Local Moose Lodge marks 50th anniversary

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 27, 2001

The Natchez Chapter of the Loyal Order of the Moose will celebrate 50 years of service and fellowship this week.

An open house at the lodge, located on John R. Junkin Drive, will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited, said Becky Thompson, recorder for the Women of the Moose.

Thompson said the anniversary has inspired much interest in the Moose order’s Natchez history. &uot;It’s really been fun to find out things we never knew about the order and learn about some of the people who have been involved,&uot; Thompson said.

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The 50 years have brought changes to the organization, she said. &uot;And pretty soon we won’t have men and women in different organizations; we’ll all be members of the Loyal Order of the Moose,&uot; she said.

The old concept of a lodge is changing, too. &uot;We’ve recently been designated a Moose family center, which you get only if you pass certain requirements,&uot; she said. &uot;That means the lodge will be a place for all the family to come for recreation.&uot;

The order began in Natchez on Feb. 23, 1951, meeting in the office of Dr. Charles E. Spears.

At that meeting, a representative from Jackson talked to the founding members about what the Moose stands for and what activities take place in Mooseheart, Ill., known as the &uot;city of children.&uot;

The Natchez lodge has assisted many Natchez projects, Thompson said.

Some of the projects during the past and in more recent years include:

A fence for Pleasant Acres Day School

A basketball court for Natchez Children’s Home

Renovation of the train and fencing for it at Duncan Park

A $5,000 donation to get Lifeline program started

Purchase of Adams County drug dog Remus

Funds to upgrade bullet-proof vests and weapons

Sponsors of Sheriff’s Rodeo

Upgrading computers at Sheriff’s Teen Ranch

Purchase Jaws of Life and fireproof suit for Natchez Fire Department

Corporate sponsor and team for Relay for Life

Funds donated to literacy program

Donations to Sunshine Shelter, Rape Crisis Center, Stew Pot

Purchased computers for Senior Citizens Center

Donated television set and VCR to Grand Village of the Natchez Indians

Donated $1,000 to Feed the Hungry program

&uot;We have assembled some wonderful pictures and other things to display at the lodge for the open house,&uot; she said. &uot;We hope people will come and look at these and help us celebrate.&uot;