The Fort Worth and Dallas Scottish Rite Valleys will Host a Reception and Lunch for R.W. and Ill. Michael L. Wiggins 33rd, Deputy of the Supreme Council in the Orient of Texas and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
The reception and luncheon are scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2017, at Maskat Shrine in Wichita Falls, Texas. Reservations are requested for the meal by calling 817/335-6004. The reception begins at 11:30 AM and will be followed by a buffet luncheon. The Reception and Luncheon are open to all Masons , their spouses and families and friends. This is an excellent opportunity to visit with the Deputy and the Representatives of Hospital.
R.W. and Ill. Michael L. Wiggins 33rd, was named Deputy of the Supreme Council in Texas following several decades of service to our Masonic family; most recently and illustriously serving as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas in the year 2015.
It is appropriate that this event should also recognize the rich heritage of Scottish Rite Masonry in Wichita Falls, Texas. As such, the following brief history of Masonry in Wichita Falls provides highlights of both Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite Masonry within Masonic District 88 and Wichita County, Texas:
In November of 1884, Masons living near Wichita Falls, who regularly made the journey to Henrietta, Texas for meetings, petitioned the Henrietta Masonic Lodge for a new lodge to be located in Wichita Falls. In December of 1884 the Grand Lodge of Texas granted a dispensation for Wichita Lodge No. 635.
The first meeting of Wichita Lodge was January 5, 1885, in the hayloft over Soule’s livery stable. The original officers were W. J. McDonald, E. W. Foster, J. C. Blalock, W. N. Barker, C. E. Reid, W. E. Brothers, J. A. Williams, and J. S. Moody. After the original charter was lost in a fire in the lodge in 1892, a new charter was issued with the name changed to Wichita Falls Lodge.
Over the years the Wichita Falls Masons met in a succession of locations, including a rented room above a dry goods store, the Panhandle National Bank building, and the First National Bank building.
A lodge building was erected at the corner of Tenth Street and Scott Avenue in 1915 and in 1969; a new Lodge Facility was completed for the Wichita Falls Lodge.
In times past, Scottish Rite Masonry Clubs flourished in Wichita Falls as well, and the City became a great Scottish Rite center of fellowship and brotherhood. The were two Scottish Rite Clubs that were very active and eagerly promoted Scottish Rite values and strongly supported the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. In the early 2000s Scottish Rite Club membership and participation dwindled in Wichita Falls and finally both Clubs demised sometime around 2006. The Fort Worth and the Dallas Valleys each have over 100 active members in the Wichita Falls area.
The reception and luncheon recognize the great opportunity to begin a new era of Scottish Rite Masonry in Wichita Falls. There appears to be great interest in reestablishing Wichita Falls Scottish Rite Clubs. The Valleys of Fort Worth and Dallas pledge to begin and to continue a robust support endeavor to help reestablish Scottish Rite Clubs in Wichita Falls.
In the future Scottish Rite Education programs will continued to be held in Wichita Falls for both Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite Masons, and there are plans to begin presentation of Lodge of Perfection degrees in Wichita Falls.
The great, and rich heritage of Wichita Falls Scottish Rite Masonry must never be lost and must be preserved. To reestablish a Scottish Rite Club, it is important for us to remember; great endeavors call for hard work and involvement. Please join with us as we join hands in fellowship and brotherhood for this great and purposeful task.
We in the Fort Worth and Dallas Valleys along with our Leadership in the Supreme Council in the Orient of Texas, look forward to the time when we can have regular fellowship and share a brotherhood with a Scottish Rite Club(s) in Wichita Falls.
The reception will be a great opportunity and the lunch will be exceptional. Many thanks to those in the Maskat Shrine for allowing us to use their facility and for their great support as we recognize and visit with our new Deputy and have an opportunity to listen to our representatives from the great Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.