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Masons walk to honor fallen brothers



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Clarkston Masons gather June 20 to honor fallen brothers during their first Honor Walk. Photo by Andrea Beaudoin (click for larger version)
July 03, 2013 - Clarkston's Mason Cedar Lodge 60 donned ceremonial dress and honored fallen brothers during a first-of-its-kind Honor Walk ceremony on June 20. The walk through town into Lakeview Cemetery was in honor of six original departed Mason members.

Current Clarkston Mason's Worshipful Master Coy Hall said the departed group was among the first members to serve as Worshipful Masters, former leaders of the Clarkston Lodge. He added the ceremony was also held to celebrate St. John, a relative of Jesus said to have headed a Baptism movement, and represents moral qualities of Masons.

The group held the ceremony near the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer. Members from all over the state of Michigan traveled to Clarkston to participate in the event. Hall said the group gathered to remember fallen brothers of the Clarkston Lodge. Members participating in the event were dressed in full Masonic regalia.

During Thursday's ceremony members deposited a Masonic flag, a white glove, a handful of dirt and a sprig of evergreen upon the graves of fallen members. "The evergreen represents immortality of the soul," said Mason Matt Shelton.

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"Let this evergreen, symbol of our faith in immortal life, remind us that the dead are but sleeping," said Hall during the ceremony.

"Fare thee well brother, fare thee well," said each Mason upon leaving the graves of the departed members.

"Though the cold blasts of autumn may lay them in the dust, and, for a time, destroy the loveliness of their existence, yet that destruction is not final and in the spring time, they shall surely bloom again. It is appointed to all men once to die, and after death comes the resurrection," said Hall.

According to their website, www.cedar60.masoniclodges.mi.org, the Mason's mission is to provide a quality, congenial, and friendly environment to foster and improve Freemasonary. They also aspire, "To be the organization of first choice for men of good character, whose values include friendship, morality and brotherly love and provide incentives and intrinsic rewards that inspire them to contribute to the strength of our Lodge and fulfilling our vision."

Reed VanWormer, a Pontiac Mason member, said being involved makes him a better husband, brother and father.

He added although many think the Masons are a secretive group, once you are a member you understand why the meetings are held the way they are.

Each year the Clarkston Masons award a $1,500 scholarship to Clarkston students who demonstrate a commitment to their community and charity work.

They have been in Clarkston since 1854, and have occupied the lodge on the corner of Main and Washington in downtown since 1916. They will celebrate 160 years in the community in 2014.

Staff writer
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