Each year the Masonic Lodge sponsors a scholarship with the ‘Dollars for Scholars’ program here in Phoenix, paid for by their outstanding Friday fish dinners.
On Awards Night in June, lodge member Garret Wikoff stopped into the school library to sign the scholarship certificate.
While hunting it down, he says he heard the comment, “Here’s the Lions, that’s the same as the Masons, right?”
But that’s wrong, he says, pointing out that, “Over the years I have found that there is a great deal of confusion as to just what freemasonry is and isn’t”.
It was before the Great Depression in the United States, that a charter was granted for the Callimachus Masonic Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons (F & A.M.) No. 369.
Now over 150 years later, the Masonic Lodge at 451 Main Street in Phoenix continues to try and live up to elements of public service focused on community.
After all the democratic way of life was closely connected with some of the country’s founding fathers, including Benjamin
Franklin and George Washington, who were themselves Masons.
According to the history of the Callimachus Lodge, it was during the later part of the 19th century that a group of Masons migrated to the Phoenix community. petitioned the Grand Lodge of the State of New York, and the charter was granted in July 1855.
The bedrock of the lodge reads like a family list from the history books of the community, with many members involved in the growth of both Phoenix and the lodge.
Like in Phoenix, most lodges hold a wealth of history and learning that lies within their building’s walls, ready for people in the community to realize.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, all of the Masonic Lodges in Oswego County will be open to the public, ready to answer questions, dispel some myths and satisfy people’s curiosity. Members of the Callimachus Lodge on Main Street in Phoenix invite everyone to come in and explore from noon until 5 p.m.
“Stop into our lodge next to the Sweet Memorial building that afternoon. Free cider, coffee and doughnuts will be available,” says Wikoff, “We would love to introduce ourselves to you”.
The lodge will also continue to focus a lot of their energy towards the family-style service (and take-out) of their fish dinners, as they do each fall and spring.
The community is encouraged to enjoy this year’s fish dinner season, currently going on, while also supporting local scholarships.
Fish dinners will be available on Friday, Oct. 7, as well as on Oct. 21, Oct. 28. Due to a conflict in scheduling the fish dinner on Friday, Oct. 14 had to be cancelled and rescheduled to Friday, Nov. 4.
Photo Caption: A sketch of the historic Callimachus Lodge in Phoenix. The community is invited to visit and learn more about its local history, and the Masons, on Saturday, Oct. 15 from noon until 5 p.m.