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.