Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Taking The Meeting To The Man

Carl D. Lewis (seated) with Masonic Brothers (left to right) Carl W. Lewis (son), WM Darin Lahners, Stephen Hooper, James Peplow, Dale Katterhenry, Greg Knott, and George Mason.  Photo by Todd E. Creason
For 70 years, World War II Veteran Carl D. Lewis (age 93) has been a Master Mason.  He's a member of both Ogden Lodge No. 754 and Homer Lodge No. 199 (the two small town Lodges are about five miles apart and most of the members are the same).  His son is Past Master, and so is his grandson.  And Carl rarely misses a meeting.  He has served both Lodges as the Tyler for as long as anyone can remember.  He also, more often than not, cooked meals at the Lodge meetings--he has saved many a Junior Warden the task of preparing meals.  When I was Junior Warden and it was my job to prepare meals, I think I cooked 2 out of the 12 meals I was responsible for.  And ran and shine, year after year, he put out the American flag in front of Ogden Lodge every morning, and took it in again each evening. Most of us think of him as we would our grandfather.

A few months ago, time began to take a toll on Carl.  After a fall, it was necessary for him to take up residence in a local nursing home.  It was with great sadness to both of his Lodges that Carl probably wouldn't be able to attend very many of our meetings and events anymore due to his health.  And our meetings just aren't the same without him.

So in October, Homer's Worshipful Master Darin Lahners proposed we to do something about it.  If Carl couldn't come to our meeting, we'd take our meeting to him.  And that's just what we did.  The Grand Master of Illinois granted Homer Lodge dispensation to hold their meeting at the nursing home.

Carl didn't know we were coming until a few minutes before his son wheeled him into the nursing home conference room where we were all assembled.  The look on his face when he saw his lodge Brothers made all the effort to move our meeting worth it.
There's never anybody around to take a picture when you need one.
I couldn't begin to guess how many times I've been to a funeral home to participate in Masonic Funeral Rites since I've been a Mason.  However, I could count the number of times I've been to a nursing home on one hand.  We should all work harder to serve the living with the same attention we pay to our departed.  I can tell you from first hand experience after our last meeting, that is far more rewarding to let our members know we haven't forgotten them while they're still living, than to show we'll miss them after they're gone. 

~Todd E. Creason, 33°

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