Article by Right Worshipful Richard F. Cole, Jr.
Star in the East Lodge #59 in Exeter recently took on a project for a Special Lady, Estelle “Dusty” Decatur, the widow of recently passed Brother E. Forrest “Fox” Decatur. She had had an accident in her home and seriously injured one of her feet. As a result of the needed surgery and impaired mobility, Dusty was not able to return home following her hospitalization as her home was not wheelchair accessible.
When Dusty’s situation became known to a member of the Lodge, he approached the Lodge about assistance with installing a wheelchair ramp at her home. Worshipful Master Liam Stone and Exeter Masonic Association President Right Worshipful Dwane Staples collaborated on the project and, timing being propitious with a pending Stated meeting, the Lodge voted to pay half the cost of installing a ramp, with the Association paying the other half. Following the positive vote, RW Brother Staples contacted the independent contractor used by the Association for building repairs and he agreed to design and work with Lodge members on its construction.
The ramp was designed, materials were obtained, and the work crew assembled at 8:00 AM on the chosen Saturday. Mother Nature blessed us with a great day to work outside and by 5:30 PM the ramp was completed, with no smashed fingers (that anyone admitted to) and there weren’t even too many mis-cut boards! In addition to the ramp, Lodge members also installed a handheld shower head, smoke/CO detectors, a handicapped tub bench and repaired her side door steps.
Special thanks go to the contractor, Peter Goodrich, who worked with us to get this project done in a timely manner and at a great price. He also has to be commended for putting up with a crew that included
Worshipful Master Liam Stone, Senior Warden Mike Daley, Jr.,
Marshal Rick Daley, Past Master Steve Fifield, Past Master Scott Burley,
Past District Deputy Grand Master Dwane Staples and yours truly.
To put it simply, this project was what Masonry is all about.