Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Taking a Minute for the Masons

I hope you are having a great Labor Day so far. Today we tend to think of the day as summer’s last hurrah with one more trip to the
beach, barbeques, and parades, but there’s more to it. 
Early citizens of Douglasville would have known about the meaning behind Labor Day since it became a federal holiday in 1894, but it
would be a few years before labor unrest touched Douglas County.  The passage of legislation creating the official holiday was a political overture by President Grover Cleveland’s administration. They were responding to public outcry after the U.S. military and U.S. Marshall’s fired upon workers during the Pullman Strike killing thirteen and wounding fifty-seven.  The legislation creating Labor Day passed unanimously to reconcile the government and labor. 
As I put this column together there is talk that the 48th annual Labor Day parade sponsored by theSweetwater Shrine Club might be rained out. I know we need the rain, but it would be the first time the Shriners would fail to lead the parade down Broad Street since 1958. 

Even if tropical storm Lee literally rains on our parade the barbeque sponsored by Douglasville Masonic Lodge No. 289 will still go on at the Hunter Park Community Center on Gurley Road. You can get a plate of Hudson’s barbeque and all the trimmings for $7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The purpose of the event is to raise money for local charities.   There will also be funnel cakes, snow cones and other kid friendly things including pony rides.
The involvement of Douglasville’s Shrine and Mason groups for Labor Day festivities got me to thinking about their place in our history.    One of the first questions I put to rest for myself happened to be the relationship between the two groups. They are two distinct groups, but Shriners have to be Master Masons in good standing before applying for membership.     
Please read the rest of this column over at Douglasville Patch.

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