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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rubicon Masonic Dinner Club, Lexington, KY 8/14

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, the Rubicon Masonic Dinner Club will hold its 2nd annual Festive Board in Lexington, Kentucky, featuring Worshipful Brother Andrew Hammer as the guest speaker. It will be held at Spindletop Hall, 3414 Iron Works Pike in Lexington. The reception begins at 6:30PM, and dinner will begi at 7:45PM. Black tie optional, coat and tie required.

Reserve your seat by sending your name, lodge affiliation, telephone, e-mail, address and check for $100 to: RMDC, PO Box 21836, Lexington, KY 40522-18236. For more information see The Craftsman website at www.thecraftsman.org.

Worshipful Brother Hammer is the Past Master of Alexandria-Wahington Lodge No. 22 in Alexandria, Virginia, and the author of Observing the Craft.

This event takes place on the Thursday prior to the Masonic Restoration Foundation Symposium inCincinnati, and attendees are invited to join Rubicon for dinner. Lexington is about 90 miles south of Cincinnati, and Sprindletop hall is located about a mile east of I-75 South at the Kentucky Horse Park exit.

My Apologies to My Kentucky Brethren

I was scheduled to speak at the William O. Ware Lodge of Research in Covington, KY last night. On the drive over I lost the serpentine belt on the Dummies wagon, and it took nearly three hours to get a tow to the nearest dealer. Fortunately I was only about 25 minutes out of Covington. Master Rob Smith came to my rescue and met me at the dealership. He got me to the lodge by 9:00PM and I got to give my speech to the 30 or so brethren who stayed to wait. My heartfelt thanks to Worshipful Brother Rob and to the brethren who stayed, and their warm hospitality. My deepest apologies to those who couldn't remain. Believe me, I was just as upset as you, if not more so. There's nothing more frustrating than car trouble and the helplessness one feels while at the mercy of emergency road service in an unfamiliar part of the country.

I'm waiting now at the dealership in West Harrison, Indiana. As an added bonus, the hood wouldn't open, so they had to remove the grille to get it open. Oh, and they found a tire that needs to be replaced. This is going to be an expensive trip. Arrgh.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Freemasonry in France

Getting ready to head for Cincinnati, but I just came across this article in Bloomberg about French Freemasonry:

Magazines and newspapers all have stories they run in one form or another, year in, year out. The details may differ, but the stories are largely the same everywhere, striking universal chords of sex, health, and money. A few of these perennials, however, don’t travel. They drill deep into one country’s psyche while everyone else scratches their head and says, “Huh?”
In France, the story that keeps coming back is about Freemasons. It’s everywhere. Most big French magazines run at least one big Freemason cover a year. Books dissect the “state within a state,” to borrow from a recent title. Blogs abound.
“France has several of these marronniers—chestnuts,” says Alain Bauer, former grand master of France’s Grand Orient lodge and president Nicolas Sarkozy’s Masonic liaison. “There’s real estate prices and there’s how to cure headaches, and then there’s Freemasons. The ultimate French magazine story is a Freemason with a headache who’s moving. We don’t like these stories, but at the same time, we love them, because they make us feel like we’re still important.”

Read more here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

William O. Ware Lodge of Research, Covington, KY July 30th

I'll be speaking at the William O. Ware Lodge of Research No. 999 in Covington, Kentucky (just outside of Cincinnati) on July 30th at 7:30. Looking forward to it!

Meanwhile, Alice and I will be in San Antonio, TX this week for the Romance Writers of America convention.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kansas City, MO Scottish Rite Temple Radio Interview

Catch the radio interview on KCUR in Kansas City, MO about the history of the Kansas City Scottish Rite Temple. Featured are Will Moore, author of Masonic Temples, and Bob Harmon, personal representative of the SGIG Valley of Kansas City.

Click here.

Former Treasurer Accused of Stealing $37,000 From Wisconsin Lodge

An Omro man accused of taking funds from the Omro Masons and using them to renovate his residence is now facing criminal charges.
From the Northwestern.com website in Wisconsin:
John R. Hoeft, 64, is charged in Winnebago County Circuit Court with theft from a business setting of more than $10,000. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison and $25,000.
According to the criminal complaint, Hoeft was the treasurer for the Masonic Lodge in Omro when the organization's charter was stripped it was taken over by the Royal Arch Masons State Chapter due to low enrollment. In the process, the Omro chapter's financial records were examined and it was discovered nearly $40,000 was missing.
Further examination revealed that between August 2011 and October 2012, nine checks were written to either Hoeft or JRH Promotions, Hoeft's business. The checks totaled $36,893. The checks were all signed by Hoeft and three were also signed by Raymond Hoeft, who was also a member of the organization.
When police spoke with a trustee of the Omro Masons, he said membership was so low, only the Hoefts and himself were present at meetings and no financial decisions were made. He said the checks were never approved.
Hoeft told police he became aware in June 2012 that the Omro Masons would be losing their charter due to low enrollment He said over the course of one-and-a-half years, he deposited money into his account or the JRH Promotions account from the Omro Mason's account to pay for renovations on his house, mostly for windows and doors.
Hoeft acknowledged he did not have the Mason's permission to use the money for renovations. He also told police that although his father, Raymond Hoeft, pre-signed the checks, he did not know what they were used for. Raymond Hoeft died in December 2012.
Hoeft will make his first court appearance on July 28.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Masonic Society and Philalethes Team Up Sept. 13th, 2014

The Masonic Society and The Philalethes Society will co-sponsor a Masonic symposium on September 13, 2014 to be held at the Valley of Chicago Scottish Rite Cathedral in Bloomingdale, IL. The symposium will feature four presentations and will conclude with a banquet that evening. Scheduled to make presentations are Alton Roundtree, Editor of The Phylaxis , Shawn Eyer, Editor of The Philalethes Society Maganzine, Steven Harrison, Editor of The Missouri Freemason, and Mark Robbins, Education Officer for the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. Andrew Hammer, author of Observing the Craft, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
Registration is $15.00, which includes a Continental breakfast, and all Freemasons are invited. The catering for the banquet is still being arranged and the ticket price and menu will be available within a few days. Registration for the symposium will begin on Friday, July 18 and will be available only at the Eventbrite website below. There will be no mail or telephone reservations available.
Within a few days, there will be a webpage that will provide all of the details including more extensive biographies of the presenters and a brief synopsis of their presentations. This will be an enjoyable day of education and fellowship. There will be one hundred reservations available. Please share this information with your brethren and Masonic organizations.