On Dec. 6 the Mercer Island Masonic Lodge will hold its 60th annual installation of officers.
To mark this milestone, the Freemasons, the world’s oldest fraternity known as much for its secrecy as well as its charitable works, are inviting the community to join the celebration and enjoy a very rare glimpse of an actual Masonic ceremony.
Mercer Island residents Scott Anderson (MIHS 1973), John Gebhart and Paul Hoeffer will be installed as Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden, respectively. Dennis Wilkins of Bellevue, who will complete his term as Worshipful Master, will become the secretary-treasurer for the lodge.
Modern Freemasonry dates back to the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, from which our nation’s first Masonic Lodges were chartered.
The Mercer Island lodge was formed in 1953 when a group of Mercer Island Masons, who had to travel off the Island to attend a lodge, decided to petition the Grand Lodge of Washington to create Mercer Island Lodge #297.
The lodge first met in the Island’s south club house, which is now Sunnybeam School. In 1966 the Masons, over a handshake, agreed to move to the VFW Post, where they still meet today.
The officer installation will be held at VFW Post #5760 (the Keewaydin Clubhouse) on Thursday, Dec. 6, with the ceremony starting promptly at 7:30 p.m.
Donations of nonperishable food (cereal, soups, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, pasta and sauces, school lunch snacks and canned fruit) will be collected for the Mercer Island Food Bank.
Doors open and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:30 p.m. The community is welcome and admission is free.
For more information, visit Mercer Island Lodge #297 on the web at www.mercerislandmasons.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.