Spirit Through the Ages : Langundowi Lodge History
By Forrest Gertin
Located in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Langundowi Lodge was founded in 1972 with the merger of Eriez Lodge 46, Hoh-Squa-Sa-Gah-Da Lodge 251, and Skanondo Inyan Lodge 256. Over its forty-two year history, Langundowi has used its rich history to foster lodge traditions that continue to inspire camaraderie among lodge members.
In late October of 1972, Arrowman Tim Baum won the competition to name the new lodge with his submission "Langundowi," meaning "Peaceful One." As his reward, Tim received a free trip to the 1973 NOAC, while the lodge obtained a name and mascot that holds strong today. The new lodge chose the Iroquois Great Tree of Peace as their mascot, and Pine Tree Pete was born soon after. The lodge totem is based upon the legend of the formation of the Iroquois Confederacy. It describes how a tall pine tree was taken out of the ground in the Onondaga village while the chiefs of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca tribes threw their weapons into the hole. The tree was then replaced and became known as the Peace Tree, which was said to have the Five Nations as its roots and an eagle perched in its upper branches watching for anyone who would disturb the peace.
Pine Tree Pete was originally a concept to bolster sales of the Langundowi-run trading post at the 1983 Section NE-5C Conclave. However, he quickly grew into a lodge icon that has made appearances at all sorts of events, from lodge banquets to NOACs. Pine Tree Pete has been featured on lodge patches, pins, t-shirts, neckties, temporary tattoos, and even as an action figure! Of course, Langundowi also has a costume for occasions when Pine Tree Pete wants to be seen in person. His cartoon appearance has evolved over time, but he is still a steadfast representative of Langundowi’s spirit.
However, Pine Tree Pete is not the only sign of Langundowi’s spirit of brotherhood. The lodge also has a virtual album of lodge songs. Set to popular tunes ranging from “Yankee Doodle” to Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” songs are all variations on the theme of lodge pride and accomplishment. But these cheers might not be there if it were not for the example set by one of Langundowi’s predecessors, Eriez Lodge. Eriez had a total of 16 cheers and songs that were used by Arrowmen at lodge, section, and area events. These ranged from simple three-line cheers to full songs, one of which was even written in French! Eriez’s tradition of articulated pride has helped Langundowi to build upon a legacy of cheerfulness and lodge spirit.
Over Langundowi’s rich history, many Arrowmen have contributed bits and pieces to a store of lodge spirit that today binds Langundowi brothers together. Their traditions have adapted as times have changed, but, as one of their songs affirms, Langundowi members believe: “We can’t be beat, ‘cause we’re led by Pine Tree Pete. We are Langundowi!”
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