Oriental-Martha’s Vineyard Lodge recently welcomed one of its own Masonic ambassadors, John Hirt, back from a trip to New Orleans. While there, Mr. Hirt carried warm fraternal greetings from Masons on Martha’s Vineyard to Étoile Polaire (Pole Star) Lodge No. 1, with which he is still affiliated. Founded in 1794, this is one of the two oldest in Louisiana.

The photo here shows John seated in the master’s chair in the East of the Lodge, wearing the badge or “jewel” of an ambassador. A portrait of George Washington in Masonic garb can be seen on the wall; a similar one hangs on the eastern wall of Oriental-Martha’s Vineyard Lodge.

After Hurricane Katrina, John and his wife, Andrea, moved to the Vineyard to join her sister, Dineen Falgoux Convery, who is married to another member of the lodge, Leo P. Convery, Jr., of Edgartown. At the showing last year by the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society of the prize-winning film Trouble the Water, Andrea shared dramatic stories of their escape from the storm — including the loan of a car by a brother Mason from Étoile Polaire Lodge, at some hazard to himself, when their own car would not start. You may know Andrea from her shop Madame Falgoux, across from Midnight Farm in Vineyard Haven. John works in the Post Office in Chilmark. The couple was enabled to stay by the good fortune of winning a chance to pu rchase a low-income home, where they now live with their infant son, Miles.

Martha’s Vineyard Lodge was organized in Tisbury in 1859 and chartered in 1860. Oriental Lodge was chartered in Edgartown in 1866. The two lodges began to share the present lodge building in 1984, and on Jan. 29, 1994, consolidated as Oriental-Martha’s Vineyard Lodge, with currently about 200 members. The Lodge room, at 52 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, opposite Jardin Mahoney and next to Chapman, Cole & Gleason, is named in honor of the late Donald Warren Vose of Edgartown, Past Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts.

The public is invited to an open house on Saturday, March 28. The Lodge will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with refreshments and members on hand to answer questions throughout, plus a presentation at 1 p.m.