Karl Oney of Carthage Lodge No. 521 performed the installation. Assisting him in the ceremony was Installing Marshal Mike Welch of Gary Lodge No. 501, who presented five new officers for installation.
Besides Wayne Oney, they included Brent White, Senior Warden; Danny Robinson, Junior Warden; Richard Smith, Marshal; and John Denson, Tiler.
Holdover officers of the Lodge from the previous year retain their offices without being reinstalled.
Other than those installed Saturday, the local Lodge’s officers (some of whom were in attendance) include Sam Barton, treasurer; Jerry Fenton, secretary; Stephen Murray, chaplain; Steve Williams, who is new Senior Deacon; Zach White, who is new Junior Deacon; Brian Williams, master of ceremonies; and Ivan Berry, musician.
In installing his son and the other new officers before an audience of about 35 persons, Karl Oney termed it “indeed a pleasure” to install Wayne. The elder Oney also observed it was “good to see that there’s so many” officers retaining their current posts.
Before the installation part of the ceremony, outgoing Worshipful Master Bob Bates told the group that “this has been a great year for me. . . . I wanted us to give back to the community, and I think we tried to do that.”
He said the local Lodge donated $750 to Child Protective Services for children at Christmastime, held a “Healthy Teeth” program in which dental kits were distributed to elementary school students in several Upshur County school districts, held a dinner honoring members of the Gilmer Fire Department, parked cars at the Yamboree, and raised funds by holding a shrimp boil and monthly fund-raising pancake breakfasts.
Fenton spearheaded the “Healthy Teeth” program with assistance from retired Gilmer Dentist Dr. Janvan Jenkins, said Bates. The outgoing Worshipful Master also noted that during his tenure, the Lodge awarded two 50-year membership pins.
During the installation, Karl Oney told the new officers that “may kindness and brotherly affection” govern their conduct “as men and Masons.”
He also urged them to tell fellow masons to “practice out of the Lodge those duties they have been taught within it.”
In assuming the post of Worshipful Master, Wayne Oney, whose mother also attended, expressed gratitude for “Dad being able to raise me as a Master Mason, and also to install me.”
“We’re looking forward to another good year,” Oney added. Another shrimp boil is planned, and the monthly pancake breakfasts will continue, he said.
He also introduced guests from several area cities, including a number of Masons.
Bates then recognized Connie Duke, immediate past Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star No. 355, and Oney added that he was “really surprised and delighted” by the their activities this past year.
The local Masonic Lodge was established in 1854, and the local Order of the Eastern Star was begun in 1919, Oney said.