FLUSHING — For decades, Flushing Moose member Bob Porn has accepted many roles and responsibilities to help promote community outreach and bring more members into his lodge.
In recognition of Porn’s efforts, Moose International presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at a Michigan Moose convention in Sault St. Marie on Aug. 21.
Porn, who joined Flushing Moose Lodge #1437 in 1990, said that he was caught off guard by the award presentation—particularly because he was also presenting honors to fellow Moose members from across the state that night.
“All the lodges have the ability to turn in a resume for someone they think is deserving of the award,” he said. “For Moose International to pick me out of all the candidates in the state…I was surprised and humbled.”
Porn is no stranger to receiving honors from Moose International. In 2006, he became the first Flushing Moose Lodge member to receive a Pilgrim Degree of Merit in 24 years. The Pilgrim Degree is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member of the Loyal Order of Moose.
Porn also received his Fellowship Degree in 1996 and is one of only four Moose members in Michigan to receive an Elite Ring, which is intended for members who have recruited 100 or more members to a Moose Legion (which is essentially a district of lodges).
In addition to being a high-ranking officer with his lodge, Porn was named the International Moose area manager for Michigan in 2012, overseeing all five Moose Legions in the state and their 3,000-plus members. He also served as president of Moose Legion #107 in 2004 and was an administrator for the Flushing Moose Lodge in 2005.
Despite the recognition he’s gained, Porn said that all the accolades would never have been possible without his fellow lodge members and the everyday tasks he’s taken on as a Moose.
When he first joined the lodge, Porn started by cooking hamburgers and hot dogs for lodge events and serving as a ritual chairman for member enrollment ceremonies. As governor of the lodge in 2000-2001, he helped develop a plan that paid off the lodge’s mortgage in 14 months.
Outside the Moose Lodge, Porn belonged to the Flushing Masons Lodge #223 Chapter, where he served as Worshipful Master in 1975. He was also a longtime member of the Independent Order of Foresters and a past patron of the Flushing Order of the Eastern Star.
As a Marine veteran, Porn belongs to the Marine Corps League and has participated in military funerals and ceremonies at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.
“I’ve spent a good many years being in different organizations,” Porn, 81, said. “Looking back, I never regretted any of it.”
One of Porn’s other responsibilities at the lodge is to help generate contributions for two of Moose International’s major charity initiatives: Mooseheart, a residential childcare facility outside Chicago that was founded by the Moose fraternal organization; and Moosehaven, a private Moose membership retirement community/senior care facility located in Orange Park, FL.
Locally, Flushing Moose Lodge hosts an annual spaghetti dinner and bake sale for the Flushing High School Robotics team, raising up to $3,500 each year without charging the team for hall rental. The lodge also hosts fundraisers for the Old Newsboys, sponsors holes for golf tournament fundraisers and gives away Tommy Moose plush dolls that are used by police and first responders to comfort children at crime scenes.
Of course, Porn and his fellow officers also try to provide Moose members with a good time each week.
“We have relaxed social quarters, a bar and many activities like a pool table, shuffleboard and darts,” he said. “We try to be the friendliest place in town.”
Flushing Moose Lodge is located on 7044 Elms Road in Flushing. To inquire about becoming a member, call the lodge at 810-659-3222.