Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:15

Tea recognizes end of a long-time Royal Purple tradition in Swift Current

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The many years of community service by members of the Royal Purple Lodge No. 93 were recognized during a celebration tea hosted by the Swift Current branch of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council June 3.


Staff and clients of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council gathered with five past members of the Royal Purple Lodge in Swift Current to enjoy tea and cupcakes.
The Royal Purple Lodge No. 93 disbanded in December 2014, which brought a long-time tradition to an end.
For more than 25 years the members of the Royal Purple prepared and served an annual meal to the staff and clients of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council in Swift Current on the first Wednesday of June.
Shirley Terlson was the Honoured Royal Lady of the Royal Purple Lodge in Swift Current.
“We would come on what we call Royal Purple Day, which is the first Wednesday of June,” she explained. “We would bring them beef on a bun or sometimes it would be hot dogs or chili. We would supply the food and come out here and serve it to the staff and the clients at the Ability Centre.”
During these annual events the Royal Purple also presented a donation in support of the local Abilities Council programs and services.
The Royal Purple hosted their final meal at the Abilities Council in Swift Current June 4, 2014. She said the members of the Royal Purple always enjoyed their visits.
Terlson and four other former members of the Royal Purple Lodge No. 93 attended the tea. The others were Trudy Auger, Gerry Cowan, Audrey Lambie and Lois Unger. They were all presented with thank you cards that were signed by the staff and clients of the Abilities Council in Swift Current.
“It’s awesome,” Terlson said about the celebration tea. “It’s really nice, but it’s emotional.”
A lack of new members left the Royal Purple Lodge in Swift Current with no alternative but to disband. There were only nine members in December.
“It’s all we had, and two of them lived out of Swift Current,” she said. “One was in a nursing home and then there were six of us that could come.”
The Royal Purple was active in Swift Current for almost 70 years and it was a difficult decision.
“It was really sad, because we get along really well and we did lots of things together,” she said. “We had three big suppers every year with the Elks. We came here once a year and we had dinner with all of the clients and staff, and we would go to the Palliser birthday parties once a year and gave them gifts and served them cake and ice cream.”
The lack of new members made it difficult for the remaining members to carry out their fundraising activities.
“So pretty soon you don’t have anybody to do the work and if you don’t have a way of making money, there’s no point in carrying on because our purpose is to give to the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children and also to give to our community,” she said. “So we had no choice.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer