Masonic Lodge celebrates 150 years of service

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This is the Okemos Masonic Center located in Okemos. This center has been here for more than 150 years. Photo by Julian Stainback.

The Masonic Lodge members held a special celebration for their 150 years of service to the Okemos community at their lodge on Sept. 21. 

The Okemos Masonic Lodge was chartered in 1869 and was built by the brothers of the lodge in 1970. Tracing the origin back to King Solomon, the Masons are the oldest fraternal organization in history. 

The celebration included free food, games, massages and activities for the residents of Haslett and Okemos. The activities included indoor bowling and massages, as well as an information room to learn more about the lodge and its community. 

Parents and children of the Okemos community came and had a blast with the free games and activities inside the Lodge. Photo by Julian Stainback.

“The favorite thing I like about the lodge is the friendships and lessons that you learn from others in the community,” Helmic said.

He said being in the lodge has taught him about the values of being a citizen in your community. Helmic said he has made about 10 lifelong friendships as well. 

Helmic is a retired worker and long time member of the Okemos lodge. He believes that community service plays a huge part in the lodge. 

Bob Helmic has been a longtime member of the Masonic Lodge. He is retired and said the lodge is more than just history. Photo by Julian Stainback.

“One of our favorite community service projects is the ‘Bikes for Books’ program.” said Harvey, a construction builder. The Bikes for Books program is a program that allows children in grades three through six who live in Meridian Township a chance to earn a bike. 

To participate in the Bikes for Books program, students are required to read seven books. For every seven books read, it counts as an entry for the contest. This program is in partnership with the Okemos Meijer. For every seven books read, another entry is added to the competition. The winner would receive a bike, courtesy of Meijer.

Mike Nevells, another longtime member, said that his favorite part of the lodge is the charitable work we put in. “As a member for six years, I love the charity work, including feeding the homeless and helping children read. 

The lodge has helped the homeless in Okemos by having events like food and clothing drives. They are in partnership with the Charitable Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Michigan. This foundation provides support and relief to Brother Mason and their families. It also helps support and build the communities in which the Masons live. 

For more information, visit the Masonic Lodge’s Facebook page for updates on upcoming events and more. 

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