One of Norwalk’s venerable civic group organizations opened its doors Saturday to share a little about its heritage with the community and give kids a chance to carve out a little Halloween fun.
The Old Well-St. John’s Masonic Lodge held an open house and pumpkin-decorating event Saturday at its Gregory Boulevard headquarters.
“All masonic lodges in Connecticut are holding an open house today,” said Kurt Weimar, trustee for the lodge. “We just happened to combine ours with a pumpkin carving-painting day so the kids will have something to do.”
Members explained that the event was an opportunity to invite new members and give the public a better understanding of what the Masons are about.
“You’d be surprised how many people drive by here and say they don’t know who we are,” Weimar said.
In fact, there are around 140 Masonic chapters throughout the state, and nearly 150 members in the Norwalk post. “It’s a group of good men trying to be better men,” said Jim Robinson, treasurer. “We have charities we donate to … and it’s just a fraternal order.”
Chartered in 1765, the local chapter has been at its current location since 1956. Originally the group met at the house of Benjamin Isaac.
“It’s probably the oldest fraternity on earth,” said Lloyd Sturges of Redding.
“I think it’s great that the Masons open up their doors and tell people what it’s all about,” said Byrne Barrenger of Norwalk, who brought her girls to the event. “I wish I could join.”
While membership is limited to men 18 years old and over, there are affiliated organizations for young men, girls and women.
Meanwhile, pumpkin preparations for the holiday proceeded apace.
“I like it because I love painting, and I like scary movies,” said Angelina Ribeiro, 7, of Norwalk, a Halloween fan.
“It’s fun because it lets you express yourself on a pumpkin,” said Raeyna Change, 10, of Norwalk.