When Alan McCormick made the decision to join Freemasonry in his home town of Swan Hill in 1963, little did he know he would still be involved 50 years on.
Early next month, the proud father and grandfather will be presented with his 50-year jewel as part of brief celebrations to recognise Mooroopna Masonic Lodges 125th birthday.
Despite the significance of the occasion, Mr McCormick is a little embarrassed by all the fuss over him.
‘‘I am not one to brag,’’ he said.
At a recent meeting, current Mooroopna Masonic Lodge Master John Canty confirmed to the gathering at supper a presentation of a 50-year jewel would be made to Mr McCormick.
‘‘It (occasion) is going to be very special but I am a person who likes to just do things in the community. I don’t really like to boast.
‘‘I have never looked for any reward because I have enjoyed my involved in Freemasonry over the years,’’ Mr McCormick said.
Due to the current refurbishment at the Shepparton Masonic Lodge, the presentation of the 50-year jewel will take place at the Tatura lodge tonight, September 10.
During his time with three different Masonic Lodges, Mr McCormick has the privilege of leading as the Master.
His first stint as Master was is Castle Donnington (Mallee region) in 1972-73.
After spending a large slice of his life in Swan Hill, he moved to the Goulburn Valley in 1994, settling in Mooroopna.
Mr McCormick immediately became involved with Shepparton Daylight Lodge, becoming Master in 2000. Due to business commitments and work, he pulled out of the Shepparton-based lodge and joined the Mooroopna Masonic Lodge (night meetings) in 2004.
He has twice been Master of Mooroopna and currently holds the title of visitation officer for the newly formed Echuca-based Campaspe Valley Masonic Lodge.
Mr McCormick has many fond memories of his 50 years involvement from helping the Salvation Army through funds raised to provide gifts to the not-so-fortunate members of the community, to raising over $200 000 for oncology unit at Shepparton and more recently a $10 000 donation to the Numurkah Hospital following the 2012 floods.
Mooroopna is one of 14 Masonic Lodges in the district and he believes they all have a bright future, but they are always on the lookout for younger members to dispel the perception that Freemasonry is an old man’s club.
‘‘I would like to see more younger members get involved because they are your future of all the lodges in the district,’’ Mr McCormick said.
‘‘It is hard to recruit younger members because there is a lot of pressure on young couples these days to live.’’
‘‘We have meetings twice a month for two to three hours. It is an organisation which I found over the years, is that you only get out what you put in.
‘‘I have put a lot of my life into Freemasonry and I have had a wonderful life and never had any setbacks.
‘‘I believe it made me a better person because of the men I met. Some of these men were strong leaders in the community. I had reservations when I joined that I would never get to the top of the office which is Master.’’
Mr McCormick said he was looking forward to the presentation, as it would be celebrated with some of the people who have become his lifelong friends.
‘‘Freemasonry is something I am very proud of, and I hope to get a few more years with the very people who I have had some wonderful times with,’’ he said.
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