m Migisi Opawgan Lodge #162 - History 1939 - 1948
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Migisi Opawgan
Lodge 162

Serving the Great Lakes Council since 1939

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History 1939 - 1948

APPLICATION

For the institution of a Lodge of the
ORDER OF THE ARROW

A NATIONAL BROTHERHOOD
OF BOY SCOUTS HONOR CAMPERS
authorized by
the National Council Boy Scouts of America
as a part of the Senior Program

The Detroit Area Council, First Class Council of the Boy Scouts of America hereby applies for a charter for a Local Lodge of the Order of the Arrow. Subject to the approval of the National Council, BSA.

Upon recommendation of Camping Committee Chairman, Scout Commissioner, and Scout Executive adopted on June 26, 1939, the following resolution:
Warren E. Bow, President
Scout Commissioner

Amos R. Shields
Scout Executive

Resolved: That the Directors and Staffs of Camp Brady and the Charles Howell Scout Reservation be instructed to proceed immediately in the establishment of a lodge of the "Order of the Arrow", the National Brotherhood of Boy Scout Honor Campers.
The Lodge is intended to function in connection with the camping program of our Council at the Camp(s) known as:

  1. Camp Brady                                Waterford, Mich.
  2. Charles Howell Scout Reservation          Brighton, Mich.

A little more than two weeks after the application was signed, charter members were initiated. They were William Hooper, William Knapp, Richard Nelson, Ernest Peterkin, and Andrew Watson of Camp Brady; and Hector Gordon, Robert Mounteer, and Robert Rutherford of Howell.

The Brady induction, at Waterford Hill Farm, was officiated by Chippewa Lodge 29 of Pontiac about two weeks prior to the Howell ceremony. Munhacke Lodge 88 of Ann Arbor inducted the first Howell group in Camp Newkirk on July 13, 1939.

Once started, groups from both camps continued the ordeal and induction weekly. By summer's end 50 Brady men and over 20 Howell men were in the Arrow.

There were two meetings of the Lodge as a whole that first year. The first occurred at Camp Howell the afternoon of August 9, a Wednesday, with the Brady chapter of that date being entertained by the members of the Camp Howell chapter. An election was held for Lodge officers: Andy Watson became the first chief; Waldo Irwin, scribe; and Dave Beauvais, treasurer. Subjects considered included camp promotion and equipment improvement as an Order project.

On Wednesday, December 27, at the Highland Park YWCA, 55 of the 72 members attended the first winter meeting of the Lodge. Walter MacPeek of the Livingstone Council gave the message of the evening, "Friendliness".

Business in 1940 included the adoption of the new By-laws, the report on the National Conclave, and the election of officers. A totem and Lodge name will be selected shortly by a committee assigned to the project.

At the April 15, 1941 Executive Board Meeting, Andy Watson reported on his research for a Lodge name. Mi-Gi-Si (Eagle) and O-Paw-Gan (Peace-Pipe) from the Chippewa found favor and are combined for acceptance into both our Totem and Name Mi-Gi-Si O-Paw-Gan. Planned lodge events included tree planting at Camp Howell, and a May 31 outdoor lodge meeting.

In 1942 the Lodge was reorganized from the original two chapters, Brady and Howell, into district chapters. The new chapters were named Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, and Chapter 6. This corresponded identically with the district names, District 1, District 2, ... , District 6.

A contest for the Lodge Totem was carried out in the Sha-Goie-Watha, the Lodge paper in 1943. Other activities included conducting the charter ceremony for Cuwe Lodge # 218 of Flint, and assisting Chippewa Lodge # 29 of Pontiac to function. During the four day Christmas vacation, 157 hours of service were accumulated at USO on KP. Sandwich materials were purchased for $40 to pass out.

A desire on the part of our brothers to sponsor dance parties is shown by an article in the Lodge paper from 1945: "A Lodge Dance was scheduled each member allowed to bring one male guest and ladies." Dance details: Date, May 11. Place, Wardell-Sheraton. Music, Bill Muncey's Rhythm Sextet.

For many moons the Great White Father at Washington and his Long-Knives, our brothers, have been on the warpath against peoples beyond the oceans. Now there is Peace again.

Mi-Gi-Si O-Paw-Gan Lodge is in the heart of the land that produced in other times Pontiac, Tecumseh, and Michikiniqua (Little Turtle) great warriors all. The present holders of their territories could do no less than they would have done -our braves rallied to meet the great challenge.

Our wigwams were emptied of our young men. On the records of our Lodge well over 200 men have military service notations for the war years and the immediate post-war period.

Several of our finest young men fell in the conflict -giving their lives in the service of others. Their names: Robert Rutherford, James McGuire, James Machan, James Fred Bailey, Robert Vargo.

The May 1947 State Conclave was the first of its kind. Detroit Mi-Gi-Si O-Paw-Gan Lodge had originated the idea and played host to this the first in a long series of such conclaves. At the end of the meeting Henry Vassell was elected the first Area Chief.

The first item on the agenda for the January 27, 1948 meeting was the Name-Totem of the Lodge. A letter of reply brought back mention of Ta-Tonka-Saba whose totem was an Eagle. The peace-pipe was a symbol of Brotherhood, something that, along with the cheerful service, believed in inherent in the Order. A letter from Marian Sheets, Librarian, Department of Indian Art, and the Denver Art Museum, verified the Chippewa "Eagle" and "Smoking Pipe". With this explanation the name-totem Mi-Gi-Si O-Paw-Gan was again accepted to the Lodge's.

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