Volume LIVNovember 2007Number 4

Garfield Lodge No. 559 Celebrates 125 years

Garfield Lodge No. 559, DuBois, celebrated its 125th anniversary with a banquet on May 4 at the Brady Township Community Center in Luthersburg.

The evening began with a social hour and refreshments, a display of 11 special acknowledgements and a Wall of Honor with names of 655 famous Masons from all walks of life. The banquet began with the head table procession led by the Grand Marshal and piped in by Bro. Donald Routch, an accomplished piper. Bro. John S. Yargar, W.M., welcomed all 279 guests, which included Grand Lodge Officers, as well as officers from five visiting lodges, York Rite, Scottish Rite and Jaffa Shrine. He then asked Bro. William P. Lowe to lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and one verse of the national anthem, followed by the invocation by Bro. Jerry D. Belloit, Grand Chaplain.

After a delicious meal, Bro. Yargar gave recognition to the following elected officials who sent special acknowledgements to commemorate the 125th anniversary celebration: President George W. Bush; Congressman John E. Peterson; Governor Bro. Edward G. Rendell, Althestan Lodge No. 484, Philadelphia; State Senator Joseph B. Scarnati; State Representative Dan A. Surra; Chairman of the Clearfield County Board of Commissioners, Mark McCracken; Chairman of Sandy Township Supervisors Brady LaBorde; and Mayor of DuBois John "Herm" Suplizio. In addition to sending a special acknowledgement, Congressman Peterson requested to have and was granted that the Garfield Lodge's 125th Anniversary be noted in the Congressional Record of the First Session of the 110th Congress.

One of the highlights of this memorable celebration was the presentation of the 50-year Service Emblem to Bro. Robert DuBois by Bro. Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. Grand Master, which was pinned on him by his wife, Marilou. Everyone then rose to observe a moment of silence for deceased brethren and a verse of "Amazing Grace" was played by Bro. Routch.

Bro. Yargar then recognized the dedication of the lodge's first Worshipful Master, Rev. William M. Burchfield, P.M., and Bro. William D. Menzie, P.M., who were among 18 known Masons in DuBois in 1882. He also gave special recognition to Bro. Charles W. Burchfield, great-grandson of the late Bro. Burchfield and Bro. J. Menzie, Sr., grandson of the late Bro. Menzie.

Bro. Donald L. Miller, District Deputy Grand Master for District 52, remarked on the growth of Garfield Lodge and its activities.

Bro. Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. Grand Master, presented a brief history of Garfield Lodge, followed by some pertinent and interesting remarks. Bro. Yargar presented Grand Master Aungst with a $1,000 check for the Masonic Temple.

Following the benediction, the official celebration was followed by musical entertainment provided by "Precious Seed."

On April 18, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted resolution offered by State Representative Dan Surra that designates May 1- May 7, as Free and Accepted Masons Week in Pennsylvania. Surra also issued resolution honoring Garfield Lodge No. 559, F. & A.M. in DuBois, by designating May 4, in its honor in the city. Shown from left to right are: David Shepherd, S.W., John Yargar, W.M., Rep. Surra, presenting the resolution on behalf of the House of Representatives, and Donald Senior, J.W. Rep. Surra said, "Freemasonry is the largest and most widely established fraternal order in the world. Communities across Pennsylvania, across the United States and around the world continue to benefit from the virtues of charity, benevolence and brotherly values that are instilled in its members."

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