A Moose Lodge nears the century mark

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It’s not often that an organization, especially a local service club or social group, comes close to the century mark.


Most every community has such a club. Some of the major ones are Rotary International, Lions, Kiwanis, the Elks and so on. A service club is defined first and foremost by its service mission and, secondly, its membership benefits, such as social events, networking and personal-growth opportunities.


Many of these organizations go about their benevolent business without expecting public accolades, and we cannot remember writing or reading any stories about the Waynesburg Moose Lodge. But this week it turns 99 years old.


It was established in February 1915. The women’s chapter, No. 888, was established a little over 20 years later in December 1936. The women and men of this lodge have always done their best to be valuable and an asset to this community. In 1949, the Waynesburg Moose Lodge created its first community service project, where it gives what it can, not just to the Mooseheart school outside Chicago and the Moosehaven retirement community in Florida, but to all the local organizations and families in need.


The Loyal Order of the Moose is one of these organizations that seems to function under the radar. Many of these organizations or clubs are known more for being drinking establishments than anything else. While we don’t doubt members quaff a few beers now and then, the good these service clubs do is often overlooked.


The Loyal Order of the Moose was established in 1888 as a gentlemen’s club by Dr. John Henry Wilson in his home in Louisville, Ky. In 1906, James Davis became the 247th member of the Moose and he quickly took over. Under his leadership, he made the fraternity into a force to provide protection and security for its working class membership, at a time when government provided little or no safety net for families in need.


In 1913, women were allowed to join the Moose and they eventually became the Women of the Moose and received formal recognition as the organization’s official counterpart. The Moose has more than one million members today, and the Women of the Moose has around 400,000 members. It is now a worldwide organization with 2,400 lodges and 1,600 chapters for women.


So, with this history and community involvement, we cannot overlook the longevity of the Waynesburg Moose Lodge.


We suggest people take a few moments and check its Web page at lodge461.moosepages.org or its Facebook page and share in the Lodge’s celebration of its accomplishments and meet the men and women who made these accomplishments possible.


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