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


Sunday, December 18, 2022

UPDATED 1/6/2023: Illus. Dr. Rex R. Hutchens Passes Away; Celebration of Life Announced

by Christopher Hodapp

Freemasonry has lost another of our legendary giants. Word has come today that Illus. Rex R. Hutchens, 33°, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Arizona in 2006, and author of A Bridge To Light, has passed away. 

I first met Rex in person back in 2010 at the Rocky Mountain Masonic Conference in Albuquerque when Art DeHoyos, Rex and I were the speakers for the program – you can see from this group photo of the three of us that I was at least allowed to be in the same room with this powerhouse pair of brain boxes. 

Rex's reputation for speaking exactly what was on his mind was well-deserved: after my presentation, he observed, "Well, I guess you really aren't a dumbass, after all."

Praise indeed from Rex. 

I have no obituary or details of funeral arrangements yet, but I will attempt to update this post as I receive them – I'm guessing Monday at the soonest when businesses reopen. We are currently sitting in Shamrock, Texas with spotty Internet access as we head for our annual Christmas gathering in Southern California, but I will post details as soon as possible.

His column is broken and his brethren mourn.

Requiescat in pace.


I've still not come across any death announcement, obituary or funeral arrangements for Rex Hutchens. However, MW James Baker, Grand Master for the Grand Lodge of Arizona posted the following message back on December 19th announcing Rex's death:

To: Grand Lodge of F. & A.M. of Arizona
RE: WM Rex Hutchens enters Celestial Lodge
It is my sad duty to announce officially the death of M.W. Rex R. Hutchens, the 2006 Grand Master of the Grand Lodge
F. & A.M. of Arizona, on December 17, 2022. We are blessed to Jive in a jurisdiction, a Nation, and a world, that have been shaped by, and the vision of M.W. Rex Hutchens.
In 1982, Rex was Initiated, Passed, and Raised in Epes Randolph Lodge No. 32 and went on to serve that lodge in l 989 as its Master. He joined Adobe Lodge No. 41 in 1988, serving that Lodge as Master in I989, 2008, and 2011.
M.W. Hutchens has served the Craft in more ways than could ever be limited to a list. He served as Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of Cuba, Grand Orator in 1992, Grand Chaplain in 1993, and was in numerous committees over the years. He was appointed to the Grand Line in 1999 by M.W. Donald Monson and served as Grand Master F. & A.M. of Arizona in 2006.
He was Deputy for Arizona of the Supreme Council of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, USA, Past Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of Arizona (1997), Past Grand Master of Royal & Select Masters of Arizona (2004), and Past Grand Commander of Knights Templar of Arizona (2007). He was in the Knights of the York Cross of Honor and recipient of the Knight of the York Grand Cross of Honor (Four Quadrants), a Knight Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine, a Board Member for the Scottish Rite Research Society, a Fellow of the Philalethes Society, a Founding Fellow of the Masonic Society, a Friar of the Society of Blue Friars, and recipient of the Knight Grand Cross in the Grand College of Rites.
M.W. Hutchens was a philosopher, a researcher and writer, authoring many papers and books including A Bridge To Light, A Study in Masonic Ritual & Philosophy. He was known to say that the greatest gift that one man could bestow upon another was knowledge.
As a mark of respect for M.W. Hutchens and his life of service to our Craft, I hereby order. by the authority vested in me as Grand Master of F. &A.M. of Arizona by the Constitution of the Grand Lodge that each Lodge in our Jurisdiction observes a moment of silence m his memory at their January Stated meeting.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF. I have hereunto set my band this seventeenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and Anno Lucis 6022.
Fraternally and sincerely,
Jim Baker
Grand Master, 2022-2023
Grand Lodge of Arizona, F&AM



The Grand Master of Arizona has officially announced that a Celebration of Life for Rex Hutchens will be held January 22nd, 2023 in the Red Room of the Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Avenue, Tucson, Arizona, beginning at 1:00PM.


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Masonic Week Feb 8-12, 2023

by Christopher Hodapp

The website for making reservations for the 2023 AMD Masonic Week is up and running. This year's festivities will be held February 8th -12th, once again at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia (a mere cocktail glass' throw from Reagan International Airport, across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.).

Eighteen Masonic appendant bodies, invitational groups, research organizations, and others will be holding their annual meetings, degree conferrals, elections, banquets, speeches, and other assorted sundry activities. There is also always a healthy dose of Masonic product vendors on hand. 

The direct link to reserve a room at the Hyatt with the convention rate is HERE.

If you've never been to Masonic Week before, the real benefit of going is that it is the largest concentration of seriously proactive Masons from across the country and around the world you'll find on an annual basis, along with many of the best known Masonic researchers, authors, editors, and other personalities. While the bulk of the groups holding their meetings and ceremonies require existing York Rite membership as a precondition for their own admission (and some are invitational only), you will still find plenty to keep you more than occupied for these three and a half days, even if you're not a member of any of those groups. And there is as much to be absorbed in the hallways, at the bar, or in the hospitality rooms as in the meetings themselves. Make new friendships from around the world, and rekindle old ones. Be sure to bring plenty of filthy lucre as there will be numerous vendors on hand to separate you from your hard-earned simoleons.

On a selfish note, I'll announce the annual Masonic Society Dinner on Friday, February 10th, 2023. Our guest speaker will be Brother Robert Dupel who is the Sovereign Grand Master of the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of Canada as well as the Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Quebec. The tantalizing title of his talk is “It’s About Me” which promises to be a refreshing approach to a tantalizing subject.

If you've never been to the Washington, D.C. area before, this is the perfect excuse to go. I will tell you from experience that there is a 50/50 chance of the weather either bringing three feet of blowing snow, or 70 degree sun-drenched days. Sometimes both. That's just Washington in February. (Pack your toothbrush and an extra set of underwear in your carry-on bag in case your flights get canceled. Old hands know this.) But add a day to your trip to sightsee, and be sure you visit the Scottish Rite's House of the Temple no later than Thursday, because it is CLOSED Fridays and weekends. Visit the Capitol, the monuments, the Smithsonian, the unique Egyptian-themed Potomac Lodge, and much more. Have drinks and cigars at the Old Ebbitt Grill around the corner from the White House (you'll find Masons there nearly any night that week). Or go the other direction to Alexandria and visit the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, and have dinner at Gadsby's Tavern. There's no shortage of historic sites tied to Masons concentrated in the area.

Historically, Masonic Week was long tied to the scheduling of the annual Conference of Grand Masters (COGMMNA), which was scheduled, in turn, to coincide with George Washington's Birthday. That was back in the days when the Grand Masters met every year in Washington D.C. at this time. Consequently, Masonic Week would happen the weekend before at the venerable Hotel Washington, which sat in the shadow of the White House. But sometime in the early 1990s, that connection got frayed by the Grand Masters taking their annual meetings on the road and cycling around the country. Still, Masonic Week has always tried to arrange itself to happen the weekend before, or thereabouts. Weather in D.C., the Super Bowl, and other factors have put pressure on organizers over the years, but after this year's Masonic Week, the COGMMNA will return to the Washington area, at the nearby Crystal Gateway Marriott, also in Arlington.

Coinciding with THAT event, the George Washington National Masonic Memorial will also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the laying of its cornerstone on Monday, February 20th.

Indiana Masons are excited to know that one of our own members, Brother Tyler Whittaker, is an operative mason from Muncie, and he has created a new cornerstone to celebrate the occasion that will be dedicated at that Monday event. (Tyler will be making a live presentation at the Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research in Indianapolis following the Grand Lodge of Indiana's annual Founder's Day festivities on January 14th.)