At any gathering of Elks, it is the custom that at 11 p.m. everything ceases for a moment of remembrance. This is done in a solemn but brief ceremony called, “The 11 O’clock Toast”. Members are asked to stand, remove their hats, and there is a tolling of 11 strokes. At the conclusion of the 11th stroke, a member will say, “It is the hour of recollection.” The member performing the ceremony, usually the ER, continues..
11th Hour Toast
You have heard the tolling of 11 strokes. This is to remind us that with Elks, the hour of 11 has a tender significance. Wherever Elks may roam, whatever their lot in life may be, when this hour falls upon the dial of night, the great heart of Elkdom swells and throbs. It is the golden hour of recollection, the homecoming of those who wander, the mystic roll call of those who will come no more. Living or dead, Elks are never forgotten, never forsaken. Morning and noon may pass them by, the light of day sink heedlessly in the West, but ere the shadows of midnight shall fall, the chimes of memory will be pealing forth the friendly message,
“To our absent members.”