David and Norma Jean
DW: The Masonic Lodge is the body of men that is 21 years and
older. It's history goes back many years and even back before George Washington. Also George Washington was a master mason and in all lodges you will find a picture of George Washington and also a plaque of the Independence of Declaration. The Masonic Lodge is called a secrete organization but the only ones it is secret to is the people that have not applied themselves and has not become a member. The organization gets a lot of criticisms because of that and I to at one time criticized the lodge because only the members can come into the lodges doors. As I said it goes back many years and John Lambert was the first to organize a lodge in Rocky Gap and along with Pike Shrader and he was another of the charter members. You have to get a charter from the Grand Lodge to start a lodge in your community. Each state has there on grand master and which he has to give approval. As I said George Washington was a mason and following him was Thomas Jefferson which was also a master mason with also many other presidents following them which was also master masons.
CW: What led you to join the Masonic Lodge?
DW: First of all my grandfather on my mothers side was a master mason and my father was a master mason for forty years. Both of them was a member of the Bland lodge. When my grandfather passed away the master masons have a funeral ritual and Clarence Starks was the man that led that funeral. How he held the funeral I liked some what and was interested in becoming a member. So when you want to join the membership,
you need to approach a master mason and tell him you want to
join. Then he will check your history and see if you are a
potential member and then you are voted in by the group of members. There have been some men turned down but because of different things. There is a lot of documents on masonry written down but most of it has been passed down form generation to generation. I became a mason in 1962 and in
1965 I was a master mason of the lodge for two years.
CW: Well what is the Eastern Star and what does it consist of?
JW: The Eastern Star is mostly made up of women but men can belong to this organization too. The Eastern Star was found years and years ago but it started in Rocky Gap in the year of 1954 and they got together and held it in the old bank building in Rock Gap which is still standing. When they met in the building they had to pay five dollars a month to rent it.
JW: They heated the building with a pop-belly stove and which you had to stand wright beside it to stay worm, but they were very
determined to get this organization in gear. They were under the leadership of Edna Turner and which she has passed away.
The chapter started with 32 members and some of the members were chosen to serve as officers, and which most of them have
passed away. At that time Edna Lambert was the worthy matron and assisting matron was Mabel Pruett. Which the chapter is still going and which I enjoy very much. We had one special
person and that was brother John Lambert and which he was a handy man with wood work. Mr. Lambert was the one who owned the building we are in now which is over the post office in
Rocky Gap. Which he gave the masons the building and all the
furniture we have was built by him. Before he gave the building to the masons it was his craft shop. So we cleaned
it up and made a very nice fellowship hall out of it.
CW: What influenced you to join the Eastern Star?
JW: To become a member you have to have a mother, grandmother, or a brother that is a member. Well, my husband was a mason and which none of my family was ever in the Eastern Star. What influenced me is when my husbands mom passed away they do have the special funeral service for them.
Which I had never seen this before and which I thought it was
very touching. The Eastern Star even brought food to the family of Clare Williams and they had pray that helped the
family a great deal.
CW: When did each of you become a member and how long have you
been a member?
JW: I become a member in the year 1955 and I have been a member every since and I received my twenty five year pin just a
short time ago. I was worthy matron in 1969 that was my first time and since then I have received office four different
times. I like very much being in the Eastern Star because
we have a lot of love for one another and treat each other as
brothers and sisters.