ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 23, 2010 - Declaring "We have been here for the first 100 years, and today we rededicate ourselves to be here for the next 100," Worshipful Brother Andrew Hammer, Master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, announced an historic $100,000 donation to the George Washington Masonic Memorial last night, at the Lodge's annual celebration of George Washington's birthday.
The Lodge initiated the building of the Memorial in 1910, inviting representatives of Grand Lodges to meet in its Lodge room to formally begin the project. Worshipful Master Charles H. Callahan bought the first plots of land one year earlier in 1909.
Stating that other grand Masonic buildings throughout the nation had been lost, sold and even razed, Hammer vowed, "We must never let this building fall, either structurally or out of the hands of our fraternity, and I give you the word of a Mason that Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 will do whatever it can to help maintain it. We have taken this first step today, and I challenge the Grand Lodges of this nation to match or exceed this donation."
The Memorial is in need of over 10 million dollars of renovations and repairs.
This is incredible news, and a tremendous expression of dedication to the ongoing mission of the Memorial by the brothers of AW22. Well done, brethren.
This Thursday evening, February 25th, AW22 will celebrate the 227th Anniversary of the first meeting of their Lodge at Gadsby's Tavern in Old Town.
The Conference of Grand Master Masons in North America was held in Arlington this week, and all attending grand masters hopped on busses Monday to go to the Memorial for an historic photograph on the steps, recreating the famous image seen on Life Magazine's October 8, 1956 cover.
AW22 will give its $100,000 gift to the GW Memorial in $20,000 installments over the next five years. If one lodge can do this, surely grand lodges can step up and equal or exceed this kind of commitment.