Each year several hundred Master Masons in Ohio hit milestone service anniversaries such as 25, 50, or 75 years of membership. On a rare occasion, a Brother reaches 80 years of service. This milestone was reached in the new Masonic year by Brother Derrill Arthur Hablitzel of Port Clinton, Ohio; a member of Oak Harbor Lodge, No. 495. Brother Hablitzel is 101 years young. He became a Master Mason in 1940 and has remained a member of the same Lodge for 80 years.
On October 27th, Grand Master Keith Newton led a delegation of Grand Lodge Officers to Port Clinton to present Brother Hablitzel his 80 Year Award. The Grand Lodge permits Masters, District Deputies, and Past Grand Masters to present the various service awards from 25 to 75 years of service, but the 80 Year award is reserved exclusively for the Grand Master to present. In these photos, Grand Master Newton presents the award to Brother Hablitzel who received his DDS degree from Ohio State University, and as his sweater shows, remains a proud Buckeye to this day.
Across the state, twenty-seven Master Masons qualified for their 75 year service award and another 200 earned their 70 year award. Many of these men can be seen on the Grand Lodge Facebook page as various Grand Lodge Officers make the presentations. In 2020, one Lodge, Scioto No. 6, had three members eligible for their 75 year award and four other lodges had two members reach this milestone. It is a very exclusive honor.
In all cases, however, whether it is a first anniversary or an 80 year award, the Grand Lodge of Ohio celebrates all of its members and thanks them for their loyalty and dedication to the Craft. Master Masons such as Brother Hablitzel become inspiring examples to the rest of us, and we acknowledge and honor his service to his family, patients, community, Lodge and Freemasonry.