Exalted Ruler's Message
by Brad SmithThe end of my year is rapidly approaching. This will be my last column. I have had a wonderful time, and I was lucky to have so much happen during my year. The master plan and completion of the expansion was the highlight. I need to thank those who participated over the past few years by attending the many special meetings or being a part of the expansion committee. I especially want to thank Nyle Henderson for sticking with it on a daily basis. It took much time and effort from a lot of brother and sister Elks, but there is no argument that the end result is magnificent. The dedication ceremony was attended by a Past State President, several Past State Vice-presidents, many Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Rulers, the Current DDGER and SVP, and several sitting Exalted Rulers. The two hour dinner show that followed was fantastic. We had two singers and a back-up band. We danced and had a great time.
I want to thank my fellow officers for their service this past year. I enjoyed working with them, and thank them for doing such a good job. I envy them moving up through the chairs as I will miss the ritual and their company. I do plan on attending meetings as much as my time permits as I believe you get out what you put in. I encourage all of my fellow Elks to participate. After all, it is our lodge. I have been appointed the District Drug Awareness Chairman, and I will Co-chair District Business Practices.
Next year will once again be a very busy one. Pete Day, PER will be the State Vice-president for our District. His homecoming dinner will naturally be at our Lodge. The District Jamboree will be at our Lodge in August.
Ernie Nunes is coming on board as your E.R. April 1. Ernie recently retired from his day job, so he could devote more time to Elkdom. I know he will do a good job, and I wish him well. Those who may be interested in joining a committee or participating in another way, please contact Ernie as he will be forming his committees between now and then.
The Volunteer appreciation dinner is scheduled for Sunday, March 9.Cocktails at 4, dinner at 5. It is a free dinner for all of those who have volunteered over the past year. Awards will be given out during the dinner.
Brad Smith, Eureka #652 Exalted Ruler
Saint Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387-461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It originated as a Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 17th century. It has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland's culture.
It is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and in Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora, especially in places such as Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and Montserrat, among others.
Saint PatrickSaint Patrick (c. 387-461) Little is known of Patrick's early life, though it is known that he was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father and grandfather were deacons in the Church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. It is believed he was held somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, possibly Mayo, but the exact location is unknown. According to his Confession, he was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest.
In 432, he again said that he was called back to Ireland, though as a bishop, to Christianize the Irish from their native polytheism. Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. After nearly thirty years of evangelism, he died on 17 March 461, and according to tradition, was buried at Downpatrick. Although there were other more successful missions to Ireland from Rome, Patrick endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity and is held in esteem in the Irish Church.
Wearing of the greenOriginally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, in hopes of making a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention. The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from a song of the same name. In Ireland
According to legend, Saint Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish people.
Saint Patrick's feast day, as a kind of national day, was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times he become more and more widely known as the patron of Ireland. Saint Patrick's feast day was finally placed on the universal liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church due to the influence of Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early 1600s. Saint Patrick's Day thus became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. The church calendar avoids the observance of saints' feasts during certain solemnities, moving the saint's day to a time outside those periods. Saint Patrick's Day is occasionally affected by this requirement, when 17 March falls during Holy Week. This happened in 1940, when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on 3 April in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, where it was officially observed on 14 March (15 March being used for St. Joseph, which had to be moved from March 19), although the secular celebration still took place on 17 March. Saint Patrick's Day will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160. (In other countries, St. Patrick's feast day is also March 17, but liturgical celebration is omitted when impeded by Sunday or by Holy Week.)
In 1903, Saint Patrick's Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. This was thanks to the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act 1903, an act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by Irish MP James O'Mara. O'Mara later introduced the law that required that pubs and bars be closed on 17 March after drinking got out of hand, a provision that was repealed in the 1970s. The first Saint Patrick's Day parade held in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931 and was reviewed by the then Minister of Defence Desmond Fitzgerald. Although secular celebrations now exist, the holiday remains a religious observance in Ireland, for both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland.