Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Boston.com is reporting that the Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction is selling its headquarters compound to the city of Lexington, Massachusetts for approximately $11 million. The Rite will move into space at the adjacent National Heritage Museum (which is NOT being sold).


Lexington officials announced last week that the town is purchasing the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry organization’s headquarters, after the fraternal group accepted its offer of almost $11 million. 
The Marrett Road property will be used for a community center. The agreement on the sale price was announced Tuesday night after months of negotiations, and after Town Meeting voted Monday night to appropriate the money. 
Selectman Peter Kelley said in an announcement on the purchase that it is a historic moment for Lexington, as the town’s 300th anniversary approaches at the end of this month. 
In a roll call vote of 173 to 2, with 6 abstentions, Town Meeting approved appropriating about $11 million and authorized the Board of Selectmen to purchase the property.Selectwoman Deb Mauger told Town Meeting that the Scottish Rite’s governing body would decide the next day whether to accept the town’s offer of $10,950,000 . 
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our future,” Mauger said. 
The Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite plans to move into space at its National Heritage Museum, which is next to the 33 Marrett Road headquarters property and is not being sold. The Supreme Council governs the Scottish Rite’s Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, which covers 15 states from New England to Wisconsin and Delaware. 
Representatives from the Scottish Rite could not be reached for comment. 
The 10-acre property the town is buying includes the headquarters building, a mansion built in 1905, and a carriage house. Lexington is considering using the property as a community center that would offer services for the town’s senior citizens and its youth. 
Mauger told Town Meeting members Monday that the town first offered $8 million for the property, but increased the amount twice because of competition from other bidders.

H/T Matt Johnson

Friday, March 22, 2013

Grand Master of UGLE Suffers Stroke

The Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Duke of Kent, has suffered a mild stroke after being struck by an illness. The 77-year-old royal was taken to an undisclosed hospital in London on Monday. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said, "He's still being assessed and it's not thought to be serious. My understanding is he's feeling well and looking forward to resuming official engagements as soon as possible."

Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick was born in 1935, and educated at Eton and Le Rosey, Switzerland. He is a cousin both of the Queen and of the Duke of Edinburgh. His father, who was Grand Master from 1939 until 1942, was the fourth son of King George V, and his mother, Princess Marina, was the daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece. He has been the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England since he was first elected in 1967.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

German Masonic Home of Tappan, New York

The ScoutingNY.com website tours the abandoned German Masonic Home of Tappan, New York. Built between 1906 and 1909, and abandoned since the 1990s, it was once a beautiful place. Be sure to check out the stained glass in the lodge room.
H/T Bill Hosler

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Anti-Masonic Sentiment in Middle East

The Middle East continues to be rife with anti-Masonic sentiment. King Abdullah of Jordan was interviewed this week in The Atlantic and referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as a "Masonic cult".

And just ahead of President Obama's visit to Israel and Jordan, the official Palestinian Authority daily printed a pro-Hitler article that had the following quote:

"Our history is replete with lies [incliuding] the lie about Al-Qaeda and the September 11 events, which asserted that Muslim terrorists committed it, and that it was not an internal American action by the Freemasons."

And so it goes.

H/T to Eoghan Ballard

Friday, March 08, 2013

Queen's Nurse

When Queen Elizabeth II left the hospital this week, she was escorted by a helpful nurse who had an interesting belt buckle on. Is she a female Mason?

UPDATE: According to a post this morning by Arturo DeHoyos in the Oklahoma Scottish Rite group, that buckle is presented to nurses as they graduate from nurses' training at the Royal Masonic Hospital in London.  Thanks to Bill Hosler.

Australian Lodge Vandalized Repeatedly


Mooroopna Lodge in Shepparton, Victoria, Australia has been vandalized for the fourth time since September, and this time the miscreants tried to set fire to the place.

From todays Shepparton News:
Callous vandals struck Shepparton’s Masonic Centre on Wednesday night for the fourth time since September, causing extensive internal damage before allegedly setting fire to the building.
The attack occurred between 5pm and 7pm, which Masonic Lodge Mooroopna master Alan McCormick has described as ‘‘violent anger, like a frenzy’’.
The representative said the words ‘‘f*** you’’ were scrawled on the internal walls of the building.
Mr McCormick said most of the items destroyed held historical value that could not be replaced.
‘‘It’s absolutely shocking, it breaks your heart to see it,’’ he said.
‘‘We arrived at 10 past seven and well you should have seen it. You could smell smoke, it must have been smoldering for a while, they’ve used some sort of accelerant.
‘‘Everything that was there that could be damaged was; old photographs of former members pulled down and smashed and you could see they had trodden on them.’’
Shepparton police Detective Senior Constable Tom Young said this was the fourth incident since September last year.
During the most recent incident a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the front door.
Det Sen Const Young said at this stage police believed the four attacks were linked.
‘‘Unknown offenders have forced their way into the Masonic hall and committed a large amount of vandalism inside the premises, including writing f*** you on the inside of the building,’’ Det Sen Const Young said.
‘‘They’ve also smashed a number of crockery sets and plates and caused a fair bit of damage, smashing lights and other things of sentimental value to the Masonic hall, before setting the place on fire in the main temple itself, which measures about 50cm by 50cm.’’
Det Sen Const Young said police were investigating the incident and a forensic team was on site.
‘‘Inquiries are continuing, it is being managed and we’re doing what we can to try to work out who is responsible for this,’’ he said.
No-one was injured in the blaze.
Mr McKenzie believed this could be a misguided racially-motivated attack.
‘‘We really are a charitable organisation, why are they targeting us?’’ he said.
‘‘It’s the same with any Christian religion, we use the Bible.’’
Masonic Centres house Freemasonary, a fraternal organisation.
Locally, the organisation has provided scholarships to school youths, raised thousands of dollars for bushfire and flood-relief funds and donated almost $200000 to the Goulburn Valley Health oncology unit in Shepparton.
Members of the Shepparton Masonic Centre — more than 100 people from four different groups — will have to relocate to Numurkah Masonic Centre in the interim.
Anyone with information about the fire or who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the area is urged to phone Detective Senior Constable Tom Young on 58205777 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au
H/T Mark Shemwell

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Speaking in NY and NJ Next Week

New York and New Jersey brethren, I'll be in your neck of the woods all next week. On March 11, 2013 I'll be speaking at Suffolk Lodge No. 60 in Port Jefferson, NY. On Wednesday I'll be in Bayonne, NJ at Sons of Liberty Lodge No. 301. On Thursday, March 14, 2013 I'll be speaking at Ocean Lodge No. 89 in Spring Heights, NJ. And Saturday, March 16, 2013, I'll be speaking at Central New Jersey Council of Deliberation in Bordentown, NJ.

Looking forward to a great week of meeting brothers!



Woman Embezzles From OES Chapter

A southwest Indiana woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling $290,000 from her Order of the Eastern Star chapter.

From the WLFI Channel 8 website today:

The Evansville Courier & Press reports 37-year-old Susan Hilgeman pleaded guilty Monday to felony charges of forgery and conspiracy to commit theft. Her sentencing is scheduled for April 24, when she could receive up to 11 years in prison for the combined charges.

Hilgeman's mother, 80-year-old Marilee Garrison, is also charged with conspiracy to commit theft in the case and faces a July trial. Both Susan and her mother were officers in Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic women's organization.

Indiana State Police arrested the women last April after a yearlong investigation prompted by other officers in the chapter who contacted police.