Mason mystery: Apron returned to its owner after more than 50 years
 

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Masons are a fraternal organization that aim to build men and their communities. Each Mason wears an apron that symbolizes their membership in the fraternity, and most are even buried with it. Thursday night, one of these symbolic aprons was returned home.

Earlier this year an apron was found in a shoe box in the library of a Masonic lodge in Shelby. Its owner, Horace Clifton Johnson, died in 1956. Thursday night, Mason members from both near and far gathered in Johnson's honor.

"We're going to have a memorial service for our brother who is resting across the street in Greenlawn Cemetery. Kind of a way of honoring him and letting him know that his apron has been gone a long time but it's back home now," Dennis Reel said.

Reel, a Master Mason and member of the Wilmington Orient Lodge, lives in the mountains. After the apron belonging to a fellow Wilmington brother was found, Reel was given the honor of presenting the garment back to the Lodge.

The apron is dated back to 1919. It's still a mystery as to why it was not buried with its owner, but everyone at the memorial service could feel the significance of it being returned home.

"I have not heard of another, anybody else I know having this honor of being able to preserve something like this so it's a big deal," John Bordeaux said.

Bordeaux says that the organization strives to be a symbolic representation of the builders of King Solomon's Temple.

Bordeaux also says that the brotherhood is more than 600 years old and had a lot of well-known members. Those members include George Washington and country singer Brad Paisley.

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fantastic story. i know dennis was thrilled to take this apron back home to wilmington and orient lodge. way to go brother!

Thanks Brad,,it was an honor,, but I have to praise our Lord for allowing me to have the honor!! At least now,, the apron is back home,,in WIlmington,, across the street from where this brother is in his final resting place!! Take care Brother,, Love to you & the family!!!

I wonder what the guy that thought it was a good laugh has done for his country,,or community. Wonder if he knows that Pres Harry S Truman, Pres. Franklin D Roosevelt,,John Wayne,,WWII Medal of Honor Winner Audie Murphy, Gen. Douglas MacAuther Gen Omar Bradley, Mozart,,so many good men have been members,,perhaps he should stop looking in his mirror,, then he wouldn't get a laugh....

"...members include George Washington and Brad Paisley." What a pair! Thanks for the laugh today.

Perhaps the guy that said,"thanks for the laugh" should stop looking in his mirror!!! Pres Harry S Truman, Gen. Omar Bradley, Gen. Douglas MaCauther, John Wayne, WWII Medal of Honor Winner Audie Murphy & many others have been members of this great fraterity. What have laughing boy done for his counrty or community?