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Mason honored for longtime service
The Order of Freemasonry has meant a great deal to Foster Pritchett over the years.
The 85-year-old Orland resident has a long history with the oldest fraternal organization in the world.
His father was a Mason and counselor of Demolay International during the early 20th century.
Pritchett has been a Master Mason since 1953, and was also active in the Scottish Rite, Knights Templar and Shriners Masonic organizations.
"I was kind of born into it, you might say," said Pritchett, whose longevity with the organization was recognized by the Orland-Lauren Lodge No. 245 on Tuesday.
District Inspector Jim McKasson of the Paradise lodge presented Pritchett with his long overdue 50-year member's pin in a public Grand Honors ceremony.
Pritchett has been a Mason nearly 60 years.
"It is a true honor to be recognized," Pritchett said. "I have loved this organization since the day I was born. I will love it until the day I die."
Pritchett, a retired insurance agent, is a longtime member of the Napa Lodge No. 93 and has a dual membership with Orland-Laurel, which he joined on Jan. 5.
The Laurel lodge is a consolidation of the former Willows and Orland Masonic lodges — both established in the late 1800s and consists of more than 60 members from throughout Glenn County. Susie Pritchett, his wife of 64 years, is a member of the Daughters of the Nile, a fraternal organization for women that are daughters or wives of Masons.
Pritchett three daughters, including Shelly Rossi of Orland, were members of Job's Daughters International, a Masonic-sponsored youth organization for girls.
His granddaughter, Allison Ferrasci of Orland, is an advisor for International Order for Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic youth service organization that teaches leadership training through community service.
"Freemasonry has meant a lot to my family," Pritchett said.
As a Mason, Pritchett said he has enjoyed spending time with fellow Masons who have adopted the fundamental principle of integrity, goodwill and charity as the foundations for their life and character.
Pritchett rose through the ranks of all three Masonic organizations.
Pritchett said he was especially proud of the work the Shriners has done to advance the care for crippled children, and dedicated himself for many years to taking patients and their families to and from the organization's Flagship Hospital, originally located in San Francisco before it moved to Sacramento in 1996.
The hospital specializes in providing free medical care to children with spinal-cord injuries, orthopedic problems and burns.
As a Mason, Pritchett was proud to support programs that advanced education.
Master Mason Ray Gollnick, who introduced Pritchett to the Orland lodge, praised him for his dedication to Freemasonry for so many years.
"It's an honor to have him as a friend," Gollnick said.
It was also an honor, Gollnick said, for the Orland-Laurel lodge to formally recognize Pritchett for his 50 years of service.
Pritchett was pinned by his wife with his family at his side.
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or email@example.com.