HOULTON -- On February 20, 2005, the Maine Elks Association held its annual State Ritual Competition at the Houlton Elks Lodge #934. Competing were four teams from Lodges across the State of Maine, including; Augusta, Sanford, Houlton, and Bath. The winner of the contest will represent the State of Maine at the upcoming national ritual championships in July.
For the fifth year in a row, the Sanford Elks Lodge #1470 captured the Maine State Ritual Championship. Their performance was once again nearly flawless, as the team achieved a total score of 97.2908 (out of a perfect 100). Finishing in second place was the team from the Augusta Elks Lodge #964 with a score of 94.9311, followed by the Houlton Elks Lodge #835 with a score of 94.2104, and finishing fourth was the team from the Bath Elks Lodge #934 with a 93.5257.
Several individual awards were also presented. The "All-State" Officers are: Exalted Ruler-Sharon Pray (Sanford), Leading Knight-Sylvie Gosselin (Sanford), Loyal Knight-Paul Normand (Sanford), Lecturing Knight-John Levesque (Augusta), Esquire-Christine Cote (Sanford), Chaplain-John Caron, Inner Guard-Carol Lovejoy (Sanford), Candidate-Tom Spellman (Sanford), and Coach-Frank Ricker (Sanford).
The annual ritual competition involves seven officers and one candidate from each Lodge, performing the Elks initiatory ritual. The contestants are judged on their word accuracy, pronunciation, movements, appearance, and impressiveness. The purpose of these contests is to promote excellence in the performance of this ritual.
Over the next few months, the Sanford team, under the direction of Coach Ricker, will be preparing for the New England & New York Regional Competition (Area I) to be held in Danielson, Connecticut, on June 26, 2005. This contest will be used as a final preparation for the national competition, which is scheduled to be held at the Elks Grand Lodge Convention, on July 10-14, 2005, in Reno, Nevada.