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Montana Freemason                                           May 2014                                           Volume 90   Number 2
                               Grand Lodge Dedicates School Addition

                                         Justyna Tomtas, Clark Fork Valley Press

                                                                               out the recorded history of the
                                                                               educational system in Plains, which
                                                                               began in 1884.

                                                                                  The bulk of the ceremony was
                                                                               preparing the cornerstone - a stone
                                                                               that symbolizes the “foundation and
                                                                               the future.” The stone, provided from
                                                                               a local quarry, was symbolically laid
                                                                               on the corner of the foundation after
                                                                               it underwent ancient customs. The
                                                                               stone will later be displayed with a
                                                                               plaque as part of the school.

             Fifty years in the making was completed in           The rituals included measuring the stone,
          less than an hour as the Plains Elementary School  ensuring it was true and ideal for placement. Once
          addition received a rare honor. Officers of the  measurements of the stone were completed, the
          Grand Lodge of Montana helped dedicate the school  stone was consecrated with corn for nourishment,
          building in a public ceremony. Superintendent of  wine for refreshment and oil for peace and joy.
          Schools and Grand Master of Masons in Montana,
          Thom Chisholm presided over the dedication.             “(The new addition) will help alleviate the problem
                                                                              - the nickname that we have of the
             On a brisk, breezy afternoon,                                    Wildhorse Elementary - calling it the
          his officers traveled from all over                                 Wildhorse Island because the teachers
          Montana to dedicate the building for                                and the students felt so isolated over
          future generations to come. “It’s not                               there,” Chisholm explained.
          too often that we get to dedicate a
          public building that’s being built from                               The project encompasses the wants
          the ground up,” Chisholm stated.                                    and wishes of board members in the
                                                                              past. According to Chisholm, the new
             The first building dedicated in                                  addition has been in the process for
          Montana was in 1872 and Chisholm                                    50 years or so.
          was happy to bring the historic
          ceremony to Plains for all to see.                                    “For the past many years, (the
          “Today we have assembled here at the                                Wildhorse Elementary School) served
          Plains Elementary School to continue                                this community and this new design
          this tradition that has lasted over 100                             here is fulfilling a goal of former
          years. It’s been a time honored custom                              board members to transition over to
          of the Grand Lodge Ancient Free                                     this new campus,” Chisholm said.
          and Accepted Masons of Montana, “
          Chisholm stated.                                                      He stated the idea for a combined
                                                               campus originated in the 50s and 60s.
             Plains School Board Trustees Chairman Ron
          Warren was tasked with reading a brief history on       “It is a life changing proposition for this community.
          the importance the Masons have placed on education  The children and teachers are yet to understand the
          throughout their time as an organization.            implications, the positive implications, that are about
                                                               to happen,” Chisholm stated. “No longer will they be
             A record of the dedication was written and was  isolated near Highway 200, we will all be together
          confirmed that it was safely stored within the Grand  in one unified building, on unified principle, one
          Lodge’s archives. As a surprise, Chisholm brought  unified set of order.”

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