Thursday, August 27, 2009
Oldest Man in America is a Mason
Walter Breuning, in addition to inheriting the title of Oldest Living Man in the World, has been recognized for yet another title: the world's oldest Mason and Shriner.
Members of the organization came from all over the state - and country - to honor the legend, including the Imperial Potentate of Shriners International and the highest ranking Shriner in the world, Jack Jones.
Walter was given a plaque and pin for his seven-plus decades of dedication to the cause during a Sunday ceremony at the Rainbow Assisted Living Center in Great Falls.
"There's many men who are interested in these organizations, but when it comes to commitment, Walter is the man," explained Grand Warden Tom Duffy, Jr. "He's had years of commitment, 75 plus in Masonry and Shrinedom. Boy, if Webster had a definition behind it, wouldn't it be Walter right behind 'commitment'?"
It was just about a week ago the oldest man in the world died, allowing the title to be passed to Walter, and it's been a busy week since then for Walter, including fielding calls from around the country and visits from well-wishers, including one from Governor Schweitzer.
(from July 22, 2009) The title of "Montana Governor" is pretty exclusive, but Governor Brian Schweitzer met a man that's in line for an even more exclusive title.
Schweitzer chatted today with 112-year old Walter Breuning, who is believed to be the oldest living man in the world now. The previous holder of the title, Henry Allingham of England, passed away over the weekend, which leaves Breuning as the new record-holder.
Schweitzer and Breuning talked about various things including the economy; Breuning says these days don't even compare to the Great Depression. He and the governor agreed that Montana's economy is faring better than much of the rest of the nation.
Breuning noted, "That's why Montana is in such good shape. We got a lot of good salaries going to everybody. The state highway, hell, what do you get? 21 dollars an hour? Sure! That's good wages."
The governor also presented Breuning with a basket of fruit.
Breuning says eating well and keeping your mind active is the key to a long life. He will celebrate his 113th birthday in September.