My Evening with the Freemasons
On the evening of the 9th of January, 2012, I was invited to attend a Freemason dinner at Manawa Lodge #82. Not being a member of the Freemasons myself, I was not able to attend to ceremonies that went on after said dinner. Nevertheless, it was an eventful evening.
As I write this story, I sit on a sofa in a well to do lounge area inside Manawa Lodge #82. There is classical music playing in the background. This building holds such prestige that along side of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D. C. or the Whitehouse itself, it could only slightly feel less significant. The temple is adorned with three pillars just outside of the main entrance, thus giving the feeling that you are entering an extravagant and holy place. In this case, you are indeed doing so. The sheer architecture of this Masonic Temple is like no other that I have previously entered. Inside, the walls are adorned with portraits of past lodge masters. As well as with age old parchments that describe how the lodge began. It was all, quite the sight.
My brother was a Freemason, and so was one of his best friends. Since my brother’s passing, I have become quite good friends with said friend of his. He invited me to attend this evening with the hopes of me, one day becoming a Freemason. I did not want to turn down such a grand invitation and at this point, I am extremely glad that I indeed, did not.
The evening began with a “meet and greet” if you will. Many Masons gathered in the conference hall/meeting area. Although I am not a Freemason myself, as I previously stated, I have never felt more welcome. The caliber of people I was introduced to and the respect I received was to say the least, lacking nothing.
I spoke with many of them who were nothing but pleased to answer my questions. I asked one individual what the purpose of this beautiful lodge was. He answered with, “The purpose of this Masonic Lodge is to have a meeting place for our members, as well as to have a building to offer to the community.” The conference hall here at Manawa Lodge #82 can hold business meetings, as well as be rented out for many other scheduled occasions.
I asked another gentleman the same question. He answered with, “We are here to help the community. Without the presence of community in our lives, we would fail as a society.” The Freemasons willingly donate their time and money to the community, almost as if it were their very own family. They hold charitable events that greatly impact their, and many other communities as well. The Freemasons are also associated with The Shriners. They help many people in need of assistance. I don’t know of a single living soul that has not heard of the Shriners Hospitals for children.
If I gathered one thing from my upfront and very detailed point of inquiry, it would be that at the very least, the community of the Freemasons is indeed a grand and very giving society.
As the gavel bangs in the distant background, I feel that their meeting is now coming to an end. This was indeed a grand event. With this story, I hope I have shed enough light on what it is that the Freemasons do for this, and many of the surrounding communities. I also hope that you are intrigued by this, and inquire further. This concludes My Evening with the Freemasons. Thank you.
By: S. E. Dickmann