Each year on the first Sunday in December, all Elks lodges throughout the United States conduct a memorial ceremony honoring their absent members. Barre Elks Lodge #1535 gathered to honor six life members who had passed in 2013. The absent members were John E. Bernasconi, Robert M. Walker, Michael J. Calevro, Wayne W. Minnick, Edward D. Burkart Sr and Ralph Lovely.
The Lodge also dedicated a granite memorial tablet with the names of absent members. The following members were included on the tablet: Robert G. Shambo, George Gould, Dominic J. Gacetta, David C. Lafleche, Allan Riddell, Roger L. Baril, Robert A. Granger, Donald Jarvis, Jr., Arthur J. Rochefort, Leonard J. Champy, Richard J. Ortiz, Andrea V. Tremblay, Frank W. Bailey, Ernest H. Bancroft III, Jeffrey S. Garcia, Chris Plante, Edwin C. Busby, Leo M. Valliere, Oreste V. Valsangiacomo, Robert J. Powers, Brent C. Bailey and Dario C. Giannoni.
Readings, prayers and words were spoken by Elks officers; Exalted Ruler Terri Ford, Leading Knight Kevin Major, Loyal Knight Jack Codling, Lecturing Knight Kristin Calcagni, Esquire Bill Codling and Inner Guard Donna Bartolucci and PER Betty Cutler.
Following the ceremony, members, family, and friends were invited to a meal in the lounge. The memorial ceremony continued at 5pm at Barre City Park with the lighting of the Memory Tree. Over 370 names were read aloud and remembered. The Memory Tree can be seen in Barre City Park; it’s the tree with the small blue lights. The Memorial tablets are on display at the Lodge on the mezzanine level and available for viewing when the Lodge is open.