Monday, September 6, 2010
The World's Oldest Living Mason - Bro Walter Breuning
He has been a mason for more than 75 years and was initiated at the age of 37. He was born on September 21, 1896.
Bro Walter Breuning is the oldest living mason as well as the oldest living human being on record. Bro Breuning lives at the Rainbow Retirement Center in Great Falls, Montana.
On August 23, 2010, Bro Breuning, aged 113 years 336 days, became the 8th oldest male ever.
Bro Breuning usually rises around 6:00 AM every morning, breakfasting at 7:00. He attends to errands and meets with friends until 2:00 PM when he usually retires to his room to read, write and listen to the radio.
Last year members of Masonic organisation’s 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.
Bro Breuning 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 are 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’?”
Bro Walter Breuning was born in Melrose, Minnesota. He is the son of John Breuning and Cora Morehouse Breuning, and had two brothers and two sisters.
In 1910, when Bro Breuning dropped out of school, he began scraping bakery pans for $2.50 weekly. He joined the Great Northern Railway in 1913, working for it for over fifty years. In an interview, he stated that he was paid $2.50 per week. Bro Breuning worked for the Great Northern Railway until age 66, and was also a manager/secretary for the local Shriner's club until age 99.
Having lived at the Rainbow Retirement and Assisted Living Center in Great Falls, Montana for the last 30 years, Bro Breuning is in excellent health, even after a lifelong habit of smoking cigars, completely quitting in 1999. He is able to walk, eats two meals a day, and always wears a suit and tie.
He still maintains a sharp mind and accurate memory. On his 112th birthday, Bro Breuning said the secret to long life is being active: "if you keep your mind busy and keep your body busy, you're going to be around a long time.”