DeKalb Masonic Order hosts Sunday pancake breakfasts

By Ian Gough

Readers of Dan Brown’s mystical action thrillers may think of Freemasons as robed figures, shrouded in mystery, solving ancient puzzles to save the world.

In reality, Masonry is the world’s oldest fraternity, and it used to be a cornerstone of American culture. The organization began in Europe in 1717 with the United Grand Lodge of England and made its way across the world, according to the Grand Lodge’s website. Almost every country in the world has at least one Masonic order, like Masonic Lodge No. 144, located at 402 East Fairview Road in DeKalb.

“The Masonic Lodge is an excellent civic program that promotes a great quality of life within their community”, said DeKalb Mayor Kris Povlsen.

Worshipful Master Brother Scott Bellis said the purpose of the Freemasons is “to take good people and make them better, using allegorical teachings”. Bellis explained that most of their terms and ceremonies are completely authentic to the earliest Lodges, including his own title, which is rooted in colonial English politics.

“As an organization, we sponsor many local events and fundraisers,” said brother Jim Tome , former Worshipful Master, “We are one of the most charitable organizations in the world.”

Locally, the Lodge is known for its Sunday pancake breakfasts. Tome estimated that around 70 people show up every Sunday morning.

The Masonic Order, however, is more than initiation ceremonies and all-you-can-eat pancakes. “I didn’t have any friends when I moved here,” Bellis said. “Now I’ve got tons of friends, and I’ll have friends anywhere there are masons.”

Anyone can request to learn more about Masonry. Lodges and Clubs exist at many levels.

“We look for two types of people,” said Seth Peritz, President of NIU’s Masonic Order, “those who are interested in learning about the mysteries and traditions of the Order and those who want to join and become active in the community. Freemasons, in general, are all considered brothers.”