By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
The world’s oldest and largest fraternity, the Free Masons, will hold two “town hall” meetings to gauge the level of interest in the community and answer questions about their organization as they plan to bring a new lodge to Ely.
The Chamber of Commerce will hold a meeting on April 2 at 2 p.m. that will offer community members a chance to meet members of the “masonic family” and ask questions, according to Alan Jamison. A second meeting will be held in the dining area of the Hotel Nevada on April 4.
Jamison said that a group of Masons plans to bring a new lodge to Ely based on what he called a “resurgence of interest” in the area.
“Once upon a time we had a Masonic lodge in Ely, but it closed in 2005 based on lack of memberships,” Jamison said. “Sine then there has been a renewed interest in bring a lodge back to the city.”
For those that aren’t familiar with the fraternity that dates back to the 1500’s, it is a world wide non-profit organization that has roots in communities through local lodges, similar to the Elk Lodge in structure. Jamison said that the group’s primary goal in returning to Ely is to help clean up the county.
“Our first goal is to help rebuild White Pine County,” Jamison said. “For too long, it seems as though this town has lost its way. We need to renew our energy and rediscover what makes White Pine County great.”
Jamison said that he worries fraternal organizations that benefited the communities they were in through fundraisers are slowly dying out and becoming a relic of the past. He joined the Free Masons to try and inspire a younger generation of people to revive that communal spirit of helping one another.
For more information on the lodge and the group, check out their website at www.elyfreemasons.weebly.com.