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Monday, November 30, 2015

New Video From The Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction

The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction has just made a new video interviewing several AASR members about why they joined, called Seeking Further Light.

Have a look at it here: http://www.scottishritenmj.org/videos

Grand Recorder of KT in Indiana, Larry Kaminsky, Passes Away

I just received word that my dear friend and the longtime Grand Recorder for the Grand Commandery of the State of Indiana, Past Grand Commander Sir Knight Lawrence V. Kaminsky, passed away this morning.  No details have been made available as of yet. He was a good friend and Brother to me, and his dedication to Knights Templary in Indiana will be sorely missed.

When Larry was Grand Commander back in 2005, he asked me to make a video for the Knights Templar, and the York Rite in general. "Oh," he added, "I need it in two weeks for a meeting, if you can do it." I hurriedly cobbled together a script that he approved, and managed to pull it off, and he and I became good friends after that.

He was a longtime attendee at Masonic Week in Washington every year, and many of you will have met him there. Larry had that great ability to always make you feel like he had known you for years, and was the personification of what a Brother Mason and Sir Knight is supposed to be. He always had a smile on his face, and a kind word for everyone he met. I will miss him terribly. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family, especially to his wife Janet.

From his bio on the Grand Commandery webpage:


Larry was born to Vincent and Mary Kaminsky in Hammond, Indiana. He has an older brother and two younger sisters.

He graduated from George Rogers Clark High School in 1959, and went to work at AMF, Junior Toy Division in Hammond while attending Purdue University Calumet. He then attended IBM school and was then employed at Hartford Insurance in Chicago. In 1963, he married Janet C. Gard. They are very proud of their four children and three grandchildren. During his career, Larry also worked at Contemporary Books, Inc., Huntington Industries, Inc. and has retired from the Quaker Oats Co. He received an Associate Degree in Management from Purdue University, Calumet; Bachelor of Arts from St. Joseph College in Management; Associate Program in Logistics Excellence at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; earned the certification as a Certified Data Processor at the Institute of Certification of Computer Professionals and is a strong advocate of higher education in all forms. He worked with the Boy Scouts of America at many levels for over 16 years and served as an assistant Chapter Advisor in Willis R. Ford, Order of DeMolay for several years.
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Masonic History

Larry received his Masonic degrees in Garfield Lodge #569, Hammond, IN during 1970, served as Worshipful Master in 1981, served as assistant secretary from 1971 through 2010 and served as Treasurer for ten years. He joined the Hammond York Rite bodies in 1975 and served as High Priest in 1999, Illustrious Master 1997 and Eminent Commander in 1999. He served as Secretary/Recorder of the Hammond York Rite 2000-09. He served at the state level with the Grand Council as Group Officer for Arch 1 from 1995-1999. He started his Grand Commandery service as a Deputy Battalion Commander in Battalion 1 in 1996, was appointed as Grand Warder in 1999, elected and served as the 144th Grand Commander, Knights Templar of Indiana for the Templar year 2005-06.

Larry is a member of the following Masonic Affiliated organizations:
  • St. Basil Conclave Red Cross of Constantine, Puissant Sovereign (2010-11), Current Recorder
  • Gennesaret Tabernacle No. XVII, Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, Past Preceptor (2009-10)
  • J. Herbert Nichols Priory No. 76 KYCH, Past Prior 2008-09
  • Northwest Indiana York Rite College No. 73, Past Governor 2005-06
  • David R. Ford No. 338 Allied Masonic Degrees, Past Sovereign Master 2003
  • Indiana College Masonic Societas Rosiccuriana In Civitatibus Foederatis, VII°
  • Coronated Inspector General Honorary, 33o; the last Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction held in Washington, DC, August 2007.
  • Scottish Rectified Rite, Scottish Master of St. Andrew, Alexandria, VA, 2012
  • Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Indianapolis Valley
  • Royal Order of Scotland
  • Scottish Rite Research Society
  • North Township Scottish Rite, Past President
  • Indiana Council of Anointed High Priests
  • Indiana Council of Thrice Illustrious Masters
  • Indiana Past Commanders Association
  • Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor, Pennsylvania, 2005
  • Yeomen of York Preceptory No.1, Past Director General 2002
  • Grand Preceptory Yeomen of York, Past Grand Director General 2005-07
  • The Masonic Society, Founding Member
  • Philalethes Society
  • High Twelve, Indianapolis
  • Knight Masons, Indiana Council #15
  • The Grand College of Rites of the USA
  • Griffith Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, Past Worthy Patron, 1974
  • Low Twelve Club, President
  • Lake County Masonic Angel Fund, Board Member

Larry has received the following honors:
  • Recipient of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Mason Secretary of the Year
  • Indiana Grand Council Cryptic Masons Recorder of the Year
  • Indiana Grand Council Cryptic Masons Illustrious Master of the Year in 1997
  • Grand Commandery Star Recorder of the Year
  • Appointed Grand Commandery Representative to the State of Michigan, near Ind.
  • Appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Indiana to South Carolina
  • Knight York Cross of Honor
  • Knight York Grand Cross of Honor with one quadrant
  • York Rite Sovereign College of North America, Award of Gold
  • York Rite Sovereign College of North America, Order of the Purple Cross
  • York Rite Sovereign College of North America, Associate Regent
  • York Rite Sovereign College of North America, Order of Enlightenment
  • Indiana Grand Master Masonic Service Award in 2000
  • Member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, 2001
  • Tennessee Squire Association, 2010

Larry has received the additional degrees:
  • Allied Masonic Degrees, Chicago 2001
    • Royal Arch Mariners
    • Arch and Dove
    • Secret Monitor 1° and 2°
  • Royal Order of Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord 3rd Grade
    • St. Lawrence the Martyr
    • Knight of Constantinople
    • Excellent Master
    • Master of Tyre
    • Architect
    • Grand Architect
    • Superintendent
  • Installed Sovereign Master 2003
  • Installed Supreme Ruler 2009
  • Installed Commander Noah 2009
  • Order of the Red Branch of Eri, Washington, DC 2003
  • Knight Commander, Order of the Red Branch of Eri, Washington, DC 2009
  • Ye Antiente Order of Corks, Washington, DC 2003
  • Order of the Rock, Washington, DC 2003
  • Order of Freedona, Washington, DC 2004
  • Grand Tilers of Solomon, Washington, DC 2009
  • Masonic Order of the Bath, Washington, DC 2009
  • The Royal Society of Knights Occidental, Washington, DC 2002
  • The Order of WAHTA, Washington, DC 2004
  • Goose & Taters, Quest, Zanzibar 2000
  • Zanzibar Fellowship of the Crystal Swizzle Stick 2006
  • Ancient and Heroic Order of the Gordian Knot, Indiana Synod No. 1, 2005
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UPDATE 12/1/2015

Services for Lawrence V. Kaminsky, PGC
Kuiper Funeral Home
9039 Klienman Rd, Highland IN 46322

Thursday, December 3rd
Visitation from 4pm-8pm
Templar Honor Guard: 5pm-7pm
Masonic Service: 7pm
Friday, December 4th
Funeral: 10am
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
3711 Ridge Road, Highland IN 46322
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations may be made to his
surviving spouse to assist with medical and funeral expenses.

Monday, November 23, 2015

UK Press: Freemasons fixed inquiry into Titanic to protect Establishment, claims secret archive that lists two million members

You can't beat the British press when it comes to Mason bashing. Like this announcement from Ancestry that the UGLE is making an historical list of Masonic membership available to genealogy searchers that is appearing in papers all across Britain with the same ridiculous headline.

From the Daily Mail:

Freemasons fixed inquiry into Titanic to protect Establishment, claims secret archive that lists two million members - including Winston Churchill - and reveals secretive group of elites ruled society for 200 years 


Freemasons dominated the inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic and may have allowed Establishment figures to escape blame, it was claimed last night.
The investigation into the 1912 tragedy that cost 1,500 lives exonerated most of those involved, including the ship’s White Star Line owners as well as its captain.
Now the publication of a secret archive of Freemasons – containing two million names of members from 1733 to 1923 – reveals the scale of Masonic involvement across the highest echelons of British society. 
The archive contains the names of three kings, statesmen, judges, military top brass and bishops. 
Experts believe it could lead to a re-examination of almost 200 years of British history, revealing the scale of Masonic influence at all levels of British society when the UK was one of the world’s most powerful countries.
The records are due to be published online by genealogy service Ancestry.
While the Masonic connections of figures such as Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Lord Kitchener, Rudyard Kipling and Edward VIII are known, the records offer the first comprehensive view of the reach of Freemasonry at the height of the British Empire.
They reveal the close ties between Establishment figures involved in the investigation into the Titanic’s sinking, the Telegraph reported.
A US Senate inquiry singled out the British Board of Trade, saying the small number of lifeboats on the ship was a result of lax regulations.
However, the UK investigation, overseen by Lord Mersey, exonerated the Board of Trade.
Lord Mersey himself was a Freemason, the newly published records show. He was initiated in 1881 at the Northern Bar Lodge in London.
Crucially, so too was Board of Trade president Sydney Buxton, initiated in 1888 when he was an MP.
The names of at least two of the inquiry’s five expert assessors – John Harvard Biles, a specialist in naval architecture, and Edward Chaston, the senior engineer assessor – can also be found in the Masonic archive.
Lord Pirrie, who was not only chairman of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, which built the Titanic, but also one of the directors of White Star’s parent company, also appears to have been a Freemason.
Titanic expert Nic Compton said: ‘The Titanic inquiry in Britain was branded a “whitewash” because it exonerated most of those involved. Only three passengers were interviewed, and they were all from first class.’
The archive even suggests the Jack the Ripper may have been a Freemason, and his identity was shielded by fellow Masons.
A new book by Bruce Robinson, the director and screenwriter of the cult film Withnail and I, claims that the notorious Whitechapel murderer was a man named Michael Maybrick.
He argues that all of the Ripper killings bore the stamp of Masonic ritual, citing the symbol of a pair of compasses carved into the face of one of the Ripper’s victims.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

GLofDC Issues Statement Concerning Eligibility For Masons

For Grand Lodges that have considered or already passed anti-gay legislation in their territories, or for those who may think that Masonry is for white Christians only, you might give a look to this letter that was issued on November 11th. The Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, MWB Jeffrey D. Russell, has issued the following statement concerning eligibility of men seeking membership in Masonry in Washington, DC. (Click the image above to see it larger). 

In part, it reads:

In response to recent questions posed to this Grand Lodge on the qualifications and eligibility of men seeking membership in our constituent Lodges, we offer this statement of unwavering principles: Admission to membership in our Lodges is extended to men of faith based upon their personal merit and good character, without reference to race, creed, sexual orientation, specific religion or national origin.

(snip)

The universality of our practice is reflected in the broad range of backgrounds to be found here. Lodges here not only work in English, but in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Farsi, Turkish and Armenian. Our membership hails from every continent and represents every race and creed, as well as a broad range of national origins. Masonic visitors to this international city find unparalleled opportunities to visit a Lodge that reminds them of home - wherever that home may be.

However, the concept of universality is not only an international paradigm. It enjoys equal importance in our welcoming of men whose varied backgrounds and practices in their private and professional lives would normally keep them at a perpetual distance. The diversity of our membership, in terms of race, creed, sexual orientation, specific religion and national origin is thus seen as an asset, rather than a liability. Civility and kindness is the rule for all interaction, thus the discussion of politics, religion and business are prohibited in the Lodge room. In this way, we hold that men become brothers by leaving divisions at the door, and taking strength from a shared appreciation of the common aspirations of all men for their betterment, and for improving themselves through service as respected members of their communities, despite their outward differences.

Our dedication to diversity was not born in Washington, DC. Worldwide Masonic law and practice from the days of Anderson's Constitutions clearly disfavors the exclusion of men based upon modes of belief, backgrounds or lifestyles that enjoy legal protection in their societies. Therefore, today we say, "Any man can become a D.C. Freemason, but not every man can be one." And our tradition of over five hundred years of inclusion continues to patiently await those with imagination, will and energy to dedicate themselves to the elevation of the human race.


Many thanks to Brother Eric Diamond for passing this along.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Britons Get Their Own Soccer Lodge

The United Grand Lodge of England is organizing a special purpose lodge for England's soccer (football) players who are Masons. Freemasons have been involved in the wildly popular sport almost since the very beginning of pro teams in Britain.

From the Daily Mail on November 7th:

For years, Freemasonry has battled conspiracy theories that its members secretly run the world – but now the shadowy organisation is planning to rule the football field.
This week, the organisation’s Grand Master, the Duke of Kent, is set to grant a warrant for the first Football Lodge – a place where members meet – in Hampshire. 
Players, managers and referees who are Masons will gather four times a year to listen to guest lecturers from the world of football as well as perform a series of Masonic rituals, though the organisation claims that many of the stereotypes, such as secret handshakes, are false.
In recent years the Masons have sought to expand their appeal by setting up a range of ‘special interest’ lodges. 
Groups include a biker gang called the Widows Sons and ‘a Lodge of Brevity’ for the ‘modern man’ where meetings are about half the normal four hours. 
The Football Association was formed in 1863 at the Freemasons’ Tavern in London – now The Grand Connaught Rooms.
Stars including Stanley Matthews, Dixie Dean and Nat Lofthouse were all Masons.
Freemasons are also responsible for Premier League team Manchester City playing in blue. In 1894 the club was in a financial crisis and was bailed out by Masons, who asked that in return the team wear the Masonic colour of blue.
A petition to form a Football Lodge will be considered at this week’s meeting of the Grand Master’s Council.