COLUMBIA CITY — Masonic jurisdictions have recognized the sons of Masons who join the fraternity by giving them the title of Lewis.
Strangely, this is a custom that has remained unpracticed in the United States. This year marks a change in the Masons, or at least in Indiana and in Columbia City.
Two families have bestowed the Lewis Award on their sons.
Recently, the Jerry Yagel and Cliff Schlatter families presented the Lewis Award to their sons.
Jerry’s son, Bob, presented the Lewis Award to his son Justin Yagel. Witnessing the event was Tim Yagel, cousin, and Jesse, uncle.
Cliff Schlatter II presented the Lewis Award to his son, Cliff Schlatter III, as Jerry Bradshaw, stepfather, witnessed.
“We love to present these awards because it continues the good word about Masons,” said Bud Rothgeb, Worshipful Master of the Columbia City Lodge 189 Free & Accepted Masons (F&AM).
So far, Lodge 189 has presented two father’s awards and three Lewis Awards.
“This is a new, yet ancient award and we’ve really pushed it to get it into Indiana,” said Rothgeb.
The Lewis jewel is used to identify Masons who join the fraternity, and also have a father who is a Mason in good standing.
This custom has existed around the world for centuries and has recently been brought to Indiana by Jim Coleman, of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.