140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Monday, July 29, 2013

Masonic Lodge stages centennial celebration

The Manteca Masonic Tyrian Lodge #439 hosted its centennial celebration on Saturday, marking 100 years of activity.

The Masonic sanctuary was packed and even welcomed members of the community into this open-house event.

One of the highlights was the opening of a time capsule that featured several items that represented the lodge’s rich history here in Manteca, which was buried back in 1959.

“No brothers even knew where it was and they wondered if it even existed,” said Past and Senior Warden Robert Perrin.

The little copper box that was soldered and welded shut was unearthed and opened for the public to see. The members of the lodge even added more items to this capsule and will rebury it for the next time it is reopened in the future.

Master David Clements opened the ceremony with words of welcome, followed by Past Master Billy Martens’ invocation.

The concordant flag presentation was next, ensued by the presentation of the American flag. After the Pledge of Allegiance was recited simultaneously by everyone in attendance, Grand Assistant Editor Richelle Reynoso led the flag tribute with her clever poetic-like word play.

“A country such as America can only work if we share,” Reynoso said. “We must all use our freedoms, we all must be aware. Voting is a privilege, be sure to learn all that you can. Pick the man most qualified to run our complex plan.”

The commencement ceremony followed Reynoso’s flag tribute, which was presented by MW John Lowe, the Grand Master of Masons in California.

Master William Eychaner presented the lodge’s history segment, where he talked about some of the more historical Masters in the lodge’s last 100 years.

One of those members was Stanley Mortensen, who passed away in May of 2005. He was the Tyrian Lodge’s Master in 1939 and held every position in office beside two. He was a historical Masonic figure and was also the secretary for over 50 years, respectively.

For those not too clear about Masonry or what a Mason does, the centennial ceremony helped make a little bit clearer to the public.

“The purpose of Masonry is self improvement, not in the material sense but rather the intellectual, moral and philosophical improvement of the individual,” Lowe said. “Masonry has given many things to mankind and society. It helped pave the way for freedom of speech. It has ever been the enemy of any power that suppressed free thought and enslavement of the mind.

“It rejects bigotry, superstition and persecution and the ignorance and the fanaticism that invented torture and deprivation. It points out to men that free thought and free speech and the study of the sciences are necessary for a man’s intellectual and mental emancipation.

“The study of nature brings a man’s soul closer to his creator and that knowledge drives out ignorance and superstition.”

The Manteca Masonic Tyrian Lodge #439 is an affiliate of one of the most reputable children’s hospitals in the world, Shriners, and does so without taking a penny from any of the families they serve.

The lodge is located at 212 Powers Avenue and was approved by the Grand Lodge in San Francisco in 1913. The organization is well-known for its charitable contributions and making “better men”.

To contact John-Joel Griffiths, e-mail jgriffiths@mantecabulletin.com.
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