Local lodge reaches century mark

By Angela Peacock

The city’s oldest fraternity proudly announces its 100th birthday is less than a week away.

Two years after the City of Tucumcari was established as an organized community, 21 local residents went through the process to create a Masonic Lodge in Tucumcari.

According to a Masonic Lodge history pamphlet, the city’s lodge was put under consideration by the Grand Lodge of New Mexico on Dec. 21, 1903, and finally constituted on Dec. 21, 1904.

Members said the two questions many people ask are what the fraternity is and what the Masonic Lodge does for the community. Quay County resident Bill Noland currently serves as the Worshipful Master — meaning he overseas all the other Masons in the local lodge. A freemasonry member for 40 years, Noland said it’s easy to explain why he remains active with the lodge.

“I enjoy all the charity work the Masons do for various causes such as crippled children, burn victims and their yearly donations for high school scholarships,” Noland said.

Men interested in joining the fraternity must meet two requirements. They must be 19 years old and Noland said they must acknowledge a superior being as the Creator of human existence.

“We all believe in God but a lot of us are from different religious denominations,” Noland said.
Tucumcari Masonic Lodge member Bill Greenfield has been a Mason for 50 years, and said there are several factors which have kept him an active member for half a century.

“It’s the fellowship that we have between our fellow brothers. Mason’s make a lot of difference in people’s lives after they join,” Greenfield said. “You really have to stay active in the fraternity to really benefit from it, but what really made an impression on me is that 14 or 15 of our founding fathers, President George Washington and a lot of his soldiers were Masons. I can attribute many of the freedoms we have today in this country because of the Masons.”

Greenfield said he wants people to understand that freemasonry isn’t a religion. It’s simply a world-wide fraternity of spiritual men who teach high moral standards, and encourage everyone to attend and become an active member in a church of their choice.

“We consider ourselves brothers. We greet each other as brother and we acknowledge God as our father,” Greenfield said. “The most rewarding part for me is when I do funerals and attend the lectures because the more active you are with the fraternity the more you appreciate it.”

“I’ve been an active member in Tucumcari since 1961, and I’ve tried to learn everything there is to know about the fraternity,” Greenfield said. So I guess I’m pretty well informed for anyone who has questions.”

Anyone who is interested in becoming a Mason or simply wants more information on the fraternity’s mission or how to become a member can contact Greenfield at 461-1867.