Gladstone Royal Purple celebrates 65 years



(L to R) Lois Reid, Edna Roberts and Phyllis Bjarnarson

By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

The Order of the Royal Purple in Gladstone has celebrated a very significant milestone. On Friday, Oct. 24, the club commemorated its 65th year of operation during a dinner at the Senior Drop-In Centre.

The Royal Purple is a charitable organization with 150 lodges and about 3,200 members across Canada. Edna Roberts, president of the Gladstone lodge, said the national mandate is helping children through the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children. Roberts added that on a local level, each lodge addresses their own community concerns or needs.

“Royal Purple has contributed over the years to the children’s ward at the [Gladstone] hospital, when they had one. Our lodge contributes to many local charities, anything involving children we will definitely promote.” said Roberts. 

The celebration also served as an opportunity to single out the club’s longest serving members. Lois Reid and Phyllis Bjarnarson have been a part of the Royal Purple since it first began in Gladstone in 1949. Reid said the reason they continue to support the lodge is simple. 

“It’s very satisfying and to know that we work to assist children. That’s the main reason I’m still with them,” said Reid. “It’s comforting to know the Royal Purple is still able to band together and provide some assistance.”

Bjarnarson noted that after 65 years, she still enjoys contributing to as many events as she can.

“If we have something to bake for, I usually bake,” said Bjarnarson. “I still get something out of helping out.”

Roberts noted that the continued contributions of both charter members inspire many others.

 “Lois Reid and Phyllis Bjarnarson have both been with our lodge for 65 years and are still very active. They’re an inspiration to us all really and it’s quite an honour that we still have them with us.”

Roberts added that the Royal Purple continues to search for additional members to keep the lodge thriving for years to come. The qualifications to become a member are that you must be 14 years of age, a resident of Canada, support the democratic and lawful government and the purpose and objectives of the Order. An application to join can be provided by any lodge or found at