Manila Elks Club
The Manila Elks Lodge #761 is a unique branch club of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks—BPOE, an American fraternal order. It is one of only two Elks Club established outside of current United States territory, the other being in Panama near the former American territory of the Panama Canal Zone,
The Manila Elks Club was founded after the Spanish-American War ended in 1898 which resulted in the transfer of the Spanish Philippines to the United States control. In 1901, a group of Americans residing in Manila for the "unbridled entrepreneurial possibilities," and "yearning for camaraderie and solidarity," petitioned the national Elks organization to allow the founding of an Elks Club on American soil in the Philippines. The Grand Exalted Ruler of the Grand Lodge in the United States approved the petition in 1905.
The first clubhouse of the Elks Club. formerly Clubhouse of the Order of the Elks, was established along Calle Victoria in Intramuros, Manila. Then in 1904, it moved to Calle San Luis opposite the Old Luneta. Finally in 1911, it built its permanent home at the site that was used to be occupied by the Manila Overseas Press Club and now occupied by the Museo Pambata ng Maynila. Following the proposed Manila Plan of Daniel Burnham as to the location of recreational buildings, the Elks Club was housed in a three-story building with features similar to its neighbor, the Manila Army and Navy Club.
The original Manila Elks Club building, designed in the Mission Revival style modeled on the Architecture of the California missions and built by the Lodge, opened in 1910 on the land purchased in the Luneta Park extension, in the Ermita District of Manila. Aside from the Elks, a new Manila Army and Navy Club was established and located on the same Luneta extension parcel.
After the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, ending the U.S. territorial Insular Government of the Philippine Islands, the clubhouse from 1935 to 1940 housed the United States High Commissioner to the Philippines and his staff.
In 1942, during the World War II Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Japanese forces marched directly to the Elks Club and the adjacent Army and Navy Club, taking almost 100 residents from both clubs as prisoners to the Santo Tomas Internment Camp. The first Elks Club building was left in ruins by the war's end. It was later destroyed during the war, after which a two-story edifice was built by the Cojuangco family in February 1949.
In February 1949, the Elks Lodge #761 opened the newly rebuilt Manila Elks Club building on the site of the first, though on the renamed Dewey Boulevard. They occupied this building until the 1960’s. Lodge #761 moved to another new facility they had built in the Flag Village area of Makati, Metro Manila, which they occupied until 1977. The old building along Roxas Boulevard was later acquired by the Philippine government.
In 1977, the Manila Elks Lodge acquired 1000 square meters of space on the 7th floor of the Corinthian Plaza building in central Makati City, Metro Manila, which is their present-day Elks clubhouse and Lodge #761 offices. Manila Elks Lodge #761 remains active in its 109th year (2014).
It was founded by Dr. Estefania Aldaba-Lim in 1994, who was active in Philippine Cabinet positions, the United Nations Children's Fund, and also founded the Institute of Human Relations at Philippine Women's University.
- Manilaelks.org: Manila Elks Club history
- Manilaelks.org: homepage
- Alarcon, Norma (2008). The Imperial Tapestry, American Colonial Architecture in the Philippines. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. p. 82. ISBN 978-971-506-474-3.
- Manilaelks.org: About
- Museopambata.org: Official Museo Pambata website
- "A Fun Museum at the Old Elks Club Building in Manila". TRAVELER ON FOOT: A TRAVEL JOURNAL. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
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