The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

April 13, 2008

Pride of Palestine lodge reorganizing

The Pride of Palestine Masonic Lodge No. 12 currently is being reorganized, according to lodge worshipful master Alfred Blanton, a 32nd Degree mason.

The organization recently received its charter from the St. Matthew Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Texas Inc. in Houston, under the leadership of Darrell Wilson, and is hoping to find real estate for the lodge home in Palestine as well as begin projects to help the community.

“Ten years ago St. Phillip’s No. 501 Lodge folded due to a lack of leadership,” Blanton said. “Approximately one year and six months ago, I began doing research on Palestine. Palestine has strong history in Masonic and Eastern Star in both the west and east divisions. Several years ago, Palestine even had one of the largest groups of Masons in the state.”

Blanton moved to the area after meeting his wife, Palestine resident Berto Clark. They will have been married one year on April 22.

After serving 48 years in law enforcement and retiring from the fire department in California in 1992, Blanton has been involved with the Masons ever since.

“I have had the opportunity to reorganize lodges in Lousiana, several in Texas, as well as in California and Arizona,” Blanton said.

While in Louisiana, he served as president of the non-profit community organization Pieces of the Past which organized Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations.

Second in command at the Pride of Palestine Masonic Lodge No. 12 is senior warden Dwayne Dewberry. He serves as chief of security at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Powledge Unit and also has worked as a captain at the Beto, Coffield and Telford units.

He served at the Huntsville Fidelity Lodge 221 until Blanton requested his help in reorganizing the local lodge.

“We want this lodge to bridge the gap,” Dewberry said.

Dewberry has been a Mason for 23 years and was member of the first Prince Hall.

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