Saturday, September 17, 2016

‘Setting out for the Masonic frontier’

The deadline for registration is near for The Masonic Society’s “Freemasonry on the Frontier” conference in California in three weeks. From the publicity:

The Masonic Society Announces
Speakers for ‘Frontier’ Conference

The Masonic Society has announced the line-up of nine speakers for its conference “Freemasonry on the Frontier” to be held October 7-9 in Morgan Hill, California. A registration form and hotel information can be found here.

“We’ve built the event around a particularly distinguished slate of speakers,” said Society President Kenneth W. Davis. “When possible, we’ve arranged topics chronologically and geographically, tracing the growth of Freemasonry from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.”

Samuel Clemens, better known as “Mark Twain,” will kick off the program with an after-dinner speech Friday evening. Brother Clemens’ talk is made possible by Jefferson H. Jordan, Jr., immediate past grand master of Masons in New Mexico.

Mark Tabbert, director of collections at the George Washington Masonic Memorial, and author of several acclaimed Masonic books, will deliver Saturday morning’s keynote address. His topic will be “George Washington and the Masonic Frontiers of the 1700s.”

Also on Saturday morning, William Miklos, past master of Northern California Research Lodge, will speak on “Masons Pushing or Pulling the Constitutional Convention,” and Moises Gomez, past grand historian of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, will speak on “Early Traveling Lodges of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey: Bringing Light to the American Frontier.”

Adam Kendall, collections manager and curator of exhibits for the Henry W. Coil Library and Museum at the Grand Lodge of California, and editor of The Plumbline, the quarterly bulletin of the Scottish Rite Research Society, will keynote the Saturday afternoon sessions, speaking on “Pilgrimage and Procession: The 1883 Knights Templar Triennial Conclave and the Dream of the American West.”

Also speaking Saturday afternoon will be Kyle Grafstrom, of Verity Lodge 59, Kent, Washington, and author of articles in both The Philalethes and Living Stones, on “Freemasonry in the Wild West.” Wayne Sirmon, past master of Texas Lodge of Research and instructor and fellow at the University of Mobile, will present “West by Southwest: The Expansion of Frontier Freemasonry in the Old Southwest.”

John Bizzack, fellow and board member of The Masonic Society, fellow of the Rubicon Masonic Society in Kentucky, and author of five books on Freemasonry, will deliver Saturday evening’s after-dinner speech, “The Expansion of Freemasonry into the West: The Pivotal Role of Kentucky, 1788-1810.”

John Cooper, past grand master and past grand secretary of Masons in California and current president of the Philalethes Society, will keynote Sunday morning with “Freemasonry and Nation-Building on the Pacific Coast: The California Experience.” His speech will be followed by a panel of all speakers, discussing with the audience “Freemasonry on the Frontier.”

Sunday afternoon will feature a tour of the Winchester Mystery House, with Masonic connections, and said to be haunted.

The conference is directed by Gregg Hall, member of Morgan Hill Masonic Lodge, California, and The Masonic Society’s board of directors.

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