From The Lodges February 2017
Roundup of reports from our Lodges
St. Johns Lodge No. 1 Providence
By: Brother, Timothy L. Culhane, P.M.
St. Johns No. 1 Providence hopes you had a safe and happy holiday season. The late Autumn and early Winter were busy at St. Johns and now the second half of winter is upon us. In November, we hosted the Grand Master for his visitation to the Metro District. The communication was extremely well attended. After dinner, R∴W∴Gary Kaufman our DDGM entered the lodge accompanied by a large suite, followed by Grand Master M∴W∴Stephen T. McGuire, who was accompanied by another large suite. The room was quite full for the featured speaker, M∴W∴Michael A. Halleran, Past Grand Master of Kansas, who spoke on Freemasonry during the American Civil War. It was a great evening and was well received and enjoyed by all who attended.
Our regular communication in December was another special affair. St. Johns was proud to host Ezekiel Bates Lodge A.F.& A.M. from Attleboro, MA. Both lodges meet on the third Wednesday of the month, so it was decided to have a joint meeting. St. Johns opened, conducted business, was joined by R∴W∴Gary Kaufman and M∴W∴Stephen T. McGuire, and closed. Following dinner, Ezekiel Bates Lodge opened, conducted their business and closed. They were accompanied by R∴W∴Chris Lindsay DDGM of the 16th Masonic District in Massachusetts. It was a wonderful opportunity for both lodges to see how each other’s meetings are conducted. This was all followed by a collation and brotherhood. It was a night to remember.
Other happenings included our Annual Christmas Food Basket event. This took place on Saturday, December 17th at 6:30 AM. There were many participants, and we filled and distributed food baskets to families in need in our communities. Once again, thanks to Brothers Ed McDonald and Thom Kumes for organizing the event. Also, thanks to Walter Kelley and his kitchen staff, all the brothers from the other lodges, friends and family who helped with this annual event.
So what is up and coming? For our regular communication on February 15, 2017, we will have a program, which at the time of this writing, is still to be confirmed. Lodge will open at 6:00 PM in February. Please consult the February trestle board for more information. For our March 15th communication we will be conferring the first and second sections of the Master Mason degree on all available candidates. Lodge will open at 5:30 that evening. We will be presenting the third section during a special communication on Saturday, March 18th at 9:00 AM.
Please join us for our communications which are held on the third Wednesday of the month at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Cranston, RI. Any brother who would like to join us for dinner is welcome. If you would like to break bread with us, please contact Bob Gervais at 401-861-1757 no later than the Sunday before the scheduled communication, and tell him who you are, where you are from and that you would like to join us! Dinners are $10 and the menu is published in each month’s trestle board. We hope that you can join us at St. Johns No. 1 Providence.
Washington Lodge No. 3
By: Brother, Stephen Curria, Master
We supported our hometown by participating in their Warren Holiday Festival. We gave tours on Friday and Saturday, November 25th and 26th. On Friday, we participated in their parade. On Saturday, we also sponsored a Flu Shot Clinic. There were over 100 people that visited us. It is by this active community presence and partnership that Washington Lodge No. 3 will become the powerhouse of the community that it once was.
At Washington Lodge’s December meeting, we were pleased to receive our Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master, Robert Ellston and his Grand Master of Ceremonies, Worshipful Keith Moan. They were accompanied by a very large suite of visiting officers from the East Bay District, his mother lodge members from Mt. Moriah No. 8 and other distinguished brothers. They were received in kind by a large committee of Past Masters from Washington No. 3, led by our Senior Past Master, W\Robert Sinclair. We were proud to show off our newly cleaned and restored murals in the east and west. The program of the evening touched on a part of what will be a grander lecture in April. I spoke on the process of Egyptian mummification and how it correlates to the murals on the wall in the Temple. I was overwhelmed by the ovation I received as well as the compliments on a fine program. This gave me even more drive to deliver my Magnum Opus (Great Work) at the April 2017 stated meeting, where we will receive the Most Worshipful Grand Master, and his suite for his official visitation to the East Bay District.
For those that were present at my lecture on Egyptian mummification know that I am a bit of an Ancient Egypt buff. There is a tradition in Ancient Egypt that dovetails with Masonic lessons. In Ancient Egypt, the work on a Pharaoh’s tomb/temple began immediately after his ascension to the Throne. This work continued his whole life, ever building and ever expanding, until the day the Pharaoh dies. Is it not so with Freemasons? We construct our “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” all our lives and only set down our tools when we are called to our Celestial Lodge. The work of a Freemason is similar to the tomb builders of Egypt, we must never cease work on our own personal temples until the day we get called home.
We held a special communication in December, where we raised three new Master Masons. I stood and presented the Working Tools of a Master Mason to our newest Master Masons. This small part of ritual really got me to thinking, have I been using the tools as well as I should? I would like to say yes, but I know I have failed along the line and for me at least, therein lies the lesson. It’s not that you have used a tool incorrectly but it’s that you try again, ever straining for that perfect measurement. Is our Ashlar ever perfect? I would say no. We could work on the stone with our square, all of our lives and it would never be perfect. It can only be the best we can make it through the pursuit of perfection.
At our Christmas Party, we enjoyed a festive time! The Yankee Swap proved as much fun as it was exciting and the food was delicious! There is some debate as to who received the best gift from the swap and those that were there, know my opinion.
Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 8
By: Brother, Roger Lepire, P.M.
I always seem to be of two minds when writing for our lodge. One mind is always in the present, the other in the past. Why should today be any different.
I just went to our “wetting of the hat”. Anyone who has read these articles in the past knows that the cost of the first meeting for any new Master at our lodge, is on the Master. He pays for the meal and all that comes after it. The “hat” is passed around and the Master can only hope he’ll recoup some of the money he’s spent. Our new Master, Rowan Gottschalk did an excellent job as usual. There was a large number of Mt. Moriah members on the sideline, as well as many guests. The evening was perfect, as was our guest speaker Matthew “Doc” Perry. This is the second presentation I’ve seen given by Doc and both were impressive.
Whether in or out of uniform you can’t help knowing Doc is a Marine. He does the Corp proud.
I knew that the lodge had gone through our records and found that, at 23 years old Rowan is the youngest Master Mt. Moriah ever had. I found out tonight that the lodge checked with Grand Lodge and it turned out that Rowan is the youngest Worshipful Master to ever hold that position in the state. There may be more on this later.
Speaking to Rowan also made me realize I am now of three minds. The present, the past, and now the future. The present almost always fits right into the past. I’ve often written about our long- standing traditions of the “wetting of the hat”, and our annual clambake. But that night made me realize we have a number of other long standing traditions. As I was eating cake after the meeting I saw our poinsettias sitting there. These are the plants that our members deliver to our “Special Ladies” every Christmas. Those are the widows of our fallen members. This has also gone on for as long as our members can remember. I then noticed a list on the board of the children and grandchildren of our members going to our annual children’s Christmas Party being held the next morning. I recall bringing my grandchildren here for several years when they were young. It made me wonder how long we had been doing these parties. So, I turned to my advisor on all things past, Jim Robinson.
Jim recalls taking his two children to a Kids Christmas Party at Lime Rock Baptist Church on Wilber Road when he first became a member. Over time the church moved to Great Road, and Jim continued taking his children. While our parties were held at Lime Rock Baptist Church. I attended my first party with my two grand- daughters. The next year the parties were moved to our lodge.
I attended several more parties until my grandchildren got too old. Jim however was attending with his grandchildren while I attended with mine, and continued to do so over the years. This year Jim and Barbara attended with their children, grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. I take my hat off to you Jim and Barbara, that’s a whole lot of parties attended, and many happy memories over three generation of children being entertained by Shrine Clowns, puppeteers, magicians and mad scientists. Oh, and lest I forget a jolly portly guy in a red suit and a white beard bringing gifts to the little tykes.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Order of the Eastern Star, our women’s organization took part in our Christmas parties for the entire time they shared the lodge with us. They shared in the cost and the work of putting these parties on. I know how much they did the two years that I was Master. I also know they were equal partners all those years. They have been sorely missed by our lodge.
Now I started by adding not only the past and the present but also the future. Looking to the next six years, you can’t really go further than that, I see our Master Rowan having a fabulous year. Alan Ahlstrom has shown he is more than ready to take over next year. That leaves Tony Rodrigues, Matthew Cerullo, and Ryan McNillis. All of them have proven themselves in the past several years. I look forward to many great years for our little country lodge.
Now how could I possibly write about the past, present and future without mentioning Al Larriviere. He is the only active line member that encompasses the past. He has been in that position for 16 years, the present “he is still in that position”, and the future, who can picture anyone else tilling our lodge with a drawn sword in his hand? And, so I leave you with these words, see you next issue. The Good Lord Willing!
Harmony Lodge No. 9
By: Brother, Michael A. Cunningham, Master
Harmony Lodge finished 2016 with a flurry of activity and is also looking forward to what 2017 has to offer. After a successful officer installation and banquet in early December, Harmony held its first monthly communication of the new Masonic year. We were thrilled to be able to present a monetary donation and three boxes of toys to the US Marines for their Toys for Tots program. Past and present military members of Harmony Lodge assisted the Worshipful Master in presenting a check to Sargent Jed Hall, as shown in the picture below. Many thanks to members of Harmony Lodge for their generosity in supporting this important community program this year.
Harmony had a busy December schedule of activities with an impressive number of Lodge members and family participating. We visited close to 25 Special Ladies and infirm brothers during our Christmas home visits, and then held our annual children’s Christmas party later that day. Harmony was happy to host 50 children (and more than 125 people overall) for lunch, games and a special visit from Santa Claus himself. A special thank you to Brother Rob Lindberg for organizing such a successful event.
Harmony Lodge held its Christmas Ladies luncheon on December 17th, where we were entertained with classic Christmas hymns and carols performed by the West Bay Chorale. Despite the inclement weather, it was a very enjoyable afternoon for the approximately 60 attendees, and a great opportunity to thank our lodge ladies for their support of our fraternal activities. The lodge was also very happy to announce that a custom-made Harmony Lodge Lady’s broach was being designed for the ladies who attended the luncheon.
On December 20th, Harmony kicked off its 2016-2017 Travel Club with a fraternal visit to Bristol Lodge in North Attleboro, MA. After attending their monthly communication, several Harmony members enjoyed dinner with the extended Masonic family of Bristol Lodge and also enjoyed an entertaining program that included a stand-up comedian. Harmony is looking forward to welcoming Bristol Lodge to Harmony for our February communication, and trying to return the hospitality we very much enjoyed in Massachusetts.
Looking forward, Harmony Lodge will again hold its adult get-away weekend, this time in Groton, CT, from February 17-19, 2017. This social weekend away is always a great way to break up a long Winter season. In addition, by the time of this publication, we will have started our degree work to begin initiating the class of 2017. Given that the degrees will be given on weekends this year, it is hoped that more Harmony Lodge members will plan to attend and/or participate in this important lodge activity. We are also looking forward to the next RI Freemason issue, where Harmony Lodge will be able to provide reports on our annual game dinner, as well as the service medal ceremony we have planned for our March monthly communication.
Harmony Lodge is well on its way to having another busy year, and members and friends are again encouraged to be active participants in the many events planned over the next several months. At the installation of officers meeting in December, a letter of intent was provided to our District Deputy Grand Master, R∴W∴Douglas Grant, describing Harmony’s plans to fulfill the activity requirements for the Grand Master’s award, and we are already making great progress in this regard. Please plan to continue supporting your Lodge as you are able.
Morning Star Lodge No. 13
By: Brother, Gerry Phaneuf, Master
As we start a new Masonic year at Morning Star Lodge, we hope to build on the wonderful job done in 2016 by W∴George Hodgson. We will start the year off by conferring the Entered Apprentice degree on our February 2nd meeting. This meeting should be an eventful one as we will be having a short presentation on the Shriners organization by the Potentate W. Dominic DiStefano after which we will confer the Entered Apprentice Degree. The March 2nd meeting is currently in the works and should be a very entertaining program. We will also be having the Sword of Bunker Hill degree team at our April 6th meeting and invite any brother who would like to participate to come and join us. We intend to make 2017 the year that we fix the interior of our old lodge building and invite you to stop in and see our progress. Hope to see many brethren during the year.
St. Paul’s Lodge No. 14
By: Brother, David Lavery, P.M.
St. Paul's Lodge held its Annual Communication at the temple in Middletown on January 25th to elect officers for the ensuing year. Congratulations go out to Brother Charles E. O'hara, IV as our new Master and thanks to R∴W∴Robert B. Ellston and W∴Keith Moan for installing the officers. The Lodge is in its bicentennial year from the original dispensation and will be celebrating the bicentennial of receiving their Charter from Grand Lodge, all of 2017. A committee has been working on revitalization of the lodge's items and planning for new additions to the lodge furniture. There will be a public BBQ to celebrate the lodge at the temple and a gala dinner hosted at a nearby restaurant, later on in the year.
A new heraldic seal is being developed to incorporate the date of the bicentennial. New coinage and pins are to be minted to commemorate the bicentennial as well. Separate charitable events are in the works with our lodge, with a goal of providing a large donation to Lucy's Hearth, the local shelter for homeless women and children. St. Paul's Lodge is also taking this opportunity to make some much needed repairs and upgrades to the temple. We will provide more information on upcoming events for the summer and plan a culminating event in October to celebrate the original charter date. Please join us during the year to help celebrate!
Franklin Lodge No. 20
By: Brother, Brett Marggraff
December was a good month for Franklin Lodge, especially when it came to “Bringing Light”. At the December Communication we raised Brother Timothy Cavanaugh to the sublime degree of Master Mason. On December 8th, Rhode Island PBS aired “Our Town”, a series on the towns of Rhode Island. This season featured Westerly and included a story on Franklin Lodge. Worshipful Master Eric Ross and Senior Deacon Brett Marggraff were present at the station the night the show premiered and were on the set answering phones from donors. W∴Ross was also interviewed and answered questions regarding Franklin Lodge as well as Masonry as a whole. They were dressed in tux & jewels, making them ever more noticeable.
Jenks Lodge No. 24
By: Brother, David J. Sousa
As the New Year is upon us, Jenks Lodge welcomes in its new officers and new Worshipful Master, Stephan Saraidarian. This is going to be an exciting and busy year for Jenks Lodge and one we hope to share with many of our fellow brothers and lodges.
To start things off, at our stated meeting in February we will be conferring the Entered Apprentice degree on a new group of candidates. All officers have been working very hard to put on a great degree. Please come and show your support for our new officers and new brothers. The date for February’s stated meeting has been moved to February 20th due to the fact that we will be having our annual Cigar Night on February 27th which would be our normal meeting night. This event has been a tradition of Jenks Lodge for a few years now and is always a great time of fun and fellowship not to be missed.
Roger Williams Lodge No. 32
By: W∴Jonathan Snowman, Master
Personally, I rather enjoyed 2016. I was elected the Worshipful Master of a great lodge. I’ve done some traveling in and out of the Jurisdiction of RI. But most of all, I strengthened my bond to the fraternity and enjoyed the fellowship of my brothers.
I am writing this only a few hours before the annual New Year’s Day “Penguin Plunge” at Wheeler Beach. I will be meeting up with many brothers from around this great state of ours. This is my first time going into the water on New Year’s Day. I will be joined by around 20 of my Masonic brothers, but also my sister and 2 of her children visiting from NJ. While we will all be ‘freezing’ we are doing it for a reason! We are raising money for the RI Special Olympics. At the time of the Plunge, the RI Freemasons were the 5th highest grossing team out of 21 teams with almost $3900 raised!
Roger Williams also raises money for the RI Special Olympics every year with our Annual Game Dinner, this year on Saturday, March 25th. The combination of this Game Dinner and Penguin Plunge over the past 4 years has raised over $10,000 for the RI Special Olympics. Tickets for the Game Dinner are priced at $40 per adult and $25 per child. This is an event that is open to the public. If you are interested, please reach out to any of the Roger Williams Lodge officers for information. ?
And have a safe, happy and healthy 2017!
Lafayette Lodge No. 47
By: Brother, Robert Lyle, P.M.
Our Worshipful Master Steve Acello shared this message in our January trestle board and I believe it is very timely this time of year.
"My Brothers, let us enter the New Year with a renewed sense of hope and passion for our Craft and our families. Remember those who can't get out or feel trapped in their home, job, or life situation. Reach out to each other, for these are the qualities that bring us together within the lodge and also cement us outside of it. Live those most excellent tenants of our Craft; friendship, morality, and brotherly love. I think what you do for others will help you shake off the winter doldrums and bring you happiness. Let the Masonic Light shine from each of you as a beacon to others that our light cannot be dimmed!"
Even though we are in the midst of winter here in the north Lafayette Lodge continues to trudge through the winter months. We were busy during the month of December with our annual celebration of Saints John Night. It was a night of fellowship, great food and of course and an excellent program on “Stain Glass Windows” by W∴Bryan Cooper. Thanks to R∴W∴Robert Palazzo for hosting this event for us. We also brought in 3 new brothers into the Craft as well as a courtesy degree on a brother from Hope Lodge.
At our January meeting we had a wonderful program on Masonic Jewelry. During the month, we also met most Mondays to practice our ritual as we prepare to confer the Fellow Craft degree in February. Our breakfast on the 3rd Saturday of each month continues to be a success. Brother Matt Ludwig always has a theme behind each breakfast so please come join us for a fine breakfast at a very reasonable price of $8.00 for all you can eat.
February will continue to find the brethren at Lafayette busy with the conferral of the Fellow Craft Degree on February 16th. On Saturday, February 18th is our monthly Breakfast, and our Second Annual Lafayette Beer and Dynamite dinner is on February 25th.
These activities do keep us busy but we always have a great time when the brothers gather together at Lafayette Lodge. My brother if you have not been in lodge in a while please reach out to the Master, or one of the Wardens, we do miss you and we are not complete as a lodge without you being with us. Until the next time, God Bless
By: Brother, Rick Lynch, Cancellor/Master
Are you looking for more light in Freemasonry? Then Rhode Island’s Lodge of Research is for you. At every meeting, we have an enlightening program on Freemasonry or a closely related subject. All Master Masons are welcome to join us.
In November, we met at Morning Star Lodge No. 13 in Woonsocket at the invitation of W∴George Hodgson and his officers. We had an excellent presentation by Brother Matthew J. McMahon of Bristol Lodge in North Attleboro, MA. His presentation was titled: “Fraternal Societies in America”. Matt explained how class may have played a role in their development. He discussed the growth of fraternities in the American collegiate system with comparisons to various bodies in Freemasonry and how Freemasonry impacted them. A lively discussion took place after the presentation among the 34 brothers present.