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Cornerstone Laying and Lodge Dedication Print E-mail

The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina conducted a Cornerstone Laying and Lodge Dedication Ceremony at Ornan Lodge No. 38 AFM in Bamberg on Saturday, February 28, 2009.

Over 100 Masons from Bamberg and other counties along with their families and friends attended this historical event.

Before the ceremony everyone enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Civic Center prepared by Lodge members.

Gerald L. Carver, Grand Master of Masons in South Carolina and other Grand Lodge officers braved the rainy weather to conduct the beautiful ceremonies at Ornan Lodge No. 38 AFM building located at 58 Ornan Street in Bamberg.

The historical "Lafayette Trowel”, one of the most valuable pieces owned by the S.C. Grand Lodge, was used in Saturday’s ceremony.

“The trowel composed of Mexican silver coins came to Camden, S. C. in 1825 and is still being used for all corner stone ceremonies throughout the state,” said Grand Master Carver.

Ornan Lodge No. 38 was originally chartered as Allen Lodge No. 38 on June 2, 1857. Allen Lodge was named in honor of its first Worshipful Master, J. D. Allen, who had presented the lodge with its furniture and jewels. In June of 1866, a storm came through Bamberg destroying the original lodge building. At that time, the bottom floor of the lodge building was being used as a school and seven children were killed when this happened.

On October 28, 1871 a motion was made to change the name of the lodge to Ornan No. 38 and a resolution was prepared for presentation to the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina. The minutes of the meeting in January 1872 recorded the name as Ornan No. 38.

Ornan Lodge in Bamberg has been the home of 2 Past Grand Masters of Masons in South Carolina. John R. Bellinger served as Grand Master in 1904 and 1905 and James F. Risher served as Grand Master from 1948--1950.The current Lodge building was erected in 1994 and was completed in several phases ending with the Cornerstone Laying and Lodge Dedication ceremonies on Saturday.

Ornan Lodge officers for 2009 are Will Martin, PM, Worshipful Master; Wes Williams, Senior Warden; D.C. ‘Buster’ Bozard, Junior Warden; Bobby Kirkland, Treasurer; Ronnie Smith, DDGM, Secretary; Raymond DeRienzo, Jr., Chaplain; Clint Smoak, Senior Deacon; Ed Swogger, Junior Deacon; Mike Lott, Steward; Kevin Wilson, Steward; and Donald Kirby, PM, Tiler.

Past Grand Masters in attendance Saturday were G. Ray Marsh (Grand Secretary), Jack A. Marler (Grand Treasurer) and G. Kent Elkins.

‘The grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.’

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