Friday, October 30, 2020

‘Live from New York, it’s Craftsmen Online!’


An online magazine devoted to Freemasons in New York went live Wednesday nightCraftsmen Online is an independent labor coordinated by Bro. Steven Rubin (he is the Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge as well)Rubin says:

I am extremely excited to introduce Craftsmen Online, a website started by New York Brothers for New York Brothers. This is not an official Grand Lodge site, but simply a means to connect Brothers, and to champion everything that is special about Freemasonry in New York.

For those wishing to locate my “Buildings and Lodges 101” series, those recordings and material for each program will be posted on this site.


We also will post other lectures and blogs of interest to members of the Craft. Within the site, we will highlight New York Brothers who are Craftsmen—Craftsmen who are craftsmen—in our monthly spotlight on operative Brothers, their businesses, crafts and Masonic connections.


We will further explore the many historic Masonic locations and places within the State of New York.


Within our segment titled Masonic Ink, every month we will profile a new Brother to learn how Masonic symbols become works of modern art.


This is only the beginning, and I am asking for your help. If you want to be involved in this new venture, we are looking for storytellers, connectors within our Lodges, and Brothers with talents from photography to graphic design. Or if you simply know a Brother, person, place, or event whose story should be told, we value that contribution as well.



Under Masonic Education, the first issue gives us W. Bro. Galen Kaback, Master of Service Mizpah Lodge 586, who discusses special meanings embedded in the lodge opening and closing rituals. The Masonic History page offers insight into how the Utica Temple’s museum came about.


The Craftsmen feature tells the story of W. Bro. Nathan Davis of Cobleskill 394, who makes briar pipes for our smoking pleasure, and he also is a distributor of Kaywoodies.


Masonic Ink introduces us to W. Bro. Jason Chaplin of Mount Zion Lodge 311 in Troy, who sports a variety of tattoos you’ll want to see. He truly is the illustrated Mason!


This well written and designed website has a lot more thus far. Check it out. It is dedicated to “Connecting New York Freemasons,” as it reads on the homepage. New York is a huge, bustling, and growing Masonic jurisdiction, and I think we all benefit from having a variety of media sources—and the more independent, the better—to find each other. The Editor-in-Chief is Bro. Michael Arce. Bro. Anthony Dicarro is another editor. I congratulate them and whoever else is on the team. Keep up the great work, and thank you!


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

‘Grand Lodge interested in former Buffalo seminary land’


New York Freemasonry was among the parties interested in real estate previously used as a Roman Catholic seminary, before the diocese withdrew the property from the market while it works on its bankruptcy filing, according to a story published this morning in The Buffalo News.


Specifically, it’s the Masonic Hall and Asylum Fund, the Grand Lodge of New York’s corporation that owns and operates the fraternity’s real properties, including the Masonic Care Community of New York, the 320-bed health care residence in Utica.


Masonic representatives expressed interest in the 117-acre Christ the King Seminary property, located in Aurora, in August.

It was last November when the Masonic Hall and Asylum Fund, purchased the 16 acres of the former College of New Rochelle, at a cost of $32 million, to expand the health care services provided at the Utica campus to the New York City area.

Friday, October 9, 2020

‘Masonic Week 2021 to be canceled’

A formal decision and an announcement will be forthcoming in about a week, but I think it is safe to say that Masonic Week 2021 will not take place in person. Some of the host groups may conduct their constitutional annual meetings online.