Monday, November 12, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
On the 24th our Senior Warden, Brother Ryan S. Bonnett squared off against W:. Nathan A. Shoff, Past Master of Harmonie, in the arena of civilized debate. We ran a debate night about three years ago where again W:. (than Brother) Shoff and I debated the Templar origins of Freemasonry, pro and con. It was a well received program and the Brothers have been asking for another. On the 24th we hosted our Debate Night Standardized vs. Non-Standardized (For - Bro. Bonnett - Against W:. Shoff). It was a ripping debate and Harmonie was honored to host five visiting Brothers for Ken-Ton Lodge No. 1186. Both of our debating scholars had persuasive and well thought arguments. In the end though the Brothers voted and found W:. Shoff's argument the winner. Winner or loser, this is not the value of this debate, it was the amazing back and forth questions that really impressed me. It is not often that a whole Lodge is taking part in conversation, with the event we very much were. I cannot wait for our next debate. I am already working on the topics.
We took many pictures as this site is very poorly documented as part of our Masonic heritage. We will be expanding a section of the webpage to document the Masonic sites of Buffalo hopeful this will spur help in saving our history. Harmonie can't keep going it alone. Sadly, it is quickly showing its age and the stone is starting to crack. Elmlawn have done wonderful things to help keep up the Memorial but we as Masons need to start taking the time and helping too. These are our honored dead and they need to be shown dignity. We had ten Brothers out on this cold day to honor our dead. It was a very special ceremony to be part of.
Monday, October 1, 2012
What an amazing weekend! I was only able to attend on Saturday to Sunday but if that is any indication of the time we had, that would be amazing. We had 15 Brothers (from three Lodges) visit to the event, we even had a few Brothers we have not seen around the Lodge in years come on out to this event. All in all, this was the best attened shooting event we have ever had. The food was wonderful, the Fellowship legendary and my next day recovery slow!
Special thanks must be given to Brother Ben Kaminski for letting us use his amazing Hunting Grounds. Thanks also need to go to our appointed President of the RJK, Brother Dennis McMullen. His work with others in the club allowed this to be one of our strongest events yet. We are still collecting videos and pictures from the event. If you have some please send them over to the Master so I can get them up.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
What an amazing honor it was to have so many Brothers around our Festive Board. After speaking with the Junior Warden, the count was well over 50 Brothers! This was the largest Festive Board Harmonie has ever hosted and easily the best attended offical visit of our DDGM in the last 15 years. I want to thank the DDGM for his visit and sharing with us the bonds of fellowship both before and after the meeting. R:.W:. Thomas Pecoraro has been a friend of Harmonie and myself for years. It is wonderful to see a man of vision and drive in the DDGM role in 1st Erie. The Grand Master could not have found a better man for the role.
The Program started with the awarding of the Distinguished Service Award to W:. Robert L. Coe. W:. Coe has been a solid man and Mason since he entered Harmonie Lodge. For us youngsters in the Craft , he has been a pillar of strength and reliability. He has supported the Lodge during our periods of change and has never failed to help an outgoing Master with installation of his replacement. I honestly cannot imagine him not acting as the Marshall during Installation. He is one of our honored Past Masters and it was pleasure to be able to assist in awarding him this honor.
The program continued with the District Team lecturing on the different roles and projects of Grand Lodge in the coming year. It was a distinct pleasure to receive the newly Right Worshipful Paul Berma (Harmonie Lodge was the first Lodge to receive him as the Grand Representative to Tasmania) and his talk on the Masonic ID program was inspiring. We were lucky to have all 12 members of the team (of which I am a member) at Harmonie. I can say with all honesty, this was the best DDGM Team program I have seen in my years in Masonry. The 1st Erie District is very fortunate to have such talented and driven men in our ranks.
The night concluded with the our district staff officers' presentations. The V:.W:. Gerard Colemen spoke on the need for Lodges to raise the bar ever higher when it comes to the execution of our work. Harmonie has become known as a place to witness the spectacular nature and presentation of our ritual but we need to get even better and stronger. That is what our Grand Master has called us to do. As Master of the Lodge, I agree with him in concern with the Craft as a whole and Harmonie. A Brother only gets one set of Degrees. There should be no rumbling, bumbling or fumbling. The Degree is no place to practice but to exemplify the beauty of our work. The R:.W:. Daniel Peters took the stage after, speaking on the Masonic Care Community and the upcoming education events being hoisted by both Erie Districts. The last speaker was our DDGM, the R:. W:. Thomas Pecoraro. In accordance with the Grand Master, his message was given on the level. I am very thankful for such an act of humility. Embracing our equality as men an Masons is a core ideal of Freemasonry. To see it exemplified from our highest ranks is both refreshing and needed in this changing times.
After the meeting, the Brothers went outside to enjoy Harmonie first (I hope of many) cigar nights. It was a clear and wonderful night, perfect for fellowship and Brotherly conversation. I personally, could not have hoped for a better night at Lodge.
Remember at our first meeting after Installation. I challenged each Brother to visit other Lodges. The DDGM official visits are a wonderful time to do so. Check out the DDGM's visitation dates on the Harmonie google calendar found here - http://harmonie699.org/calendar/
I will see you all around the quarry,
If you have interest in further light found on the Tracing Boards, there are two amazing books on the topic which you would benefit from reading,
1) Tracing Boards - Their Development and Designers by T.O Haunch
2) Freemasonry: A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol by W. Kirk McNulty
Also check out the expanded section on Tracing Boards on the Harmonie Lodge website. We have recently updated and have posted the largest collection of images concerning the boards on the web.
Follow the link to learn more - http://harmonie699.org/education/tracing-boards/
Enjoy my Brothers!
Monday, September 3, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
On July the 25th our own Junior Warden, Bro. Michael P. Guzak, gave his first original program to Harmonie Lodge. His topic was on Masonic Etiquette and Protocol. He covered all the little details you just do not learn unless someone teaches them, like the proper way to wear your apron and how to give the "Sign of Fidelity" the right way. He did a wonderful job and stimulated much conversation around the Festive Board. I am very proud of his efforts and look forward to him teaching again.
Many Brothers expressed interest in learning more about this subject. I would suggest they read "Freemasonry and its Etiquette" by Bro. Willam Campbell-Everden (ISBN 0517259141). It is a classic on the subject and you can pick it up on Amazon from under $1!
What an amazing event, one of our finest Table Lodges yet. Special thanks needs to be given to Bro. Steve Kelly and Bro. Ryan S. Bonett, the magic workers in the kitchen. The food was flawless. A visitor that had lived in Germany stated to me that this was better than anything he had eaten while living in Germany. That is an amazing complement. We were honored to have two visiting Masters of Lodges and good friends of our Lodge, W:. Gargano of Living Stone Lodge No. 255 and W:. Tyler of Ancient Landmarks Lodge No. 358. We were also honored to visiting our Table Lodge as a guest, Mr. Dario Tazzioli. He is a world renowned artist commissioned by the Vatican. His interest in learning more about Freemasonry lead him to Bro. Cody Kroll and to our table. It was on honor to have spoken with him. The night concluded with W:. Daniel J. Di Natale and W:. Fredrick G. Clark making those in attendance "Turtles". Be very careful at Harmonie Brothers, you may just owe a few drinks! I have updated the Harmonie website with the event pictures. Please check them out it was a night to remember, http://harmonie699.org/photos/2012-photo-album/2012-german-table-lodge-2/.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
It's my privilege to report to you that the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club hosted yet another Summer Solstice picnic; serving dual duty as the celebration of The Holy Saints John Day as well. In true RJKFC style, the festivities were well attended by Brethren and Fellows, and good times were had by all. Very special thanks go out to Brother Ben Kaminski for his delicious contribution of his signature smoked "Bacon Explosion" served with a generous side of smoked bacon wrapped jalapeno and cheese finger-food appetizers. Additionally, I want to extend heart felt gratitude to Brother Steve Kelly for donating a wonderful charcoal grill to the RJK Fellowcraft Club. The grill proved to be perfect for our needs, and the Club will get years of use from his generous gift.
Aside from fantastic conversation, the day was filled with clear skies perfect for frisbee and a Nordic lawn game that W:. Daniel J. Di Natale introduced us to. Plenty of cold beverages kept us cool, and in addition to Bro. Kaminski's culinary treats, delicious Rib-eye Delmonico steaks were served with tasty sides. A fine selection of premium cigars procured by Brother Andre Pigeon rounded out the day's offerings, and no one went away dissatisfied.
The Feast of the Holy Saints John, celebrated in conjunction with the Summer Solstice was a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with Brothers we haven't seen in a while, and a great way to meet new Fellows seeking to be members or The Craft. It's one of my favorite events of the year, and holds a special place in my heart... and belly too!
Thanks to all for attending, and for making this year's event a success! Stay tuned, as 2012 will surely be a fun filled year!
Bro. Dennis McMullen
President, RJK Fellowcraft Club
Monday, June 25, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I met a dear old man today
Who wore a Masonic pin.
It was old and faded like the man
Its edges were worn quite thin
I approached the park bench where he sat
To give the old brother his due
I said, "I see you've traveled east."
He said, "I have, have you?"
I said, "I have and in my day
Before the all seeing sun
I played in the rubble of Jubala
Jubilo, and Jubalum."
He shouted, "Don't laugh at the work my son.
It's good and sweet and true.
And if you've traveled as you have said
You should give these things a due.
"The word, the sign, the token,
The sweet Masonic prayer,
The vow that all have taken
Who have climbed the inner stair.
"The wages of a Mason
are never paid in gold.
But the gain comes from contentment
when you're weak and growing old.
"You see I've carried my obligation
for almost fifty years.
It has helped me through the hardships
and the failures full of tears.
"Now I'm losing my mind and my body.
Death is near but I don't despair.
I've lived my life upon the level
And I'm dying upon the square."
Sometimes the greatest lessons
Are those that are learned anew
And the old man in the park today
has changed my point of view.
To all Masonic Brothers
The only secret is to care.
May you live upon the level.
May you part upon the square
Monday, March 12, 2012
When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope, and courage-which is the root of every virtue.
When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellowman.
When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins-knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds.
When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself.
When he loves flowers, can hunt birds without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child.
When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.
When star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead.
When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response.
When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be.
When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond mud, and into the face of the most forlorn fellow mortal and see something beyond sin.
When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope.
When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellowman, and with his God; in his hands a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song-glad to live, but not afraid to die!
Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world.
Friday, March 9, 2012
I saw this posted on our good Brother John Paul Gomez's facebook and had to share. I love what Brother Grant has to say. Being so close to our 3rd Degree and with other events that have happened around our quarry, I think it good food for thought of our Fellowcrafts and Master Masons alike. Enjoy my Brothers!
2. Vanity is dead for them. They see themselves as they are and do not pretend to be something other than what they are.
3. Anger is no longer their master. They have found that anger is a defense mechanism of the ego.
4. They are not the slaves of possessions. Money, homes, cars, clothes, books, TV's are not evil in themselves; it is being a slave to them that is a problem.
5. Master Masons are not afraid to act with courage in their convictions. If they have a fear, they act to overcome it.
6. A Master Mason is always a real person. He does not care what others think of him, but he constantly cares for the welfare of others.
7. He sees the viewpoints of others. He listens and thinks about what others are saying so as to understand them.
8. His emotions are always positive. If hate or anger try to control him, he finds love and understanding and lets them bloom instead.
9. He uses his imagination for creative, not destructive purposes. He imagines how he is going to respond instead of react to events.
10. He does not belittle or slander others. His job is to see that anything that comes from his mind, emotions, or mouth is the highest it can be for him.
11. Each day he aligns himself with his inner teacher. He does this by spending a few quiet minutes to allow himself to be healed of his vices and shortcomings.
12. All his actions have as their basic animating energy the power of Love. Even when he acts as a warrior to destroy darkness and evil, it is with the support of love and freedom.
13. He always has a vision. His vision comes from his heart, and because this is so, it always includes humanity.
14. His actions, feelings and thoughts are in harmony with the teachings of ageless Wisdom. He is always acting in the best interests of all concerned, and his daily life is an example of sanity and balance.
15. He is never fanatical. He is sane, normal, and healthy. The most interesting idea about the Master Mason is that he is one who is an example of integration. Integration means that his mind, emotions, and body all work together and not against each other. A true Master Mason has glimpsed the eternal and unchanging reality of life. He sees all things as necessary in the Great Plan for unfolding the hidden potential of all creation. As such, mortality and its illusion are overcome by him. As he lives in the eternal, his life reflects that eternal consciousness.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
My Dear Brothers,
Each month I try to bring you a review of the finest in Masonic Regalia. This month have a special review of my favorite producer of Masonic Aprons, in my opinion the best United States, Brother William Ellis (Delton Lodge No.105 F and A. M of Georgia) of Brotherhood Aprons.
I found Brother Ellis when he was first getting started on ebay. I found a few aprons he made, nothing crazy just ultra high quality plain white apron for dress wear. I fell in love with the craftsmanship as soon as I got my first in the mail. In fact each year since, our Candidate's Aprons have been made by him. Each year our candidates, visitors and Brethren can’t believe the quality of the Aprons. They are just that amazing.He is also the only craftsmen I know that makes true white lambskin aprons (other company state it is but in the fine print it states "lambskin like product").
I had read many books and have seen the amazing works of art that once were Masonic Aprons. I discovered that it used to be common Masonic practice to have your own custom Apron, an Apron made by you representing your love of the Craft. I want something like that so badly and I found it in Brother Ellis’s work. I have 5 Aprons that he has made for me other the years and I wear them every chance I get. Brother Ellis is a joy to work with and has helped me develop many of the custom items our Lodge has in it's collection.
His Aprons are made by him and his wife, all in the USA. The best part of it is his pricing. His Aprons are priced a fifth of what other Masonic Regalia companies charge and his quality is vastly superior. Even better, what you can dream he can design.I have yet to stump him on a design and each one I send only comes back better then what I designed.
Brother Ellis has helped me make my vision of custom Masonic Aprons for Harmonie a reality. I have strongly recommended that each new Brother (and others on the sideline) have one made for him to wear to Lodge after their rising and beyond. Make it a point to visit his webpage and talk to him about your very own custom apron. He just got a new printing machine and from what I have seen the design is only bound by what you can think up.