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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
June 19, 1975     The Florala News
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June 19, 1975

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IMAGE ©SMALLTOWNPAPERS, INC. ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHTED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USE SUBJECT TO LICENSE AGREEMENT. REPRODUCTION, DISSEMINATION, STORAGE, DISTRIBUTION pROHIBITE. O.. ,. PAGE 213 THE FLORALA NEWS - THURSDAY, VI m A report of previous Masonic Day Celebrations is printed be- low. This is a continuation of a report started last year, and covers the years 1917-1924. In each Masonic Celebration edition hereafter, The Florala News will continue the reports. Interested persons should clip and save the reports for a nearly complete account of the age-old celebration in years to come. CONTINUING WITH A report of the June 24th celebration, let us take up 1917. The cele- bration was held on Tuesday, June 26, because the 24th fell on Sunday. The report as ap- pearing in The Florala News in 1917 entitled "Masonic Day Celebrated By Thousands In Florala," is, as usual, very in- teresting. The article began with: "Everybody tried to come to Florala on last Tuesday, June 26. That day had been fixed upon as Masonic Day, the 24th having come on Sunday this year." It was reported "Everything was well arranged for the en- tertainment of the largest crowd in the history of Florala. Every number on the program went off to the tune of good humor and the merriment of all. Not a discordant note was sound- ed during the entire day, even though the crowd was the lar- gest that ever assembled in Florala". Florala has more visitors on the 24th of June today than in those days, but they come and go and are more scattered so the crowd probably looked as of many more people were here during those early celebrations. The report said: "The crowd was variously estimated as somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000. It is thought at least 500 automobiles came into town on this occasion." Included in the report was "The crowd fingered on the streets until late in the after- noon. Many of them were roth to leave the city, they having spent such an enjoyable day, viewing the sights, meeting and greeting friends and taking part in the various sports which the committee bad arranged forthe occasion." The report told about "Ma- sons coming in from every di- rection and with them their fa- milies and friends in great numbers and that many of them brought well-filled dinner bas- kets and enjoyed a sumptuous feast with their friends at noon time." Continuing the report: "Mter having assembled at the Masonic Hall, the Masons marched to Britton Park on the Lake front, where Grand Secre- tary George F. Beaucbamp, of Montgomery, conducted the public installation of Masonic officers. Colonel A. L. Hill, of Dotban, delivered the address to the assembled Masons and their ee our Farm I I I emicals, Peanut Drying WE APPRECIATE YOUR ZAP LIVESTOCK MINERALS OIPP LAUREl. FLORALA, ALABAMA By Lucile McRae friends. This was one of the most pointed and eloquent ad- dresses ever delivered in this part of the country, the speak- er having soared to such lofty heights at times as to literally captivate his hearers. The applause which the audience gave his remarks from time to time showed that no word was lost. "After the Masonic installa- tion there was a recess of ac- tivities to allow the mulitude to get dinner and enjoy a sort of rest until Z:30 p.m. when the automobile parade was sche- duled. This feature was much enjoyed by all. Many of the cars were beautifully decorated and the parade presented a scene of grandeur as it made its way through the principal streets of the city. Cash priz- es had been offered for the best decorated cars. Thepriz- es were awarded as follows: Miss Ruth Hughes, first prize of $15; Miss Theresa Hughes, second prize of $I0; Mrs. D.R. rl eting SAMSON LAK|WOOD a.ENDALE BUSINESS KINSTON DeFUNIAK 8PGS. eva | Whitcomb, third prize of $5. "The car of Miss Ruth Hughes presented more appropriately a Red Cross ambulance in regular service. It gave our people a glimpse of exactly what is wit- nessed every hour of the day along the war front. The car of Miss Theresa Hughes presented a Red Cross hospital ship on the high seas with very appropriate settings of jack tars, middies, blue jackets, stewards, nurses, etc. The ship was entitled 'Florala' and won special favor with all local people. The car of Mrs. Whitcomb was entitled 'Liberty' and showed among other things of present day in- terest a farmer boy with farm implements backing up the god- dess of liberty with field corn and food crops generally. "There were several other beautifully decorated cars which deserve special mention. All received quite an ovation as they passed through the as- sembled multitude. "Following the automo- bile parade there was a water battle in the public square bet- ween two teams selected from among the volunteer firemen of Florala. This was very ex- citing and afforded the large concourse of people much real pleasure and enjoyment." The report continued of a baseball game between Florala and DeFuniak Springs with Flo- rala winning 7 to 6 and of the Florala Cornet Band furnishing music. 1918 Apparently the celebration in 1918 was really something, ac- cording to the report in the June 27, 1918 issue of The Flo- rala News. Almost the entire front page was of the grand celebration. The article en- titled "The Masonic Celebra- tion and Shrine Ceremonial", began as follows: "The 49th celebration of Saint John's Day in Florala was by far the greatest, the pleasantest and the most splen- did in all the years of this celebration. Fully 6,000 peo- ple thronged the streets from before 9 o'clock until a late hour of the evening. The be- havior of the crowd was splen- did, and the thoughtful roping off of the square prevented a number of accidents. It was a huge crowd, but they were fill- ed with a holiday spirit, and there was no friction anywhere. "By 9 o'clock in the morning the streets began to be com- fortably filled. Buggies, wa- gons, autos, and the trains were filled with the pleasure seek- ers, and they made the day a Danny Harrison glorious one. The sun shone all day in a perfect June day, and this added to the delights. The first part of the program was begun shortly before 10 o'clock when the Masons of the Blue Lodge, the Chapter and the Commandery paraded down the streets, with the Knights Tem- plar in their uniforms, and with a great host of Master Masons accompanying them. After stopping on the corner of the squ~re and saluting the Ameri- can flag, which was unfurled with the Liberty Loan honor flag underneath, by Col. G. W. Reeves, they proceeded to Brit- ton Park, where, with all the dignity and aplomb of which he is so capable, Hon. Geo. A. Beauchamp, Grand Secretary for Alabama, inducted into of- fice and installed the following newly elected officers of the lodge: J. P. Doster, W.M.; T. A. Goodwin, S. W.; J. W. Evans, J. W.; G. F. Petrey, Treas.; G. B. Kelley, Sec.; J. Sam Cohn, S. D.; J. M. Par- fish, J. D.; W. M. Crysel, Ti- ler. His work was followed by a splendid speech by W. M. Brandon, candidate for gover- nor who was introduced by Rev. T. V. Shoemaker." (A report was given of his speech which I am omitting because of space). Interesting was the following report: "Afterwards every eye turn- ed in expectancy to the coming of the 12:10 train bearing the Shriners from Montgomery and Birmingham. On time to the minute they came in a full train of sleepers, with Shriners in every door, window and on the platform. This train was carried to the front oftheColo- nial Hotel where the travelers were awaited. The Shriner's band gave a delightful concert on the hotel piazza beginning at 1:30 and was given a most enrapt attention as they play- ed. "At 1:30 a water battle was staged on the fountain square. This was one of the most laugh- able and amusing things done all day. The southern team was victorious over the team from the northern side of the square, and managed to sp- rinkle a great crowd of peo- ple. ~ The scrambling back to places of safety on the part of the crowd was very funny, and one man who kept his place bet- ween the telegraph poles on the southeast corner of the square by the use of a good sized um- brella, furnished the crowd with many laughs. "Immediately following this battle the procession of 'candi- dates' was held. Led by the marshalls on horseback, the form of mark was as follows: The band, the officers of the temple in autos, the patrol, the junior Shriners, who were very prettily clothed in full dress suits of the stars and stripes, the Shrine members, and last but by no means least, were the enchained candidates. Led by a beautiful specimen of wild women from the jungles of Af- rica, in the form of Mr. Dos- ter, returned to his primal estate, the whole company were humorously garbed. Some wore abbreviated skirts, some were in tights, some stripes and much more than al the sunshine. to sing, speak disport thems, sure o! the cession ended up tain and here the l and the patrol, in forms, through some tiful and fanL seen here. (Much ported of the omitting). "At 6 o'clock To Our Nei On This I Masonic Celed I/ / PRICE FRIDAY, SATURDAY, MONDAY, AND TUESDAY Fashion kLOItAIA, ALABAMA To The People Of The Florala Area UPON THIS THE 1 O5 TH YOUR LIBERTY NATIONAL AGENT ~oday's living demands at the head of the household have a pro- gram of protection..,for family, education, busi- ness security, r~tire- ment and future income. 'me right man to help yoa plan this fam~ly protec- tion is a friend and neighbor...your Liberty National representative. Let me help you plan for a secure future through Libert;' Nation- al's living insurance. Also in our plan we carry fire, David Willis