Because I haven't been at Masonic Week in the last couple of years, I've been late to spread the word about an organization that is dear to my heart. The ninth annual meeting of the Masonic Society was held in Arlington, Virginia last week and the new officers were elected who will steer the organization into its second decade of life.
The Masonic Society celebrates the tenth anniversary of its official founding on May 1st, 2018, but it first began as a barstool conversation earlier that February at Masonic Week by a couple of brethren frustrated with the status quo of research groups at the time. Since then, it has gone on to great achievements and successes.
On February 10th, Patrick Craddock was elected as the Society's President. He is a Past Master of Conlegium Ritus Austeri No. 779 in Nashville, Tennessee, but many of you may know Patrick as the proprietor behind the Craftsman's Apron, a unique supplier of bespoke Masonic regalia in the United States. Patrick is a longstanding expert on historical Masonic aprons along with being a talented artist, and his original creations are the best hand crafted aprons you will find anywhere. He is also a dedicated historian and scholar, and he will be an outstanding leader for the Society.
Jay Hochberg was elected as First Vice President, and if you don't know Jay personally, you may have encountered his long-running blog, the Magpie Mason. He is a tireless worker in the quarries of the fraternity, and extraordinarily active especially in the northeastern states.
Oscar Alleyne of New York rounds out the top three spots as Second Vice President. A brilliant scholar, Oscar is one of those active, enthusiastic, inquisitive Masons who always seems to be everywhere you turn, even overseas, and he is indefatigable.
The combined knowledge and experience of these brethren make a formidable team for the Masonic Society going forward. I'm looking forward to the next decade and what it brings.
Michael Poll continues as the Editor of the Journal of the Masonic Society, along with John Bridegroom as the art director for the finest Masonic magazine in the world; and Nathan Brindle remains as our Secretary/Treasurer. Nathan has done this thankless job since our very beginning, and it is a seriously time consuming position we stuck him with. These brethren are the cornerstone of our organization and deserve our deepest gratitude.
The keynote speaker at the annual banquet this year was Eric Diamond from Chicago. You may recognize Eric from his podcast Xoriente, which has been airing for as long as I can remember such a thing as podcasts being around. He was certainly among the very first Masonic podcasters in the U.S. According to Jay's report from the evening, "Eric spoke of the need for today’s Freemason to assert himself in the public square to help society sidestep the perils of what is known as the “Dark Enlightenment,” not unlike how our Masonic ancestors brought the Enlightenment to English, French, and American life centuries ago."
The following Fellows were selected for the year:
Finally, congratulations, thoughts and prayers go out to my friend, fellow Lodge Vitruvian member, and brother Ken Davis, our outgoing President. Like Roger Van Gorden, Jim Dillman, Nathan Brindle and I, Ken was part of the "Indiana Masonic Mafia" that helped to mold the Society in the beginning. Ken and his wife Betty retired and moved to New Mexico in recent years, and he became every bit as active Masonically there as he was in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, in recent months, Ken has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and now must do battle with that damned disease. He was unable to attend the annual meeting this year. All of us wish him godspeed, and he has our gratitude for all he has done to advance the goals of the Society.
Not a member of the Masonic Society? For full memberships or a subscription to the Journal, visit the website at www.themasonicsociety.com