During the year 1951-1952, there was a great need for blood in our country, and the Grand Exalted Ruler adopted the blood program as his main project of interest during his term. PER James F. Clarke of the Adams Lodge #1335 was then District Deputy of Mass. West. Under the direction of PER Clifford W. Mann, a committee was organized with PER Sebastien J. Ruggeri and his wife as Associate Chairman and the local blood program was put into effect. Newspaper ads flourished the need for blood, and the St. James Church Hall was filled with donors from different shops and factories who answered the call. The response was grateful and the quota met within a short space of time. It was oversubscribed. The Grand Lodge was notified of its success and the Greenfield Lodge was, from all that can be learned, the sixth Lodge in the nation to meet the quota, and Charles A Gaudry, Exalted Ruler, received the following certificate at the National Convention on July 4, 1952.
GRAND LODGE BENEVOLENT AND PROTECTIVE
ORDER OF ELKS
FOR MERITORIOUS ACHEIVEMENT
This Certificate is awarded to Greenfield Lodge of Elks #1296
For having contributed its quota to the Elks Armed
Forces Blood Campaign, 1951-1952, thereby rendering great
service to our Country and to the Order.
July 4, 1952 H. R. Davis
Grand Exalted Ruler
On January 13, 1952, the Greenfield Lodge No. 1296 and Gardner Lodge No. 1426 sponsored the Athol-Orange Lodge No. 1837 during its organization. A gala affair was held in Orange and many of our members were in attendance. The sponsoring of the Athol-Orange Lodge has cemented a tie between Greenfield and Orange-Athol resulting in a friendship since its organization, which has strengthened during the years. Greenfield Lodge warmly welcomes the members of the Athol-Orange Lodge to their festivities on this our upcoming 40th Anniversary. May your visit during our Anniversary be most pleasant.
In the year 1953, the Greenfield Lodge its 40th anniversary and Past Grand Exalted Ruler John F. Malley was the principal speaker. PER James B. Kennedy was Master of Ceremonies, and Judge Samuel Blassberg reviewed the history of the Greenfield Lodge. PER Robert R. Peno was Chairman of the Anniversary Committee, and a grand time was enjoyed by all. Many civic officials attended as invited guests.
During the year 1953-1954, Past Grand Exalted Ruler Thomas A. Julian of Springfield Lodge No. 61 was District Deputy, and the Greenfield officers followed him throughout his District and gave him a large welcome when he came to Greenfield. That friendship has continued to nurture through the years.
The Greenfield Lodge received three trophies for its Ritualistic work in the West District. These were for the years 1953 through 1957. They were awarded by the Mass. Elks Association.
In 1958 when the Lodge took part in the State Ritualistic Contest in Everett, Mass., Brother Walter F. Goulart received a trophy for his personal excellence in having received first prize as Chaplain. He continued as Lodge Chaplain for many more years.
The Lodge received three certificates over the years for having donated substantial sums of money to the National Foundation of the B.P.O. Elks.
PER William B. Burns was the last of the Charter Members, having died on May 10, 1962. Approximately two weeks before, namely Thursday, April 26, 1962, a testimonial was given him at the Lodge Room, and he was awarded his fifty (I50) year membership pin on that occasion. A purse of $300 was presented him during the evening, and telegrams from Dignitaries of Elkdom throughout the nation were received. It was a timely testimonial for an affectionate Brother who was highly respected by all who knew him. The Lodge Room will be dedicated in his memory during this Anniversary. The Hall was filled to capacity for this affair with friends and dignitaries in attendance from far and wide. It was a very successful and unusual affair ably conducted by our genial toastmaster Judge and PER Samuel Blassberg who did his excellent job. It was hoped that Past Exalted Ruler William Burns would have been with us during our Anniversary, but this was not to be and a Brother who was loved and highly respected throughout the Valley passed from us. He will long be remembered.
The Lodge is always a place where good Brothers meet and a visit to the Lodge Rooms will usually find many of them enjoying the facilities and exchanging certain pleasantries: Henry Beaumier, William Hugo Sauter, George McCarthy, George Skolfield, Alex M Gamelin, Felix Burek, Edwin LaMontagne, John J. Hayes, Lary Kelleher, Dahlia Petrin, Thomas Ryan, Danny Richardson, affectionately known as “Meadow Mouse”, Hugh Langan, John Falvey, Joe Koch, Joe Deane, James J. Sheehan, Bill Pulaski, Napolean C. Greenwood, and others too numerous to mention.
During the year 1962, our country was in a grave crisis on the international scene. Our President made a decision to quarantine Cuba., and the Lodge immediately passed a vote to support the decision of the President. A telegram was forwarded to President Kennedy on October 26, 1962, which reads as follows:
President john F. Kennedy Greenfield, Mass.
In this hour of great decision we, the Members of Greenfield, Mass. Lodge of Elks No. 1296, pledge you our support all along to victory regardless of any party affiliations. Our best wishes go with you. Resolution passed at Lodge Meeting, October 23, 1962 _ Proposer – John Hayes.
Henry M. Boron, Secretary
Elks Lodge Church Street
The Lodge received the following reply:
I am most grateful for your expression of support and confidence. Your message gives heartening evidence of our national unity and strength of purpose during the current international crisis.
With all best wishes,
John F. Kennedy
This was but an expression of the feeling of the Brothers of the Lodge under the 4th principle of our Order, Fidelity.
In November 1962, a great Elk and Past Exalted Ruler James B. Kennedy, affectionately known as “JB” passed away at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “JB” was a former Selectman and Postmaster of Greenfield and was always very active in the Greenfield Lodge. He and Past District Deputy Barney J. Michelman who passed away in 1960 were close friends and were usually associated together in their endeavors for the Lodge. PER Michelman became District Deputy of Mass. West and served during the year 1943-1944. PER James J. Burns acted as his Grand Esquire and PER Timothy Boylan was his Grand Secretary. Pages could be written about the efforts, accomplishments, and endeavors of Brother Kennedy & Michelman which enured to the benefit of the Lodge. A debt of gratitude and appreciation is herein expressed, and on some occasion this appreciation will be manifested by a memorial fitting their statures. They passed this way but once, but the results of their efforts shall linger on.
1951 Clifford A. Mann
1952 Charles A. Gaudry
1953 Sebastien A. ruggeri
1954 Edward Ostrowski
1955 Herbert F. Sauter
1956 William F. McGahan
1957 Joseph P. Boyle
1958 William C. Pulaski
1959 John E. McMahon
1960 James J. Sheehan
1961 John F. Degrano
1962 Henry M. Boron