Officer Down Memorial Page - Remembering All of Law Enforcement’s Heroes: On Tuesday, October 16, 2012, Rising Sun Lodge submitted an application and required documents to the Officer Down Memorial Page in the name of Decatur Police Officer, Jesse Lemuel Jones. Brother Jones, who was Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 in 1901, was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 25, 1906. On Nov. 5, 2012 we received notification from the web-based national database that a Memorial Page in honor of Officer Jesse Lemuel “Lem” Jones had been established.
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to the ODMP honoring Officer Jessie Lemuel Jones.
While doing research on PM, Jesse Lemuel Jones (above), it was discovered that other Alabama Law Officers had been slain in the line of duty and were yet to be recognized. In 1905, Decatur Police Officer William A. Baber was shot and killed. Tuesday, November 27, 2012, we submitted the appropriate documents and an application to the ODMP in the name of William A. Baber. Thursday, November 29, 2012, we received a communication from the web-based national database that a memorial had been established in the name of Officer William Amslom “Billy” Baber, Sr.
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to the ODMP honoring Officer William Amslom "Billy" Baber, Sr.
Also discovered in our submission documents, another Alabama Officer of the Law, Special Officer Charles Burvel Graves, Louisville and Nashville Railroad Police Department and former Cullman County Sheriff, died at the hands of an assailant in 1932. Special Officer Graves’ ODMP was established Thursday, November 29, 2012.
CLICK HERE to be re-directed to the ODMP honoring Special Officer Charles Burvel Graves.
It is with the highest honor and utmost esteem that we acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice these and all other Officers of the Law have made in faithful discharge of their sworn duty.
UPDATE - The names of Officers Jones and Baber were read into record at the annual Morgan County Fallen Officers Memorial Ceremony Wednesday, May 15, 2013. The releasing of dozens of white doves and a 21-gun salute highlighted the tribute to our fallen heroes.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial: In 2015, Officers Baber and Jones names were added to the over 20,538 names on the walls of this memorial in Washington D.C. through the efforts of Lt. Frank DeButy, a retired Lieutenant with the Decatur Police Department.
News broadcast of the annual Morgan County Fallen Officers Memorial Ceremony Wednesday, May 15, 2013
entitled "Decatur man pays tribute to two fallen officers" aired on WAAY-TV Channel 31. Our Historian, Brother Claude Neal Hudson, was invited to attend and was interviewed by FOX-54 WZDX TV in the video below.
Lapel Pins: Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 purchased these beautiful blue and white enameled, gold-tone embossed lapel pins and presents them to all first-time visiting Brethren, Grand Lodge Officers and our newly Raised Master Masons. They are also available for purchase for $5 with the proceeds offsetting the cost.
Chairman of Grand Lodge Education and Public Relations Committee: It was with great pleasure that we were notified that Brother Phillip Sherman, PM was appointed by the MW Grand Master Charles A. Booker to be the 2013 Chairman of the Education and Public Relations Committee for the State of Alabama. We wish him the best as he leads the Committee to spread Masonic Awareness across the State.
Chairman of Grand Lodge Finance Committee: It was with great pleasure that we were notified that Brother Paul Lamont, PM was appointed by the MW Grand Master John Strickling to be the 2015 Chairman of the Finance Committee for the State of Alabama. We wish him the best as he leads the Committee to secure the financial future of our Grand Lodge.
Pennies Program: To continue to maintain and support the remaining residents of the Alabama Masonic Retirement Home, it having been sold, we were asked to contribute a penny a day. It is a voluntary $3.65 contribution added to our yearly dues. 2013 is the third consecutive year each and every Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 member participated - 100%!
The Masonic Messenger: The Official Publication of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama is a semi-annual newsletter that is mailed to all Masons in Alabama. The Inaugural Issue, Spring 2012, VOL. 1 - No. 1, features the articles Rising Sun To Host Fishing Tourny and Decatur Masonic Lodge Receives National Award For Its Excellence in Programs, Communications highlighting the activities of RSL29. Also included in this issue is an article by RSL29 member RWJGW John R. Strickling entitled MembershipMatters. The Fall 2012 Issue, VOL. 1 - No. 2 features an article, Child ID Program Needs Expansion by RSL29 member RWJGW John R. Strickling. The Spring 2013 Issue, Vol. 2 - No. 1 features 2 articles by Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 members. The article Grand Lodge of Alabama Child ID Program is authored by RWSGW John Strickling, Chairman of the Child ID Program. The article Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 A Brief History is authored by our Historian/Webmaster Claude Neal Hudson and submitted by Brother Phillip Sherman, PM, Chairman of the Education and Public Relations Committee. The Fall 2013 Issue features articles congratulating Rising Sun Lodge No.29 as one of the two Alabama lodges receiving the 2012 Mark Twain Award and results of the 2013 Hooked on Decatur Team Bass Fishing Tournament . What Have You Done Lately? by RSL29 member Parker Moore and A few Good Men by RWSGW John Strickling are articles also included in this issue. The Fall 2014 Issue, Vol 3 - No. 2, features a front page article Historical Marker Dedication by Claude Neal Hudson. Also in this issue is the article The Public Image Of Masons by RWDGM John Strickling
CLICK HERE to be redirected to the Grand Lodge website for the current and archived issues.
Monday 08/05/2013 - RSL29 has always graciously accepted invitations and opportunities to promote Masonry and foster relationships with Decatur's civic and fraternal organizations. This very informative and well received lecture brought Masonry from it's historical beginnings to modern day and culminated with a description of the Child I.D. Program. You may read and copy/download a copy of this speech by clicking HERE.
On Thursday, November 7, Brother George Mills, PM was the invited guest speaker at the Kiwanis Luncheon. Brother George kept the audience mesmerized with a half-hour speech on WWII and his capture by the Nazis.
CLICK HERE for a first-hand guided tour back in time behind the lines as a POW.
William Maurice Means Facilities: On November 18, 2013 the buildings and property of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 were named in honor of Brother Maurice Means, PM. The recognition of his decades of service and devotion to attending to the daily operation of the facilities is worthily given.
Historical Marker - Founders Park: On Monday, April 7, 2014, the Decatur City Council voted 5-0 to erect a historical marker to Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 at Founders Park across from the Old State Bank. This marker is sponsored by the Alabama Historical Association and endorsed by the Morgan County Archives. This marker is funded through the generosity of George Flavious Mills, PM, a WWII Hero and POW. A dedication ceremony was held Friday, August 15 (3RD FRIDAY DOWNTOWN DECATUR) with 100's of Masons marching in procession to the sweet sound of "Dixie" from the bagpipe of Brother Jim MacRae.
Grand Master Lane Weatherbee was the keynote speaker with Senator Arthur Orr, Decatur Mayor Don Kyle and Archivist John Allison addressing the assembly. The event was emceed by Brother Judge David Breland.
To read, copy or download the Marker text CLICK HERE.
Marker To Recognize Lodge's Contributions by Staff Writer Diangelo McDaniel was printed in The Decatur Daily 7-3-2014. You may read, copy or download this article by CLICKING HERE.
CLICK HERE to view the most impressive Cornerstone Laying Ceremony video.
CLICK HERE to see a photo of the cornerstone.
These ceremonies were conducted by the Most Worshipful Grand Master John Strickling assisted by officers of the Alabama Grand Lodge A&FM and officers and members of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29.
WAFF TV aired this segment of Bobby's Bama on August 22, 2014
Grand Masters Traveling Gavel: Accounting for almost half of the Brethren present at Athens Lodge No. 16, 25 Brothers from Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 visited our sister Lodge to the north on Monday, September 22, 2015 and claimed the Grand Masters Traveling Gavel. Brother Bob Hickman, Worshipful Master of Athens Lodge No. 16 presented the gavel to Brother Ray Fabry, Worshipful Master of Rising Sun Lodge No. 29.
The GMTG returns to Rising Sun Lodge after 4 Brothers ventured 15 miles south to Arrites-Oden Lodge #396 to claim it - Tuesday, December 4, 2014.
(Pictured left l-r) Worshipful Master of Arrites-Oden Lodge, Joey D'Andrea, Parker Moore, Gerald Gunn, Sandy Sanford and John Willis.
Grand Masters Luncheon & Public Reception: A "Meet & Greet" the new 2014-15 Grand Master-elect, John Strickling, was hosted by Rising Sun on Saturday, November 15, 2014. The Lodge was full to capacity of well wishers as MWGM Strickling was presented a Commemorative George Washington Gavel.
Committee On Work Chairman Van Tidwell presented our Grand Master the keys to a shiny new black 2014 Nissan Murano. The festivities continued in the dining room with a BBQ lunch and a table full of desserts. You can CLICK HERE to watch the event on YouTube.
(Front Row L-R) MW Grand Master - John Strickling, RW Deputy GM - Greg Durr, RW Sr. Grand Warden - Ronald Thomas, RW Jr. Grand Warden - Bobby Pitts
Grand Treasurer - Ronald Andress, Grand Secretary - Teddy Grogan, Grand Chaplain - Hershel Quinn, Grand Orator - Jason Strickling
(Back Row L-R) Grand Marshall - Phillip Sherman, Grand Historian - Claude Hudson, Senior Grand Deacon - Gerald Gunn, Junior Grand Deacon - John Key
Senior Grand Steward - James Warren, Junior Grand Steward - Maurice Means, Grand Tiler - Garry Wates, Deputy Grand Tiler - Raymond Dunn
(BOLD print indicates Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 members)
We are especilly proud of our members receiving community recognition and awards.
Brother Harvey Pride (right) and the Pride Family were honored by the Rotary Club for Over 100 Years of Pride In Perfect Attendance with a banner.
Brother Harvey Pride and Brother Matt Pride, his son, are members of Rising Sun Lodge as well.
Jimmy Smith (pictured left) accepts the 2015 Bill Dukes Award from Dukes' son Ronnie at the 49th Spirit of America Festival.
The 2016 winner of the Bill J. Dukes Community Award is the son of the award’s namesake, Ronnie Dukes.
Dukes, marketing director of Pepsi-Cola of Decatur, has served in his position for more than 31 years and has been active in the community both through his company and other fundraising and community service efforts.
“Last year, my family was honored when festival directors (told us they) would create an award in honor of my dad for the festival. This year, receiving it is overwhelming,” said Ronnie Dukes, son of the late five-time Decatur Mayor Bill J. Dukes who was also a Rising Sun Lodge member.
The Decatur-based branch of the global food and beverage company has donated refreshments to local nonprofits, including the Spirit of America Festival and the American Cancer Society, for more than 30 years.
Ronnie Dukes and Jimmy Smith are both RSL29 Members.
“The boys made a lot of sacrifice in that war. They were pulled loose from their jobs and families and some of them had to come home handicapped. They lost that time they were away, too.”
On the 50th anniversity of the Spirit of America Festiveal, 2016 Audie Murphy Award winner George Mills said of the sacrifices made of those who served in World War II.
George Mills fought in four major battles during World War II, including the Battle of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. He also was a prisoner of war at the German POW camp Stalag II-A in Neubrandenburg, Germany.
The Decatur resident is the recipient of countless awards, honors and medals from both the United States and European governments, including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Drones-Eye View of 2nd Avenue. The drone turns around at Moulton Street where the big blue RSL29 Event Tent is stationed.