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


Friday, January 06, 2017

A Bad Start

While 2016 certainly cut a mighty swath through the cultural icons of my youth, now 2017 is not getting off to a great start around here among my Masonic friends. The Celestial Lodge has way too many new members today, and the week isn't even over yet. 

I'm not so hot about the new year at the moment.

John Cooper reported the death on New Year's Day of Bro. Joel Springer, a past president of the Philalethes Society, and Dean of the Fellows of the Society at the time of his death. Bro. Joel served Freemasonry in many capacities, including five years as the Assistant Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of California. When I received the news, I glanced over my desk and my eyes landed on a Philalethes Award of Merit handed to me by Joel in 2003, of which I was truly proud. I had only been a Mason for a little over four years, and was surrounded by Masons of whom I was in awe at the time. So, that little piece of paper meant an awful lot to me that day. 

His Masonic memorial service will be held at the hall of Calaveras Lodge 78, in San Andreas, California, on Thursday, January 19, at 7:00 p.m.

On January 2nd, Illus. Gene Lackey 
passed away at the age of 90. Gene was Past Master (1985) and longtime treasurer of Pentalpha Lodge 564 here in Indianapolis. He was a friend to all who met him, and was known far and wide. My understanding is that Gene's Masonic funeral service will begin Saturday, January 7th, at 1PM at Feeney-Hornak Shadeland Mortuary here in Indianapolis. Because so many brethren are expected to take part, the lodge has asked Masons to please bring their own white gloves and aprons if possible.

On Thursday, Illus. James Guffey, Past Master of Millersville Lodge 126 (1994) in Indianapolis passed away. I have I've known Jim almost from the very start of my Masonic life, and many of the Masons who go back to the old Compuserve Masonry Forum may remember him from those early days of the web. I met him at one of my first meetings at Broad Ripple Lodge in 1999. Once we started holding our stateds in the dining room as table lodges under Roger Van Gorden, Jim became a very regular visitor almost every month. 

When we first formed Lodge Vitruvian under dispensation in 2001, Jim was one of our founding members because he believed very strongly in what we were trying to accomplish at that time. In the tumult of 2004-5, he stepped in and served as my Treasurer when we were in dire straits. He only dropped his membership with us after he and his wife moved to Florida. As WB Jeff Naylor observed yesterday, Jim was a good friend who provided kindness and respect at a moment in time when it was in short supply. He truly understood and lived by his obligation with honor. 

Jim's Masonic memorial service will be at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, January 10 at Flanner and Buchanan, 325 E. Carmel Drive, Carmel, IN. A 33rd Degree white carnation ceremony is to immediately follow the Masonic service.

And this afternoon, Billy Koon sent along the terribly shocking news that WBro. Makia Pai died suddenly at the age of 51 yesterday. 

He was a member of lodges in both Hawaii and Pennsylvania, including Fairless Hills Lodge No. 776 located in Fairless Hills, PA. He served the Scottish Rite Valley of Trenton, NJ as Most Wise Master of the Trenton Chapter of Rose Croix in 2015. 

I met Makia in 2010 when he was Commander of his Kensington-Kadosh Commandery 54 in Pennsylvania, and he was a good friend ever since. Over the next couple of years, he went through the fire with a very special group of us. 

My sincerest and deepest condolences to all of the spouses and families of these four fine men. We need many, many more Masons exactly like every single one of these outstanding and honorable gentlemen with whom I had the privilege of sharing time, however fleeting. I wish to God it had been longer. 

Their brethren do indeed mourn.

1 comment:

  1. Glen Cook informs me that racing cyclist, jazz musician, author, scuba diver, and photographer Leo Zanelli passed away on January 4th. He served as editor of “The Square” magazine for 15 years, and authored many articles on the subject of Masonry. Brother Leo was initiated into the Italia Lodge, reputed to be the only Italian-speaking Lodge in the UGLE.


    The week only gets worse.


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