by Lisa Tome
Before he joined the Harmony Masonic Lodge 40 years ago, David Ewing was curious about the members.
"I had several uncles who belonged and guys I worked with were members. I kind of wondered about it. But you have to ask to be one. No one recruits you," said Ewing, who has been Master of the lodge three times.
"I've been active ever since I joined. There is a lot of brotherhood here and people who are willing to help you. We get along and there is always someone you can count on to help you," said Ewing.
All the good things about the Masonic Lodge will be celebrated later this week. Harmony Lodge will mark its 200th anniversary.
Wayne Brown is also a Past Master of the Lodge, which currently has about 110 active members from Cecil and Harford counties and Delaware.
"We're a fraternal organization. Masonry is based on The Bible. We take a good man and make him better," said Brown, who joined the lodge 48 years ago. "We give you principles to live by. It's not secret. The ritual is secret and it's all based on the Bible."
The lodge focuses on community service. The second Saturday of each month from September through June, the lodge hosts a community breakfast. The proceeds from these breakfasts fund scholarships - two each year at both Rising Sun and Perryville High. The members also hold an annual breakfast honoring youths, help needy families in the community, and park cars at the county fair.
Historically, Masons have touched all facets of society. Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Masons.
The local lodge has a roster in which all 809 Masons have signed.
The first home for the lodge was at Krauss's Inn near Harrisville in April 1814. Other post homes over the years were at Fall's Hotel, Port Deposit, Paw Paw Building, Abrahams Hall, Masonic Hall, and the top two floors of the municipal building in Port Deposit. In 1998, the cornerstone was laid for the current Masonic Hall on Tome Highway.
Harmony Lodge is also home to the Order of the Eastern Star and Job's Daughters.
A Bicentennial celebration of the Bicentennial of the Lodge with 200 guests was held on May 17 at the The Bayou in Havre de Grace.