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From the Mailbag

Family Membership Challenge to the Craft

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The photo is of my family's participation in last year's one-day class. I was the Junior Warden of Greater Johnstown Lodge No. 538 at that time and participated in conferring the Fellowcraft Masons Degree.

Pictured from left to right are: my son - Owen Hofecker III, a candidate; myself - Owen Hofecker, Jr., JW, Greater Johnstown Lodge No. 538; my brother-in-law - Bryan Shaffer, a candidate whose father now sits in the Celestial Lodge; my brother - Robert Hofecker, a West Virginia Mason who traveled to Altoona for the one-day class; my brother - Richard Hofecker, a candidate; my brother - Mitch Hofecker, a Virginia Mason who traveled to Altoona for the one-day class; my father - Owen Hofecker, Sr., a soon-to-be 50-year member of Greater Johnstown Lodge No. 538; my nephew - David Alan Arbaugh, a candidate; my son - Roy Hofecker, a candidate; and my brother - Clark Hofecker, a member of Greater Johnstown Lodge No. 538. The only Mason in the family who was unable to make the event was my uncle Glen Hofecker who could not travel from West Virginia.

Needless to say, it was a great day for my family. Both of my sons joined my lodge, and perhaps more significant, all of my brothers - all five sons of Owen Hofecker, Sr. - are now in lodge. It took almost 30 years for each of us to come of our own free will and accord, but it finally happened. My father was a very happy man on that day.

I think this may be the largest single family participation and would like to know for sure. I would also like to issue a challenge to any family who can beat it next year.

Owen Hofecker, Jr., Senior Warden
Greater Johnstown Lodge No. 538

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