There are four distinct native environments in the cemetery specific to the Willamette Valley: fir forest (wet and dry), oak savannah, and wetlands.
Much more information on this interesting topic can be found on the three large interpretive signs near the main gate at 25th & University.
Many of you have an account with Amazon.com. But did you know they have a program to support charitable organizations called AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple, automatic way to support the Eugene Masonic Cemetery every time you shop,
at no cost to you. When you purchase at
smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same prices, selection and shopping experience as at Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon donates a portion of the purchase price to the EMCA if you designate us as your recipient charity.
To use AmazonSmile, go to
smile.amazon.com from your web browser or mobile device. Consider adding a bookmark to make it even easier to return to the site and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.
You use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, wish list, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are all the same.
The Eugene Masonic Cemetery has available space for burials and cremations. Email Sally Dietrich by clicking here for more information. Or call her at 541-684-0949.
Music To Die For
The Clefs of Insanity
kick off the 9th season of Music To Die For.
Here's what to expect:
"Eleven women & men performing a cappella works from across the choral music universe. Songs of sorrow, songs of joy, ancient texts & chant, eternal light, starlight, moonlight and appealingly small fingers."
June 30 at 2 PM
Hope Abbey Mausoleum
There will be more detailed information next month.
Interested in volunteering with the Eugene Masonic
Current volunteer needs include the
pre-Memorial Day annual work party (May 19th) and the Memorial Day celebration (May 26th and 27th)
The construction of the north property line fence began yesterday, Tuesday, May 14. By mid afternoon all of the fence posts for the north-east section of chain link fencing are installed and cemented in place.
Today the contractor will start the installation of the posts for the steel picket fence that will extend west to the main cemetery entrance. When completed we will be able to refine the landscape in the area to the same quality as the rest of the cemetery.
Memorial Day Activities
Coming up this month is Memorial Day, and the Eugene Masonic Cemetery has planned an activity-filled calendar. Keeping firmly in mind that the day was instituted as a way to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, we have several activities honoring that meaning. Here's a preview:
On Sunday and Monday, May 26th and 27th, Hope Abbey Mausoleum will be open at noon. Taps will be played as usual on the Public Square at noon. There will be a History Hunt for children and families.
Sunday's activities will feature "Brass on the Grass", a 30-piece British style brass band on the Public Square immediately after Taps.
Monday afternoon will feature two cemetery-related tours.
Tour #1: features the
Cemetery's Native Landscape starting in the Public Square at 12:10
Tour #2: features
Cemetery Highlights starting at 1:30 in front of Hope Abbey
In a departure from the past, Hope Abbey Mausoleum will not be open on Saturday, May 25th, nor will there be any planned activities that day. The cemetery grounds, of course, are open to all for visiting and there will be American flags flying over veteran's graves.
Both Sunday and Monday will have complimentary coffee and cake in Hope Abbey. More detailed information about Memorial Day weekend will be in the May issue of this newsletter.
Brass on the Grass
Have you seen the movie "Brassed Off"? It's an excellent introduction to British brass bands. Better yet, come hear the Oregon Brass Society (OBS) play its first outdoor concert of the season at the Eugene Masonic Cemetery on Sunday, May 26. OBS is Oregon's only ensemble based on the British brass band tradition. It will play at noon on the Public Square.
Conductor Dr. Chris Chapman will lead a group of 30 musicians playing a repertoire of original works, marches, and patriotic tunes, arrangements of Broadway and film scores, and popular music. The band practices weekly and performs three or four times a year. OBS was founded by Roger Rush in 2002. Brass and percussion players from the Eugene Symphonic Band formed the initial group, and many musicians continue to play in both groups.
The brass band movement began in England in the early 1800s as factory, mining, or town ensembles. The local band provided workers pleasant relief from their labor and became a source of pride for the community and its businesses. Brass bands number in the thousands in the United Kingdom. Competitions began in the 1850s and continue to this day. Town bands are organized much like sports leagues, and bands from throughout the UK compete for numerous championship titles.
The instruments in a British brass band differ significantly from American bands. Not only are no woodwinds included, but the types and sounds of brass instruments are different. With the exception of the trombones, all of the brass instruments have a conical bore design, which produces a darker and more mellow tone quality. The OBS band includes cornets, flugelhorns, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, tubas, and percussion.
Sheri Pyron, EMCA board member and OBS musician
Changing of the Guard
It is with great pride that I take the reins as the new president of the Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association (EMCA) board of directors from past president Charley Wright. I recently spent time in New York City and Washington, D.C., cities steeped in history from the earliest days of the Republic. My visits reminded me of how lucky I am to be participating in the preservation of the history of my much younger hometown through my positions since 2015 on the EMCA board. Established in 1859, the same year that Oregon became a state, the cemetery is steeped in our community's history.
As the final resting place for Eugene's founding fathers and mothers and many of its more recent beloved citizens, the cemetery represents the heart and soul of our community. My mother, who lived in Eugene longer than any other place during her 90 years, is in the cemetery. So are too many of my friends from my 40 plus years here. I'm grateful for having such a natural and peaceful place to visit them.
What the EMCA has accomplished in restoring and improving the cemetery and Hope Abbey Mausoleum since taking over from the Masons in 1994 is nothing short of miraculous. Much thanks goes to Charley for keeping the momentum going during his relatively short time as president. With the help of generous donors, we have recently restored the floor of the abbey, hired two part-time groundskeepers to assist our landscape manager, created a secure off-site archive, and begun construction of a new fence on the north side of the cemetery.
Nothing stays the same. While we continue to be an operating cemetery, space for in-ground burials, which is the major source of revenue for day-to-day operating, is running out. The board's focus is now turning to what the cemetery should be for future generations. We envision that it will eventually be a not-so-secret garden, sustained as a memorial park featuring the history and natural beauty of our community. While currently providing a beautiful place for cremains, in a few more years there will be no more burial sales.
For this reason, the board will be directing more attention on increasing our endowment so that the Eugene Masonic Cemetery can be maintained in its current condition and not deteriorate as time passes. We are grateful to our past donors and look forward to working with them, as well as many new faces, as we ramp up our efforts to raise the funds that will allow the cemetery to continue to be an Oregon treasure in perpetuity.
Come visit. In particular, join us for our Memorial Day events on Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27. Details are listed above. As a special event this year, the Oregon Brass Society Band will play a concert following taps on Sunday. It's a musical event that's not to be missed. Bring your blanket and picnic basket. Hope to see you there!
Addition to Volunteer of the Year Award
Last month's article relating the granting of the Volunteer of the Year award to our own Karen Seidel should have mentioned that the award was sponsored by United Way of Lane County.
John Bredesen, eNewsletter Editor Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association