Grand Lodge, Benevolent, Patriotic Order of Does- It's History and Organization
History of our Order -Anything worthwhile must have a background. In this instance, the background is the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, organized in New York City by 15 young men – musicians, actors, and leaders in concert halls – on February 16, 1868, when the first Charter was issued.
Fifty-three years later, a group of women of Omaha, Nebraska, wives of Elks, discussed forming a lodge along similar works as the Elks. Although independent, this organization would be in harmony with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and organized along similar lines.
The Benevolent Patriotic Order of Does took for their character, the likeable, loveable, citizen lawyer, statesman and President, Abraham Lincoln. The anniversary of the Order was to be celebrated each year on his birthday, February 12. The Grand Lodge was chartered on February 12, 1921 by the State of Nebraska with authority to charter subordinate lodges, called “Droves”, anywhere in the United States.
These women were fortunate to receive the advice and counsel of prominent Elks who rendered valuable assistance in securing the incorporation of the Order; in writing and demonstrating the Ritual; engraving the insignia; suggesting the name "DOES"; providing legal advice; writing the Constitution and presenting it to the Grand Lodge. With the assistance of the Elks, the basis for a permanent organization dedicated to the principles of Patriotism, Charity, Loyalty, and Love was founded. The Benevolent, Patriotic Order of DOES filles a need for a national organization whose members meet the requirements and share mutual interest with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Why the “Does” Are An Asset to Any Elk’s Lodge - A Drove of Does has something worthwhile to offer and will prove mutually advantageous because it promotes social activities, furthers benevolent work in the community, and stands ready, when asked, to assist the Elks in their charitable and social projects.
Meetings - Regular meetings of the Drove are held twice monthly, except during the months of June, July, August, and December when a meeting may be held once during the month. The Drove may also vote to dispense with its summer meetings. Meeting dates and times and annual dues are decided by vote of the Drove. Most Elks Lodges generously offer the use of their facilities for the regular meetings of the Droves.
Officers - The Officers serve for a one year term as follows: (Elected by the Drove) President, First Counselor, Senior Counselor, Junior Counselor, Secretary, Treasurer,Chaplain, Conductor, Inner Guard, Outer Guard, Musician, and three Trustees. (Appointed by the President) Assistant Musician, Assistant Conductor, four Color Bearers, and four Attendants.
District or State Meetings - District or State meetings are held yearly on designated dates scheduled by the Supreme President, hosted by individual Droves within the District or State. Officers for the District or State are elected at these meeting and a school of instruction in the performance of the ritual work is conducted under the supervision of the Supreme President.
Annual Grand Lodge Conventions - The Grand Lodge Convention is held yearly during the month of June, in various locations. All Does (and not just Grand Lodge Members) are invited to attend, and are encouraged to participate in the Grand Lodge Sessions and other scheduled activities.
Grand Lodge Membership - The Grand Lodge is comprised of the following who have attended at least one Grand Lodge Session and received the password: The Past Supreme Presidents;Drove Presidents; Five-Year Officers (Secretaries, Treasurers, Conductors, Chaplains and Musicians); and Supreme Deputies who have successfully organized Droves.
Membership Requirements -Membership into our Order is by invitation of a Doe, who is the Proposer. This Proposer and two Members of the Drove, as well as by an Elk Sponsor in "Good Standing", (other than the Applicant), must sign this appliccation. An Applicant must believe in God, be an American citizen, and have attained the age of 21 and be of good character. Additionally, our Order is non-sectarian and non-partisan.
Organization of Droves -All droves are organized in accordance with the Constitution of the Grand Lodge and supervised by the Director of Membership. A Supreme Deputy, appointed by the Director of Membership in consultation with the Supreme President , makes a presentation of the History of our Order to an interested group; discusses the advantages of joining a National Organization; organizes the Drove; installs the officers; discusses the importance of adherence to the Constitution of Grand Lodge; and assists in the performance of the Ritual.