Buzz words like “secret societies” and “conspiracy theory” tend to get people’s imaginations running wild.
But Robert Sault, lodge master of Miriam Masonic Lodge No. 20 A.F & A.M says residents might be surprised to know that “the world’s oldest fraternity” exists right here in Vernon — The Freemasons.
In fact, Sault says this year marks the Lodge’s 125th in Vernon.
“The fact we’ve survived 125 years in this town is quite remarkable,” Sault explained in a message to The Morning Star, earlier this week.
“We’re seeing our numbers steadily increase — especially among the young, successful and ambitious guys. I think the growth we’re seeing is a small sample for Freemasonry in general because more and more young men are realizing that there’s a much deeper level to life than a night of Netflix and Snapchat.”
And while they’re not a “social club,” he feels Freemasonry has a lot to offer them that cannot be found anywhere else.
Sault joined while attending medical school in Australia with the help of his late father, a 50-year member of the fraternity.
“I approached my dad to join numerous times, but the last time, I was adamant, and he finally put the wheels in motion for me to join while I was down there. It’s a phenomenal feeling being welcomed as a brother wherever I go. I’ve met some truly extraordinary men in my travels because I am a Freemason,” he said.
While Sault notes that the fraternity’s regulations require the details of its membership to be kept private, he said he can disclose that they have some “prominent” men in the areas of retired and active law enforcement, legal, military, civil service, politics and business.
Masons of note include,Voltaire, Mozart, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John A. McDonald, HRH Duke of Kent, Tim Horton and Barack Obama. Locally, he said sixteen of Vernon’s mayors have been Masons.
On July 28, the Masonic Lodge will celebrate their 125th anniversary, and will be holding a brief Open House event from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. for the general public in their banquet hall. Anyone with questions is encouraged to attend.