Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Grand Master's Visitation and 2nd Degree - January 27, 2016

Our Price Hall Brethren from Ionic Lodge No. 88, P.H.A
The Grand Master - Deputy Grand Master and Officers

Wor. Oswaldo Mestre Jr Presents Wor. Joshua Keim a Gavel

Our Fellowcrafts with our Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master



In lieu of a typical Ronald J Keel Fellowcraft meeting on Wed Jan 27th – Harmonie 699 held a very Special Communication unlike any other in it’s 146 year history. On this day, Harmonie Lodge presented a 2nd Degree for 6 worthy Entered Apprentices in front of Right Wor. Jeffrey M. Williamson and Most Wor. William J. Thomas, Grand Master. We also welcomed our Brothers from Ionic Lodge No. 88 , P.H.A. The evening opened with a wonderful dinner prepared by Harmonie’s Bro. J.J Alfieri and service provided by our local DeMolay Chapter, Ridge Council. Wor. Oswaldo Mestre Jr. and our Brethren at Ironic Lodge No. 88 presented Wor. Joshua Keim and the Brothers of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 a gavel in commemoration of the evening. A wonderful surprise and a very special gift indeed. We also welcomed a delegation from our Sister Lodge in Fort Erie, Palmer Lodge No. 372.

After dinner Harmonie conferred the 2nd Degree with a full Lodge Room with some 125 Masons from across the State in attendance. Following the Degree Most Wor. William J Thomas and Right Wor. Jeffrey Williamson presented awards to Right Wor. Gary Sadowski and Bro. Ken Stuczynski recognizing their hard work and dedication to the Craft. it was a historic night with far too many guests to list. The Lodge's thanks go out to all that helped make this night so special. More pictures can be found on our Facebook group and page.

Monday, December 7, 2015

November 24, 2015 - Masonic Ritual History By Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale






On Nov 25th at Harmonie's annual "Day before Thanksgiving" communication  Very Or. Daniel DiNatale once again gave his presentation of Freemasonry in New York State for the benefit of the new brethren and some of the older who may have missed the original presentation. This program was originally used a part of the Masonic Development Course done by Harmonie a few years back. If you are interested there are three sections one for each of the Catechisms for the Degrees. 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 11th - Veterans Day Service





November 11’th. Originally Armistice Day – and still considered Remembrance Day marks the end of hostilities of WW1 going into effect at the 11’th hour of the 11’th day of the 11’th month of 1918. Renamed “Veterans day” in 1954 to honor all the service personnel of the US Armed Forces. Harmonie had a special program to remember all veterans, as well as honor those who served who are brothers of Harmonie. Veterans in attendance were Worshipful Milton Keim, DSA and Bro. Vincent Zaleski who were escorted to the east for Grand Honors. Along with a prayer for our Veterans – past and present - W:. Joshua Keim then preformed a reading of John McCrae’s “Flanders Field”

In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place: and in the sky The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago, We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved: and now we lie In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe To you, from failing hands, we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Concordant Boby Series - Lifting the Vale: The Grotto

The Prophets and the Master 

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, Harmonie Lodge No. 699 O.M. held another in a series of well-attended Concordant Body Nights.  This time around, the members of Harmonie invited the Veiled Prophets of Zulekia Grotto No. 10 to discuss the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm. 

This was a special night for many of our Harmonie members, as many of our Brothers are very active in the Grotto.  Additionally, our Fellowcraft Club the RJKFC has teamed up with Zulekia Grotto on more than one occasion to march in several local parades, including the Buffalo Saint Patrick’s day Parade and the Lancaster 4th of July Parade.  Honestly, you could not ask for a better group to go parading with!

As Brothers gathered for the evening’s event, you could feel the excitement in the air.  It was a night filled with good cheer and fellowship.  Many Brothers wore their Black Fezzes adorned with a Mokanna head and red tassels, which is how members of the Grotto are distinguished.
Brother Prophet Bob Chapman took to the podium to enhance our knowledge of the Enchanted Realm.  He presided over the presentation masterfully.  The presentation was done in a special answer and question format, which was purposefully designed to give Brothers a better understanding of everything Grotto. 

Brother Prophet Chapman took questions from other Prophets stationed in the audience.  In this way, Brother Prophet Chapman was able to provided insightful information on the history of the organization and its intended purpose.  He explained that the Grotto was formed in 1889 as the "Fairchild Deviltry Committee" and the it grew out of informal meetings by members of the Hamilton Lodge #120 in Hamilton, New York, who wished to seek "relaxation from the sterner duties of life by holding occasional informal meetings for fun and good fellowship" and play practical jokes on each other.  Moreover, he informed those in attendance that the Grotto encourages renewed interest in the Blue Lodges, though it makes no claim to be a part of Symbolic Craft Masonry.  He concluded by informing all that it is a social organization for Master Masons, and as such, all Master Masons are welcome to join. 

After the informational presentation concluded, everyone in attendance enjoyed a taste of that famous Grotto good fellowship.  It is always a great night when you hear nothing but laughter and see smiles on every face you pass. 

If you are interested in learning more about Zulejia Grotto No. 10, please feel free to contact me .

I look forward to seeing you all at our next regular communication.

- Brother Prophet Jon Korta

Monday, October 5, 2015

Harmonie Lodge Ladies and Brothers Brunch - September 27, 2015

The Harmoine Family 

The Keims 

Bro. Gary Neureuter
On September 27’th – Thanks to the hard work of  Wor.  Joshua Keim, Bro. Donald Mondheim and Bro. John Korta, under the excellent guidance and tutelage of Wor.  Gary Schults, DSA – Harmonie Lodge pulled off a wonderful Ladies and Old Timers Brunch at Michael’s Banquet Hall.    Along with the usual warm Harmonie Fellowship and fantastic spread -  Bro. Gary Neureuter was awarded with a 55 Years of Masonic Service certificate.  This is definitely an event to not be missed next year.

Monday, September 28, 2015

September Communications Coverage








It’s been a great month for presentations at Harmonie Lodge this month.  On September 10th – A.G.L , Very Wor. Daniel DiNatale presented a wonderfully colorful history of Harmonie herself.  Most of the presentation was based on our public history found on the Harmonie Website at: http://harmonie699.org/about-us/history/ But he also filled in with stories and histories based on his tours of Forest Lawn Cemetery, local buildings and personal anecdotes and remembrances of past members and masters.  On September 24th we were treated to a wonderful lecture from our Master, Wor. Joshua Keim, on the symbolism of the Lewis – and in particular what it means to him having a grandfather in the craft who is a DSA member of Harmonie – and what it means having his own Lewis now.  This is a lecture he also presented at the Lodge of Research. 

Bro. Jonny Newman 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

August 27th - D.D.G.M's Official Visitation and D.S.A Presentation

Harmonie Lodge and the First Erie Leadership Team with Wor. Shultz, D.S.A

The Award

Very Wor. Di Natale Presents the Potts to Wor. Keim and Harmonie Lodge

Wednesday August 27th saw the first official visitation of the of the DDGM Right Wor. Michael Storck - representing Most Wor. William J Thomas - and his District Team to Harmonie Lodge No. 699 O.M. The Erie District Team consists of Wor. Walter Cook, Wor. John W. Koller, Bro. Chris Siegel, Wor. Harry Angus “Gus” Campbell, Right Wor. Gary Galbreath, and Very Wor. Daniel Di Natale – each bringing their greetings and messages to the brethren of Harmonie Lodge. 

Wor. Gus Campbell spoke about the important of the Brotherhood Fund, and how important it is to us as Masons, and admonished to not set our Brothers aside when the time comes. Bro. Chris Siegel spoke to the Brethren about the Masonic Youth organizations such as DeMolay, Triangles and Order of the Rainbow – letting the brethren know about their good works and the importance of directing youths and welcoming them into our Masonic family. Wor. John Koller talked about “The Council” and their plans to increase Masonic intercourse between the lodges and increase the cooperation and brotherhood between First and Second Erie Districts by sharing events, collaborating and helping each other to grow and succeed. Wor. Walter Cook gave an excellent presentation about the Livingston Library and their plans to digitize collections and make them more widely accessible as well as updating the Masonic Reading Program making it more accessible as well. The Livingston Library is looking for senior masons willing to be interviews and share their stories so we don’t lose bits and pieces of our history and traditions. Right Wor. Daniel Peters talked to the Brethren about the masonic Care Community, which is one of the jewels of the Grand Lodge of New York. Very Wor. Daniel Di Natale spoke about the Northstar Project, the Ritual Renaissance program – of which Bro. Dennis McMullen is the Harmonie Coordinator, School of Instruction and the Grand Lecturer’s Convention which is Oct 26th. He also presented Wor. Joshua Keim and Harmonie Lodge with the Howard W. Potts award. Right Wor. Gary M. Galbreath spoke further about our Masonic Education – touching on the School of Instruction as well as the Lodge of Research. He admonishes us to keep all members relevant – both the new and especially the older members, their wisdom and experience is invaluable to a lodge.

Right Wor. Michael Storck conveyed the messages from Most Wor. William J Thomas. On top of a wonderful evening of presentations and fellowship –The  Grand Lodge of the State of New York presented Wor. Gerard Schultz the Distinguished Service Award. Bro. William Genrich spoke about Wor. Gerard Schultz – how he invited and inspired him to join the craft and their long history together in Masonry.

All in all an wonderful evading for the Craft and Harmonie Lodge!
Bro. Johnny Newman 

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".