Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Erie Masonic Districts Lancaster, New York Independence Day Parade

Bro. Monheim and Right Worshipful Peters leading the Charge 

Pur Very Own Ward A. Peterson The Legend Lives On 

The Right Worshipful D.D.G.M and His Lady

Wor. Keim and His Son

The Harmonie Masonmobile

The Monarch! Right Worshipful Chapman in the Grotto Car

Very Worshipful Di Natale Holding the Banner

Very Worshipful Di Natale and Lady Gallo

The Brothers at the Head of the Line
There could have been no more perfect day for a parade. The weather was just wonderful and with all the heavy rain the last few weeks it was a welcomed change and right on the Fourth of July. It has been a long time since the Lodges of the Erie Districts got together to march for the Fourth. Bro. Jon Korta and Bro. Don Monheim felt that this was something that needed to change. I thank them for their efforts because they are 100% right. I think we have a new tradition.

This was an amazing afternoon out. The Village of Lancaster has held a Fourth of July Parade since conceivable memory. Last few years they have been get smaller but with the perfect weather and larger Carnival on Central the whole Town was out. Easily some 5,000 plus lining the ways up Court to Central Ave. The crowd was wonderful and responded well the the group of some 20 Masons and their families. This event was opened to all in the Masonic family, with the State Sweet Heart, D.D.G.M, A.G.L, and Grand Sword Bearer all marching with the Lodges in attendance.

There were a lot of issues to get this off the ground. The first parade we were going to march in got canceled and the shirt company canceled our at the lat second.  The quick thinking of Bro. Monheim and Bro. Korta saved this event and got a wonderful shirt. The shirts are being sold as a fundraiser for the Livingston Library and we have more available. If you are interested follow the link and purchase one!

See you next year!  Bro. Dan Di Natale

Erie Masonic Districts Officers Apron Presentation - June 27, 2014

The Brothers of Harmonie Show Their Support

The Right Worshipful Jeffery Williamson, Deputy Grand Master, with Both Erie District Teams

Very Worshipful Daniel J. Di Natale and Lady Gallo 

Right Worshipful Storck and Very Worshipful Di Natale in a Selfie

Its the Selfie 

Life in the Erie Districts has been changing. Changing so much to the better. The support, involvement, and communication between Lodges is at its highest in years. Many of our veteran members have stated that things are starting to feel like they did in the old days. A feat considering that the Erie District were three, with 49 Lodges, and held some 10,000 Brothers in the heydays. Not that quantity is the goal but from what I can gather the quality was their too.

This apron presentation was a wonderful statement of how we in the Erie Districts take our Masonry. We welcomed 145 Brothers, their ladies, family, and guest to the Millennium Hotel. The attendance was at its highest in years and the enthusiasm was impressive. As a recipient in this ceremony, I cannot say thank you enough. The Masonic Purple Association of Erie County did an amazing job making all those being honored this evening feel so special. I know with the support felt at this event that the next two years of service will be a wonderful and special time!

Congratulations to:
R∴W∴ Michael E. Storck - D.D.G.M 1st Erie District
R∴W∴ Hohn B. Haslam. Sr. - D.D.G.M 2nd Erie District
R∴W∴ Gary Galbreath - Grand Steward
R∴W∴ Robert Drzewucki - Grand Sword Bearer
R∴W∴ Frank C. Rice II - Trustee, Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library
V∴W∴ Daniel J. Di Natale - A.G.L 1st Erie District
V∴W∴ Joel T. Burkley - A.G.L 2nd Erie District
V∴W∴ Gerald T. Coleman - Moderator Erie County School of Instruction

Thank You! Bro. Daniel J. Di Natale

There was dancing. Worshipful Keim has Moves. A Warning to All. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saint John's Day - June 21, 2014 -

Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale Presents $1,000 to Right Wor. Griff Jones and Mrs. Victoria Cataldo of the Masonic Care Community of New York 

Right Wor. Storck, Right Wor. Haslem, and Right Wor. Drewsuki Right Before Being Commissioned by the Grand Master

Very Worshipful Daniel J. Di Natale is Received by the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master,  and Grand Lecturer 

Your First Erie Masonic District Team - Right Wor. Michael E. Storck - D.D.G.M - Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale - A.G.L - Right Wor. Gary Galbreath - Gard Steward 

The Colors

The Grand Standard 
Saint John's Day is a special day for Masons all over the world. It is a time for all in the Craft to gather and celebrate all that it is to be a Freemason. In New York we are so luck to have the Masonic Care Community in Utica. This amazing campus is home to many of the Grand Lodge of New York's charitable efforts. The Masonic Home, the Masonic Medical Research Lab,  the physical collection of the Livingston Library , the famous Tompkins Chapel,  and the historic Knight Templar Building. If you have not taken the time to visit your Masonic Care Community you are shorting yourself - take a look at all you are missing

This Saint John's Day was historic for a few reasons. First, our Grand Master , the Most Worshipful William J. Thomas, went out of his way to build an event that was much more family centered then in past Saint John's days. Events were held for people of all ages, with a special section for the Might Run coming up in September. Second, this was on of the few times in recent memory that Assistant Grand Lecturer were not only invited but obligated by the Grand Lecturer and received by the Grand Master. This was a very big deal as our very own Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale has been appointed as A.G.L of First Erie. All appointed and elected officers from the Eire Districts were there and it was just wonderful. As always the hospitality rooms were amazing and the fellowship epic. If you missed it next year do yourself the favor and go. It is worth every minute and it is your right as a Mason to travel. So get to it!

At St. John's Day Very Wor. Di Natale was able to deliver the $1000.00 check for the Masonic Care Community The R.J.K.F.C raised at the Bar Takeover. After speaking with Right Wor.  Jones, the Care Community needs more service from all of us. They have a wish list of needs. They think our efforts would be best spent in helping them get something off that list. I know we are all up for the challenge! Lets help our Masonic Care Community!

The Grand Line in the East

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 14. 2014 - Fort Degree, 200 Years of Unity and 202 Years of Freemasonry in Buffalo, New York

The 1812 Buffalo Militia Degree Team

Wor. Frederick G. Clark , S.W - Ver. Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale, Master - Wor. Nathan Shoff, J.W. 

The Past Masters and Master of Harmonie Lodge No. 699

Bro. Hornberger and Bro. McMullen, Proud sons of Buffalo! 

The Militia march out of the Fort

Old Fort Erie

Our Host - Bro. Sam Stark

The end of the War of 1812 marks a special place in the hearts for all the people of Buffalo and Fort Erie. It marks the end of a frontier war the claimed cities and many sons and fathers who went off to fight on both sides of the border.  It also marks a start to a time of healing that would lead to two countries becoming very close. The U.S.A and Canada share the longest undefended boarders between countries in history. It also marks the foundation of Freemasonry in Buffalo, New York.

The settlers of the city brought Freemasonry with them as soon as their were more than a few log cabins that would one day for the center of New Amsterdam - now Buffalo. Formal meetings can be traced to the Village of Clarence well before the 1800s. A Lodge would seek formal organization until the earlier in the 1800s. Due to issues getting the funds required to the Grand Lodge in New York, a Lodge in the City of Buffalo would not form until 1812. Most Worshipful Dewitt Clinton in honor of the Brothers that lost everything in the burning of Buffalo by the English gave a full charter to Western Star Lodge No. 239. The Lodge was unable to meet until 1814, after the war,  as many of the men that made up the Lodge were off fighting in local militia units.

In commemoration of this historic event for Freemasonry and our two countries, the Brothers of our Sister Lodge, Palmer Lodge No. 372 - Fort Erie, Canada - invited us to exemplify the 1st Degree of Masonry for them. To add to this very special occasion the Brothers of Harmonie dressed as the Buffalo Militia that were operating in the area during the war. In fact, the last time there were this many Masons from Buffalo in the Fort they were burning it down! This visit ended a little better for both sides.

This was an absolute honor for both Lodges. To our knowledge we are the only Lodge's on either sides of the border that have done anything to commemorate the ending of the war and the unity felt on both side of our boarder towns. After doing this the Brothers on both sides agree that  Degree team modeled after the War of 1812 would be a wonderful idea to share the proud history on both sides and a remembrance of those that gave it all.

Thank you so much to Wor. Sir Clark Stickland and all the Brothers of Palmer for organizing this event and making us part of history.

In commemoration the Harmonie Lodge is selling a medal. The proceeds of the sale will be donated the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Library and Museum. Price is $10 a medal, plus $3 shipping. Please contact Very Worshipful Daniel J. Di Natale at to order.

Fort Degree Medal

145th of Harmonie Lodge Officers - June 11, 2014

2014-15 Officer Line - Master - W∴ Joshua Keim, Master

Past Master's Apron gifted by the Members and Friends of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 to Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale

Inside Apron Details 

Just amazing! That is the only thing that can be said about this evening. The Lodge welcomed over 60 Brothers, their ladies, and their families. This was the first open Installation of Officers Harmonie has had in close to ten years.  It was wonderful to see the Festive Board Table filled with so many wonderful people. The Lodge welcomed R∴W∴ Christopher Hough, Junior Grand Deacon, Grand Lodge of the State of New York and our District Deputy Grand Master, R∴W∴ Michael Storck. The Brothers gifted a beautiful Past Master's Apron to Very Worshipful Daniel J. Di Natale, our most junior Past Master. Special thanks need to be given to Wor. Clark for organizing this very special gift.  

This even was so very special for so many reasons. Wor. Joshua Keim had the honor of being Raised,  Invested, and Installed by his Grandfather, Wor. Milton Keim 1963, D.S.A.. It has been almost 40 years since Wor. Keim, D.S.A has been in the East, to have been able to do all this for Wor. Joshua Keim is more than most Masons could hope for in a lifetime. Wor. Keim's family was in strong attendance and his father took many wonderful photos that are still being edited. We hope to have those up for those that missed the nights event soon on the website 

Congratulations to Wor. Joshua Keim, Master of Harmonie Lodge. The Lodge knows he will do wonderful things with his time in the East. 

2014-15 Officers of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 
Master - W∴ Joshua Keim

Senior Warden - W∴ Fredrick G. Clark II

Junior Warden - Bro. Benjamin J. Kaminski 

Secretary - Bro. John Budowski 2012 - 2015

Treasurer - Bro. Christopher L. Samul 2012 - 2015

Senior Deacon - Bro. Donald Monheim

Junior Deacon - Bro. Barry McLaughlin

Senior Master of Ceremony - Bro. Daniel Augustnek

Junior Master of Ceremony - Bro. Anthony Marchiloi 

Senior Stewards - Bro. Nicholas Hornberger

Junior Stewards - Bro. Brad Wagner

Marshal - Bro. Dennis McMullen

Chaplain - Bro. William Chapin II - 2012 - 2015 - Trustee - 2013-2016

Musical Director - Bro. Nonso Ilogu

Tiler - Bro. Peter Schank

2014-17 Trustee - W∴ Gerard E. Schultz Jr. - Master 1999, 2003, 2007

2014-15 Trustee - V∴W∴Daniel J. Di Natale - Master 2013, 2014

Installing Team 
Installing Master - V∴W∴Daniel J. Di Natale - Assistant Grand Lecturer First Erie Masonic District - Master 2013, 2014

Installing Chaplin- R∴W∴Michael E. Storck. - District Deputy Grand Master of the First Erie Masonic District

Installing Marshall - W∴ Gerard E. Schultz Jr. - Master 1999, 2003, 2007

Obligation to Master - W∴ Milton Keim - Distinguished Service Award, Master - 1963

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club and Harmonie Lodge No. 699 - Bar Takeover at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar for the Masonic Care Community! April 27, 2014

The Brothers in attendance. We had over 70 people through the door! 

Your friendly bartender Bro. John Korta

Our second friendly bartender Bro. Joshua Keim

Bro. Dan of EGI enjoying himself! 

We filled the bar! 

On April the 27th the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 held a bar takeover at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar on Allen, Buffalo, NY, all to benefit the Masonic Care Community. The Brothers worked the bar and as waiters at this wonderful location managed  by Bro. J.J Alfieri. We welcomed over 60 Brothers, their ladies, and guests. Between the cover charge at the door, tips given to the volunteer staff, and part of the proceeds donated by Duke's we raised $1,000 for the Masonic Care Community of New York ( This event was amazlingly successful and all those in attendance commented on how enjoyable the event was and what a fresh idea this was to help such a worthy cause. Special thanks need to be given to Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale (Master of Harmonie), Bro. Donald Monheim (President of the R.J.K.F.C), Bro. J.J  Alfieri (Bar Manager), Bro. John Korta (Bartender), Bro. Josh Keim (Bartender), and Miss. Erin Murphy (Bartender and granddaughter of a Mason) between their work and dedication it truly made all this possible. Even larger thanks need to go out to all those that attended. This was the first time this type of event was ever run and with how successful it was there will be another. So many were in attendance so quickly we nearly shut the kitchen down! Thank you so much for your generosity towards the Masonic Care Community of New York.

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.