"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Museum of the American Revolution In The Works

From The Daily Mail, "Washington's tent among stunning artifacts in first ever museum dedicated to American Revolution" By JAMES NYE:

A priceless collection of American Revolutionary war treasures has been waiting patiently for more than a century for a permanent place to call home. 
Currently held in a secret, nondescript building in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the carefully kept collection will take up residence when the Museum of the American Revolution opens in the City of Brotherly Love's historic district. 
Like an American version of the U.K's Royal Crown Jewels, the collection contains Founding Father George Washington's original tent, which has been compared to an outdoor Oval Office. 
Carefully stacked on shelves, hanging on walls and spread out on tables in a large climate-controlled room are thousands of artifacts from the Revolutionary War. 

They will remain under wraps in their anonymous location until late 2015, when The Museum of the American Revolution opens in Philadelphia's historic district. 'We're still finding things,' curator R. Scott Stephenson said during a recent behind-the-scenes tour of the Colonial-era cache. 
He recently discovered, as one example, five law books among the hundreds of storage boxes inscribed with the owner's name: Patrick Henry. More digging unearthed estate and auction records verifying the books belonged to the Founding Father known for his 'give me liberty or give me death' speech, and not someone with the same name. 
The collection was started by the Rev. W. Herbert Burk, an Episcopal minister and George Washington enthusiast who founded the Valley Forge Historical Society in the early 1900s. 

That group is the predecessor of the American Revolution Center, a nonprofit and non-partisan group working to raise $150 million to build the 110,000-square-foot museum. 
Earlier this month the Oneida Indian Nation announced a $10 million gift to the museum in honor of Oneidas who fought alongside the Continental Army against British forces.
The donation comes in response to a challenge from Philadelphia media magnate and American Revolution Center chairman H.F. 'Gerry' Lenfest, who last month said if the museum can raise $40 million he will match it. 
Among the roughly 3,000 artifacts waiting in the wings include all manner of muskets and rifles, textiles, cups and canteens, art, books, periodicals and manuscripts. The item that started the whole collection will be a highlight of the museum: General. George Washington's sleeping and office tent. 
The 20-foot-long canvas marquee – a little like an outdoor Oval Office – was purchased in 1909 from Mary Custis Lee, Martha Washington's great-great-granddaughter.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Exhibit at AASR's National Heritage Museum

From the Metro West Daily News yesterday:

What can we learn about Freemasonry from quilts, needlework and rugs made by women with relatives in the secretive order?
Aimee Newall, curator of collections at the National Heritage Museum, will discuss the new exhibit she organized, "Threads of Brotherhood: Masonic Quilts and Textiles,'' Saturday, July 28 at, at the Lexington museum.
Starting at 2 p.m., this free talk will explore how women demonstrated their familiarity with Masonic values through their needles while leaving behind striking examples of their work.
Organized by Newall, the new show features 25 quilts, coverlets, needlework pictures and hooked rugs from the museum's collection which is likely the largest of its kind in the country.
She said the exhibit will appeal to non-Masons and Masons because "it tells a compelling story of connected lives and shared values."
Known also as the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, it is located at 33 Marrett Road, Lexington. For information call 781-861-6559 or visit www.nationalheritagemuseum.org.

Fraternal Ties

When I was in Toronto last week, Brother John Paul Gomez made me a gift of one of his beautiful ties from FraternalTies.com (his Canadian Freemason design). These ties are superbly designed and well-crafted, and all of them are unique. I strongly recommend Brother Gomez' work. You can't go wrong making yourself a gift of one, or directing your spouse to his website for that special "What do I buy for a Mason?" event.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Pennsylvania MM Degree in Indiana in September

On September 15, 2012, Mt. Moriah Lodge #77 will host a very special day. The Grand Masters Lodge in Pennsylvania, Butler Lodge #272 will travel to Mt. Moriah Lodge in Anderson, Indiana to exemplify, or, if their candidate can make it, actually confer the Master Mason Degree on a candidate from PA. The last time a Lodge from Pennsylvania came to Indiana to exemplify their work was during PGM Denny Herrells’ year, 2005-2006 at Howard Lodge #90.
Reservations for dinner and attendance are a must and can be made by contacting Mt Moriah’s Worshipful Master, Brother John Mathews at mailman7@comcast.net or by calling (765)642-8951 and leaving a full message. Your Ladies are invited to dinner should they wish to attend and just mention that in your RSVP for the event.
Lodge will open at 2:30pm with dinner at approximately 5:30pm if your Lady should attend. The Brethren from PA typically wear formal tails! Let us show our appreciation by wearing coats and ties for this event.

XII World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges in India

The XII World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges will be held November 22nd-25th, 2012 in at the Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay, Mamallapuram, Chennai, India. The theme of the conference will be "the role of Freemasonry in universal peacekeeping."

It will be held in conjunction with the 51st Grand Festival of the Grand Lodge of India.

See the website here for more information and registration.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Edict Against Shriners in Michigan To Be Lifted

Mike Spensley, Potentate of Moslem Shrine in Michigan, reports that Dean Barr, Most Worshipful Grand Master of the State of Michigan and Alan Madsen Imperial Potentate of Shriners International have met today. The Grand Master has agreed to lift the edict over Michigan Shriners immediately.

Click here for background on this story.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Serbian Grand Lodges to Merge and Open University

Proposed Masonic Center in Belgrade

From a Serbian website on July 1st, written by Marko Lopusina, very roughly translated by Google:
"Freemasons To Run University"

At the annual conference of the United Grand Lodges of Serbia (UVLS) in Belgrade, gave the 400 delegates the approval for the construction of the first Mason University, and to start the process of unification of Serbian Masonry.
"We agreed that one of our mission, which will contribute to progress and UVLS, but our society is the establishment of a higher education institution where professors and lecturers will be Serbian Masons and brothers from abroad. For students, we provide scholarships," says Vladimir Markovic, a master UVLS. "The goal is to educate the Masons, to raise the quality of education in Serbia and help stop the "brain drain" in the world. We have adopted the project of building an entire Masonic complex in which we make our first university." 
It is planned that in Belgrade next year to work in rented premises, the Academy of Arts begins, and that by 2017. University Masonic building with boarding. It will be the only public institution of the fraternity of Freemasons in the Balkans and in many ways unique in the world. The United Grand Lodge of Serbia was created in June 2006. as a regular, independent and sovereign Masonic organization, under its protection has 20 lodges in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Loznica, Krusevac, Zrenjanin. 
The only constant has its temples in Vozdovac in Novi Sad. "We realized that weaknesses in education were a major cause of the disunity of Serbian Freemasonry. We want you to better educate young people and realize the process of unification of Serbian Freemasonry," Markovic said. In his view, the essence of Freemasonry is a royal art creation, kindness and humanity. True Masons are good men with virtues, says Markovic, for example the writer Milorad Pavic, who was "a beautiful and noble brother." UVLS has already begun a dialogue with the Regular Grand Lodge of Serbia (RVLS) to pool together and create a unified Serbian grand lodge, in order to comply with the principle of brotherhood that exists in one state's one single, large lodge.  
"For the compilation, we got the support of five of the United Grand Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Germany and Austria. Their brothers will be the mediators of the agreement and the members UVLS RVLS, as the only two legitimate grand lodges in Serbia," Vladimir Markovic reveals. The first talks will begin in August. The process of unification of Serbian Freemasonry provides that UVLS and RVLS, which have 500 active members, will first first exchange recognition, and then adopt a new name and a unique constitution. 
Grand Master Vladimir S. Markovic is a businessman from Belgrade. Born in 1962. year. For the grand master was elected to the Assembly UVLS 2007th year. In Masonic circles he is known as an advocate of unification the Masonic grand lodges. He is married with three children.

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Indy’s Freemason’s Hall

Indiana Freemason's Hall is featured this week on the Historic Indianapolis website, written by Tiffany Benedict Berkson. See 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Indy’s Freemason’s Hall

The video below aired on WISH-TV 8.

41st Annual Eblen's Cave Degree, Kingston, TN

The 2012 Eblen's Cave Degree will be held this year August 17th and 18th in Kingston, Tennessee, hosted by Union Lodge No. 38. This year's event will feature a Florida degree team putting on the FC degree, and the Mississippi Masonic Mountain Man Degree Team will perform the MM degree.

From the website:

The MMMM degree team exemplifies the work in all three degrees and utilizes a maximum of 24 active members with each member having a unique number which reflects their election order to membership on the team. Said number is unique and retires with the member at death or after completion of or retirement from the team. The team has done work throughout the south and over 4,500 masons have witnessed the work to date. All members are Past Masters and four members are Mississippi Past Grand Masters.
The MMMM hold an annual rendezvous the last Saturday in January at the converse of Martin and Rocky Creeks on a high hill in South Jones County, Mississippi where activities include tomahawk throws, knife throws, over the log musket shoots, frying pan toss, mountain man traders and other pre 1840 rendezvous reenactment activities.
After an enjoyable Saturday of activities including a full meal typically of whole hog with all the trimmings, the team confers the MM degree under the canopy of heaven by campfire light after dark. This work is done as all our work in complete mountain man regalia with our masonic mountain men forefathers in mind. The mountain man era began with Brothers Lewis and Clark with the Great Expedition in 1804 until the last rendezvous along the Green River in Wyoming in 1840.
Come witness and enjoy the Degree Team as they exemplify this Great Work! Its like stepping back in time.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grand Lodge of Ontario

I'm on the road again this week, and I'll be speaking at the Grand Lodge of Canada AF&AM in the Province of Ontario's annual communication in Toronto on Wednesday, July 18th at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Looking forward to seeing my Canadian brethren!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Illustrious Brother Ernest Borgnine 33° R.I.P.

Illustrious Brother Ernest Borgnine 33° passed to the celestial lodge today at the age of 95.

From ABC News:

Ernest Borgnine, the beefy screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the best-actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in "Marty" in 1955, died Sunday. He was 95.

His longtime spokesman, Harry Flynn, told The Associated Press that Borgnine died of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his wife and children at his side.

Brother Borgnine was a member of Hollywood Lodge No. 355, and a 33rd° Scottish Rite Mason in the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction. In 2000, he received his 50-year pin as a Freemason in Abingdon Lodge No. 48, Abingdon, Virginia. He joined the Scottish Rite Valley of Los Angeles in 1964, received the KCCH in 1979, was coroneted a 33° Inspector General Honorary in 1983, and received the Grand Cross of the Court of Honour in 1991.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

June Poll Results: Why Did You Become A Mason?

The results of the June poll are as follows, and I find them very interesting, especially for anyone who thinks that charity is the overriding mission of the fraternity:

Why did you become a Mason?

  354 (35%)
Esoteric Interest
  355 (35%)
  30 (3%)
Family tradition
  177 (17%)
  79 (7%)

Total Votes: 995 

Thanks to Florida and Iowa Brethren

Many thanks to the brethren of Iowa and the Des Moines Consistory of the Scottish Rite for their warm hospitality this past weekend at the Iowa Leadership Symposium. I was joined by Bob Davis, Brent Morris and Tom Wilkerson as the speakers for this fun and informative day, which culminated in a Warden's training workshop. Special thanks to Grand Master Jerry Levay, Ill. Shane Harshbarger and to all of the brethren who made this an outstanding day.

The previous weekend I was the speaker at Winter Park Lodge No. 239  in Winter Park, Florida for their annual St. John's Day event, honoring the new Grand Junior Warden. It is truly a one of a kind presentation every year and was a unique experience. My deepest appreciation to the brethren in Florida, especially Christopher Chag, Willie B. Erd, Ill. Chet King, and  Grand Master Jorge Aladro.

Tomorrow morning I'll be speaking at Monroe Lodge No. 22 in Bloomington, Indiana at 7AM for their annual 4th of July MM degree day. Then I'm off for four days to see my dad in Savannah, Georgia.

Photo: Kurt Hoffman