Lombard Lodge No. 1098 started January 23, 1922 with an informal meeting and the desire to form a Masonic club in the area. This simple get-together at the home of Dr. T. F. James brought about ideas that were quickly propelled by interested Masons, and within a month the Masonic Club was founded and its officers chosen. Originally, members met at the Lombard Parish House of the First Congregational Church, but soon moved to the O’Connor building, before ultimately settling at 9 North Main Street in Lombard, IL. At the October 9, 1923 session of the 84th Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of the State of Illinois, Lombard Lodge No. 1098 was granted its charter; consequently, absorbing the Lombard Masonic Club and installing newly elected officers. Lombard Lodge currently meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month at the Valley of Chicago Scottish Rite Cathedral located at 383 E. Lake St, Bloomingdale, IL 60108. Dinner is served at 6 pm and the gavel sounds at 7:30 pm. The lodge goes dark during July and August.
In addition to its stated monthly meetings, Lombard Lodge reserves the 4th Wednesday of every month for degree work – which is a major focus of the lodge. Additionally, the 3rd Wednesday is sometimes used for special meetings and Masonic education. One point of pride for the lodge leaders is the continued active involvement and dedication of Newly Raised Master Masons. The lodge has an active core of officers which include some newer Master Masons supported by a tenured Treasurer and Secretary. According to Worshipful Master Joe Malatia, “demonstrating excellence in our degree work is part of who we are and we pride ourselves in being able to fill our degree teams with Lombard Lodge Brothers.” That said, several Brothers are proficient and capable of filling in multiple roles on degree teams.
Though Brotherly Love is a cornerstone of all active lodges, what sets Lombard apart is the genuine camaraderie experienced by its members. They are very social together and know one another personally. Family involvement is also of great importance to Lombard Lodge. Family members are often invited to both social and charitable events. On a monthly basis Lombard Lodge hosts a “Wives and Dives” event where the Brethren are encouraged to bring their significant others for meet-ups. These events often entail simple gatherings at local restaurants and concerts, but also include special events. Most notably, Lombard Lodge hosts at Sportsman’s BBQ at a local gun club, and also does an all-day Curling event. Beyond the Blue Lodge, many of Lombard’s 170 members are also active in the Masonic Appendant bodies which offers additional opportunities for fellowship and learning.
Lombard Lodge participates in various community service activities such as the ILCHIP program and the Glenbard East High School Masonic Academic Bowl competition participation. Additionally, Lombard Lodge works to offer aide to the La Grange Masonic Children’s Home. One of the lodge’s largest events for the year is a kid’s bowling day. This event completely takes over a 36 lane bowling alley, and is attended by roughly 200 people each year. Attendees include children from the above mentioned home, members of the local chapter of DeMolay, Brothers and family, friends, and members of the community. This event is sponsored by local businesses as well as the Brethren, and various prizes are provided to the children who participate.
At Lombard lodge, achieving personal balance is a major priority. Members are encouraged to find their personal balance amongst participating in lodge events and charities, staying active with their families including involving them with lodge activities, and continually striving for personal improvement and development as proficient Masons.
The Lodge has five key priorities which are part of the lodge’s 3 year growth and development plan:
- Promote brotherhood amongst the members through social events and activities to keep Brothers engaged with the lodge.
- Focus on Education and Degree work as part of the continued investment in developing current and future Brothers and lodge officers.
- Participate in the IL Masonic Charities and those in the Lombard community.
- Gain support from the Brother’s families and involve them in appropriate lodge social and civic activities.
- Communicate the progress of the lodge’s annual plan activities and the continuous movement towards its long-term goals.