A national organization with a history spanning more than a century has a lodge in Bashaw, and a local member is the current national president.
Bashaw’s own Barb Bambrick is the current national president of the Canadian Royal Purple Society, an organization founded as an auxiliary of the Elks of Canada in 1914.
Bambrick has served in various capacities in her 25 years as a lodge member; locally she has served as a member, a lodge president and currently she sits as the lodge treasurer in addition to her national role.
It was on the provincial stage where Bambrick got the push to join the national level of the organization.
Bambrick had represented the Bashaw lodge for a number of years at the provincial level of the Royal Purple Society, and it was at that level where she was approached by the provincial directors to see if she would be willing to sit on the national board of directors in 2018.
“I said ‘sure, I’ll do that for a year,’” said Bambrick. “Then I got into the groove of things.”
Suffice it to say, one year turned into several and in 2020, Bambrick took on the role of first vice president.
“Once you are first vice president, you are president the next year,” said Bambrick.
Every president of the Canadian Royal Purple is able to establish their own theme for the year of their service and Bambrick’s theme is “We grow stronger together.”
The focus on her theme is getting people to volunteer.
“Volunteerism is evolving. It looks way different than it did 25 years ago,” said Bambrick.
“Younger members like to be involved in fun projects more than meetings.”
Bambrick originally got involved with the Royal Purple herself when she moved to Bashaw, seeing it as a way to meet people and give back to the community.
“I was raised by volunteers, and I love volunteering,” said Bambrick.
Bambrick was acclaimed into the president’s position at the organization’s annual general meeting in July of 2021, and sits as president for a one year term.
Once her term concludes, Bambrick will move to the role of past-president of one year before stepping down from the organizations board of directors entirely, though if she wants she will still be able to continue volunteering on national level committees at that time.
The Canadian Royal Purple Society, while starting off as a women-led auxiliary to the Elks, split off from its parent organization in 2014 and has operated independently ever since.
Currently, the society operates in five provinces with 54 lodges and nearly 900 members.
According to Bambrick the society is an “inclusive group” and anyone teen age or older can join.
For information on joining the Bashaw Royal Purple, contact Suzanne Ramstad at 780-372-3634.
The local Royal Purple gives back to the community through contributions to minor sports, Bashaw and District Support Services and other community initiatives.
In 2021 the organization donated $6,500 to 11 different community groups.