DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Saturday is Founders day in Danville and the Freemasonary is hosting an open house.
On Saturday, members of Olive Branch Lodge number 38 hosted an open house at their Temple Plaza at 10:30 a.m.
The lodge is located at 109 West North Street in Danville. “Visitors may take self-guided tours of the building where they can see the grandeur of the different rooms in the building and where they will meet representatives of the various organizations affiliated with the Masonic Fraternity. Several of these organizations will have informational tables so that all may learn what they offer and how they serve individuals and their communities,” Pettice said.
The celebration is open to the public and includes historical presentations about the lodge and three Danville masons.
“The three men we are going to talk about today are Joe Cannon(speaker of house the 1900s), Jasper Winslow (first mayor of Danville), William Perkins Black, and he along with his brother John Charles–first pair of brothers to receive congressional medal of honor for their service during the Civil War,” organizer Brian Pettice said.
After the open house, the celebration continues at a sculpture in the plaza depicting the three masons: Jasper Winslow, Joe Cannon, and brothers William Perkins Black and John Charles.
Last year the group held a 175th-anniversary lodge dedication. The Temple Plaza was the first building built for the masons.
The open house is so people can see what masons do. Free Masonry is the largest and oldest fraternity in the world.
“The men that join encourage and aid each other to be the best men they can be,” said Pettice, adding, “They do that through ceremonies, and they are based on religious texts and just try to open our eyes to become better men.” They do not belong to one particular religion, said Pettice. “They are universal; a man must believe in a God, and his religion is up to him.”
The open house wraps up at 11:45 a.m. with a meal open to visitors at the Valley of Danville for lunch at noon. Following the meal, there will be an annual observance of its Feast of Tirshria Masonic celebration of thanksgiving, unity, and dedication.