The Manila Elks Lodge “I am an American Day” Celebration

(Source: June 1941 American Chamber Journal)

In pre-WWII Manila three Expat Social Clubs dominated:

  1. The Army and Navy Club- Open to all American Military Officers.
  2. The University Club – Open to Expat and Local Professionals.
  3. The Elks (A Fraternal Organization)– Open to all male Americans by invitation.

All three were located close together in Manila’s Ermita District.

In May 1941 the Elks Club of some 800 members celebrated an event called “I am an America Day”. There is no record of a prior event by that name, but perhaps it followed on from a similar event called “American Hall” hosted annually by VIP businessmen at their residences in Pasay. In any event it was the finale of such occasions owing to Japan’s invasion in December 1941. American military dependents had already been ordered to return home by President Roosevelt.

Below is a record of “I am an American Day” as it appeared in the June 1941 AmCham Journal. –BB