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 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 - 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 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sister Lodge Visitation - Palmer Lodge No. 372 , Fort Erie, Canada - February 17, 2015

Wor. Matthew Stickland and Wor.  Joshua Keim

Wor. matthew Stickland - Very Worshipful Daniel J. Di Natale - Worshipful Joshua Keim 

The Brothers of Harmonie Lodge in the East of Palmer Lodge 

Worshipful Keim with s stool.....or a spent shell from World War I that they use for a stool. ..
The Newly Renovated East of Palmer Lodge 

The Newly Renovated Palmer Lodge Room
"How good and how pleasant is it for Brothers to dwell in unity". That verse of the Great Light best describes our visitation to our sister Lodge to the North, Palmer Lodge. No. 372, Fort Erie, Canada. This was supposed to be the night of a 2nd Degree for Palmer but the Brother being Passed was called into work at the last moments and the Degree is nothing without its candidate.

With nothing really going on Wor. Stickland advised that we hold off our visit until the Degree but it being awhile since Harmonie visited we decided to still cross the boarder. Something I know both Lodges were very happy to have happen, as the fellowship after, before, and during the communication was tremendous. A true example of finding a home in Masonry no matter where you are, sister Lodge or not. If you have not had the pleasure of visiting our sister Lodge yet, please do. They are wonderful hosts and amazing Brothers. It is your right as a Master Mason to travel and with a relationship like we have with Palmer you have no excuses. Get out there!

Something new to their Lodge is the beautifully renovated Lodge room. What started as simply changing out the worn carpet became a full gut and redo. It is simply a wonderful Masonic space worth of the quality work done by our Brothers to the North. One more reason to get out a visit! With the 3rd Degree coming up in April we are expecting to return their hospitality with a few of them coming to visit us. Something I know the Lodge is very much looking forward to.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Buffalo Big Lebowski Fest - R.J.K.F.C - February 7, 2015 - All for the Masonic Care Community of New York

The Group Bowls! 


Brother past President Clark in all his Glory! 

Our MC, Event Planner, and Brother President Jon Korta

Brother Past President Di Natale Abides 

The President and Past Presidents of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club and Worshipful Joshua Keim 

Bowling is Serious Business 
Looking for something new and fresh can be hard. Thankfully we have creative and experience members! Our Brother President, Jon Korta back in his college frat days ran an event of epic proportions - The Buffalo Big Lebowski Fest. This event back in  its first days saw hundreds of fans of this cult classic come out to Volkers Lanes in Buffalo to celebrate the film in true fashion. Bowling and white Russians (Caucasians)! Each year Bro. Korta's frat would choose a different local charity and use the proceeds to help support their cause.

It has been a few years since Bro. Korta was a college man and the fest has not been run in years. Seeing the opportunity to do something different for the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club he dug out this gem of an event. Well over 40 people came out to support the event. The fellowship and general good time was felt by all. The club raised $300 for the Masonic Care Community, not bad for the first time running the event! Special thanks go out to Bro. Korta for organizing the event. We also thank his team as we know nothing gets done with just one of us! Its the group that makes it work. We look forward to next year's event, that is for sure.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tompkins Lodge No. 471 - Table Lodge and Award to Bro. Benjamin Kaminski - January 23, 2015

The East of the Beautiful Tompkins Lodge Room

Bro. Benjamin Kaminski Receiving Recognition   
On January 23rd our Brothers in Staten Island held their annual Table Lodge. The festive nature of Tompkins Lodge No. 471 are well know, even in Buffalo. The event as attended by our Grand master, Most Worshipful William J. Thomas. This reputation for good fellowship drew the attention of Bro. Kaminski. What Bro. Kaminski did not know is that he would be honored for his dedication to service for the Craft.

Back in 2012 when Super Storm Sandy hit the coast the Brothers of Harmonie wanted to do something to help out. Bro. Kaminski was one of the leading forces that helped organize a relief caravan that would travel from Buffalo to Staten Island. This is why they honored Bro. Kaminski, as Tompkins Lodge was deeply effected by the storm's wrath. It was with our help that they got a little closer to recovery. The Lodge is very proud of Bro. Kaminski and what he as done for the Craft. This is true service and what we are all about.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club Election of Officers - January 14, 2015

The Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club Leadership Team
Left to Right - Bro. John Blak (Founding President) Vice President - Bro. Jon Korta President - Bro. Nick Hornberger Secretary - Very Worshipful Daniel J. Di Natale Treasurer

Can you believe it has been 10 years already? 10 years ago, on a night much like any other Lodge night, the Brothers of Harmonie Lodge voted to give a few hundred dollars in seed money to start a new Fellowcraft club. Harmonie Lodge is no stranger to these types of clubs, as through most of our history we had one, a very active one! They were so successful that the Brothers involved started Lodges with the membership of the Harmonie Fellowcraft Club - Eggertsville Lodge and Cheektowaga Lodge.

The restarting of the club has been very successful. We have been able to donate tens of thousands of dollars to a variety of local and Masonic causes. The club restarted the Lodge's benevolence fund, that too has raised well over $10,000 in the last five years. The Ward A. Peterson Fund is one of the most noble endeavors of the club contributing ever dollar earned to a Mason or his family in their time of need. This fund has allowed us to help Masons from Buffalo to Staten Island. Something we should be very proud of.

Our election of officers was very well attended. We saw well over 30 Brothers in attendance from all over First Erie. By far our largest start of the year ever. The elections were held and we saw new and old leaders selected to office. The club welcomed back our Founding President , Brother John Balk as Vice president. It could not be more fitting that our Founding President take active part 10 years later to help guide the club for the next 10 years. To President, the club elected Brother Jon Korta, the designer of the Big Lebowski Night that is coming on February 7th. The club is very excited for this year's activities. There are already plans in the works for fundraising events for the Masonic Care Community. Lets see if we can beat last year!

Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale