For Nelson’s Norman Nance it’s been years of hard work and dedication with the Eagles lodge. And recently, he was awarded the honour of the BC Provincial Fraternal Order of Eagles Hall of Fame.
“It’s been very enjoyable and very heartwarming because you know that you are helping other people,” said Nance.
Nance’s history with the Eagles goes back to when he first moved to the Nelson area.
“I joined the Eagles in 1973 when I moved here. The reason I joined was I thought maybe I could help people who are less fortunate than I am,” said Nance. “I’ve been through every chair in the local area, and I’ve been president seven times.”
He was also voted into the Provincial Lodge, which usually takes 13 years to get to, but he and his wife went through in just 11.
“It was the only time in Canada that a man and wife have gone through at the same time. We had a very enjoyable year, and did a lot of travelling to all the areas around,” he said.
After being voted into the Provincial Lodge, Nance continued to go through every chair at the Provincial level, just as he did in the Nelson Lodge.
“As far as highlights go: no I don’t have any. I’ve worked on all committees, even in Provincial, and I’ve done a lot of travelling for them,” he said. “They have sent me on different assignments from the Grand Lodge, which is in the US and is international. Many times I was sent into different areas to straighten things out for them, and so far it has worked out real well.”
He said he liked when men and women work together on projects.
“They [women] have an auxiliary in the area too, and anytime you see a good area you have a good auxiliary behind it. They work together,” he said.
Nance said he’s met a lot of great people through his years with the Eagles.
“I still know people from all over the States because of the big conventions, and I haven’t met anyone yet who I didn’t like.”
Nance is still an officer in the Nelson Lodge, which is one of the oldest in the country.
It started the same year the Eagles started — 1898 — and is one of the few still in its original building, which was built in 1909.
“I’ve got a lot of Provincial presidents past behind me, and a lot of them ahead of me that have never been in, and I feel very, very fortunate,” Nance said.
“I will be going to the next Provincial Convention that is in Kamloops, and at that time I can thank the committee for voting me in.”
(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Nance’s name.)