Lodge 262 celebrating 100 years

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 22, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / February 22, 1999

Freemasonry is alive and well in the River Parishes, according to Stephen Brown, master of Progressive Lodge No. 262 in Reserve. The lodge Iscelebrating its 100th anniversary this month.

To mark the centennial, lodge members held a banquet Sunday at the Jerusalem Temple Building in Destrehan.

Progressive Lodge No. 262 was originally chartered in Lutcher on Feb. 14,1899 and rented a room from the Lutcher & Moore Cypress Co. Since thenit has moved twice, to Garyville in 1926, and then to its current location on Airline Highway in Reserve in 1981.

Since its charter the lodge has grown from its original 14 members to 108.

Freemasonry is a fraternity of men from all walks of life who seek to better themselves and the lot of all mankind through practice of the virtues of faith, hope and charity.

As a matter of fact, Masons and their appendant bodies, such as the Shrine and Knights Templar, give over $2 million a day to charitable activities.

On the local level Progressive Lodge No. 262 donates to the Toys for Totsprogram through the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office and distributesbaskets to needy families at Christmas. The lodge raises money throughdonations, raffles and various other fund-raisers.

It is supposed that fraternal Masonry originated as early as the 12th century when Masons built churches and cathedrals. At that time, youngboys were hired as apprentices to the masons and were taught not only the trade but moral principles to live by.

Stephen Brown says masons used tools such as the square to teach apprentices the importance of squaring yourself in relationships with others.

A man who aspires to become a Mason must come of his own free will.

Masons are not allowed to solicit membership but may assist someone interested in becoming a Mason in obtaining, completing and submitting a petition for membership. Petitioners must be 21 and affirm a belief inGod.

Members of Lodge No. 262 will hold a “Bring a Friend Night” on April 15,beginning at 7:30 p.m. After that meeting, men who attended with a Masonmay petition to join the lodge.

Grand Senior Warden Patrick Kelly from Alexandria will be the keynote speaker at the lodge’s anniversary banquet at which time a commemorative plaque which includes the names of the 14 charter members along with the names of current lodge members will be presented.

Members of the Eastern Star, the women’s organization affiliated with the Masons, will present a banner in honor of the centennial celebration.

Armand Kolman of Gramercy will receive a special award for 50 years of membership in the Masons.

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