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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thank You! 200 Years of Freemasonry at the City of Light Table Lodge

The Brothers of Harmonie Lodge in all their Glory

My Brothers, Thank you for your support of the City of Light Table Lodge. It has been a dream of mine to run an event like this and without the support of our Lodge this would never have happened as it did. For those that don't know, running events for the Districts can be a difficult thing. Who collects the money? Who pays the starting costs? etc. Well Harmonie and The Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club stepped up to get the ball rolling for what I hope to be a new Districts' tradition. This Table Lodge celebrated 200 years of our shared history on Saint John's Day! What can be better then that? We gathered over 50 Brothers and shared with them a tradition that we have done for years now. Table Lodges bring Brothers together in more ways then one.

Really I just want to thank Wor. Keim for letting me get away with running this event through the Fellowcraft Club and Bro. Monheim our President in trusting that everything would be ok. You are all the best and I am so happy to be part of this Lodge.  Thank you for coming out and support this event. Our Lodge had some of the strongest attendance and it shows.

Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale

The Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club Season is Upon Us!

The Events - Exciting Stuff - 

You can slap a sticker on anything. $5 gets you one of each. 
Just a friendly reminder that the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club has been harassing the Erie Masonic Districts for 10 years! I know it feels like just yesterday that this whole thing started. We are the only pan Lodge Fellowcraft Club in the Erie Districts. Membership is open to all and any Masons part of a Regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Mason Chartered by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York.

We have fun and fellowship away from the serious nature of Craft Masonry. We are also the chartable wing of the Lodge having given tens of thousands in charity over the years. Come out to our casual events many of which are open to the ladies. Also we have the new 10 year Anniversary fez and stickers are here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Brothers and Ladies Brunch - November 15th

Always looking for ways to build the the Lodge stronger the Brothers of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club organized what the Lodge hopes to be first of an annual event of hosting a brunch. It is just a fact of life that the members of our Craft are on average older -the average age in Masonry is around 75 years young. For many it is hard to get to Lodge and events like this allow us to share the Lodge with our Brothers that can no longer easily travel and the ladies that really make this all possible.

We welcomed 20 Brothers and their ladies, along with many of our elder members that we have not seen in Lodge for a long time. It was wonderful to see so many faces of so many dedicated Masons and their ladies and over so many years of service. Bro. Korta and Bro. Monheim, thank you for making this event happen. The Lodge needs activities like this. Thank you!

2nd Degree of Masonry - November 12

The Brothers of Hrmonie Lodge after their 2nd Degree - From Left to Right Back- Wor. Keim - Master - Bro. Russell - Bro. Duquin - Bro. Zaleski - Bro. Screven - Bro. Kaminski - J.W - Botton Left to Right - Bro. Ceriani - Wor. Clark II - S.W. 

A wonderful Degree! Bro. Kaminski took his first run in the East as the conferring officer and smashed it our of the park. The Lodge is very proud of his commitment and dedication. I know few would believe it now but there was a time when he said he would never be able to do the work. The Lodge is happy he was wrong. We all knew he could do it and do it well!

The Middle Chamber was preformed in its full - thats all italic sections and the restorations from last year's vote at Grand Lodge - By Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale. The additions of some floor work suggested by the Ritual Renaissance Program really added some flair to the Degree.

All in all, the Brothers did very well and this was a prime example of the quality of work that is expected from Harmonie Lodge. The Lodge is eagerly awaiting to hear what our FC Master Works will be. Until then we have the fun and fellowship found the the upcoming Fellowcraft Club season.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fervency and Zeal: Presented by Tonawanda-Keystone Chapter No. 71- October 8, 2014

Companion Di Natale Dressed as High Priest

Right Excellent Coleman Conducts Wor. Kiem to "Mark Master Degree"

Right Excellent Coleman Conducts Wor. Kiem to the 'Virtual Past Master Degree"

The Most Excellent Master Degree

The Holy Royal Arch Degree

The Companions of Tonawanda-Keystone with Wor. Keim  
On October 8th the Lodge invited the Companions of Tonawanda-Keystone and Right Excellent Gerald T. Colman , District Deputy Grand High Priest,  into the Lodge for the "Fervency and Zeal" program. This wonderful program covers the degrees found in the Royal Arch. As of the last few years the Brothers of Harmonie Lodge have had a renewed interest in York Rite Masonry. A few Brothers of the Lodge have joined but many more have questions as to why they should look for light in the York Rite bodies. This amazing program answers many questions to the inquiring Brother and leaves them with many more about the Degrees they have already passed and why they should complete the story told in the Craft Lodges. The Lodge thanks Tonawanda-Keystone for their wonderful program and looks forward to seeing many of our brothers entering their ranks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August 27th - D.D.G.M. and Erie District Team Official Visitation & Award Night

From Left to Right – BRo. Timothy Matie – 25 Years – Bro. James Gibson – 60 Years – Right Wor. Henry Zipp Lange, Jr – 65 years – Wor. Gerard E. Shultz, Jr. – 20 Years, and Wor. Joshua Keim.

The First Erie Team with Wor. Joshua Keim – Master of Harmonie Lodge No. 699

Two weeks removed from welcoming six new Brothers to our Fraternity, we honored those Brothers with a little more experience under their aprons. Receiving awards on this evening were:

Wor. Gerard Schultz - 20 years in the Craft
Bro. Timothy Matie - 25 years in the Craft
Bro. George Basil* - 55 years in the Craft
Bro. James Gibson - 60 years in the Craft
Wor. Milton Keim, D.S.A. - 60 years in the Craft
Bro. Calvin Haller* - 60 years in the Craft
Bro. Bro. Ralph Hensen* - 60 years in the Craft
Right Wor. Henry "Zip" Lang, Jr. - 65 years in the Craft
*not present at ceremony

The aforementioned Brothers were given certificates from Grand Lodge along with pins, and for the 60 year members, aprons. All were recognized by our D.D.G.M. Right Worshipful Michael Storck,  to commemorate their achievements. Wor. Schultz received a Harmonie past-master's pin, donated by the Brethren.

I was able to present Bros. Basil and Haller their pins and certificates at their homes. I must tell you, it was a treat and an honor. I met their lovely wives, they told me stories of "the glory days", and expressed great pride in not only what Harmonie was, but what it is today. Although their cable tows do not allow them to attend regular communications, they expressed how much the enjoy reading about what Harmonie is doing in our quarterly newsletter.

In all, the words of gratitude and pride from our awarded Brothers shower the strength of the bond our Lodge has, no matter the difference in our years.

Not to be overshadowed, Bro. Mark Donnelly was presented a certificate for his completion of the Masonic Development Course.

Following the awards around our Festive Board, the District Deputy and his team delivered the Grand Master's Message, and shared much information on the numerous programs and events that Grand Lodge is conducting this term. As common themes of our D.D.G.M. visits, Brotherhood and Charity were at the forefront. There are many opportunities available to us as Masons to fulfill our duty of Charity. I am proud that Harmonie is always looking for new ways to give back and to engage with our Masonic family.

W:. Joshua Keim

Bro. George Basil being presented his pin and certificate for 55 years in the Craft.

Bro. Calvin Haller being presented his certificate and pin for 60 years in the Craft.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

1st Degree of Masonry - August 13, 2014

1st Degree Class of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 - August 2014 
As the immediate Past Master of Harmonie Lodge and now Assistant Grand Lecturer good work is something I have grown accustom to seeing. I am so proud to see the work that Harmonie is doing right out of the gate under our new leadership team. Wor. Joshua Keim put on one of the finest 1st Degrees I have seen and that includes while being in the East. Wor. Keim nailed it! He pulled out the stops and got Brothers that the Lodge has not seen in years to perform some of the work. True ritualist and it was wonderful to see them doing the parts they know so well again. Bro. B.J Lyons did the Historical Lecture as only he can and it was something to see. We also saw the return of Bro. Ryan S. Bonnett who helped with the Questions and Answers.

The Lodge welcomed Right Wor. James Kintzel, Deputy Grand Marshal, and all the Entered Apprentices from his home Lodge of Western Star. We welcomed our Ditrcit Deputy, the Right Wor. Micheal E. Storck, as well at the District Deputy from Second Erie, Right Wor. John Haslem. We even had a staff officer, Right Wor. Robert Drezucki, Grand Sword Bearer. All in all, we had some 20 plus guests. Making this a packed Degree and something very special for our newest Brothers.  

Lets not forget the reason why we do this, our new Brothers. We brought in six wonderful men to our Grand Fraternity and I look forward to seeing their progress in the Degrees.

Let us welcome -
Bro. Vince Zaleski
Bro. Michael Russell
Bro. Patrick Duquin
Bro. Harold Screven
Bro. Scotty Ceriani
Bro. Eric Davis

Monday, July 28, 2014

German Table Lodge - July 23, 2014 - Welcoming the Right Worshipful Jeffrey M. Williamson, Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Line

Every year when I report on the German Table Lodge I say "It was the best one yet." It is hard to believe but each year we really do get better and this year is no exception. The bar has been raised and history has been made. Thank you Worshipful Joshua Keim and Worshipful Fredrick G. Clark II. Our Master and Senior Warden built the right team of professionals to give us a meal and event that was simply over the top. 

Special thanks need to go to Brother J.J Alfieri and his cook "Red" from Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar. They built the menu, took care of all the cooking, and paired the top shelf German beer with the meal. They did an amazing job, both at the bar and with the meal. This was some of the best German food we have had at a Table Lodge and with a modern take on old German classics was really something special. The fan favorite this year was shockingly the pickled eggs, limburger, and liverwurst plate before dinner. Once you try them you will understand. It might not smell good but I assure you all are delicious.

This year's Table Lodge was special for a lot of reasons. We welcomed the largest gathering we have ever had, around 65 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 Michael E. Storck, District Deputy Grand Master - First Erie District, and Right Worshipful Robert Drzewucki, Grand Sword Bearer. Along with many Masters of Lodges some from as far as Canada. None had travel so far as our Brewmaster for the evening Brother Eric Jacisin. Brother "Jace" move back home to Wisconsin a few years back and has not been to his Mother Lodge since then. It was wonderful to have him home and leading the table with many toasts.

With the Deputy Grand Master in attendance the Lodge felt it right to show our appreciation for all of Right Worshipful Willaimson's dedication and efforts for the Masonic fraternity. Few will ever be able to show such a Masonic record of achievement as he has. He is an inspiration for young Masons everywhere. To honor him the Lodge commissioned a oak gavel commemorate his visit. With the Harmonie Lodge Coat of Arms on one side and our word of commemoration on the other. After Worshipful Keim presented the gift the Deputy Grand Master gave a wonderful speak about the history of the old German Lodges of Buffalo and how proud he is to see their legacy continued in the last of the "three sisters" - Harmonie Lodge.

Really making this night something even more special it was the 84th birthday of Worshipful Milton Keim, D.S.A. This year is also his 60th year of service to the Masonic Fraternity. The Lodge sang him happy birthday in German and toasted to his good health and dedication to Harmonie Lodge. Few in our history can say they have given so much and work so hard for the Lodge. He is an inspiration and a solid role model, not just for Masons but men everywhere. He too gave an impressive speech abut where the Lodge has been and where we are now. Much has change in is years of service and his perspective on history as well as our future encourage all young Masons to reach for more.

We took 583 pictures. I am editing them as we speak and I hope to have the best up on the site in the coming weeks. Until then please enjoy these choice shots of the event. If you missed it, I am so sorry and I hope to see you next year!

Very Worshipful Bro. Daniel J. Di Natale


Pickled Eggs

Wor. Keim gives the Harmonie Lodge Gavel to Right Wor. Williamson 

Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale and Right Wor. Richard J. Kessler

Wor. Keim photobombs Right Worshipful Storck

Proof Bro. Budowski got to seat at the table this year

Wor. Milton Keim, D.S.A Addresses the Table Lodge - Happy Birthday! 

Wor. Zack Munger of Living Stone Lodge No. 255

Right Wor. Storck and Right Wor. Williamson at the Head Table

Very Wor. Daniel J. Di Natale, Right Worshipful Richard J. Kessler, Right Wor. Micheal E. Storck, and Right Wor. Jeffery Williamson 

The Food! 

The Brothers Gathering Before the Feast 
The Gavel Coat of Arms

The Inscribed Side 

German Table Lodge 2014 Logo