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Local Masonic Lodge members take part in Cornerstone Laying Ceremony for new Field House

Jeff Harris (left), architect on the project with Roseland, Mackey, Harris Architects PC, is given the “implements of operative Masonry.”

A dedication and cornerstone laying ceremony for Nevada’s new and soon-to-open Field House was performed on Tuesday, Nov. 14, by the Grand Lodge of Iowa officers with participation from the local Masonic Lodge No. 99 members.

Mayor Brett Barker gave a welcome following a procession of those involved in the ceremony. Among those involved in the procession were: Brian Archambault (flag), Allen Sells (bearer of corn), Joe Ackerman (bearer of oil), Doug Couser (bearer of wine), Jason Sampson (bearer of great lights), Rick Atkinson (bearer of blue candle), Josh Vaughn (bearer of red candle), Joe Wakeman (bearer of white candle and bugler), Loren Heckathorn (book of constitutions), and Jeff Harris, architect of the project.

For those in attendance, the ceremony started with an overview of Masonic rituals, helping all to understand the various parts of the Cornerstone Laying Ceremony, which was officiated by Grand Master Darrell G. Freemont.

The ceremony of laying a cornerstone dates from antiquity. In the time of the builders of ancient cathedrals of Europe, the first stone of a building was placed with extreme care and with reverent ceremony. It was of great importance that the stone be square, level, and plumb because the exactness of the entire building was dependent on the trueness and position of the cornerstone. During the ceremony, the tools to measure squareness, levelness, and plumbness were presented and utilized.

As stated by the Grand Master, “from the time immemorial it has been the custom of the ancient and honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, upon request, to lay, with their ancient forms, the cornerstones of buildings erected for the worship of God, for educational or charitable objects, for Masonic uses, or for the purposes of the administration of justice and free government, and of no other buildings.”

The ceremony concluded with Jeff Harris, architect on the project with Roseland, Mackey, Harris Architects PC, being given the “implements of operative Masonry.”

Following the official ceremony, Michelle Cassabaum, of The Nevada Foundation — the organization that spearheaded the fundraising for the Field House — gave a few remarks, and shared her belief that all things are possible in our great community of Nevada, Iowa, because of dedicated and motivated people.

–Written by Marlys Barker, City of Nevada

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