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Knights of Pythias marking 150th anniversary next month

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Rockwood’s Oak Leaf Lodge 49 Knights of Pythias will join the national Order of Knights of Pythias in celebrating the national organization’s 150th anniversary in February.

Oak Leaf Lodge will have a commemoration dinner and program on Feb. 15 in the lodge hall. All members, guests and prospective candidates for membership are welcome to attend.

The Order of Knights of Pythias was founded on Feb. 19, 1864, by Justus H. Rathbone in Washington, D.C., in the belief that it would help to re-unite the North and South and forge a meaningful brotherhood while the country was in the midst of the Civil War.

“The Knights of Pythias embodies the everlasting friendship and devotion of Damon and Pythias, who were historical characters living about 400 years before the beginning of the Christian area, who followed the tenets of the philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras of Greek philosophy,” said Bobby Crowe, longtime Oak Leaf Lodge member and a past supreme chancellor.

“The members of the Pythian Order practice the principals upon which the Order was founded of friendship, charity and benevolence through community service in their daily lives,” he added.

The Order of Knights of Pythias’ national charity is the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Members have raised thousands of dollars to help treat and find a cure for cancer, as well as other worthy community charities and projects.

On the 150th anniversary of the organization, Crowe said members recall the many accomplishments and years of service given by their brothers to families, friends, communities, charities and the nation.

“We honor our deceased brothers and re-dedicate ourselves to the principals of friendship, charity, benevolence and community service and to this great Order whose principals and teachings have help to enrich our lives and the greater community,” he added.

The Knights of Pythias was the first Fraternal Order chartered by an Act of the U.S. Congress upon the endorsement of President Abraham Lincoln.

Eight years later, the Grand Lodge Knights of Pythias of Tennessee was instituted on April 2, 1872, in Knoxville.

Oak Leaf Lodge 49 in Rockwood was instituted in August 1888 and has been active in the Rockwood community for more than 125 years.

For more information or interest in membership in the Knights of Pythias, call 354-9254.