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Friday, October 31, 2014

Speaking at Hope Lodge No. 150 in Hope, Indiana

I will be speaking at the Honored Ladies Night in Hope Lodge, located in Hope, Indiana, near Columbus. Looking forward to being there! The event starts at 6:00PM. The lodge is located at 9380 State Road 9, in Hope.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

York Rite Degree Day in Illinois

York Rite Masons in Illinois and Indiana take note. Please plan to attend and support the joint Illinois/Indiana Chapter Day, Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 
Hosted by the Valley of Danville AASR—Masonic Center—109 West North Street, Danville IL 
Honoring Companions Rob Beldon from Illinois and from Indiana who have labored well in our quarries. 
If you have candidates for this event, please contact the Candidate Coordinator listed below. 

Agenda 
 8:00 AM Registration 
 9:00 AM Degree Work begins 

The 4th & 5th degrees will be put on by Indiana, the 6th & 7th degrees will be put on by Illinois 
Lunch will be pulled pork bbq, smoked beef brisket, potato casserole, and pineapple sheet cake. Cost is $10. 

Please make reservations by November 17th to Ryan Irby (contact details below )

For more information, please visit the Illinois Grand Chapter website at www.ram-il.org 
Candidate Coordinators: Ryan Irby (217) 918-0247, or at rwirby13@gmail.com (Illinois) 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cliff Porter Speaking at Lodge Vitruvian 10/28 in Indianapolis

Come join us for an evening of fellowship and scholarly discussion on the evening of Tuesday, October 28, 2014 AD, 6014 AL.
We are determined to complete our business in one hour.

7:00 - 8:00 PM Stated Meeting
Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 F&AM
Broad Ripple Masonic Temple
1716 Broad Ripple Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220-2338
“In the style of European Lodges, members are expected to dress in tuxedo for all Communications of the Lodge. Members also purchase their own regalia, (apron, collar, gloves, case), according to Lodge Vitruvian specifications.”
Visitors dress in tuxedo, Highland dress, or business attire.
If brethren choose to arrive at Lodge Vitruvian in Highland dress, they should wear a black Argyle Jacket, or Prince Charlie, with a tuxedo shirt and black bow tie, or a Montrose Doublet, and black leather or patent leather shoes.
8:30 - 10:30 PM Festive Board
Capri Italian Ristorante
2602 Ruth Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3283
Keynote Speaker:
W. Bro. Cliff Porter
Subject:
The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry: Alchemy, Gnosis, and the Science of the Craft
Visiting brethren are welcome to join us for the Stated Meeting, ladies and guests are welcome to join us for the Festive Board.
Each attendee will be responsible for the cost of his meal.
In an effort to assist our Secretary, I am requesting dinner reservations from members and guests, and regrets from our members.

Sincerely and fraternally,
carson.c.smith@gmail.com
Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 F&AM
W. Bro. Carson C. Smith
2207 Van Ness Place
Indianapolis, IN 46240-4703
(317) 319-3712 Cell

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rosicrucians Moving From Masonic Week to Next November in Louisville

An announcement from the SRICF, the Rosicrucian Society:

The High Council of Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis has been considering the idea of meeting independently and expanding Rosicrucian programs for several years.  During the past several years High Council meetings have doubled in size, with members enjoying the grades portrayed and asking for more.  Some suggested adding, workshops, seminars and additional degrees, with the continuation of notable Rosicrucian speakers.

For years the Society has met as a part of Masonic Week in the Washington D.C. area.  While that venue has been successful, the number of other Masonic groups meeting during the week has doubled.  The ability to have more time for additional degrees or workshops would have been difficult, if not impossible to accomplish given the time constraints.  Snowy inclement weather has added a new dimension to meeting in Washington D.C. during the winter months. 

The steady growth of our Colleges, particularly in the western states, has created a desire to relocate to a more central location.  After the last several years of snowy weather encumbering travel, a change in either location or time was necessary.  This matter has been discussed among the Chief Adepts and High Council members through a plethora of e-mails and phone calls.

The agreed upon date is November 6-8, 2015, the first weekend in November, and Louisville is the agreed location. We will have the RSKO on Friday Evening, and then we plan on starting the High Council at 8 AM Saturday, with seminars, degree conferrals, etc., all day ending with the Banquet on Saturday evening. 

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, an agreement, was finalized with the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY.  The Brown is owned by Galtex Corporation, former owners of the Hotel Washington, where Masonic Week met for years.  The Hotel is steeped in history, is elegant, and the place to build a tradition.  Further, it is affordable with a rate of $129, $30 less than 2014 prices!  Check out their website: www.brownhotel.com.  Those who miss the elegance of the Hotel Washington are going to love this Hotel.

Reservations may be made on line by going to:
           
https://bookings.ihotelier.com/bookings.jsp?groupID=1205886&hotelID=13721


or call 888-888-5252 and tell them you are with SRICF to receive our rate.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Illus. Brother Art de Hoyos in White Plains, NY 10/23


On October 23rd, the Valley of the Hudson, AASR NMJ will host Illustrious Brother Arturo de Hoyos for a talk entitled "The Art of Rituals in Freemasonry." The dinner is $10 and is open to all Master Masons. Dinner begins at 6PM, and Art's talk will begin at 8PM.

It will be held at the White Plains Masonic Temple, 262 Martine Ave., White Plains, NY.

For more information, contact mannyrios@gmail.com or call 917-562-7064.

Grand Lodge of New York Visual Tour



UntappedCities.com has done a visual tour of the Grand Lodge of New York's magnificent building in NYC.

Click here to see it.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital


From an editorial in the Pioneer Press in Minneapolis/St. Paul:

Generous people make a difference every day, all around our region.
We recognize their commitment, in particular this week, with word of a new name in Twin Cities health care: the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.
The change recognizes a gift of $25 million from the Minnesota Masonic Charities and a legacy of support -- spanning the last 60 years -- that now exceeds $125 million. The gifts make the Masons its largest donor, according to the university.
The new gift will support pediatric research and care delivery at the hospital on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Last year, it cared for children from 80 of Minnesota's 87 counties.
Giving from the Masons includes $75 million for cancer research and care since 2008, and additional gifts that began back in 1955.
With support from the Masons, the University built the 80-bed Masonic Memorial Hospital, dedicated in 1958, and the Masonic Cancer Research Building in the mid-'90s. The Masonic Cancer Center, so named after a 2008 pledge, continues to have a profound impact, a joint statement from the university and Minnesota Masonic Charities said, and the Masonic Cancer Clinic, currently under construction, will provide compassionate care until a cure is in hand.
"The Masonic Fraternity is passionate about helping Minnesotans lead longer and healthier lives," Eric Neetenbeek, Minnesota Masonic Charities president and CEO, said in a statement.
"By supporting the children's hospital, we hope to facilitate new treatments and cures that will benefit patients and families across the state and around the world."
Minnesota Masonic Charities, the nonprofit charitable organization of Minnesota Masonry, is one of the largest grantmakers in the state. "Our commitment may be drawn from tradition, but our drive comes from today's most pressing issues," the organization's website says, noting its focus in five areas: education, cancer research, elder services, community outreach and the preservation of Masonic history.
A Pioneer Press report noted another major gift so far in the history of the children's hospital, which opened in 2008 and in 2009 was named the Amplatz Children's Hospital after a $50 million donation by the daughter of Dr. Kurt Amplatz, a former radiology professor at the university who invented a cardiac device that closes abnormal holes in children's hearts.
In March, Caroline Amplatz allowed university officials to remove her father's name from the hospital, which is affiliated with the U of M Medical School, the report said. She opted to relinquish naming rights to open the opportunity for another donor, according to a university spokeswoman.
With this week's announcement -- and its legacy of philanthropy -- Minnesota Masonic Charities allows the university to "develop leading academic medicine programs that change the lives of families throughout the state and nation, and around the world," wrote U of M President Eric Kaler.
The power of such philanthropy and generosity is remarkable, he said. "It confirms the deep affection and trust so many Minnesotans have for the university. That this gift will deliver invaluable benefits to children, our most vulnerable patients, especially delights and touches me."
Such good-for-kids giving is good for all of us, and it makes Minnesota a better place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Speaking Sunday at Escurial Lodge No. 7, Virginia City, NV


I'll be speaking Sunday evening at the rededication of Escurial Lodge No. 7 in Virginia City, Nevada. This is their 150th year gala anniversary, chartered in October 1864.

Lodge is opened by Grand Lodge at 2:00PM, followed by the events of the evening at Piper's Opera House. Speakers begin at 6:30, featuring Grand Master MW John Buffington, WBro. Jim Clark, WM of Escurial, Ron James, Nevada State historian, and then me.


Escurial 7 was one of the four original lodges on the Comstock. It was originally chartered by the California Grand Lodge as Escurial # 171, on Oct. 13,1864.  It later became Escurial # 7 under the Grand Lodge of Nevada on Jan. 18,1865 shortly after Nevada became a State.
Originally, Escurial Lodge met in the same lodge building as Virginia # 3, and the two lodges shared the same quarters for many years.
On May 19, 1875, a fire consumed much of Virginia City, including the lodge building that Escurial 7 and Virginia 3 were meeting in at the time.  This necessitated that the two lodges would meet in the Odd Fellows hall, while a new lodge was being constructed.
On September 3, 1875, a second fire then destroyed the Odd Fellows hall, along with all the Masonic lodge records of Escurial 7 and Virginia 3.  Following this fire, the first of the “Masons on the Mountain” meetings was held on top of Mt. Davidson.
Construction of another new lodge was under way when, on October 26, 1875, a third fire destroyed much of the Virginia City, once again, including the lodge.
The present lodge building was constructed in 1987 through the generosity of Brother Francis N. Fisher, PM, PGM, a long time resident of Virginia City and a member of Escurial Lodge # 7.
Many of the present furnishings were salvaged from the fourth lodge building, constructed after the fires, and are still in use today.  The lodge jewels are fashioned from the silver mined from the Comstock Lode.  The upper lodge room was designed and built as a copy of the original lodge room of 1863.
Approximately 730 Master Masons have joined Escurial Lodge # 7 and signed the by-laws since it’s humble beginning in 1864.

 Looking forward to being there.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fraternal, Service Groups Battle Declining Membership

From the article "Fraternal, Service Groups Battle Declining Membership" in the Lafayette, Indiana Journal Courier Online, by Taya Flores:

It was the "Greatest Generation," or World World II veterans, who triggered the major boom in many organizations after the war ended in 1945.
"They were ready to own this society, to be a part of everything," said Duane Vaught,deputy grandmaster of Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, a Christian-oriented fraternal organization open only to Freemasons.
 
"Unbelievable numbers of them joined everything. Our membership skyrocketed starting in the mid-'40s until the mid-'60s. Our membership was huge in the '50s. Everybody wanted to be a member."But their grandchildren — baby boomers who came of age around 1970 — were not joiners, he said.
"We are taking in a pretty decent number of members each year, but the deaths among the WWII generation offset the people joining every single year," he said. "That's the unfortunate part."
 
George Braatz, executive secretary of the Masonic Service Association of North America, agreed. 
"During the Vietnam War, across our country, there was a feeling that no organization could be trusted," he said. "The people of that age did not participate. They did not get involved in service organizations."

[snip]
 
Other groups, such as the local Freemasons, say they are finding results simply by being more visible. In the past, Freemasons were not allowed to tell anyone they were Masonic. Due to declining numbers, however, they have become more visible. 
"Freemasonry doesn't recruit, but we do work to try and attract," said J. Keith Henry, member of Lafayette Lodge 123. "Attraction is passive. We give them the opportunity (and) information. We talk to them, but they have to make the first step and talk to us."His lodge sets up an informational booth at the Mosey Down Main Street festivals during summer months.  
Decline started in the '80s, when the massive WWII membership influx began dying out. By 2000, however, the membership numbers started to bounce back, Henry said. "But they are not coming back super fast," he said. "We don't have massive numbers like they did after the wars." There are about 150 members in his lodge now, he said. He could not easily locate past membership numbers, he added.  
He attributes the uptick in membership to forming relationships with Purdue University fraternities and Ivy Tech Community College and restoring the Merou Grotto — the social club for Master Masons on North River Road in West Lafayette. They restored the prophet's lounge and the dining room on the second floor. The facility is also used for outreach, such as a community flea market held during the summer.  
"Believe it or not, guys want to find things that don't always involve going out and drinking," he said. The new members have been age 45 and younger. In the '90s, the average member age was in the 70s, Henry said. 
Technology has also worked in the group's favor. "A lot of people think social media is great, but it lacks the physical connection, the handshake, the breaking of bread with your brothers," he said. "A lot of people lack that social connection and they are starting to look for it."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

World Conference on Fraternalism, Freemasonry & History 5/29-31, 2015

Convened by the journal Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society in cooperation with the Bibliothèque Nationale, the first World Conference on Fraternalism, Freemasonry, and History: Research in Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society, focuses on the study of ritual, secrecy, and civil society vis-à-vis the dynamics of Masonic scholarship around the world. The conference aims to explore how civil society, secrecy, and ritual have been important elements during different episodes of local and world histories, and indeed still are.
The conference will be held biennially in Paris, and hopes to open new doors while promoting multilingual and multicultural scholarship in areas such as, the relations between such Masonic-related subjects as the Companionnage, guilds, friendly societies, and Greek fraternities. 

The call for papers is now open, and perspectives on and interpretations of all time periods and geographic zones are welcome. The standard length of individual presentations is planned to be between 15 and 20 minutes, further details will be administered nearer the start date. Paper and panel proposals should be submitted to Whitney Shepard, Registrar of the Conference, at wshepard@ipsonet.org. Papers accepted for presentation will be published byWestphalia Press in three collections: Vital Masonic Scholarship in the 21st CenturyNew Research in Secret Societies, and European Scholarship in Secrecy and Ritualism. Additionally, some presentations will be made available for online streaming and video recorded through the American Public University System
Organizing Committee: Guillermo De Los Reyes (Conference Chair- University of Houston), 
Paul Rich (George Mason University), Daniel Guiterrez-Sandoval (Policy Studies Organization), 
Pierre Mollier (Editor, Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society), Alain Bauer (National Conservatory 
for Arts and Crafts), Maria Eugenia Vazquez-Semadeni (University of California, Los Angeles), 
Brent Morris (Scottish Rite Supreme Council), John Belton (Manchester Association of Masonic 
Research), Yasha Beresiner (InterCol London)
In order to make possible the attendance of all interested parties, the sponsors have agreed that there will be no registration fee for the 2015 conference. This owes much to the great support of the Bibliothèque Nationale in being such a generous host. One of the world's extraordinary libraries with a remarkable Masonic collection, it is well worth exploring while you are in Paris. And although there is no cost, it is imperative that all attendees and participants still register, so that we may facilitate the proper arrangements and accomodations. Please note: the fee is only waived upon application to the Registrar of the Conference, Whitney Shepard. Early inquiry is appreciated in regards to special requests for hearing enhancement, physically challenged access, child care, or other potential needs of our guests.
There is a metro that adjoins the Library, for easy access to the conference. Complimentary coffee and refreshments will be provided throughout the day for our guests. Meals may be taken by delegates at any of the numerous nearby cafes and eateries. Although there will not be an official conference dinner on Saturday, arrangements will be made for delegates and their guests to join one of several informal groups to dine together that evening. Attendees will be able to sign up for a group upon registration. On Sunday there will be an optional informal walk, taking in the masonic and masonic related sites of the area. Details about this excursion will be forthcoming.
We hope to make everyone's journey as smooth as possible, so please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or advice for travel and booking options. For those arriving early to the conference, here are a few visitor suggestions and local attractions that you may enjoy. We also hope you will check out this site, which is a helpful resource for all interested in Masonic research and education. 
Below is a tentative schedule of events for the meeting: 
 ritconf logo
The Patron Saints and the Point Within the Circle
by Roy Mandell and Margaret Schmidt. Oil on canvas. 2014
Commissioned by John Mercer Lodge in Omaha Nebraska
Master of the lodge at the time: Brother David Long
  World Conference on Fraternalism, Freemasonry & History
Schedule of Events
Day One: Friday- May 29, 2015
9:00AM Coffee in the Foyer
9:30 AM Welcome- Grand Auditorium 
Guillermo De los Reyes, Conference Chair
Jean-Loup Graton, Bibliothèque Nationale
Pierre Mollier, Editor- Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society
10:00 AM Keynote Address- Grand Auditorium 
Margaret C. Jacob, Distinguished Professor History, University California of Los Angeles-Where do we go From Here?
Introduced by: Paul J. Rich, President, Policy Studies Organization
11:00 AM Special Instrumental Presentation
400 Years of Masonic Music- Special Instrumental Presentation
11:30-11:45 AM Coffee in the Foyer

11:45AM - 12:45 PM Masonic Bibliography, Individual Sessions
Salon One- John Belton, Problems in Masonic Bibliography
Salon TwoThe Masonic Collections of the The Bibliothèque Nationale
12:45 - 2:15 PM Break for Lunch
2:15 - 3:00 PM Plenary Address
John Cooper, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of California, President of the North American Conference of Grand Masters- Into the Maelstrom: The Issue of Masonic Regularity, Past and Present
Commentator: Alain Bauer
Chair: Guillermo De Los Reyes
3:00 - 3:30 PM Dance Interpretation of the Initiation
3:30 - 3:45 PM Coffee in the Foyer
3:45- 4:45 PM Salon Breakout Sessions
Salon One: The Masonic Architecture of Paris
Day Two: Saturday- May 30, 2015
9:00 AM Coffee in Foyer
9:30 - 10:45 AM Plenary in Grand Auditorium
Jean-Michel Mathonière, Compagnonnage: Knowledge and Symbols of Knowledge Among Stone Cutters at the End of the Ancien Régime
10:45 - 12: 45 AM Salon Breakout Sessions
Salon One:
Guillermo De Los Reyes and Paul Rich, Smuggling Masonic Books, Politics and Chaos in the Early Mexican Republic
Salon Two:
Yasha Beresiner, Medieval Guilds of the City of London and their Later Influence on Freemasonry
Chair: Guillermo Izabal
Salon Three: 
Zhenya Gershman, Rembrandt's Secret
Philip Carter, That Which Was Lost- The Third Pillar
Commentator: Goncalo Amaral
12:45 - 2:30 PM Break for Lunch 
2:30 - 3:30 PM Plenary Session
Brent Morris, Henry Andrew Francken's Manuscripts: The Ritual Cornerstone of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
3:30 - 4:30 PM Salon Breakout Sessions
Salon One: John Acaster, The Voyage from Corruption to Harmony: Fresh Insights Into the Inspiration of Noah and 'the primitive' Within Freemasonry
Salon Two: Daniel Gutierrez-Sandoval, Publishing Masonic Books is not that Difficult: A Guide to New Realities 
Commentator: Rex Kallembach
4:30 PM Closing Plenary Session
Sunday- May 31, 2015
~~Informal walking tour of local Masonic sites and architecture (details forthcoming)~~

Monday, October 06, 2014

Indiana Masonic Home Arch Damaged By Driver

From Daily Journal in Franklin, IN:

Franklin police are looking for a driver who smashed through part of the brick arch near the Indiana Masonic Home entrance.
The accident occurred about 4 a.m. Saturday. A woman reported that a man showed up at her home and was intoxicated. He told her he had been in an accident, according to a police report.
He left the house about 5 a.m. and tried to drive away in his damaged truck. The truck was abandoned in the 300 block of East South Street and the driver ran off into the woods when police approached. Police later stopped a vehicle that was circling the area, which was being driven by the mother of the man police were looking for, the police report said. She denied that she was looking for her son, the report said.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Cliff Porter at Lodge Vitruvian in Indianapolis October 28th

Come join us for an evening of fellowship and scholarly discussion on the evening of Tuesday, October 28, 2014 AD, 6014 AL.
We are determined to complete our business in one hour.
7:00 - 8:00 PM Stated Meeting
Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 F&AM
Broad Ripple Masonic Temple
1716 Broad Ripple Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220-2338
“In the style of European Lodges, members are expected to dress in tuxedo for all Communications of the Lodge. Members also purchase their own regalia, (apron, collar, gloves, case), according to Lodge Vitruvian specifications.”
Visitors dress in tuxedo, Highland dress, or business attire.
If brethren choose to arrive at Lodge Vitruvian in Highland dress, they should wear a black Argyle Jacket, or Prince Charlie, with a tuxedo shirt and black bow tie, or a Montrose Doublet, and black leather or patent leather shoes.
8:30 - 10:30 PM Festive Board
Capri Italian Ristorante
2602 Ruth Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3283
Keynote Speaker:
W. Bro. Cliff Porter
Subject:
The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry: Alchemy, Gnosis, and the Science of the Craft
Visiting brethren are welcome to join us for the Stated Meeting, ladies and guests are welcome to join us for the Festive Board.
Each attendee will be responsible for the cost of his meal.
In an effort to assist our Secretary, I am requesting dinner reservations from members and guests, and regrets from our members.

Sincerely and fraternally,
carson.c.smith@gmail.com
Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 F&AM
W. Bro. Carson C. Smith
2207 Van Ness Place
Indianapolis, IN 46240-4703
(317) 319-3712 Cell