Elks Krewe Celebrates Mardi Gras

The new Royalty are King Elk LII, Scott Miller of Oak Grove and Queen Elk LII, Pam Compton of Moselle.

The evening began with the Krewe Cocktail Party. Guests were greeted by King Elk LI Ed Shaw and his spouse, Mary; Queen Elk LI Lou Murphy and Krewe Captain Mike Compton, and his wife, Pam. The theme for the evening was “Moonlight Masquerade.”

This year’s activities were truly a masquerade with guests hiding behind colorful Mardi Gras masks. Food tables were skirted with gold chiffon with Mardi Gras colors of green and purple lame. Vases filled with purple feathers and Mardi Gras masks adorned the tables. Glittery gold and silver masks hung on the walls with candelabra accenting the corners of the ballroom. A huge purple and silver mask provided the central focal point for the stage.

Food and beverages were enjoyed by guests, who were entertained by music form Classic Vibe. Following the cocktail party, a silent auction of paintings by Jean Streiff was held as well as a 50/50 drawing for $1,500.

The Royal Coronation began with the introduction of the Master of Ceremonies, Steve Lyon. Script Bearer, Madison Shelton, daughter of Joshua and Cortney Shelton and the granddaughter of Kirk and Pami Harpole delivered the script and the coronation was underway. Kings and Queens of the Past entered and regaled the crowd with trinkets.

The current King and Queen were introduced for the last time as reigning royalty. King and Queen Elk LI, Ed Shaw and Lou Murphy, made their way to the stage.

The new King was introduced as King Elk LII, Scott A. Miller. Miller was born in Hattiesburg in 1978. His family moved to Birmingham, Ala., and he graduated from Pelham High School in 1996. He attended the University of South Alabama, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. In 2006, he earned his Ph.D in chemistry from Vanderbilt University.

He is employed as a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Hattiesburg.

Scott is married to LeAnn Miller and has a step-daughter, Emily, 9, and a daughter, Kennedy, 2.

King Elk LII has been a member of B.P.O.E. No. 599 for four years and currently serves as Krewe Lieutenant and as a member of this year’s Carnival Ball Committee. He served as Duke to King Elk XLIX and King Elk LI. He is also a member of the Masonic Order and York Rite of the Free and Accepted Masons.

His Majesty entered wearing an original costume designed and made by Ponda Lee. The King’s attire was composed of a Byzantine tunic, surcoat and knickers. The tunic was crafted of black velvet featuring fine silver thread in a brocade design. His surcoat was fashioned of heavy black imported velvet which was outlined with interspersed gold and silver sequins and paillettes. The sleeves ended in wide cuffs of matching brocade. His matching black velvet knickers completed his attire.

The King’s handcrafted mantle was formed of heavy imported French gold and white brocade with aurora borealis stones. It was banded in heavy gold sequins and aurora borealis sequins. In the center was a crown of silver and gold holographic sequins heavily studded in shimmering aurora borealis stones and beading. At the bottom of the mantle were the initials of the Krewe of Elks embellished with scrollwork of the same design.

The king completed his attire with black wrist-length gloves and knee-length black leather boots. In lieu of a scepter, he greeted his subjects with a wave of his steel-plated sword. He wore a crown of silver fleur de leis.

The King’s pages for the evening were Emily Annabelle Preiss, daughter of the king and LeAnn Miller, and John Emberts Reynolds, son of Paul and Andie Reynolds.

Six couples were elected to serve as Dukes and Duchesses in the Royal Court. Members of the Royal Court of Elkdom for 2018 were Kirk Harpole and Samantha Dickinson, Jimmy Ward and Dolly Johnston, Wayne Tackett and Jennifer Ward, Mike Dickinson and Tina Pickering, Chad Pickering and Carla McDuffie and Earl Johnston and Pami Harpole. 

The two members of the Krewe honored as Special Attendants to the new King and Queen were  introduced – Lord Elk, Mike Compton and Lady Elk, Kathy Swilley.

The new Queen is Queen Elk LII, Pam Hayes Compton, who was born in Hattiesburg. She and  John “Mike” M. Compton Sr. have been married 30 years and have three children – a son, John M. Compton Jr. and daughters, Kayla Compton Williams and Amber Compton Sanders. She has five grandchildren and three step-grandchildren and a new grandson on the way.

Queen LII has been an active volunteer with MS National Guard Family Programs. She served as Family Readiness Chairperson for Detachment 1 CO A, 890th Engineer Battalion and a variety of other capacities.

 The Comptons have received the MS National Guard Family of the Year Award and the queen received the Army National Guard Certificate of Appreciation for assistance provided during the service of her spouse and the National Guard Team Pendent, an Honorary Insignia awarded to civilians in appreciation of their role in supporting their citizen-soldier and the efforts of the Army National Guard.

Queen Elk LII has worked for Hattiesburg Clinic PA and is now employed by Forrest General Hospital. She is a Data Specialist at Pine Grove Next Step, a residential drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility operated by FGH.

Queen Compton is an active supporter of B.P.O.E. No. 599, having assisted with and in a variety of activities. She served as Duchess to Queen Elk L, April Phillips, and as Lady Elk to Queen Elk LI, Lou Murphy.

Her Majesty entered wearing an exclusive formal Jovani gown of onyx lace brocade. The sleeveless bodice featured a scrolled neckline of aurora borealis rhinestones interspersed with silver palettes and sequins.

The gown was caught at the waist with a complementing scroll design of aurora borealis and silver sequins. Her mantle was made of heavy gold and white brocade. Her collar was of silver gossamer lame in a spider web design with elaborate stonework throughout. She wore black opera length gloves

The Queen’s crown was three tiers of Swarovski crystals in a teardrop design. Earrings and a bracelet of the same design completed her attire. She carried a Royal Scepter.

The Queen’s pages were Summer Rose Shelton, daughter of Joshua and Cortney Shelton. She is the granddaughter of Duke and Duchess, Kirk and Pami Harpole and Dylen Dewayne Miller, son of Edward Dewayne Miller Jr. and Lisa Mclaurin and grandson of B.P.O.P No. 599 Tiler, Rose Miller.

The King and Queen toasted each other and past royalty before taking their thrones.

This year carnival guests were entertained by Jordyn Brown, daughter of King Elk XLVIII David Brown and Anita Brown. Following the entertainment, King LII had his first Royal dance with his wife, LeAnn. The court joined his Majesty on the dance floor for the “First Callout” and “Second Callout” dances.

Special presentations were made to the King and Queen by the Krewe Captain, Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker and the BPOE #599 Exalted Ruler.

The King’s family presentation began with the King’s wife, LeAnn, and the King’s daughters, Emily and Kennedy; the King’s parents, Alan and Linda Miller; the King’s Father-in-law and Mother-in-Law, Ricky and Cherry Moon and the King’s Grandmother-in-Law, Martha Owens. The Queen’s family presented to the stage were Queen’s husband, Mike ,and the Queen’s daughter; Amber and her husband, Michael Sanders.

Following a brief intermission, the Carnival Ball began. Classic Vibe provided dance music to the enjoyment of all present.

To end the carnival activities for the year, on Sunday evening the King and Queen’s Celebration was held. The new King and Queen and the Carnival Ball Committee greeted guests. The Carnival Ball Committee for the 2018 festivities was the Krewe Officers: Captain Mike Compton, Lieutenant Scott Miller, Secretary Marie Tackett and Treasurer Janie Williamson. This event was hosted by the newly-crowned King and Queen to show appreciation for all the help they received in preparing for and carrying through the Mardi Gras events. One more lavish event of food and drink wrapped up an extremely successful weekend.

Officers of BPOE No. 599 are Exalted Ruler Walter Hearn; Leading Knight Mike Compton; Loyal Knight Ed Shaw; Secretary Jean Streiff; Treasurer Don Broome; Esquire Hugh McGowen; Chaplain Lynnessa Best; Inner Guard Craig Little; Tiler Rose Miller. Members of the Board of Directors are Robert “Seedy” Miller, Tom Burks, Jimmy Ward, Wayne Tackett and Ken Terry.