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


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Speaking Masonic Week

I'll be speaking in the Washington, D.C. area during Masonic Week. On the evening of Tuesday, February 5th, I'll be at Patriot Lodge No. 1957 at Henry Masonic Temple, 10503 Oak Place, in Fairfax, Virginia.

Then, on Thursday, February 7th, I'll be speaking at the Rosicrucian banquet at the Reston Hyatt near Dulles Airport at 7:00PM, as part of the official Masonic Week festivities.

WB Alton G. Roundtree Spring 2013 Truman Lecturer

Alton G. Roundtree will speak on the history and development of Prince Hall Freemasonry as the Spring 2013 Truman Lecturer on Saturday, May 4th, 2013. His presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. Grand Lodge Complex, Columbia, MO. $20 lunch and lecture.

Alton is, along with Paul M. Bessel, author of the bestseller and internationally acclaimed book, "Out of the Shadows: The Emergence of Prince Hall Freemasonry in America (Over 225 Years of Endurance)." He is also author of The National Grand Lodge and Prince Hall Freemasonry: The Untold Truth. Alton is in the process of completing a book on the history (Prince Hall Freemasonry in the District of Columbia – 1822-2012: History of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge) of Prince Hall Freemasonry in the District of Columbia. He is also in the process of completing a book on the History of the Prince Hall Conference of Grand Masters.

Alton G. Roundtree is the President of KLR Publishing. Alton retired from the United States Air Force after a 20 year career. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked for the Mitre Corporation and Northrup Grumman.

Alton has received accolades from around the world as Editor of the award-winning Prince Hall Masonic Digest, a 48-page quarterly Masonic newspaper, which world-class writer Dr. S. Brent Morris referred to as among the best Masonic publications in the world." He has written many articles for the Prince Hall Masonic Digest. Alton is also the new editor of the Phylaxis Magazine.

Alton began his editorial and publishing career in the United States Air Force where he acquired his skills in editing, publishing and printing. On several Air Force assignments around the country and world he was Chief of the Publishing Division. Alton wrote and edited numerous Air Force publications.

A voracious reader and researcher, Alton has written numerous articles published in local newspapers, among them a Masonic column in the popular Washington-Afro-American newspaper chain. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota in Duluth; a Masters degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.; and worked on a Ph.D. at American University in Washington, D.C.

Alton has been invited to speak at a number of conventions and meetings including the Philalethes Society, Phylaxis Society, Blue Friars, and Academy of Masonic Knowledge of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

Alton was raised a Master Mason in 1978, and in 1991 he became Worshipful Master of Redemption Lodge No. 24, the largest Lodge in the Washington, D.C. Prince Hall Jurisdiction. His Lodge was named Lodge of the Year under his stewardship. Soon afterward he held several key positions in the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, among them: Computer Systems Officer, Director of Public Relations, Chairman of the Information Management Committee, Assistant Grand Secretary, Director of the Computer Training Center, Editor of the Masonic Digest, and Vice Chairman of the Prince Hall Recognition Committee. He has received numerous awards from the Grand Lodge including Master Mason of the Year, Journalistic Excellence Award, Perfect Ashlar Award and many superior service awards. In 2010, Alton received the Prince Hall Grand Lodge’s highest award, The S. Matthew Hendershott Award. He is also a member of the Jonathan Davis Consistory No. 1, Mecca Temple No. 10 (Shriners), Mt. Vernon Chapter No. 1 (Holy Royal Arch Masons), Henderson Commandery, and Redemption Chapter No. 14 of the Order of Eastern Star. He is a 33rd Degree Mason.

As vice chairman of the Recognition Committee, Alton has been at the table with District of Columbia mainstream Masons for Prince Hall Recognition on three occasions; the Grand Lodges, Holy Royal Arch Masons, and Cryptic Masons.

Alton was Worshipful Master (2009-2012) of the David A. McWilliams, Sr. Research & Education Lodge of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.

Alton is a member of two distinguished Masonic Groups, Society of Blue Friars (2011) and Masonic Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not (2008). Other affiliations include the Philalethes Society, Masonic Society (Fellow), and Phylaxis Society (Fellow).

For tickets, click here:

South Carolina Suspends Relations With Shriners International

MW Jay Adam Pearson, Grand Master of South Carolina, has now fired a broadside at the Imperial Shrine, joining Arkansas. Because of the Shrine's refusal to expel Masons who have been suspended or expelled by their grand lodges, he has issued the following edict:

"Effective immediately, no Mason in the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient free Masons of South Carolina shall attend or participate in any Shrine Ceremonial, Club, and Unit meeting to include the 2013 Imperial Session of Shriners International to be held in Indianapolis Indiana with expelled masons present...Failure to obey will result in expulsion from Freemasonry and all organizations which Masonic membership is predicated."

Click images to enlarge.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dignified Lodge Practices Approved in Colorado

Karl J. Hinkle, Grand Master of Colorado, has issued an official decision encouraging chambers of reflection, processions and chains of union. According to Grand Master Hinkle,

Some have raised objections to these practices, voicing various objections. These practices do not constitute "innovations in the body of Masonry," as some have asserted. Nor are they the "property" of other appendant and concordant organizations.

Therefore, it is my Decision that practices to include, but not be limited to, chambers of reflection, processions of officers and brethren into and out of a Lodge room, and chains of union are authorized in the Grand Lodge of Colorado. Indeed, these practices and similar observances are to be encouraged, as they dignify and adorn the Masonic experience of our brethren. They are to be decidedly Masonic in content, character, or style. In order not to conflict with the ritual as authorized by the Custodians of the Work, these embellishments are to be conducted prior to the opening gavel rap or after the closing gavel rap of a Lodge meeting. Were the Custodians of the Work to revise the ritual at some future date to include any such practices or observances, and the grand Lodge were to adopt such revisions, such would become a part of the approved ritual."

Click image to enlarge. H/T to Cliff Porter.

Masonic Society Annual Meeting and Banquet Looming Fast

The intrepid Secretary of the Masonic Society, Nathan Brindle, reminds me that the deadline for purchasing tickets to our 5th Annual Meeting and Banquet at Masonic Week 2013 is rapidly approaching. If you're interested in attending and haven't yet purchased a ticket, please go to http://yorkrite.org/MasonicWeek IMMEDIATELY to do so. The organizers must receive your check before January 31, 2013.

There won't be any tickets available at the door, so this is the time and this is the place.

The event will be at the Reston Hyatt in Reston, Virginia on Friday, February 8th.

Our speaker will be Andrew Hammer, author of Observing The Craft.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rectified Rite of the Grand Encampment Officially Disbanded

Most Eminant Grand Master David D. Goodwin of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States has issued General Order No. 4, officially folding the tent of the Rectified Rite (CBCS). As a member of the RER, I am gravely disappointed in this development, and am saddened that both sides could not come to a settlement that would have allowed both of the groups to coexist.

So who do I write to to get my $700 back?

Click image to enlarge.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

St. John's Bible

My friend Piers Vaughan, Master of New York's St. John's Lodge No. 1, is interviewed by CBS for the famous bible used by George Washington at the first inaugural.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

University Lodge, Austin, TX

I will be speaking tonight at University Lodge No. 1190 in Austin, TX, located at 311 West 7th Street. It is their fourth annual Festive Board. For information contact WM Roger Glick.

CORRECTION: This event wil be at the Austin Club at 6:00PM

Monday, January 07, 2013

Iberian Center for Masonic Studies International Competition

The Iberian Center for Masonic Studies (CIEM) calls all Spanish, Portuguese, English and French speaking masons to participate in the First International Competition of Masonic Essay, which will take place in 2013.

The aim of this competition is to promote the investigation of the following themes:

the historical development of the Masonic Order;
the intrinsic values of Freemasonry;
the defense and preservation of our patrimony.

1. The competition is open to all Masons, without distinction.

2. The official languages of the competition are Spanish, Portuguese, English and French.

3. The essays presented must be unpublished and three printed copies are to be sent, double-spaced, typed in 12-point Times Font, in letter-sized sheets. Also, the electronic file must be enclosed in a compact disc.

4. The essays should not exceed 10.000 words.

5. The essays should begin on the second page. This page and all the following should not contain information susceptible of identifying the author.

6. The essays should appear undersigned with a pseudonym, enclosing, in another envelope, a card containing the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the author. The envelope will bear the chosen pseudonym. The originals presented will not be returned.

7. The bibliography should be enclosed as an annex with the essay.

8. The authors should include a certificate drawn up by the Secretary of their Lodge, attesting to their affiliation and membership to a Masonic Jurisdiction.

9. The essays should be sent to the following address: Centro Ibérico de Estudios Masónicos (CIEM), Apartado de correos 6.203, 28080 – Madrid (Spain) or via e-mail at: ciem.madrid@gmail.com
10. The deadline for presenting essays is the 1st of December, 2013.
11. The prize will be communicated on the 22nd of December, 2013.
12. The jury, made up by Master Masons, will award a first and only prize consisting of a diploma proving their condition as the winner of the competition, as well as the amount of 250 Euros.
13. The jury may, in the case of it being justified by the quality and interest of other essays, concede an accessit or declare the prize void if the essays do not meet the required quality standards.
14. The essays chosen will be published in the web site www.cienmas.org and transmitted, electronically as well as in print, to the Grand Lodges and the main Masonic institutions.

For further information, contact the Secretariat of the Competition at the following e-mail address: ciem.madrid@gmail.com or by post to the Centro Ibérico de Estudios Masónicos (Iberian Centre for Masonic Studies) CIEM, International Competition of Essay, Apartado de correos 6.203, 28080 – Madrid (España) 

Showdown With The Shrine In South Carolina

Below is a very respectful and detailed (and widely circulated) letter from Jay Adam Pearson, Grand Master of South Carolina to Alan Madsen, Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, requesting Madsen to either remove all suspended South Carolina Masons from the Shrine's rolls or to sever the Masonic connection as an appendant body. The letter speaks for itself. This, in conjunction with the very public mess in Arkansas, could spell the beginning of the separation of the Shrine from Freemasonry. We shall see. (Click each page to enlarge.)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

My Mother Lodge

The officers of my mother lodge, Broad Ripple No. 643 in Indianapolis, were installed yesterday. Congratulations to Matt Scherer, Paul Lee Hargitt, Doug Eckhart, Jacob Mann, Neal Bennett, WM Ben Fuhr, Matthew Griffin, Derek Osgood, Matthew Davis, Tim Brinkmeyer and Michael August Walkup. A fine looking lineup, and remarkably young for a lodge these days. I'm proud of them all.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Grand Lodge of BC&Y: Grand Masonic Day

The Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon and the Vancouver Lodge of Education and Research are sponsoring Grand Masonic Day Saturday, January 19, 2013 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, at 1495 West Eighth Avenue, Vancouver BC.
Offering a diverse range of practical and thought-provoking content, complete with a panel discussion moderated by their Grand Historian, VW Bro. Trevor W. McKeown.

This year's speakers:
W. Bro Adam Kendall
Historian and Curator of the Grand Lodge of California’s Henry Wilson Coil Library &Museum of Freemasonry. “The Aesthetic Traditions of Freemasonry”

Dr. Gordan Djurdjevic,
Simon Fraser University Humanities Department.
“Western and eastern esoteric studies.”

W. Bro Ken Lane
Esoterika Lodge No. 316, Seattle.
“The Chamber of Reflection and the Traditional Observance Lodge Movement”

W. Bro Dalbir Daliwal
“The Forgotten Working Tools of Modern Freemasons.”

W. Bro Wes Regan, Host and panel discussion participant.

Luncheon address to be given by the Junior Grand Warden, RW Bro. Douglas C. Collins

Tickets include morning refreshments and lunch.

$30 advance / $35 at the door,
Tickets available online at http://gmd2013.eventbrite.ca/
or from W. Bro. Wes Regan
Grand Masonic Day Coördinator, wes.regan@shaw.ca  604.805.3591

The Quarry Project September 27-29, 2013

The Masonic Society and the Masonic Library and Museum Association have come together to sponsor The Quarry Project, a conference and workshop on Masonic research and preservation, to be held at the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia on September 27–29, 2013. The conference will draw from both the Masonic and academic communities to provide detailed instruction on Masonic research and the editing of the results. Additionally, a set of voluntary standards for future Masonic research, writing, and editing will be introduced. Professional librarians, museum curators, and experts on display and preservation will provide practical instruction and advice on maintaining and improving Masonic historical repositories. Multiple concurrent presentations will be offered on all three days. A few success stories that will enthuse and inspire you will be mixed in along the way.

Topics will include:

Masonic Research and Writing
Research methods, primary and secondary sources, citations
Writing styles for different publications
Writing for different audiences
Interviewing techniques for oral histories
Recommended publishing standards
Editing quotes, sources, and scripts
Publishing ethics and etiquette

Museums and Archives
Building and using an artifact database
Basic preservation and presentation
Collections policies
Archival preservation

Masonic Libraries and Archives
Cataloging systems – Masonic vs non-Masonic
Online databases – OCLC, WorldCat
Digitizing of proceedings and other materials
Presentation and preservation of printed and written material

Go here for the preliminary schedule and list of participants. The conference is open to anyone interested in Masonic research and preservation, but will be specifically targeted toward two groups: (i) members of Masonic lodges of research as wcll as authors, writers, and researchers, both published and aspiring, and (ii) Masonic librarians and museum curators.