Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Master Works - April 10, 2014

As part of the proficiency work in becoming a Master Mason at Harmonie Lodge the Brother must complete a "Master Work." This work can take many forms, we have had poems, songs, art, woodworking and academic papers in the past. The theme that ties each together is that each work must show what the Brother has learned during his three degree; granted becoming a Master is a lifetime process. This shows the Lodge our newest Brothers path on that road. The Lodge has been doing this as part of our Concordia Collegium  education program for the last five years and each year the bar goes up a little more. This year was one of the most impressive showings yet.  The Lodge is proud to welcome these men and is very impressed by their work. 

Brother J. J Alfieri and Brother Brad Wagner - Master Work - Masonic Pub Culture 
Lecturing tag team - Bro. Wagner and Bro. Alifieri
The feast! 

This was a wonderful incorporation of Masonic history and historical reconstruction. It is often overlooked that Freemasons first held their communications in local pubs. Taking inspiration from this history, Bro. Wagner and Bro. Aliferi presented the Lodge a history of Colonial Freemasonry and their early meeting places, bars! This history shared between those planning the American Revolution and the places that Masons used to hold their communications is just incredible. Building on the history, the Brothers provided the Lodge a colonial feast that would have been found in the bars of our Founding Fathers and Masonic Brothers.  The meal was constructed by Bro. Alifieri's cook Mr. Frank from Duke's Bohemian Grove on Allen in Buffalo. This was a wonderful presentation and killer meal! 

Brother Brian Fabian - "699" Family, History and Krupnik  
Bro. Fabian and his Krupnik
This was one of the best presentations from the heart the Lodge has seen. Bro. Fabian gave a wonderful talk about Polish tradition of making krupnik. This beverage is made from vodka, honey and spices. In Buffalo it is a common adult beverage but outside of a large polish community it is fairly unknown. Like many regional items this beverage has different recipes and change family to family as explained by Bro. Fabian. He ties this all together by sharing that this krupnik was this Masonic family's recipe, made for us by him. He relayed how deeply the degrees have effected his feeling on Brotherhood and how even being a member for only a year or so has already been deeply impacted. In his recipe he incorporated corn based vodka, honey wine and oil  - a true Masonic beverage. This was some of best krupnik the Lodge has had! 

Brother Nick Hornberger - Wage Bowls 

Three Wage Bowls made of the Finest Hardwood 

Bro. Hornberger - Woodworker 
Bro. Hornberger is a man of few words. His work speaks all for itself. He spoke of being deeply impacted by the bowls used in the Chamber of Reflection before his 1st Degree. He reflected on the wages used in the 2nd Degree and felt that his talents in woodworking could furnish the Lodge with suitable vessels to hold these items of deep importance. He was 100% right. This amazing hand turned bowls will be used to hold wages during the 2nd Degree lecture. The pitcher does not do these items justice, the craftsmanship is just amazing. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

3rd Degree of Masonry - March 29, 2014

Brothers, This marks a momentous occasion for Harmonie Lodge No. 699. Not only were we able to welcome four wonderful men into the fullness of Masonic light but we did it in true Harmonie style. Over the last two years of my Mastership the Lodge has undergone a capital improvements campaign. We basically replaced every item needed during our Masonic work with more modern and durable items. The crowning achievement is the completion of the 3rd Degree regalia seen in this photo. It took two years to finish and required the talents of Bro. Geoff Haige and his wife at They with our input designed and produced every item in the photo. The Lodge wanted to keep to our German roots and make something that would be unique to us. With that in mind we tried for a German medieval look that came out just amazingly.

The regalia means nothing without good work. The Brothers smashed it out of the park with this Degree. The Right Worshipful DDGM was in attendance and commented that his was one of the finest Degrees he has ever seen. I have to agree with him. It was spot on. This Degree also solidified the Lodge earning the Henry G. Meacham Ward for being able to preform all 3 Degrees without help from Brothers outside our Lodge's membership. Something that sounds way easier than it is!

Lets not lose what is most important. We welcomed four amazing men into full membership. The work impressed upon their minds how transforming Masonry is. They only get one set of Degrees and I know that these Brothers will take away an experience of a lifetime.

Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale

The Degree Team - DDGM - Our Newest Master Masons

Thursday, March 27, 2014

9th Annual Ward A. Peterson Memorial Event - March 26, 2014

Thank goodness the weather was good! It took two more weeks then we thought because of the surprise blizzard earlier in the month but the event went off and with a huge bang! This was easily the largest and most success Ward Event we have ever done. After nine years that is saying something. For those that do not know. About four years ago, I with the other officers of the Lodge and Fellowcraft Club reestablished the benevolence fund, The Ward A. Peterson Benevolence Fund. This fund was founded to help Brothers and their families in their darkest times and it has done that. This fund has helped widows, kept Brothers in their homes and even helped in the relief efforts after Sandy in NYC.

The Ward Event is the signature fundraiser held each year in memory of Right Worshipful Ward A. Peterson. He was always the first to support a Brother that needed the help and we continue that with this fund. Each year the event grows and this year was no different. We doubled the size of the fund and had well over 50 Brothers and guests. The Brothers really went to task and the prize table was the best by far this year. The food brought to us by Bro. John Balk was just amazing - bacon covered glory. I am so proud of the Lodge and the Sweet Home Masonic community for making this so successful.

This event attracts many men some interested in the Craft or simply wanting to know more about what it is their relative does at the Temple twice a week. Each year we have a display table with artifacts and items concerning Freemasonry. This year I pulled out all the stops with the best display I have done yet.  The feedback was very good and we will have the table again next year. Hopefully with a few new Buffalo Masonic items.

I really want to thank those that donated. We had well over 100 items on the raffle table! Brothers, I could not keep track of the donations. Please let me know who donated so I can write a thank you to them and get them up on the blog for a big public thanks. Their support made the generosity of our Brothers and guests possible.

Wor. Daniel Di Natale

The spread

Even more! 

Bro. Fabian is ready to go!

RW Peters and BRo. Samul

Bro. Webb knows how to dress! Everything we ate had bacon on it.

This maybe the best picture of Bro. Korta ever. 

The money changers. Bro. Kaminski Wor. Di Natale Wor. Shutlz 

We filled the room! 

Bro. "Bull" Siegal eyes the prizes. 
Mr. President Bro. Monheim walks it. 
Bro. Balk our very talented cook and bacon wizard. 

Wor. Storck knows what to go for. 

Ancient Landmarks Lodge No. 358 - 3rd Degree of Masonry - March 24, 2014

Each Brother in this picture is a Senior DeMolay

All DeMolays in the Storck Home - Proud Father W:. Storck - Left Son - Bro. Andy Storck Right - Bro. David Storck

The Master Wor. Gus Campell with his news Master Masons Bro. Andy Storck and Bro. Eric Foster
Each 3rd Degree is a  special occasion. Each is infused with the deepest meanings and teachings the Craft can offer. This 3rd Degree went even deeper. It is amazing to see a father raise a son to the Sublime Degree but when the father raises his Demolay Son that is even more special. The Storck family has the deepest ties to the Craft, each is dedicated to the Craft. It was wonderful to see Brother Andrew Storck be raised to Sublime Degree. I know he will do amazing things in our grand order. 25 years in the making comes Brother Eric Foster. He too is a DeMolay and has been very much involved in all things that. he just never crossed into Freemasonry until this year. It is wonderful to have him.

It was incredible to see the support Ancient Landmarks has in the DeMolay community. It explains why we have seen such an explosive growth in the amazing organization in Western New York.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

R.J.K.F.C Educational Program - R:. W:. and V:.W:. Steve Joyce - Masonic Formation - February 26, 2014

This is an absolutely amazing program. As many Masons know there is a national movement towards restoring Freemasonry as the life changing mystery school that it was always intend to be. This movement has many faces and much like Masonry many voices and opinions. R:.W:. Joyce's program highlights the process of internalization that is expected from a man that enters our organization. What is really amazing about this program his R:.W:. Joyce highlights the practices as well ash the expectations from the Lodge and those interested in membership. I cannot say enough good things about this lecture. R:.W:. Joyce added much deeper content from when he gave it at the Western New York Lodge or Research. Ever being the showman he ended the program with an upcoming part two to his program. Looks like we will be inviting him back next year for part two. I cannot wait to have him back over.

Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale

Opening Slide

Amazing Quote 

Left to Right - R:.W:. Steve Joyce, Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale, Bro. Donald Monheim

Wor. D at the bar

Mr. President

Buffalo Trace is the new Official Beverage of the Lodge

Brothers around the bar before the communication. 

Wine with Neal! February 23, 2014

Classy french fries with Champaign. 

The Kaminskis 

Das Kiems

Mr. President - Bro. Donal Monhiem

The group in Neal's Wine Room - Brand new and expanded location. 

The Chapins

The Hornbegers

The Master and his lady

The red light only adds to the atmosphere of group dinning.

Bro. Keim, in what maybe the best photo I have taken of him. 

Bro. Ben gives it two thumbs up. 
The man himself - Bro. Neal 
Back by the popular demand of the ladies of Harmonie Lodge is "Wine with Neal." Even more exciting than trying new wines this event was held in Bro. Neal's amazing new location on 5272 Main Street Williamsville, New York 14221. Braking from his last tasting Bro. Neal did a simple wine and food paring. It was wonderful and his gluten free brownies are amazing. His home made fries were pretty delicious too. The Brothers and their ladies had a blast Bro. Neal always puts on a good show. Like last time the group went out to dinner after the tasting. Dinner with the family was a wonderful way to end the evening. Also like last time the ladies have again demanded another night with Neal. Do your best to come on out to the next one!

Wor. Daniel Di Natale

Eggertsville Grand Island Lodge No. 1138 - American Patriots Table Lodge - February 18, 2014

What could be more fitting of American Masonry than to celebrate our Brother Patriots? The Brothers of Eggertsville Grand Island Lodge No. 1138 in celebration of the 282nd Birthday of Brother George Washington and all those brave patriots that have served this country held a Table Lodge in their honor. I have attended many Table Lodges and this Patriots celebration is very unique to Erie County Masonry a true EGI original. Wor. Koller and Bro. Seigal (the cook) put on a wonderful event. The food was very well done and the Table Lodge program was a true celebration of our Brothers that gave their all in service to our country. I very much look forward to next years!

Wor. Koller reads the roll of Patriots 

Bro. Siegal does what he does best! Masonic chef and kitchen guru. 

The food! 

Wor. Hough and Wor. Koller

Honored Past Masters of EGI

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ancient Landmarks Lodge No. 358 - 3rd Robbie Burns Night - January 27, 2013

The Supper Gathers

The Brothers of Harmonie Support the 358

Wor. Gus Cambell Filling the Cannons

Wor. Storck and Lady Storck

Wor. Gus Cambell Welcomes Us

Wor. Gus Cuts the Haggis

The Haggis is Pipped in

Wor. Di Natale Reads the Poetry of Bro. Robbie Burns

This event has quickly become a signature Masonic gathering for 1st Erie Masons. Wor. Gus Campbell, Master of Ancient Landmarks Lodge No. 358, hosted a wonderful Burns Supper. This Scottish tradition is held on the birthday the famous poet Robbie Burns each year. His poems are read aloud and good fellowship is shared by all those that share in hearing his words. Like any good Masonic gathering there is food. The meal covered all the standard Scottish food and yes the legendary and delicious haggis. This was a wonderful night. The Lodge ttys to keep it small and with about 40 Brothers and their ladies it was just perfect. I highly advice you check this event out next year. Well worth you time and to my understanding this is the only Masonic Burns Supper in either Erie Masonic District. 

Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale