By TODD GLASSCOCK
Oscar Choate seems called to service.
The owner of Choate Electric has served Mineral Wells as a city council member, as a volunteer firefighter, and as a member for 43 years of the Knights of Pythias.
The Order of Knights of Pythias is a fraternal order founded in Washington, D.C., in 1864; it was the first organization of its kind to receive a charter under an act of the U.S. Congress.
The philanthropic fraternal order is dedicated to public service and charity and recently installed Choate as grand chancellor of the Texas Grand Lodge, Knights of Pythias, because of his active commitment to peace, good will and community involvement. His wife, Cindy, was installed as grand chief of the Texas Grand Order of Pythian Sisters, the group's women's auxiliary.
“I'm pretty excited,” he said of becoming grand chancellor. “It's so much fun. I'm tickled for Cindy. She's enjoying this, too.”
As grand chancellor, Choate will be busy. Among his duties will be heading the board of the Texas Pythian Home in Weatherford, a state-licensed basic child care facility for 62 children. He will also head the Pythians' efforts with the American Cancer Society.
But, such a schedule isn't daunting for Choate.
Some of his duties with the Mineral Wells lodge before becoming Texas grand chancellor have included renting hotel conference rooms for meetings and cleaning up after get-togethers.
“We have one of the most active lodges in the state of Texas,” he said. “We'll just have a huge time.”
Raising funds primarily through Saturday Bingo games, Mineral Wells Lodge 212 has contributed to the fire department, senior centers and to scholarships, as well as the Children's Alliance Center, which received $8,000 from the Pythians, he said.
He especially wants to promote one program the lodge supported – Read to Ride – at Houston Elementary School throughout all of the schools in the county. Read to Ride encourages students to read through the incentive of potentially receiving a new bicycle as a prize. For every 10 books a student reads, that student earns a ticket to enter into a drawing for a bicycle.