Thursday, September 26, 2013

“Admit Him if Properly Clothed: The Evolution of the Masonic Apron in America 1740 to Present.” – W:. Patrick Craddock - September 25th

Amazing falls short to describe the caliber of this program. For the last three years Harmonie Lodge has hosted its Distinguished Speaker Series. This program was a dream of W:. Nathan Shoff, W:. Fredrick Clark II and myself. We wanted to be able to bring true Masonic scholars to the District to share their light. This year is no different as we had the distinct honor of hosting Worshipful Patrick Craddock of the Craftsman's Apron. He is one of the foremost experts on the Masonic Apron and its development and use in the United States and abroad. If you missed it I am so sorry Brother. This was something you really should have come an seen. 

Brother Craddock is a wonderful Man and Mason and an amazing public speaker. We filled the festive board of the Lodge with well over 30 Brothers from all over Western New York and as far as Olean. The program was very well received and spurred immediate conversations between the Brothers as to the state of our regalia. 

I have said the past the I want my Past Masters Apron to be from the Craftsman's Apron. After meeting with Brother Craddock and learning about his methods I know I found the right Brother for the job. Take a look at his wonderful website - 

W:. Craddock and W:. Di Natale

A Toast to our Honored Guest

W:. Backus, W:. Craddock and W:. Di Natale

The Lecture 

Teaching Around the Table like Masons of Old

Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club - Bullets and Brotherhood Weekend - September 20th to 22nd

Rain or shine this was a wonderful event. Once again the Brothers of Harmonie ventured to the woods of Angelica, New York to share in bullets and Brotherhood. Sadly the just awful weather kept many of those that signed up from coming, it was still a blast. The R.J.K hosted Brothers from Livingstone Lodge and Amherst Lodge. The food is always good but with Brother Ben Kaminski in the kitchen we hit a new level this year. Special thanks to him for allowing us another year at his wonderful hunting retreat and to Brother President Monheim for his organizing of the event. I hope the weather is better next year so more can enjoy this wonderful time away from the hustle and bustle of Buffalo living.  

Worshipful Daniel J. Di Natale

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Honoring Brother Richard Hoos, D.S.A - 68 Years a Brother of Harmonie - September 17, 2013

A life dedicated to the Craft does not fully express the dedication Brother Richard Hoos, D.S.A, has. He has been a Brother of Harmonie Lodge since 1945. He is the longest serving member of the Lodge serving 68 years. Due to health concerns the Lodge was never able to make it over to Brother Hoos to honor him for his 65 year of service. Brother Hoos has since recovered and the Lodge was able to meet him and award him for his years of dedication. It is sometimes difficult for the youth of the Lodge to apprecicate all that our senior members have done.

Brother Hoos shared wonderful stories and insight into the Lodge over the last 68 years. He shared that his Uncle the Right Worshipful (Past Master of Harmonie Lodge in 1933) Carl A. Luther brought him into the Craft. He said things were very different back then as the Lodge was meeting at the Niagara Street Temple and the Craft held a very different role in society.  He shared wonderful stories of his time as Color Guard for Ismailia Shrine and the Lodge's past travels to Cleveland and Palmer Lodge in Fort Erie. Seems that in the past our new sister Lodge was well acquainted with our Lodge.

One thing can be taken away from Brother Hoos, age is nothing but a number. Brother Hoos in also being the longest serving member of the Lodge is also the oldest. In talking to him you would never know he was born in the early 20s. If you ever get the pleasure to speak with him (Give him a call. He loves to talk to the Brothers) he is witty and a joy to speak with.

On September 17th the Brothers went to finally meet up with Brother Hoos and award him for his years of service. The event was attended by over 15 Brothers and Brother Hoos's family. Though late by a few years, tt was just wonderful to see him so excited. The Lodge very much looks forward to awarding him in 2 years with his 70 year certificate and pin.

It was the honor of a lifetime to be the Master that honored him. W:. Daniel J. Di Natale

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tending to the Graves at Acacia Park Cemetery

As Master of the Lodge many things fall to my responsibility. Tending to the sick, assisting in support of Brothers in hard times and honoring our dead, just to name a few. Honoring our dead is one of those odd levels of responsibility, as honoring them does not end at the funeral service but continues as long as we can actively recall our fallen Brothers in any capacity.

In my time as Master, I have been requested to tend the graves of those Brothers who's families are no longer able. An honor as a Master of a Lodge. It has taken me to some amazing Masonic sites in the Buffalo area that are often neglected. One such site is Resthaven located at Acacia Part Cemetery in Tonawanda, New York. Founded by Brother Adolph Richard Hansen in 1928,  noticing that there was no special place for respectful interment outside of the City of Buffalo for Freemasons. The cemetery eventualy grew out to included many different social, fraternal and civic groups as having their own burial sections. Yet still the three largest plots are of a Masonic connection or theme.

The cemetery is littered with memorials. The three largest beingMasonic in theme. Much like other sites in the Buffalo area this one also has a huge outdoor Lodge room. Easily the span of half a food ball field it is much larger than that found at Elm Lawn yet is not correct in construction as the one found there. The altar is not in the center at Acacia park and the chairs are off center to one another, yet is still very impressive just in its scale. The two more impressive memorials stand in their own section the of the cemetery.

The Resthaven Masonic Memorial to Master Masons  is a impressive work of art deco sculpture. It is impressively placed on the center of  mound surrounded by the graves of those Masons listed on the brass marker on the front of the memorial. The third memorial is a lone Corinthian column with a virgin weeping next to the broken column. Simply massive statue surmounted by a globe, denoting the universality of benevolence from the Craft.

This site has changed hands a few times, once being managed by the Order now owned by a company that holds a few graveyards in Buffalo. Sadly, the graves in the Masonic sections are not as well kept as the should be. These sites are part of our local Masonic heritage and hold deep cultural value. I hope in time we can undo the damage that has been.

W:. Daniel j. Di Natale

Outdoor Lodge located in Masonic Garden 

Full shot of the Corinthian Column  

The lone virgin weeping at the broken column 

Resthaven Memorial 

Top of the Resthaven Memorial 

District Deputy Grand Master's Official Visitation - August 28, 2013

Dear Brothers,

What a wonderful night to kick off the District Deputy's official visitation season for 2013. Harmonie for at least the last 8 years has been the first to host the Deputy in his travels around the 1st Erie District, an honor each year. The Lodge welcomed the Right Worshipful Thomas Pecoraro and the 1st Erie District team in true Harmonie fashion. Hold a huge festive board feast in celebration of his and the team's service to the Craft. In thanks to our DDGM service the Lodge presented him with a print of King Solomon from the work of Gustave Dore, inscribed by each member present at the communication. 

This DDGM's presentation is unlike any that has been shown it the past. It is amazing to see the raw talent and dedication of the 1st Erie Team. Brother, if you missed this official presentation do your best to visit another Lodge and see it. It sets the bar high for the next DDGM. It is both very informative and entertaining. If you don't leave the communication feeling strong about what it is our Grand Lodge does and how amazing it is to be a New York Mason than nothing will. 

At this communication the Lodge also presents is annual awards to our Brethren. To make this presentations even more special for the recipients was our list of distinguished guests from Canada. The Lodge welcomed the Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Canada and the District Deputy Grand Master of Niagara District B, home to our Sister Lodge in Fort Erie who accompanied them to the communcation. They witnessed the first presentation of the "Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club - Past President's Medal" by the Lodge to all of our past presidents of the club. The R.J.K.F.C is credited with being the first wave of rejuvenation that we are known for. The past serving presidents have never been honored for their dedication and inspiration to the Lodge. This award does just that and going forward will contuinue to award those who serve the Lodge with such dedication. 

W:. Daniel J. Di Natale

Prestation of the Lodge's gift to out District Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Thomas Pecoraro

From left to right -  Brother Dennis James McMullen – President of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft – Serving June 2012 to January 2013 - W:. Fredrick G. Clark – President of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club – Serving 2007 to 2009 - W:. Daniel J. Di Natale – President of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club - Serving 2009 to 2012 - - Brother John Balk – Founding President of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club – Serving 2005 to 2007 - Brother Donald Monheim – President of the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club – Serving 2013 to Present