Eagles host conference


On Feb. 6, 1898, six of Seattle’s most prominent theater owners gathered to discuss how to handle an ongoing musicians’ strike. According to most popular accounts, after deciding to work together to settle the strike by using piano players to replace the musicians, the men began to discuss life. At that moment, the Order of Good Things was born.

As their numbers grew, the Order chose the bald eagle as their official emblem and changed the name of the organization to The Fraternal Order of Eagles with their goal to “make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.” The organization is still alive.

The New Boston Aerie and Auxiliary 2271 will host the Fraternal Order of Eagles Central Zone Spring Conference, April 7, 8 and 9 at 3200 Rhodes Ave., in New Boston. The Eagles is a fraternal organization.

Bill Hanley, secretary for 2271, said he has reserved rooms at several hotels in the region. He said shuttles will be provided and will run Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Entertainment will include a karaoke contest Friday at 8 p.m. with $50 going to the winner. Saturday from 8:30 p.m. until closing, the band “The Return” will perform

One of the highlights of the three day event is a student competition at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 8.

“The students, 10-15 will present a three minute essay and give a three minute talk – what God, flag and country means to them,” Hanley said. “They do it at the local level, they’re chosen from schools, then the district level and the zone level, state level and then an international level. It has been an Eagles tradition since 1967 when they started it.”

Hanley said he read the speeches given by the finalist students in Reno, Nevada last year. He said students can get involved through their individual schools.

“These are good,” Hanley said. “These are great speeches. They won $1,000 apiece in their (individual) categories.”

The International meeting will be held this year in Ann Arbor, Michigan in July.

“The Eagles began in 1898 and were instrumental in the Social Security Act. They were instrumental in Mother’s Day, and they spent $25 million for the Diabetes Center in Iowa,” Hanley said. “They do a lot.”

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.