LOGAN, W.Va. — Members of a local organization who lost their headquarters a few months ago were also present at Logan City Hall on May 9, and they had a very well received way of saying “Thank You” to the city of Logan. Several months ago the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge building, a longtime fixture in downtown Logan burned in a tragic fire. The facility was also the home of Mi Pueblito, a very popular local Mexican restaurant.
Spokesman Michael Johnson discussed the history of the Odd Fellows Lodge and the good works that it has continued into the modern world.
“We want to thank the Mayor and the Council for them allowing us to use the upstairs room at City Hall to have our meetings since we lost our building, which burned,” Johnson said, adding that the Odd Fellows organization goes back to England in the 1730s. Today there are 10,000 members of the Oddfellows in 30 countries across the world, and there are 33 Oddfellows lodges in West Virginia.
Johnson said that his group wished to announce that they intend to build back in Logan and that the scheduled removal of the old structure is set for this coming Saturday. He also had another appreciated gesture of thanks for the city.
“We would like to donate this check for $1,000 to the West Virginia Freedom Festival,” he announced. “We are doing this as our way of saying thank you and to show support for what the city has done to help create a better Logan.”
The Odd Fellows are one of the earliest and oldest fraternal societies. The organization is composed of those who believe that Friendship, Love and Truth should be the basic guidelines to live by and who are dedicated to improving the world by personal action. It became part of America when Thomas Wildey founded the Washington Lodge No 1 in Baltimore in 1819. Today’s Oddfellows have many different community projects and one of great interest to many people in West Virginia – a camp for children with diabetes.
“The camp is one of our most important projects and it is free of charge to the children who attend,” Johnson said.
The Grand Encampment of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of WV has sponsored the camp since 1992. Camp Kno-Koma has helped children ages seven to fifteen to learn more about the pancreatic disorder which afflicts a large percentage of the population of West Virginia, and how to keep it under control. The Camp was a project of Past Grand Patriarch Ronald Fletcher and the Encampment branch in West Virginia has raised over $150,000 in private donations which include fundraisers such as spaghetti and baked steak dinners.
“I had a blast with the Odd Fellows when I was a kid, noted Logan Fire Chief Scott Beckett.
Later in the meeting Becket explained that despite several years of requests from local fans, the famed Kentucky television personality known as “Turtle Man” will not be available to appear at the 2017 West Virginia Freedom Festival. The animal capture expert does not make personal appearances around the Fourth of July.
In other Logan news:
*Council approved the payment of $49,000 in bills for the month of April. City Accountant Jeff Valet noted that while March was a good month for collections in Logan they were down a bit in April. One of the city’s larger businesses in terms of Business and Occupation taxes was a bit late in paying their check, which arrived the first week in May. Valet noted that in terms of revenues the city is still doing better now than it has in past years. Valet said the city’s fire and police pension fund received a check for $44,000.
* Civil Service testing to fill vacancies on the Logan Police Department will be held on May 25 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
*Council members discussed a long delayed Federal Emergency Management Agency project that has been delayed for an exorbitant amount of time. However it was revealed that a meeting will be coming up soon in regards to the 2013 proposal. Mayor Nolletti said that Congressman Even Jenkins had been approached about the matter.
* Council discussed a project that was not completed during the recent spring cleaning event, which would entail setting up a special marking stone and planting flowers.