Donaldsonville Elks 1153 holds ball coronation

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
This year's Royal Couples: (l-r) Captain Kathryn Hebert, Rocky Capello, Kim Capello, Sandy Mattingly, Launa Zeringue, Danny Zeringue, Valerie Landry, Mark Landry, (front) Claire Scallan, Charles Scallan, (not pictured) Daniel Mattingly.

On Sunday, November 24, the Elks kicked off the carnival season with a coronation of some members for Mardi Gras at Ascension Catholic in Donaldsonville.

Exalted Ruler Lee Melancon announced Captain Kathryn Hebert as the first woman in history to hold the title. This year's royal couples were also announced. They are Rocky and Kim Capello, Daniel and Sandy Mattingly, Launa and Danny Zeringue, and Valerie and Mark Landry. Claire and Charles Scallan were announced as this year's page and herald.

As a benevolent and national organization, the Elks originally began in 1868, with the first chapter being in New York City.

The Donaldsonville Elks chapter began in 1908, and they are Lodge #1153. The first Exalted Ruler, or President, was R.N. Sims in 1909. This makes the chapter over 100 years old.

Lodge #1153 has consistently maintained a membership of over 120 members throughout the years and has recently had some women join the chapter.

Mardi Gras first began in 1699, but the first documented parade wasn't until about 1837. The colors that we see every year (purple, green, and gold) represent justice, faith, and power, respectively. A coronation represents the start of the carnival season for most who celebrate this way.

More will be revealed in the coming months.