Our local organizations: Meet Masonic Lodge No. 128
By Katelyn Voorhies
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Freemasons are a fraternity of men of all races, ethnicity, and religion.
“We lead through equality” said Steve Livernash, a member of the Masonic Lodge.
The history of masonry dates back to the 1300s, according to James Giese, district deputy grand master for the lodges in the central Wisconsin area. However, most history that was collected started in 1717 when the first grand lodge started in England.
It took just 30 years for the fraternity to start growing.
In the late 1700s, masonry numbers increased with the enlightenment age. The organization highlighted an individual’s liberty, the right to express religion, the forming of democratic governments, and the right to public education, of which they were the first fraternity to endorse.
During World War II, people who were part of masonry were condemned and executed without questioning, due to their beliefs. Over 10,000 masons were killed. The ones that survived went underground, but stayed connected.
The brotherhood continues today, with many members throughout history – from George Washington to John Wayne.
“All members have gone through the same process without watering it down,” as Giese says.
The group carries an unbelievable bond, even without the knowledge of each person’s name or background, as well as two main directives –they must believe in a higher entity or supreme being and not be a convicted felon.
Masons help support the 22 Shriners Hospital for Children, which allows families to benefit from services at no cost. The fraternity also helps provide transportation for local families to Chicago or the Twin Cities.
The fraternity also opens their doors to local organizations, allowing the Boy Scouts of America to host events at the lodge. They also don clown costumers and walk in parades each year to raise money.
Their main goal, however, is to improve the lives of mankind according to both Giese and Livernash.
“A Mason’s truth is truth,” said Livernash.
“This doesn’t mean that we don’t make mistakes. It means that we are willing to admit when we are wrong,” Giese added.
To learn more about the Mason, contact a current officer: Worshipful Master Justin Herman, Senior Warden Samuel Runnels, Junior Warden Scott Tague, Senior Deacon Chris Peters, Junior Warden Steven McAllister, Senior Steward Andrew Collins, Junior Steward Robert Erdman, Secretary David Bergerson, Treasurer Jason Laramee, and Chaplin William Parker.