Carroll County, Iowa – The Freemasons of Iowa gathered for a momentous occasion on April 1 as they celebrated two significant events. The first was the cornerstone laying ceremony at the Lil’ Wildcat Education Center in Glidden, followed by a reception honoring Iowa Grand Treasurer Dick Fulton at the Signet Lodge in Carroll.
The events commenced with the cornerstone laying ceremony at the Lil’ Wildcat Education Center, which opened its doors in August 2022. The center provides comprehensive child care services to 60 children ranging in age from infancy to 10 years old. Masonic brothers from across the state, including past and present Grand Lodge of Iowa officers, joined members of Haggai Lodge in this symbolic event.
Following the ceremony, the Grand Lodge officers journeyed west on Highway 30 to Carroll, where they participated in a reception in honor of Iowa Grand Treasurer Dick Fulton, the first member of Signet Lodge to hold an officer position in the Iowa Grand Lodge. The reception began with a social hour at the United Methodist Church, followed by a move to the Signet Lodge on Highway 71 for the introduction of Grand and Past Grand Lodge Officers. Meanwhile, attendees’ wives and non-masons remained at the church, where they enjoyed a presentation by Liz Garst of Coon Rapids about the Whiterock Conservancy.
The Signet Lodge hosted the introduction of Grand and Past Grand Lodge officers, conducted by Master Jason Bush. Among those introduced were Grand Master Theodore Wiley of Mount Pleasant and Grand Treasurer Dick Fulton. Fulton’s son, John Fulton, a member of Signet Lodge, had the honor of escorting his father into the lodge as one of the appointed committeemen.
Fulton expressed gratitude to his fellow Freemasons and shared his humbling experience of serving as a Grand Lodge officer. He also acknowledged the recent funeral of John Richards, a longtime member of the Masonic Lodge, and encouraged attendees to remember those who had gone before and set them on their current path.
The lodge gathering was followed by a return to the Methodist Church for a catered dinner by Lidderdale Country Store and a short program. Emcee Mark Bennett of Signet Lodge introduced Iowa Grand Master Wiley, who then presented the other nine Grand Officers in attendance.
Taking the floor, Fulton offered his heartfelt thanks and acknowledged his family, including his wife, Karla, children, and father-in-law, Jerry Parker, a 65-year member of the Masonic Lodge. Fulton recounted how he became involved in the lodge, sharing his admiration for respected businessmen and community members he met through Masonry.
Fulton’s active membership in the lodge was evident in his service as Master of Charity Lodge in multiple years, and later, when the lodge merged with Signet Lodge of Carroll. He credited Bill Crawford of Glidden, a former Iowa Grand Secretary and Iowa Grand Master, for helping him on his Grand Lodge journey.
The Freemasons of Iowa concluded the day’s events with a sense of camaraderie and appreciation for their rich traditions and the contributions of their esteemed members.
By Charles Nixon, Coon Rapids Enterprise