The Order of the Royal Purple celebrated 70 years of serving the Energy City during a banquet in late May.
The celebration had a full agenda, according to Bev Schmidt, who is the honoured royal lady for the organization's local chapter. It opened with a supper, and then there were tributes to the organization and its local accomplishments.
Local Royal Purple member Shirley Thera read the lodge's history. City Councillor Lori Carr and Estevan Elks Lodge exalted ruler Ray Walton offered their congratulations. Former honoured royal ladies and members who were in attendance were honoured.
Birthday cake was served. The cake featured an image of the local Royal Purple's charter from 70 years ago.
At the end of the night, Elks member Mel Hokanson auctioned off a few donated items.
The local Royal Purple received its charter on April 1, 1944, and it was the 74th lodge in Canada. They grew over the years, and had a significant number of members, Schmidt said, but in recent years, their membership has dwindled – a problem that Schmidt noted is facing other services groups and fraternal organizations.
They currently have 17 members, including two life members. They meet bi-monthly, with meetings falling on the third Tuesday of a month.
The lodge has made many donations to the Elks and Royal Purple Children's Fund over the years, she said. They have also catered many banquets, and assisted many fundraisers over the years.
“If somebody has written in for a donation – sometimes people need help – then we try to contribute a little bit of money,” said Schmidt.
The Royal Purple has supported other projects in the community, she said. They purchased a specially-made wheelchair for St. Joseph's Hospital, and a bench between the Estevan Shoppers Mall and Heritage Drive so that seniors could rest during their walks.
They also offer scholarships at the Estevan Comprehensive School, and bursaries for the Estevan and District Music Festival. And they are supporters of the Churchill Playpark in south-central Estevan.