From the East
Welcome to Fall!
On Saturday September 10th we will be conducting a Master Mason degree for multiple brothers. Breakfast will be served at 7:30AM and the degree will start at 8:30AM. As you know, the degree requires the participation of over 20 brothers, so any brother’s participation is greatly appreciated.
We are also working on minting Phalanx Lodge No. 31 coins. Once we receive them, they will be available at no charge to any brother in good standing who wants one as a token of the lodge’s appreciation for their dedication to our lodge and the fraternity. We will let you know when we have them, and for anyone that does not attend lodge very often and wants one, we can mail you one upon your request to the Mike Hamrick, PM Secretary. Thank you to Bro. Mike Mangum for his time and effort on the coin design.
Please also join us at our next Stated Communication on Thursday September 8th, dinner at 6:30 and the lodge opens at 7:30. MWB Shawn Bradshaw, Past Grand Master of North Carolina, will be visiting our lodge and presenting as part of our masonic education. We will also be reviewing the various proposed Code amendments from the Grand Lodge that will be taken up at the Grand Lodge Annual Meeting on September 30-October 1. So if you want to opine on those you can do so at that time. If you need transportation assistance, please contact Mike Hamrick, PM Secretary.
This Month in Freemasonry
by WM Nick Voelker
This month’s topic involves the September 1793 laying of the cornerstone in the United States Capitol by the most famous Mason of all.
In 1792, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson proposed a design competition for the Capitol and the “President’s House” (later the White House). An amateur architect named William Thornton won the contest. Surveying followed and Pierre L’Enfant, an Entered Apprentice, tasked with laying the city plan for Washington, DC, secured a lease of quarries on Wigginton Island along Aquia Creek in Virginia to extract the stone needed for construction. On September 18, 1793, then President and Worshipful Brother George Washington, along with 8 other brothers in full Masonic regalia laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol Building. Mots Masonic historians agree that it was one of the grandest Masonic processions that ever took place. A newspaper published during the time reported that:
Lodges No. 9 and 22 of Virginia, with all their officers and regalia, along with the volunteer artillery, paraded to receive Washington, who under full artillery honors then proceeded with the group in full Masonic regalia to the Capitol construction site. The procession march was 2 abreast and the order was: the D.C surveying department, artillery, various politicians, sword bearers, Entered Apprentices, the Holy Bible on grand cushions, Deacons with office staffs, Fellowcrafts, Stewards with wands, Master Masons, Wardens with Billy clubs (called truncheons), Secretaries with the tools of office, Past Masters in past master regalia, Treasures with the jewels, the band, Virginia Lodge No. 22 holding corn, wine and oil, and then George Washington bringing up the rear. The approach of the Capitol was choreographed with the brethren forming the angle of a hollow oblong square on the steps and the lodges’ Worshipful Masters and Washington walking first past the square. The entire party walked to the southeast corner (note the northeast corner is now the custom) and Washington standing to the east of the stone and the entire craft forming a circle westward stood solemnly, followed by an artillery blast, a short speech from Washington who then formally laid the cornerstone. Thereafter, the entire group were led to a feast of 500 pounds of oxen bar-b-cue
The original cornerstone no longer exists but a commemorative stone was laid on the anniversary in 1932. You can still see it today as I did a few years (my picture is to the right) and was surprised to find it in a closet (I asked the tour guide where it was). Since
the Capitol has greatly expanded in size since 1793, and even 1932, the location is no longer the actual cornerstone of the building.
Nick Voelker – Master
From the Secretary
We continue to be quite active with six Brothers continuing their masonic journey through the degrees, and new petitions recently received.
Please note the September 10 Master Mason Degree, and plan to join us if within the length of your cable tow. We will likely have some non-speaking roles needing to be filled. We would love to see a good number of Brothers present in support of these young men seeking further light.
Mike Hamrick, PM Secretary