“No one has even begun to understand comradeship who does not accept with it a certain hearty eagerness in eating, drinking, or smoking.”
“What’s Wrong with the World”
The Masonic Society is coming to you!
Building on the rapid and widespread success The Masonic Society enjoys as we begin our second year, we aim to offer hands-on, fraternal experiences to enhance our enjoyment of being members of the Society. Something to make our quarterly Journal and our on-line forum more personal.
We hosted our First Circle Gathering in Virginia during Masonic Week in February, which was an unquestioned triumph. It was the perfect mix of great food & drink, tasteful atmosphere, and cheerful conversation, with an irrepressible raconteur at the podium. To me, it was proof that Masons can meet, free of rigmarole and pomp. There are more great events in the works. To accommodate Society members who cannot travel to Virginia, we will host our inaugural Semi-Annual First Circle Gathering in Indianapolis on Saturday, Oct. 24. That Annual First Circle Gathering is now part of the Masonic Week tradition in Virginia, and this semi-annual event will take place in different locations around the country, bringing the Society to its members.
Masonic Society President Roger VanGorden and keynote speaker Yasha Beresiner at the Society’s First Circle Gathering at Masonic Week in Virginia Feb. 13.
And there’s more! (Ya followin’ me camera guy?)
To strengthen our fraternity even further, the Society wants to meet locally, and is now building working groups to plan Second Circle gatherings, hopefully at locations near you. As this edition of the Magpie Mason goes to press, we have plans being made in Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Utah. Outside the United States, there are plans for Canada, England, Ireland, and Norway.
Yours truly is quarterbacking the New Jersey event. The Society now has nearly 800 members, about 45 of whom are in New Jersey, so I am very optimistic about putting together a memorable event for the enjoyment of our members, other Masons, our wives/girlfriends, etc.
I am acquainted with most of the New Jersey Masons who are members of The Masonic Society, and I’ve contacted 11 of those who I think might be best able to assist in the planning of this event. Any TMS member who wants to get involved but has not heard from me yet should contact me, and we’ll talk. (It’s not that I neglected you; I just figured you are already overwhelmed with other responsibilities to the Craft.) Thus far, I’ve been contacted by Alexander, Daryll, Franklin, J.D., Jeff, Jose, Mark, Steve, and Val. Some great ideas for a venue have been suggested already.
What attracts me the most is the freedom. We can choose the date, the location, the menu, the speaker, the frequency of our gatherings, the everything. In essence, we want to have fun and enjoy each other’s company while expanding our Masonic knowledge, and without bearing the weight of rituals, regalia, officers, etc. You buy a ticket, you show up, you enjoy yourself, you go home; repeat as needed.
Here are photos of each of four venues we are considering thus far:
Left: A popular restaurant in Bloomfield.
Right: My nomination, located in Morristown.
Left: A great place in North Brunswick.
Right: Another fine establishment in Mt. Holly.