Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Harmonie Lodge Family Picnic - July 11, 2015

Wonderful family picnic! The Lodge for more then a few years got away from running family Lodge events. This was a huge mistake. Being with one another and our families is what makes this organization as special as it is. We had lots of little ones running around something that was very nice to see. We had to move the party to shelter 19 which was down from our usual spot due to construction and it was even better! Even with the Rolling Stones in town we had many Brothers and their families out, we welcomed Brothers from other Lodges as well and even had a few of our future EAs and their ladies out. We even hosted our D.D.G.M and his lovely lady. We had the bean bag game out and of you were lucky enough to play you surely got hustled by RW Dan Peters and Bro. Nick Hornburger. Thanks go out to Bro President Jon Korta and Bro. Vice President John Balk. They did a wonderful job. 

Masters of Harmonie visit Niagara Distilling Company - July 13, 2015

V:.W:. Di Natale and W:. J Keim visit Niagara Distilling Company

We couldn't just walk out with a case without putting in some work!

"No, Dan, you're doing it wrong!"
Beautiful label of 1812 Vodka

Guys! We got a distillery!

Ok, we didn't really, but a guy we know... Bro. Eric Heuser welcomed Very Wor. Dan Di Natale and myself to show off his grand venture; the Niagara Distilling Company on Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo. The facility itself is still a work in progress, but the stills are in action, and product is flowing. Bro. Heuser hopes that by the end of the summer, the building will be complete with a 1500 square foot tasting and retail space, an outdoor patio, and of course, to offer tours of the distillery. The high quality of liquor they are producing is due to their all organic ingredients, sourced from farms locally and state-wide.

Those who have purchased tickets to our upcoming German Table Lodge are in for an additional treat; 1812 Vodka sampling! Bro. Heuser in his generosity gifted some bottles to the Lodge to share with the Brothers. I very much look forward to future trips to the distillery, and discovering new creations as this company grows. Thank you Bro. Heuser for the tour! Pröst!

You can visit niagaradistillery.com for more information

Can/Am Fellowship Night with Palmer Lodge No. 372 - July 8, 2015

Wor. Bro. John Newton, Master of Palmer Lodge #372
Wor. Joshua Keim, Master of Harmonie Lodge #699 O.M.

To commemorate the recent Canadian and American National Holidays, Harmonie Lodge hosted a Can/Am Fellowship Night, welcoming Brothers from our sister lodge in Fort Erie, Ontario. Wor. Bro. Clark Stickland, Past Master, and Wor. Bro. John Newton, Current Master, from Palmer Lodge No. 372 were gracious enough to pay us a visit. The night was a great opportunity for us to catch up with our friends from the North (or West, depending on your perspective), as well as learn a little more about Palmer Lodge. Wor. Bro. Newton delivered a lecture chock full of historical information on the Palmer family, especially Joseph and Lewis Palmer, for whom the Lodge is named after. In addition, Wor. Bro. Newton shared with us the Palmers' influence on the early growth of the city of Buffalo. The Palmer family were some of the first school teachers in Buffalo, and were the first tavern owners and inn keepers!

As Palmer Lodge is currently dark for the summer, a journey across the river will have to wait a few months. When they return to light in September, an opportunity will be at hand to see some Canadian ritual performed, when Palmer puts on a 1st Degree of Masonry. Further details will be shared once available.

It is always a wonderful sight to see visitors in our midst; I highly encourage my fellow Harmonie Brothers to travel to other Lodges as well. Take advantage of the fellowship and light that our fellow Brothers have to offer, and "behold how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell in unity".

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 4, 2015 - Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club and Zulekia Grotto No. 10 - First and Second Erie Independence Day Parade

Being persuaded that a just application of the principles, on which the Masonic Fraternity is founded, must be promote of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be considered by them as a deserving brother.
The Fourth of July is a very important day for all Americans, as it marks the birth of our country.  We proud Americans gather each year to celebrate this grand day with displays of national pride.  As Freemasons, we are very fortunate to be intertwined with the history of this great nation and we joyfully join in all the celebrations of this great land.  
This year, marks the second gathering of the First and Second Erie Masonic District families to march in the Lancaster Independence Day Parade, which attracts well over 5,000 people each year and this year was no different!  
This event has quickly turned into a matter of pride and honor for many of our Brethren and Masonic family members.  Like many events this year, there was an increase in participation from across the Masonic community.  This event had well over 20 participants from 5 different lodges, four Masters of Lodges (Transportation, Millennium, Eggertsville-Grand Island, and Harmonie), two leaders from our Masonic youth (Triangle and DeMolay), as well as having the most cars and floats in the parade (six in total).  Additionally, many of our Brethren, family members, and supporters lined the streets of this parade letting out grand cheers as our procession past.  It was a most wonderful moment to experience!  
I want to thank everyone that took the time to support this event either by marching in the parade, driving a car, pulling a float, helping to decorate, taking pictures, pushing cars out the mud, buying a tee shirt, cooking food, sharing a smile, loaning a screw driver, cheering as we past, running out and hugging a Brother you haven’t seen in years, or just by sending positive vibes.  To all of you that made this day so very special, thank you!    
Special thanks to Bro. and Past President of the RJKFC Donald Monheim for his help in organizing the event.  Additionally, I would like to thank Bro. Chirs Walters and his family for once again graciously opening up their home and being such amazingly wonderful host!  
I cannot wait for next year and hope to see you all there! 
- Bro. President of the RJKFC Jon Korta

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Saint John's Day Weekend - Check Presentation to the Masonic Care Community - June 27, 2015

Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale Presenting the donation to the Masonic Care Community 

Congratulations Harmonie Lodge No. 699 - O.M. - 

This year's efforts for the Care Community accounted for $800.00 of giving. I know what you are thinking. $800 is good but what can that do for a multi million dollar facility like the Masonic Care Community? Well Brother, it does a lot!

There are many projects and programs our Care Community runs that are unfunded, unfinished, or not in the total scope of the budgeting in operating the facility. A few times each year the Community builds a list of such items required to fill those gaps, hoping that donations will help complete their design. This year our $800 donation went to help finish a section of the music therapy program that otherwise might not have been funded. Our efforts will directly impact the lives of residence at the Care Community undergoing music therapy everyday. A gift of harmony from Harmonie. Does not get better then that!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Livingston Library Night - April 25, 2015

The R.J.K. Fellowcraft Club presenting a check to the Livingston Library for all funds raised in the past year.
From left to right: Bro. Jon Korta, President of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club, R:.W:. W. Bruce Renner, Trustee and President of the Livingston Library, W:. Joshua Keim, Master

In 2014, the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club focused it's charitable efforts on assisting the Chancellor Ronald R. Livingston Masonic Library. Due to the hard work and dedication of our members, we were able to present a $500 check to R:.W:. W. Bruce Renner, who was so kind to represent the Library and share with us some of the exciting new developments of the Library.

The Library has been inundated with the task of digitally archiving thousands of pieces of history from Lodges all over New York State, much of which is in a dilapidated state. They are also in the process of digitizing every piece of literature in their collection, for greater ease of use of the Library's borrowers.

Every dollar that the Fellowcraft Club has raised is going straight to the Library to help aid in their task of preserving the vast amount of Masonic education and history in their possession. I want to thank all who have donated, not only their money, but their time, and to thank R:.W:. Renner for paying us a visit, and updating the Brethren on the important service the Library provides for New York Masons.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

R.J.K.F.C Bar Takeover of Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar - April 12, 2015

The Guest bartenders 0 Bro. Balk and Wor. Keim

The Brothers do what they do best! 

Our President Bro. Jon Korta and the owner of Dukes Bro. J.J
This is the second time we ran this event and it was even more fun this time around. Bro. J.J, the owner of this wonderful secret society themed bar, allows us to take it over a few times a year and raise money for our Masonic Care Community of New York. All the tips and part of the bar's revenue from the afternoon are donated to the Care Community. Last year , from this event alone, we raised $1,000. This year we did it a little different and only held it for two hours instead of four,and even being there half the time we are well on our way to beating last year's amount. The date is fourth coming but we will be holding another takeover at The Gypsy Parlor on Grant Street very soon. Thank you to all that came out! We look forward to seeing you all out to the next event.

3rd Degree of Masonry - April 11, 2015

The 3rd Degree Team

The Festive Board

Bro. Brian Chaytor of Claude. M.Kent Lodge, Oakville, Ontario

Our Newest Master Masons  Bro. Vincent Christopher ZaleskiBro. Michael Sean RussellBro. Scotty Lee Ceriani
The 3rd Degree is the culmination of so much effort. It is truly the reward for both the Lodge and the Brothers being raised. Harmonie Lodge does the 3rd like no other and this Degree was by far one of our best. Making this Degree even more special for our Brothers being raised, it was attended by well over 60 Masons from all over New York State and Canada. We had the honor to host Right Wor. Piers A. Vaughan ,Grand Director of Ceremonies. Brother Vaughan has the distinction to be leading the effort to certify Observant Lodges on behalf of our Grand Master. His visitation was part of a observation to earn this distinction. The Lodge is proud to announce that his report has recommend us for this distinction and Harmonie will be one of the first recognized in the State.  We also welcomed our D.D.G.M, Right Wor. Michael E. Storck along with the Master and Immediate Past Master of our Sister Lodge in Canada - Clark and Matt Stickland - of Palmer Lodge, Fort Erie, Ontario. 

Let us not for get the true reason for the evening. The making of Masons and the full membership of three men who earned the distinction of being obligated a Master Mason. Let us welcome Bro. Vincent Christopher Zaleski, Bro. Michael Sean Russel, and Bro. Scotty Lee Ceriani, our newest Master Masons. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Presntation of Master Work, Welcome Bank, and Memorial Service - April 8, 2015

Bro. Vincent Christopher Zaleski presents apron cases

Bro. Michael Sean Russell presents a deep family history and the lasting effects of Freemasonry

Bro. Scotty Lee Ceriani presents his work on the Masonic term "So Mote it be." 

Welcome back Brothers! it has been a few months since the Lodge went dark for the winter. The R.J.K.F.C has been keeping things active while the harsh winter passed. Now it is time for the labors of the Lodge to return. To start the communication Wor. Keim held a beautiful Lodge of Remembrance for two Brothers we lost during the winter months, Wor. Peter Averillo and Wor. Daniel Gajewski. These Brothers were fixtures of the Lodge over their years of service and will be sadly missed by all who knew them. 

After the communication the Lodge broke to return to the festive board for the presentation of the masterwork. As we know, proficiency at Harmonie is not just memorization of the Work. The Brothers working his way through the Degrees has to do just that. He has to show the Lodge what he has learned so far and present his masterwork to the Lodge before he will be raised. Each year these presentations get better and better. This year was no exception.

Bro. Vincent Zaleski presented absolutely beautiful apron cases for each Brother in his class. He gave a presentation on the Masonic Apron and what it meant to him as he has worked through the Degrees. The craftsmanship on these is just amazing and every little detail has a symbolic explanation as to its choice in the design, right down to the type of wood to the color of the liner. 

Bro. Michael Russell presented a piece on his family's Masonic heritage going back into the 1700s. Taking inspiration from the fellowcrafts' charge, he told a story of how his family's Masonic heritage influences them to this day.  Along with many family artifacts, he painted a wonderful picture of right actions that has served as an example of real manhood.

Bro. Scotty Lee Ceriani finished up the presentation with a work on the Masonic use of "So Mote it be." This statement used in every gathering of Masons deeply impacted Bro. Ceriani and he talked at length of its  origins and use. A very thought provoking presentation. With it he made a visual aid in a wood working. A soild wood etched digram of a the Masonic presidents and further symbols.

This was a wonderful night and the hard work and dedication shown by this class of Master Masons supports that they are ready for the Sublime Degree. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

10th Annual Ward A. Peterson Event - March 25th


Bro. Chris Walters - Pork Sorcerer - Owner of Das Waffle 

Bro. Nonso is Winning it all for the Ward! 

Brother Bring a Friend Display

The Master Lines up His Shot

The Good Doctor - Surprised that He Lost the Raffle.....Again.....
Thank you all! It has been ten years since the Ward. A Peterson Memorial Event first started. It has taken on a few different forms over the years but each event has had one common theme at its core, Masonic benevolence. This event truly bring all those things that makes Masonry the organization it is, undivided fellowship and relief.

For the last five years the proceeds from this event have gone to the Ward A. Peterson Fund, the Lodge's benevolence fund. Each cent goes directly to Masonic assistance to our Brothers in need and their families. The fund itself was restarted about five years ago and in that time due to the generosity of Masons has raised and contributed well over $10,000 to direct assistance to Masons and their families in need.

This event in celebration of the ten year anniversary of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club was a very special Ward Event. it was scattered by Bro. Chris Walters of Das Waffle. It was simply amazing food. The raffle tables were just as strong as they have been in the past years. Like always a few Brothers had luck with them and walked away with some wonderful prizes. The Ward Fund did well as well adding a very sizable sum to its coffers.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club - Super Fez Night at DBGBs

Wed. March 11, 2015

Every year.

Every year something comes up and forces the Fellowcraft Club to act on the fly. But snow storms and broken water mains can't hold us back. On a night when we were supposed to hold the Ward A. Peterson Charity Pool and Poker tournaments, the Club switched gears and held the first ever Super Fez Night at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar. Thanks to Bro. J.J. Alfieri and his staff, the Brothers of the RJK Club were able to show up in style, rocking their glorious fezzes, and enjoy a delicious spread of appetizers and a wide variety of beverages. 

Once in a while, it's nice to just kick back and hang out with your Brothers. Pröst!

Oooooh the wings. So tasty.

Current and former Presidents of the RJK Club

Don't tell these guys fezzes aren't cool.

El Presidente, Bro. Jon Korta

Thank you Bro. Alfieri for everything you do for Harmonie Lodge!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 15, 2015 - Erie Masonic Districts March in the City of Buffalo Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Bro. Donald Monheim and his lady...as shamrocks! 

Dancing Leprechauns 

Brother President Korta Flying the Banner

Bro. Koller marching as the kids favorite the Zuleika Grotto No. 10 Dragon Unit 

Out Driver Bro. John Bukowski

The Head of the Column 

Prophet Daniel J. Di Natale, Bro. Schriven, and Bro. Donald Monheim 

80,000 People!!!!!! 
Sunday March 15th the City of Buffalo celebrated Saint Patrick’s day with the 75th Annual Parade. This iconic event is one of the largest in the United States, this year alone it attracted some 80,000 people to downtown Buffalo. This event is organized by the United Irish-American Association in Buffalo - www.buffalostpatricksdayparade.com and spans from Niagara Square to North Street, some two miles. This is the first time in a very long time that the Masons of Buffalo marched in the parade. Brothers from first and Second Erie gathered with their families to decorate the float and take part in a wonderful afternoon…even though it was cold..and rainy.
The float and Units was sponsored by our own Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club and the Zuleika Grotto No.10. Special thanks need to go to Brother President Jon Korta for organizing the event, Right Worshipful Robert Chapmen for bringing the Grotto unit gear for us to use, and Brother John Budoswki for organizing the float with his wife and kids. All in all we had some 15 or so Masons and their family members out in the parade. The response was very positive from both the parade organizers and the crowd. One of the organizers told me that is was wonderful to see the Masons back. We even got recognized by Sen. Chuck Schumer! 
I look forward to doing it again. I know we will have even more Brothers and their families out next year. I know we are all looking forward to the Lancaster 4th of July Parade. We had amazing attendance last year from the whole Masonic family and I know it will be even greater this year.
Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale