PRINCE GEORGE — On Dec. 8, the Prince George Masonic Lodge held an officer installation ceremony that was open to the public. For only the second time since their founding in 1854, the public was invited to attend this normally private ritual where each officer elected to serve took his oath and received the charge of his duties.
The new Master of the lodge Jason McPeak, said it was important to open things up more. “The public should be aware of the good things we are doing down here at the lodge. I hope to open things up a bit more so people know the good work we are doing to serve our community,” said McPeak.
The event was well attended including several local elected officials. Among the crowd were three members of the Prince George County Board of Supervisors including Vice Chairman Donald Hunter, Supervisor Floyd Brown Jr., and Supervisor Marlene Waymack, in addition to Commonwealth’s Attorney Susan Fierro and James River Soil and Water Conservation District Chairman Joseph Waymack. The crowd included masons, friends and family of masons, some prospective young men who are interested in masonry and other curious members of the public.
The Prince George Masonic lodge has 147 active members and has met in the brick building beside the Circle D Mart on Ruffin Road in Prince George since 1978. They hold several annual fundraisers, giving away thousands of dollars each year in scholarships to local young people to help with the expense of college. The lodge sponsors a local youth baseball team every year and donates to many other charitable causes. Recently, the lodge in Prince George has made donations to disaster relief from flooding in North Carolina, hurricane-damaged Florida, and fire-ravaged California.
As the reception that followed the program ended, several members gathered to head out to deliver red poinsettias to all the widows of members who have passed away, a tradition the lodge has done for many years at Christmas time. Checking up on and taking care of the widows and orphans of deceased members is an important part of the focus of the Prince George Masonic Lodge.
Officers installed for 2019 are Jason D. McPeak, Worshipful Master; B. Scott Hammel, Senior Warden; R. Sam Garrison, Junior Warden; Cecil M. Smith, Treasurer; Carl E. Pippin, Sr., Secretary; Drew E. McKinney, Senior Deacon; Olan H. McKinney, Junior Deacon; Tim M. Coyne, Senior Steward; Bill F. Coyner, Junior Steward; Tom E. Guess, Chaplain; Jerry L. Dew, Marshal; and Roy B. Pugh III, Tiler.