An Interview with WB Jesse Pertee by Doug Kaylor
As part of a new series, the Grand Lodge wants to tell the story of Lodges across the state. We have many successful Lodges today that go unrecognized, and it is time to shine a light on some of them. Through a casual conversation, we learned from Past Master Jesse Pertee just what a difference his home Lodge was making in the community.
Wadsworth Lodge was chartered in 1867 and is located in the 20th Masonic District near the junction of I-71 and I-76. Today it has just over 160 members, and what it gives up in size, it more than makes up in member engagement and community activities.
Currently, Worshipful Master Matthew Abbey leads a Lodge that has no Past Masters in line. When asked how they manage this, WB Pertee says the past masters support the Lodge officers, but they also know how to get out of the way and let today’s Lodge leaders lead. To be active and make a commitment to be a Lodge officer, a member needs to feel like his interests are supported and that he makes a difference. To achieve this, every member must be able to ask his Lodge brothers for help and support, be it a public charity, community project, or local youth group. Today, Wadsworth Lodge is fully engaged in the local community.
Recently, the Lodge hosted a speaker on Human Trafficking and opened the talk up to the public. In the past, they have done similar sessions with financial planning. They support Toys for Tots and help with a Salvation Army soup kitchen. Each month the Lodge holds a public breakfast with proceeds going to support a local Lodge scholarship. They also provide space and support to the local Rainbow and Job’s Daughters. Recently, they allowed a young woman to do a landscaping project on Lodge property for her Girl Scouts Gold Award, which is similar in stature to the Eagle award in Boy Scouts.
Each year the Lodge also participates in the local Blue Tip Festival. Wadsworth was the home of the Ohio Match Company and Blue Tip Matches. Today, when the town holds its annual festival, Wadsworth Lodge can be found marching in the local parade, a visible part of the community. To emphasize this connection, the Lodge has incorporated the blue tip match into the compasses of its Lodge pin. Member engagement, public services, and community involvement: the blueprint for success at Wadsworth Lodge No. 385.