Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Last Saturday Was A Very Good Day
This past Saturday was one of those days in my Masonic life that I will never forget.
Saturday morning was the installation of the new officers for my mother lodge, Broad Ripple Lodge No. 643. I remain as proud as I can be of this lodge, especially when I remember that this lodge was ready to vote to close and move away from this unique village within Indianapolis just nine years ago. Congratulations to Worshipful Master Matthew Davis and his officers. I am honored to serve again as a trustee for my lodge.
Saturday evening Alice and I attended the 111th Annual Newby-Avery Banquet for the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Indiana. The event is named for the two Indiana Sir Knights who have served as Most Eminent Grand Masters of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States, Sir Knight Leonidas Perry Newby (1922-25), and Sir Knight Willard Meredith Avery (1976-79). Sir Knight Avery is still alive and will be turning 103 this February.
The annual dinner is held for the purpose of recognizing contributors to the Newby-Avery Foundation, which was originally formed to raise money for the permanent fund of the Grand Commandery of Indiana. The event is also an opportunity to make other awards of merit and appreciation to individual Knights Templar from around Indiana.
I had the distinct and humbling honor of standing with three other outstanding Indiana Freemasons this particular evening: Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Indiana, Charles Marlowe; Indiana's Right Eminent Grand Commander, Larry W. Brown; the editor of Indiana's Knight Templar Magazine supplement, former Grand Prelate, Edward L. Sebring; and myself. The four of us were invested with the rank and dignity of Knight Commander of the Temple by order of Most Eminent Grand Master William H. Koon II of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the USA, and conferred by Indiana's own Duane L. Vaught, Right Eminent Grand Captain General of the Grand Encampment.
Knight Commander of the Temple (abbreviated KCT) is the second highest decoration of the Grand Encampment, and was adopted in the 1991-1994 Triennium. It is a beautiful jewel, and one I will be proud to wear the rest of my life. I am humbled and a little bewildered to be honored with these august gentlemen and Sir Knights who have toiled far longer than I in the service of the Masonic Knights Templar. My deepest and fondest thanks go to those who felt I was worthy of such an honor. It was an evening I will not soon forget, and was especially happy to share it with so many friends whom I admire.
When conferred, it is explained that it does not mean that your work is done, but that it also stands for the work you are expected to do in future for the Knights Templar, as well. I hope to earn it every day.
UPDATE: See the story in the Knight Templar Magazine here.
The same Saturday was a scheduling nightmare, and I had to miss the installation of Raper Commandery No. 1, where I have again been asked to serve as Sword Bearer, in spite of my infrequent attendance. My friend and brother Carson Smith served last year as both Master of Indianapolis' Century Lodge No. 764 and Eminent Commander of Raper Commandery No. 1. Stepping into his Templar position is Jim Dillman, with whom I am proud to serve on the Indianapolis Masonic Temple Board. At Century Lodge, the new Master is Bob Rini, who also participates with the Temple Board, and has brought new theatre productions to the Freemasons' Hall stage.
I would have known none of these fine gentlemen I spent my Saturday with had it not been for membership in this fraternity, and I am proud to call each of them my friend and brother. The dedicated work of all of these brethren means another great year for Indiana Freemasonry in 2010.