New Bedford Was Shaped By Contributions of Freemasons
Ask most people what are the Freemasons all about, and they'll answer something about them being a mysterious, secretive order, a preconceived notion that comes straight out of a Dan Brown novel.
Brian Fernandes and Adam Pimentel of the Star in the East Masonic Lodge in New Bedford said said the Masons are the world's oldest fraternal society, accepting in the concept of global brotherly love serving the community and equality among people.
"The founders of our nation and the founders in our city were Masons," Fernandes said.
It's true that Masonic concepts helped shape U.S. government, and some 13 of the 39 signers of the Constitution were Masons, men of wisdom and believers that humankind is one family – and that as members of that family, we should act with respect and understanding toward others and seek to aid those who are in need.
Masonic concepts have also played a large role in New Bedford's history as well.
"Many of New Bedford's founders were Masons," said Fernandes, who is leading a very popular historical tour of Rural Cemetery on Saturday, October 30 at 5 p.m. "(It's) the final resting place of some of the city's most prominent inventors, abolitionists, artists and poets."
Adam Pimentel said it's a great chance to learn a deeper part of New Bedford's story.
"If you love history, you'll enjoy the many great stories, unusual headstones and oldest burials," he said.
The tour is also going by the lost gravesite of Star in the East and Adoniram Commandry Templar Knights, something you'll not see elsewhere.
You'll also see graves such as "the burial site of Captain Daniel Drayton, a relatively unknown figure, who attempted to transport 77 fugitive slaves to New Bedford on board the Pearl," Fernandes said. "I think as one of the most noteworthy abolitionists, the people who take the tour will appreciate hearing his story."
Through learning history, people can also learn about the Freemasons and their connection to New Bedford as well.
"We've done this tour once before and had a great turnout, so we're doing it again to bring attention to our lodge and to familiarize the community about what we do," Pimentel said.
More information is available on the Facebook event page from the Nicholas Wayne Fernandes Memorial Foundation. A $10 donation that benefits the lodge is requested.