On Saturday, October 19, the Masonic Marine Lodge #122 in Deer Isle will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the general public.
Masons secretary Jack Scott said the event is meant to welcome all to the Lodge. “People are welcome to come in and see the space, to ask about the history of the Lodge, or to find out more about what it is the Masons do,” said Scott.
The Masons are a worldwide group with a long history, said Scott. A fraternal and community organization, the Deer Isle Masons do many projects in the Island community.
These programs range from Bikes for Books, a program in which students earn chances to win a new bicycle through reading, to sponsoring a child identification program. Typically about twice a year, the Masons hold clinics where parents can gather information and get a DVD containing the basic characteristics of their child, including photos and video clips the parents can hold on to and use in case of an emergency like a lost or abducted child.
Other efforts in the community include offering two book awards to graduating seniors, assisting in decorating veterans’ graves for Memorial Day, and donating to local causes like supporting the chess team, the Island Food Pantry and the Island Heating Assistance Program. The Masons also often help widows with projects around the house or pitch in to assist a member or someone in need in the community.
Scott said all the fundraising and other projects are work, but the kind of work that makes him feel good.
“I like the fellowship,” said Scott when asked what it is he enjoys about being a Mason. “It’s a good group of guys that do things together, working for the good of someone else.”
The ritual of the organization is also something Scott enjoys. The Masons have a history dating back hundreds of years, said Scott, and the ritual comes out of this history. “You get a good feel for something that’s more than just ‘let’s have a good time.’”
Scott has been a member of the Lodge for a “brief” 16 years, he said, and has served as its secretary for nine of those years. Some members have been with the Lodge for 40 or 50 years, said Scott.
Marshall Rice Sr. has been a member of the Lodge for 60 years. When asked what it is he enjoys about being a Mason, Rice said it was a nice group to be a part of, full of men with good character, not just on the Island but throughout the whole area.
The worldwide organization also does a lot of charitable projects, said Rice. “It makes you feel like you’re part of something big, even if you’re doing only a small part,” he continued.
Scott said while only men 18 and up can become Masons, all are welcome to attend the open house. The Lodge building is often lent to people holding events like family dinners or baby showers, said Scott. Others may be interested in learning more about the Masons generally.
The open house is Saturday, October 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.