Twelve Elks Lodges from Paso Robles to Thousand Oaks competed

ATASCADERO — On the weekend of April 22 and 23, the Atascadero Elks Lodge #2733 participated in the West Central Coast District Ritual Team Competition, coming in second place. This year it was held in Thousand Oaks.

“It’s our ritual initiation that all new members would have,” said Exalted Ruler Susan Marple. “All new members go through this, but the officers, we perform it all by memory.” 

The ritual, which lasts around 45 minutes, is fully memorized by the entering Exalted Ruler, Esteemed Leading Knight, Esteemed Loyal Knight, Esteemed Lecturing Knight, Chaplain, Inner Guard, and Esquire. With most of the words, close to 2,500, being performed and memorized by the Exalted Ruler alone.


“We have 12 lodges within our district, and we compete against each other. We each perform the ritual in front of judges,” added Marple. “It’s all scored.”

Atascadero Elks Lodge #2733 came in second behind the Santa Maria Elks Lodge at the competition. Marple herself placed first out of all 12 Exalted Ruler competitors. In total, Lodge #2733 had four officers place first, two place second, one place third, and another place fourth.

“It was very rewarding, and I was very pleased,” Marple said. “I thought we were really close for first place team, but we just missed it by a smidgen.”