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Mayor Mary Person, left, receives the Tyler’s Sword plaque from Ronnie McDilda.

It was a sad day for many in Emporia-Greensville when the Widow’s Son Lodge No. 150 announced in late August it was closing its doors after serving the community for 190 years. A piece of the lodge will live in the city.

Lodge Master Ronnie McDilda presented a plaque with Tyler’s Sword to Mayor Mary Person. The sword has been used in the lodge since the mid-1800s.

“One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry is how so many men from so many different walks of life can meet together in peace,” McDilda said. “They’ve always conducted their affairs in harmony, friendship, and calling each other brothers.”

Though Widow’s Son Lodge No. 150 ceases to function, its members have a home. The lodge combined with a fellow lodge in Courtland. Considering Widow’s Son 150 began with many recruits from Southampton County, it’s only fitting the local group joined with a group from the neighboring county.

McDilda said 13 signers of the Constitution and 14 presidents, including George Washington, were Freemasons.

Today Freemasons contribute approximately $2 million to charity daily. The Shriner’s are famous for their hospitals for children.

Emporia lost a long-standing part of its community when leaders of Widow’s Son Lodge No. 150 closed its doors. With Tyler’s Sword, a piece of the lodge will continue to live in the city.