To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, and to provide for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.
Elks are American citizens who enjoy living life by the golden rule and contributing to the lives and well-being of those around them. We guide ourselves through life with strong morals and a great love of our fellow man, always adhering to the founding principals of our order: Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity.
Since inception in 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has grown from a small gathering of people with good deeds in their hearts to the largest fraternal organization in the U.S. With over 1 million members, the Elks have contributed more than $3.6 billion in donations for the nation’s youth, veterans, disadvantaged and handicapped, and to individuals and groups in support of patriotic and civic programs. Each year this timeless organization gives more than $200 million in contributions and is one of the largest private providers of college scholarships in the United States.
If you amazed at these numbers and wonder why this is not common knowledge, it is because the heart of Elkdom is always humble.
Rarely does the order seek recognition for the profound change it has affected on millions of lives, nor have we gone to the general public with fund-raising efforts or received monies from any level of government. Instead, the Elks donated the first veterans’ hospital to the government and contribute regularly to schools, police and fire departments. We proudly display our volunteer spirit and gladly share what ever we can to make the world a better place for all. Each order has elected officials who serve without receiving compensation; it is through their sacrifice of time and energy that we are able to operate each Lodge and contribute so vastly to our country.
Currently there are over 2100 active Elk Lodges in the United States, each identified by a number and the name of the city in which the Lodge resides. Here in San Francisco, we are very proud to be San Francisco Lodge No.3, the longest continuous running Lodge in Elkdom!
The San Francisco Lodge forms part of the Bay District 0640 and belongs to the California-Hawaii Elks Association. Annually the District comes together for friendly competitions, and visitors from neighboring Lodges are a common and welcomed event. The California-Hawaii Elks Association is comprised of over 180 Lodges throughout the state of California and Hawaii and is governed by officers and trustees who are elected from within the Association. It is through these groups the San Francisco Lodge participates in charitable causes such as Therapy Services for Children.
Elks of San Francisco Lodge No.3 enjoy many festivities throughout the year including themed dinner parties, Holiday parties and a grand New Years Eve ball. Each season we are busy enhancing the lives of our members as well as those in our communities.
Please join us at the San Francisco Lodge No.3! Should we have the pleasure of having you as our guest some evening, we hope that we may share the 11 o’clock toast with you – a public tradition of the Elks that signifies our regard for all our members.
You have heard the tolling of 11 strokes
This is to remind us that with Elks, the hour of 11 has a tender significance
Wherever Elks may roam, whatever their lot in life may be, when this hour tolls upon the dial of night, the great heart of Elkdom swells and throbs
It is the golden hour of recollection, the homecoming of those who wander, the mystic roll call of those who will come no more
Living or dead, an Elk is never forgotten, never forsaken
Morning and noon may pass him by, the light of day sink heedlessly in the West, but ere the shadows of midnight shall fall, the chimes of memory will be pealing forth the friendly message:
— To our absent members!