Brundidge Masons#039; anniversary marks #039;reverence for age#039;

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Brundidge Lodge 184 A.F. & A.M. celebrated 150 years of Masonry on Saturday with a luncheon and the awarding of a 50-year pin to one of its members.

The lodge was established in 1851 and chartered in 1853.

"I would be honored to be the Worshipful Master of Lodge 184 anyway, but I am especially honored during this special year of celebration," said Hillary Shehane.

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He told the Masons and their guests that the Lodge first met in a multi-purpose building located on a lot across the street from the city cemetery on South Main Street.

"During the week the building was used as a school and on Sundays it was a place of worship for Salem Baptist Church," he said. "The lodge met upstairs on the Tuesday after the first and third Sundays."

In 1904, Lodge 184 moved to the Boyd Building where it continues to meet.

"Next year, we will celebrate 100 years in that building," Shehane said. "That's a long time to meet in one place."

Shehane said the Masons have had a marked influence on the Brundidge community. In fact, the town is named for a highly esteemed Mason. James McGinnis Brundidge, a representative of the Grand Lodge of Alabama spoke, to the Constantine Lodge of the Collier's Store community in 1854. He made such a favorable impression on the Masons that they voted to change the name of the lodge to the Brundidge Lodge. The town's name was later changed from Collier's Store to Brundidge in honor of James McGinnis Brundidge.

Shehane presented the framed Masonic apron of the late Jessie O. Shehane to the lodge in recognition of its 150th anniversary.

"I am honored to dedicate my daddy's apron back to Lodge 184 in his memory and in recognition of this very special day - this special year - for our lodge, its 150th anniversary," he said.

Jessie O. Shehane was raised on Feb. 8, 1949. Dr. Noah Killingsworth was the Worshipful Master.

A highlight of the 150th anniversary celebration was the awarding of a 50-year gold pin to Mason Lamar Tatom.

Sterling Hughes, lecturer for District 34, presented the pin to Tatom and congratulated him on 50 years of dedication service to the Masons.

"This is a time for reverence for age," Hughes said. "This is a time when years and age stand united with wisdom. There are three stages of life - youth, manhood and age, which is the crowning glory of man. In youth, the mind is occupied with useful knowledge. In manhood, that knowledge is applied. Age is a time to reflect on a life well spent."

Tatom's life, Hughes said, has been well spent.

"Lamar Tatom is a beloved member of Lodge 184 and has been for 50 years," he said. "This is a recognition that comes to few men."

Tatom said he became a Mason in 1953 when the Lodge celebrated its 100th anniversary.

"I am happy and honored to be a part of the 100th anniversary and I'm happy and honored to be a part of the 150th anniversary," he said. "I have been a part of one-third of Lodge 184's existence. And, I thank you for all those years as brother Masons."

After Tatom was awarded the 50-year pin, those in attendance had an opportunity to congratulate him and speak a few words on his behalf.

Tatom was recognized as a "high class individual" and a dedicated and committed Mason, family man and community servant with a stellar reputation.

He was called a cornerstone of the lodge and encouraged to "keep working the lodge."

"Lamar is a good man, a Christian and what a Mason is supposed to be," Wilburn Howard said. "It is an honor to have him as a friend and brother."