Monday, December 29, 2008

A new year at ALR

The new elected officers of American Lodge of Research.

The annual installation of officers took place a few hours ago at American Lodge of Research in New York City. RW Bill Thomas is the new Worshipful Master.

About 70 Masons filled the French Ionic Room to capacity for the occasion. The brethren came from multiple lodges representing many jurisdictions to salute the incoming Master and to honor the country’s oldest lodge of research. There was a dizzying blur of regalia, as aprons, collars, jewels, crests and other pieces displayed more designs and colors than one usually finds in a single lodge, especially an educational lodge. And speaking of diversity, it was difficult to place every one of the many foreign accents heard across the room. (And no, I don’t mean Queens and Brooklyn!) Did someone say “cosmopolitan Freemasonry?”

Lots of familiar faces also. As so often is the case in the field of Masonic education, the inhabitants are relatively few, and tend to find each other at the same kinds of events. I finally got to meet Steve Starkes, the new Junior Warden; we’ve been internet penpals for a number of years. There was Ted Harrison and George Harrison. Spiro, Philippe, Daniel from the library, Henry, Frank, the other Henry, a François or two, John Simon-Ash, the officer line of Boyer Lodge No. 1 of New York Prince Hall, and Luther from Cornerstone No. 37. And a lot more.

Shakespeare Lodge, Sibelius, Composite, King Solomon-Beethoven, Allied and other lodges were represented, as was the Grand Lodge, with multiple Right Worshipfuls showing their interest in the research lodge. (Something that can’t be taken for granted, believe me.) Also Thomas Smith Webb Chapter of Research. France L.C.A.C. And Hibiscus Lodge No. 275 in Florida was present too. An interesting lodge. Not a research lodge, but nonetheless publishes its own “International Journal of Masonic History and Culture,” copies of which were presented to WM Bill.

The inaugural paper of the Worshipful Master concerned a darkly amusing topic: the life of one George Cooke, a brother from Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 3 in Albany during the 19th century who made a name for himself as a con man, claiming to be everything from an attorney to a medical doctor to a major general.

The next Regular Communication of American Lodge of Research will take place Monday, March 30. A paper will be presented by RW Bruce Renner, Senior Grand Warden.


Anonymous said...

Very good to be there with you last night. It was my first time 'traveling' in masonry outside of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of NY. I was very impressed with the quality of the masonic work performed by the American Lodge of Research. The officers were thorough and competent without making things too ritualistic. Among brothers of every imaginable hue and color, the warmth and comraderie were palpable. The level of scholarship and committment of the lodge's members is also notable. Congrats and here's to a fantastic 2009.

AlphaLodgeNo116 said...

Hey Brother Seth,

Make sure to go thru the archives of this blog. A great deal of quality masonic activity has been logged and captured here in the last several months, and there are some very nice photos. So if you liked the experience of traveling outside your own obedience last night, then you will no doubt extract great enjoyment out of this blog's archives.


Divine Freedom said...

I really enjoyed attending last nights installation.
I met RW Bill Thomas some years back when I joined the NYC Chapter of the Philalathes Society that he founded.
It was an honer to be present and see Bro. Thomas take the helm of the ALR. It's another milestone in his distinguished career as a Mason and scholar.