LEWISTON – For the third year in a row, the Maine Elks Association Ritual Team won the Area I Interstate-Relations Ritual Roulette Contest held on Sept. 21 in Nashua, N.H. The purpose of the competition is to promote excellence in the performance of the Elks initiation ritual and to foster better relations among the state associations.

Teams from all across New England and New York were invited to compete in the unique contest, which involves four of seven officers drawing for their ritual parts five minutes before the contest. It is difficult, as those four officers must memorize four parts, including the exalted ruler, leading knight, loyal knight and lecturing knight.

The officers must then perform as a team before several judges, who evaluate them on the following criteria: impressiveness, pronunciation, word accuracy, deportment (movements) and appearance.

Deductions are made for each mistake and are deducted from a perfect score of 100 points. The team from Maine earned over 97 points, dominating the competition.

Earning recognition as Area I Champions are: exalted ruler, Rick Williams, Biddeford-Saco; leading knight, Frank Ricker, Sanford; loyal knight, Joe Marquis, Bath; lecturing Knight, Bruce Brunelle, Sanford; esquire, Paul Norman, Sanford; chaplain, Floyd Howes, Biddeford-Saco; inner guard, Wayne Cotterly, Lewiston; candidate, Gail Howes, Biddeford-Saco; and coach, Phil O’Brion, Farmington.

Also contributing to the team’s win was assistant coach, Harry Desjardins, Biddeford-Saco.

In addition to winning the overall team competition, several individual awards were earned as well: Rick Williams, Frank Ricker, Joe Marquis, Bruce Brunelle, Wayne Cotterly and Gail Howes for achieving the highest scores in their respective chairs.

With its third win in a row, the Maine team earned the right to permanently retire the two-foot championship trophy, which had been held by several other New England states since 1992. The trophy will be officially presented to the Maine Elks Association at its quarterly meeting on Sunday, Oct. 12, in Augusta.

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