Sunday, April 27, 2008

House of the Temple

Two historic Masonic buildings visited in two days...

Thursday April 24, 2008, I made another trip to the George Washington Masonic Memorial and Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 for their regular meeting, which wasn't so regular, as it was their annual Charter Night, where the lodge was opened in the Colonial Replica Room, which is a copy of the original Alexandria Lodge that Bro. George Washington attended. Over 30 visitors were in attendance, many from Florida, one from Wyoming, and one from the U.K., which was nice to see a familiar looking apron style to mine! (If you're not aware, American Masons wear a different style of apron than Canadian and English brethren.)

On Friday April 25, 2008, I made a visit to the House of the Temple of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, U.S. Southern Jurisdiction, headquarters for the Supreme Council 33rd Degree. The building is located in basically a residential neighbourhood in the north downtown area of Washington, DC on 16th Street between S and R Streets. It faces West (for obvious reasons to any Mason).

The amazing part for me was the curved, multi-tiered library, which is entirely dedicated to Masonic and related philosophical works. Now I know why some say that Freemasonry is one of the most written about subjects ever. This library and its extensive collection is prove-positive of that. It's certainly a room that I could spend hours ... make that years, studying in.

Lots of photos... but they still do not do it justice...

Monday, April 21, 2008

DC at Night

My last night in DC before I headed to Kansas took me to the National Mall again, but this time, at night. Enjoy the photos...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Masonic Spring Workshop 2008!!!

Awesome. There's no other word to describe it.

Once again, the Masonic Spring Workshop in Alberta was absolutely awesome. Keynote speaker, WBro. Chris Hodapp, author of "Freemasons for Dummies", "Templar Code for Dummies", "Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies", and "Solomon's Builders" as well as fellow Knight of the North, Chris' speech on Friday opened with a poke at Britney Spears where he certainly got our attention. After that, he described his journey at rebuilding a lodge and starting a new one, as well as creating Levant Preceptory, a true medieval depiction of Masonic Templarism. Chris was inspiring, funny, and entertaining, and I most especially enjoyed the conversation over scotch in my lodge's hospitality suite on Friday.

The talk in all the hospitality suites and at the pub was how well Bro. Hodapp was able to "set the tone" in a positive direction for the whole workshop. Everyone was in a great mood and lots of ideas were exchanged. Lots of laughs.

While I normally don't make it out for the Saturday morning sessions, I did make an afternoon one put on by Workshop Chairman, Bruce Zawalski on the ancient Scottish Masonic "Kirkwall Scroll". He provided some excellent scholarly work and challenged us to make our own conclusions on whether the scroll was a lecture board or floor mat and what it was for.

As I implied, the deep late night conversations over scotch are really what it's all about--meeting fellow Masons from around the province and talking about Freemasonry, mostly in a spiritual-esoteric sense. One late night talk by the lobby fire with an old friend about comparing Zen Buddhism with Masonry was most enlightening.

The senior officers from my lodge were there and it was just a great bonding experience for us as well.

There was a wonderful Masonic spirit in the air. Even taking a personal walk along the mountain paths to one of the most spectacular views you'll ever see, hanging out with the fauna, all helped me reconnect with the Divine. The weather was perfect. The sun was shining.

Next year, Bro. Craig (our DDGM) and I are planning a pre-workshop ski trip to Banff if anyone is interested. We went skiing the day the workshop started, and I got a nasty sun burn which is now making me look like a clown.

Next year's workshop features many things, but one new idea is "Masonic Idol" where brethren get 2 minutes to deliver a bit of initiation ritual of their choice and they'll be judged on passion, accuracy, and other aspects.

We'd better see more of you come next year.

A big thanks to RWBro. Craig Shutt for the drive down, the skiing, beers, and impeccable snoring, Bro. Bruce Zawalski for chairing and putting on a most amazing weekend and to Bro. Mitch Cammidge for being really entertaining throughout and for hanging out with me very late Saturday/Sunday morning.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Banff, Sunshine, Kananaskis Country

Well, I'm off on a trip to beautiful Banff, Alberta with my lodge brother and DDGM, Craig. We're skiing at Sunshine Village for one day, then to Kananaskis for the "funnest Masonic event you'll ever experience", the annual Masonic Spring Workshop where fellow Knight of the North and Masonic author, Chris Hodapp will be the keynote speaker on the topic, "Freemasonry: What do we have to offer?" I told Chris that at my lodge's hospitality suite that night, we have scotch to offer.

Isn't Alberta just beautiful?

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I've been back home for a few weeks now after spending almost two weeks in Alexandria and DC. I'll make a separate post for that 'cause we saw a lot of things. Even made it out to Annapolis, Maryland and saw Davy Jones from The Monkees perform.

Saw The Cult this past week here in E-Town. Billy Duffy is still one of my favourite guitar players.

Next weekend (Apr 10-11), I'm going skiing to Sunshine Village in Banff, Alberta with my friend and Masonic mentor, Craig, and then apres-ski, we join 250 other Masons for the Alberta Masonic Spring Workshop in scenic Kananaskis Country. This year's workshop is featuring WBro. Chris Hodapp, author of "Freemasons for Dummies" among many other books, as the key-note speaker.

All brethren in attendance are welcome to join the traditional Ivanhoe Lodge Hospitality Suite on the Friday 11th night.

After that I'm now booked to return to Alexandria and DC, then a weekend stint from April 18-21 in Topeka and Kansas City. And yes, I'll most definitely be heading to my most favouritist pub in the whole world, Frances O'Dooley's, featuring Rich "The Irish Rebel" Stevenson.

Then back to DC for another week of work.