Monday, July 2, 2012

'ALR Festive Board'

Friday night was the occasion of The American Lodge of Researchs Annual Meeting for the election and installation of officers, and other necessary business. Oh yeah, and the Festive Board!

Bro. Mark Koltko-Rivera
A new change in by-laws has rescheduled our Annual Meeting from St. John Evangelist Day, when holiday travel and the inclemency of the season prevents a well attended meeting, to the proximity of St. John Baptist Day, when there are no such concerns, and we align ourselves with the regular calendar of New York Freemasonry. It was a good move, smartly thought out by the proposers. So ALRs schedule of Stated Communications now is June 24 (unless June 24 lands on a weekend, holiday, or other religious observance, or coincides with Grand Lodges Saint Johns Day activities, in which case the Master will select a near weekday), October 29, and March 29.

Rather than have the 2012 officers jostled so soon into their original term, the line will remain in place, except for a switch of the Wardens. Bro. Henry now is in the West, and Bro. Daniel returns to the South. But we gained a Marshal upon the election to Active Membership of W. Henry Colon, junior Past Master of Shakespeare No. 750, who was installed moments after being made eligible to serve as an officer. The Installing Master was none other than RW Bill Thomas, the new Deputy Grand Master, who is a Past Master of ALR.

In other exciting news, RW Pierre F. de Ravel d’Esclapon was elected to Fellowship in ALR. The lodges Active Members elect Fellows extremely rarely, and only on the basis of outstanding Masonic research, and it was Bro. Pierre who settled centuries of uncertainty surrounding the Masonic membership of another Pierre, namely the designer of the Federal City, Major Pierre Charles LEnfant. In the course of Bro. Pierres research into his terrific paper on French lodges in 18th century New York City, he also discovered in the meeting minutes of Holland Lodge No. 8 the evidence that answered the lingering question into LEnfants Craft membership. Click here to read about that.

The firing glass.
Then it was time for the Festive Board. We headed to Sagaponack, one block down on 22nd Street, for a typically excellent meal with plenty of wine and various beers and ales. As Senior Deacon I was tasked with proposing the toast to MW James E. Sullivan, the new Grand Master. Bro. Mark Koltko-Rivera delivered the keynote, titled "A Primer for Esoteric Research," that acknowledges the reality of esoteric studies entering the field of Masonic research. I think it is safe to say modern Masonic research, beginning with the appearance of Quatuor Coronati 2076, has concerned historical facts (e.g. LEnfant), and that doesnt have to change if students approach the esoterica with the same determination to get at the truth. It is a tougher job, because facts are facts, but matters of the spirit ... are spiritual matters. Anyway, Bro. Marks lecture will appear in next years Book of Transactions.

Along the way, Bro. Henry unveiled the designs of various pieces of regalia and attire coming our way from Toye, Kenning and Spencer, including new officer aprons, membership jewels, neckties, and cufflinks.

As above: The ALR apron of Past Master Harold V.B. Voorhis photographed in its display case at a Scottish Rite valley.

So below: The TKS design (that's only a sheet of paper!) of one of the officer aprons coming soon to ALR. Looks like we're keeping it traditional. I am envious of the brethren in New York who have no Grand Lodge parameters on regalia design.

We didnt get out of there until midnight. This was a really great evening, perfect even. The only blemish was found on my end at 12:10, when I exited the restaurant and found my car had been towed.

The finest public servants in the city work at Pier 76.


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