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Friday, February 10, 2023

Blue Friars 79th Consistory WILL Take Place Today 2/10/23

Our late Friars Rex Hutchens (left) and Alain Bernheim (center) seen here 
with Grand Abbott Arturo De Hoyos (right) several years ago.

by Christopher Hodapp

Despite what you may have read in the last week, there WILL be a Consistory held today (Friday February 10th).

Previously, Arturo de Hoyos, the Grand Abbot of The Society of Blue Friars, announced that this year's Consistory and induction of a new Friar has been cancelled. 

The Society was founded in 1932 for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding Masonic authors throughout the world. Traditionally, the Society convenes each year during Masonic Week in the Washington, D.C. vicinity to induct a new Friar, and its gatherings are open to all Master Masons. Each year's Consistory is a highlight of Masonic Week 

Authors like Arthur E. Waite, Harold V.B. Voorhis, Dwight L. Smith, Brent Morris, Allen Roberts, Thomas Jackson, Yasha Beresiner, Alain Bernheim, Robert G. Davis, Alton Roundtree, Michael R. Poll, Robert D. B. Cooper, Josef Wäges and Piers Vaughan are just a few prior Blue Friar honorees. In a rare moment of weakness, they even let a Dummy in.

 Last year's new friar was Adam Kendall, author and editor of the Plumbline, the quarterly publication of the Scottish Rite Research Society. He was named as the 111th Friar of the Society.

In his announcement, the Grand Abbot explained that he wasn't "sufficiently impressed with any Masonic authors over the past year" to name a new Friar for 2023. He also explained that there was an unfortunate convergence this year of conflicting events that prevented him from being in Alexandria this week. 

However, our immediate past Grand Prior, Friar S. Brent Morris, will be opening the Consistory this afternoon at 4:30 p.m., following the meeting of the Grand College of Rites of the USA. In lieu of the traditional presentation of a new Friar's original allocution, I will be presenting a talk on the origins of the Scottish Rite within the intellectual climate of the Age of Enlightenment, originally written in 1995 by our late Friar Rex R. Hutchens, who passed to the Celestial Lodge  in mid-December. (See UPDATED 1/6/2023: Illus. Dr. Rex R. Hutchens Passes Away; Celebration of Life Announced.)

Tragically, our Society lost two esteemed Friars in December.  In addition to Friar Hutchens, Friar Alain Bernheim passed away the day after Christmas in Montreaux, Switzerland at the age of 91.

Alain’s Masonic research spans more than 40 years, and his works have been published in English, French and German, in nearly every major Masonic research publication in the world. But while many Freemasons know of his detailed works, many aren’t aware that he was also a renowned, award-winning classical pianist who performed more than 2,000 concerts all over the world between the early 1950s and 1980, when he retired.

Born in Paris in 1931, Alain was arrested by the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation at the age of twelve and was interned at Drancy concentration camp in the north of the city. When the war ended, he entered the Paris Conservatory of Music and was the first French student to receive a Fulbright Scholarship to study music at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music.

Please join us this afternoon.