Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
October 2, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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October 2, 2019

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i orter Page 5C By Diane Gl lewell news@mymcr.nef Strict Observance Lodge # 18 in Forsyth celebrated Brother Albert Jones' 60th year of continuous member- ship on Tuesday, Sept. 24. Jones, a long time resident of Monroe County, was congratulated by his fellow Masons as well as family members and other friends who attended the event. Jones first joined the Fort Hawkins Masonic Lodge in Macon in the 1950'S. He reached the degree of Master Mason on July 27, 1959 and has been active since then. Jones has been a member of the Forsyth Lodge for over a decade. The Master of Ceremonies was Brother Joe Watkins, past Grand Secre- tary of the Grand Lodge of Georgia. Two brothers from the lodge in Tifton attended. Jones' son, Bobby Jones, pinned the special pin recog- niz'lng his 60 years of mem- bership on Jones during the ceremony. Bobby is a mem- ber of the Masonic Lodge in L' ella and several members of the Lizella Lodge attended the celebration. Strict Observance Lodge membership chairman Sonny McDonald said a highlight of the event was the meal prepared by Donna Wilson and served by ladies of the Lodge, including Rueshelle Ambrose, Tammy Watts and Anita Martin. McDonald said they made it a special night with the best chicken pot pie he has ever tasted, all the trimmings and a big sheet cake congratulat- ing Jones. McDonald said that in addition to Jones, the For- syth Lodge has three other members with over 60 years of continuous membership, L.C. Bittick, James Pritchett and Frank Wurl . Strict Observance Lodge #18 meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the comer of Morse and N. Jackson Streets in downtown Forsyth. The Lodge marked its 150th an- niversary two years ago. Albert Jones grew up in small towns south of Macon, around Butler and Taylor County. He spent much of his adult life in Macon and then moved to Monroe County in 1995 while he was working for the Bibb Com- pany. He and his wife, Elaine, have four sons, Bobby, Reg- gie, Barry and Jeff. Bobby is active in the Masons, and he and Jones visited and then joined the Strict Observance Lodge in Forsyth together in about 2004. Bobby moved to Lizella in 2014, "I've got some good boys;' said Jones. Jones worked as a long haul truck driver for the Bibb Company for many years, covering 38 states and millions of miles of mad. He logged 1.2 million miles on his last two trucks, which didn't count the other trucks he drove for 2-3 weeks at a time while his truck was be- ing serviced. After Dan Riv- ers bought out Bibb Compa- ny in 1998, Jones continued to drive for Dan Rivers out of Greenville, S.C. until he retired June 14, 2002. Re "urement didn't mean he stopped driving. In 2002 he worked for Alliance Truck Driving School in McDonongh, then Harvey Tracking for about 3 1/2 years, then Interstate Na- tional Lease for several more years. Jones, who is now 84, decided not to renew his commercial drivers license four years ago. Now he works for Monroe County Solid Waste Management at the recyding centers. He trained at the Bolingbroke Center and has worked at RusseUville, Dames Ferry and Smarr, but he says that Brent, where he is working now, is his favorite. "There are a lot of nice people;' said Jones. Monroe County recycling centers are just the most recent place that Jones has made friends. He had many friends at the Fort Hawkins Masonic Lodge in Macon, where he was active for many years before mov- ing his membership to the Forsyth Lodge. He said he joined in 1959, when he was 23 years old, along with six other men and that three of them are still living. He made many friends working in the Sears tire department in Macon for 12 1/2 years. While at Sears, he began washing trucks for Bibb Company at night and then left Sears to go to work full Past, Georgia Grand Secre- tary Joe Watkins awarded Albert Jones, left, a cer- tificate recogniz- ing his 60 years of con- tinuous member- ship as a Master Mason at the Strict Obser- vance Lodge #18 on Sepf. 24. time as a long haul driver for Bibb Com- pany. Jones enjoyed having some of his long time friends come to the ceremony celebrating his 60 years of continuous service as a Mason. He said he had more who came for his 50th year, but the venue at Strict Observance Lodge is small, and he didn't want to invite too many. They may have to find a bigger venue for the next celebration as Jones continues to meet more people and add them to his long list of friends. Continued from Page 2C that she can't believe she is sitting in an itty-bitty chair reading to her five-year-old's kindergarten class and that her husband helped coach T-ball. Garrett said Monroe County Commissioner George Emami and his wife have just completed training as TREK foster parents and are ready to open their home. She said a member of the Atlanta Hawks team adopted two boys who were in foster care. "Everybody is giving back" said Garrett. "But kids don't care where they go. They're just happy to be loved" Garrett said the ultimate goal of foster care is reunification with biological families. The secondary goal is adoption into a permanent family. She said there have been six adoptions in the two years she has been with TREK. Garrett found Forsyth first and then found TREK because she wants to give back. She grew up in a small town in Califomia. She began her career as a nurse, then went into medical social work with a specialty of working with the hearing impaired. Her case- load included many who were incarcerated. Garrett decided to retire in Georgia and looked for a small town with demographics similar to her California hometown. She bought a 90-day round trip ticket to Forsyth, met Connie Ham of Middle Georgia Realty, bought a home and has been here for two years. Garrett said she was abandoned at birth and knows the difference a caring person can make in a child's life. She said she is very appreciative of the support she received. She said her grandfather made tremendous sacrifices of his time and financial resources for her. Garrett has five adult children and one adopted son. She has fostered nine children. She has six granddaughters. All of her chil- dren have moved to Georgia, the last one arriving this month. "I am very passionate about what I do ' said Garrett. "The agencies and the requirements are changing, but the things that bring children into foster care are not changing" For more information about theTREK foster care program, call Garrett at 478-993-5357. !