise history columnist."

Sorry the picture is not the best, but it was taken from a tin type what was once displayed someplace in the Elks or at an Elk's event.

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