Selma Elks Lodge 167 gets first female member

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Selma continues to make history, even in 2008.

Jacqueline V. Johnson, known as &8220;Jacque&8221; to family and friends, has been named the first female member of the Elks Lodge 167, housed on West Highland Avenue.

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Johnson was sponsored by Ken Williams, a member of the lodge for 36 years who describes Johnson as a &8220;pioneer.&8221;

Currently, to be eligible for membership one must be over the age of 21 and have a belief in God.

In previous years, Elk membership was traditionally male. Only within the past 10 years have women become an official part of the Elks organization nationally, according to Williams.

Johnson&8217;s husband, Dan, was already a member of the Elks organization, and Johnson has been active in the organization with her husband.

Johnson said she was sponsored after helping out with a recent millennium celebration honoring Elks who had been active members at the lodge for more than 40 years.

Johnson said there is already another woman who has submitted her application for membership. &8220;I think it&8217;s pretty cool that I just became a member and this is not going to be a one-time thing,&8221; Johnson said. &8220;The gates have really opened.&8221;

The Selma Elks Lodge No.167, currently having close to 700 members, was started in 1890 and is the third oldest lodge in the state of Alabama.

Williams said a focus of the Elks organization is charity work. There are also education, youth, and drug awareness programs.

The members come from Marion, Marion Junction, Uniontown, and some from Prattville and other places, Williams said.

Williams said the women involved with lodge activities, many of them wives of Elks members, have been a great help to the organization over the years.

Johnson is a Cincinnati native and moved to Selma with her family more than two years ago.