Monday, August 17, 2015

1st Degree of Masonry - August 12, 2015



1st Degree of Masonry 

A Very special 1st Degree. Not only did we welcome 4 (with a 5th finishing his Degree from Washington State) new EAs but we hosted a group from the Masonic Motorcycle Club International. This organization held its annual meeting right in our own backyard in Batavia. This is an International organization with members from all over the globe. 

Right before our Degree they held a dinner in the Sweet Home Temple and a few of the Brothers stayed after the dinner to join us for the Degree. The Lodge was near filled! Something wonderful for our Brothers to share in and it deeply impressed onto our newest members how diverse an organization we are.  We even had two Grandfathers present of one of our EAs both Masons for 50 plus years and the father of one of our new Brothers as well! 

It was a wonderful Degree and the Degree Team did and wonderful job. Bro. Benjamin Kaminski conferred the Degree very soundly. He should be commended along with the whole team. Many of which were conferring the Degree for the first time. We also hosted out First Erie Leadership Team, RW Michael Storck, RW Gary Galbrath, and VW Daniel Di Natale.  Along with two masters of Lodges, W William Koller (EGI) and W Gus Campbell (Landmarks.) 

Monday, August 10, 2015

German Table Lodge 2015 - July 22, 2015

Right Worshipful Jeffery M. Williamson - Deputy Grand Master

FOOD

Before the Open

The Working Tool of Table Lodge

Very Worshipful Di Natale Welcomes the Brothern

Brother Senior Deacon William Chapin

O.M. Lodges together - Seneca River Lodge No. 160

Worshipful Shultz, D.S.A and Right Worshipful James Kipler 

The Senior Warden has the Right Idea 




Brethren, 

The German Table Lodge, what can be said to describe such a spectacular event? Every year we seem to outdo ourselves and every year we find more people eager to celebrate with us. And why not? German Masonry in Western New York has a proud heritage and being the last surviving lodge of the three sisters it is our duty, nay our privilege, to continue celebrating said culture. 

I would like to extend my thanks to our Master, Worshipful Joshua Keim, and our Senior Warden, Brother Benjamin Kaminski, on putting together such a fantastic program. Special thanks should of course go out to Brother J.J Alfieri and his cooks from Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar, without whom our meal would not have been possible. The festive board prepared this year rivals many previous years and no one went home hungry. 

It was our our 145th Anniversary. This was a particularly special  Table Lodge  outside of that, as we welcomed the largest gathering we have ever had, with 70 Brothers and friends gathered around the table. In attendance we had Right Worshipful Jeffrey M. Williamson, Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Richard Kessler, Grand Lecturer, Right Worshipful James Kintzel, Deputy Grand Marshall, Right Worshipful Christopher Hough, Junior Grand Deacon, Right Worshipful Richard M. TorreyLiaison to the Grand Master for the Western RegionRight Worshipful Robert Drzewucki, Grand Sword Bearer, Very Worshipful Joel Burkley, AGL of Second Erie and last but not least our very own Very Worshipful Daniel J. Di Natale, AGL of First Erie. Along with many other Masters of LodgesWorshipful Brother John Newton of our sister lodge was also in attendance. Here’s to Palmer Lodge No. 372! We also had the honor of hosting our fellow O.M. Lodge from Syracuse, Seneca River Lodge No. 160. This event was the first time both Lodges have been together since being given the honor of O.M. status at Grand Lodge this past year. 

This night was made even more special by the announcement of Worshipful Gerard E. Shultz’s Dedicated Service Award. This has been a long time coming and is well deserved. Worshipful Shultz has served and will continue to serve this Lodge and it’s Brothers faithfully for many years. 

I am thrilled to attend this event every year and can already find myself counting the days until the next GTL. I hope all enjoyed this event as well as I. And with that I have but one more question. How stands the South? 

Bro. Donald W. Monheim


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.
[GEORGE WASHINGTON]
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

NEWMEN! 

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.