Sunday, October 28, 2012

Harmonie Hosts Debate Night - Standardized vs. Non-Standardized Ritual Work - October 24th


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.

W:. D  

Visitation to Ancient Landmarks Lodge - 3rd Degree October 22nd of Masonry

Brothers from Left to Right - W:. Robert Tyler, Master of Ancient Landmarks Lodge No. 358, Brother David Storck, Lewis of W:. Michael Storck, W:. Michael Storck, Past Master Ancient Landmarks Lodge No. 358 - 2011, W:. Daniel J. Di Natale, Master of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 


On October 22nd the Master and Wardens of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 witnessed the raising of Bro. David Storck. This 3rd Degree was special in that Bro. David is the son of Worshipful Michael Storck, our very good friend. It was moving to see father raise son to the sublime Degree. I very much hope to be able to witness it in our Lodge, well as soon as our sons are ready (another 19 years or so!) 

From what the Brothers of Ancient Landmarks told us, this was the first time in memory that the Master and Wardens from a visiting Lodge came at once to witness a Degree. I can say that it was our honor and minus rank or station none of us would have missed it. As it is said "Harmony is the support of all institutions, especially this of ours."


Masonic Memorial Service at Elmlawn

Dear Brothers,
On October 20th, 2012 I had the distinct honor of holding a Graveside Masonic service held at the Masonic Section of Elmlawn Cemetery. This was not held for any specific Brother but a service to remember all those that have passed to the Grand Lodge Above and have been laid to rest at this location. If you have not visited this Masonic burial site you really need to take the time and visit. This is one of three major Masonic Graveyards in the Buffalo (Acacia Park and Forest Lawn are the others). This site is unique in that the Brothers whom designed this memorial built freestanding Lodge Room out of stone in the center of the site.

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.  

"Observing the Craft" W:. Andrew Hammer's Lectures at Enchanted Mountain Lodge

Image from Left to Right - Bro. Nick DeBergalis, S.W - R:.W:. Timothy Nolan - W:. Andrew Hammer - Bro. John Backhaus  

Panorama of the amazing Olean Masonic Temple Lodge Room 

Overhead of the Olean Masonic Temple 

What an amazing evening. On October 16th, the Brothers of Harmonie had the honor of escorting W:. Brother Andrew Hammer, our Lodge's 1st Patron, to Enchanted Lodge Mountain Lodge No. 252 in Olean, New York at the amazing Olean Masonic Temple. This event was hosted by the 309 Society and what an evening it was. The lecture given by W:. Hammer was moving and motivating. The progression of the restorative Masonic movement is sweeping the country. Lodges inspired by W:. Hammer's work , like Harmonie, were once considered the outliers. Today the movement is becoming much more common and the return to real Masonic practice is becoming a true force for change.

If you have not heard Brother Hammer speak or have read his book, get on it. His book is amazing and hearing him speak is a true privilege.  I would also advise you on taking a trip out the Olean Temple. It is well worth your time. The Lodge is a site to see and easily the most impressive Lodge room I have see this side of the State.   
Around the Quarry,
W:. D 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bro. Bonnett presents "The Masks of Masonry"

What an innovative and refreshing program. On September 26th our Senior Warden Bro. Ryan S. Bonnett presented his program the "Masks of Masonry". This was one of the best program I have seen in a long while. Bro. Bonnett covered the jungian inspired archetypes and who they are represented in the Lodge. Bro. Bonnett has a flair for using pop culture references in his program, and with amazing effects. I very much hope he takes his outlined power point presentation and fills it out to a full paper. As always, Bro. Bonnett's work invoked much discussion around the Festive Board. I personally do not know what could be asked for in presentation of Masonic works.  

2012 Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club "Bullets and Brotherhood" Shooting Event

Dear Brothers,

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.