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Robbie Burns – The Scottish Bard

As many have heard the name Robert Burns and usually in association with a Lodge Burns Supper, many still may not know who this Freemason is and why he is important.

First let’s look at the basics:

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National BardBard of Ayrshire, the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist.

He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is in a “light Scots dialect” of English, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

Robert Burns was initiated an Entered Apprentice in Lodge St. David, Tarbolton on 4 July (ironic date) 1781, at the age of 23. His initiation fee was 12s 6d, and paid on the same date. Like many other times in his life, Burns came into the lodge amidst a controversy. Originally, there had been only one lodge in Tarbolton, chartered in 1771 from the Kilwinning Lodge, which is said to be the oldest lodges in the world (again, another story worth telling, yet for another time).

In 1773, a group broke away from the lodge, forming Lodge St. David No. 174, and the original lodge became St. James Tarbolton Kilwinning No. 178, only to be reunited in 1781, 9 days before Burns’s first degree. However, while St. James was clearly the older of the two lodges, St. David’s name was used, and the seeds were sown for further dissension. Burns in the meantime was passed to the degree of fellowcraft and raised to the degree of Master Mason on the 1st October 1781. The Lodge record book, according to James Mackay’s “Burns” reads as follows:

Robert Burns in Lochly was passed and raised, Henry Cowan, being Master, James Humphrey Senr. Warden, and Alexr. Smith Junr. Do., Robt. Woodrow Secy. and James Manson Treasurer, and John Tannock Taylor and others of the brethren being present”.

Burns was an extremely popular poet Laureat and lyricist of his day.

Many of Burns’s most famous poems are songs with the music based upon older traditional songs. For example, “Auld Lang Syne” is set to the traditional tune “Can Ye Labour Lea”, “A Red, Red Rose” is set to the tune of “Major Graham” and “The Battle of Sherramuir” is set to the “Cameronian Rant”.

Typically nearing the end of January some Lodges host a Robbie Burns Supper with traditional Scottish flair and signing of Scottish folk songs as well as the traditional pipping in the “Haggis”. If you have never witnessed these events, well you’re in luck as this year, the Scotia Lodge 634 is hosting a “virtual Burns supper”.

Scotia Lodge No. 634 hosting “virtual” Brother Robert Burns Supper with “Virtual” Haggis

Brothers and friends —

Scotia Lodge is holding this year’s Burns Night on Sunday, 1/23/2022 starting at 8:00 pm — once again it will be held in a safe, virtual way.

The good news? Since there is no food or drink involved, THERE IS NO CHARGE!

The event is open to Brothers and their male friends.

If you have ever wondered what Burns Night at Scotia is like, THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY to find out at NO cost!  The details are below, at the bottom of this message.

Although we must postpone the Batchelors’ Club debate, YOUR participation is STILL possible!  Here are some options:

1.  Turn on your phone (or a video camera) and record a joke that we can play back during the event.  Send video clips (or a link to video) to and we can include it.  If we have enough clips we will play them during the event.
2.  Use your phone or camera to record your own video clip of an interesting fact or legend related to Burns, to Scottish history or culture, etc. and we can share it during the event. You can even record a “fact” that you have completely made up (followed by the truth).  If you have questions about this, call or text 212-777-8080 and VW Bob Gengerke will address them.
3.  A copy of “Tam O’Shanter” will be sent to Scotia members for their participatory reading.  If you have not read in the past but like to be assigned a selection to read, please submit your request to before Friday afternoon 1/21/2022.

Scotia Lodge Annual Burns Night
Sunday evening, January 23, 2022 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time
If you use the Zoom app, enter the ID and passcode:
Meeting ID  851 0456 4719
Passcode  064045

Star of the East comes out in force

Last night at Riverhead Lodge’s DDGM visit, 11 brothers from Start of the East Lodge in Amagansett came out and decisively took the Suffolk District Traveling Gavel.

By all reports the evening was well attended and all had a great time.

It’s always great to see the brothers out and about the district and supporting other brothers at their respective Lodges.

The following day, W:. Lombardo took the gavel on a tour of the east end and jumped right into the “talking smack”
that typically follows a successful Gavel capture.

Now inquiring minds are wondering when it’s time for another lodge to come and take the gavel from Start of the East, will they require any customs forms to be able to take it across the border???

Suffolk District Fundraiser in memory of Joanne Kessler

Please donate what you can to this worthy cause.


If there was one thing on every Masons bucket list..

If there were one thing that should be on every Masons bucket list, in my own opinion this would be in the top 5, maybe even top 3. I’ve been hearing about this degree team since I first became a Freemasons, many moons ago.

In some instances small stadiums had to be secured as son many wanted to see this unique degree.

Maybe we can get a bus rented to take a bunch down and back.

I’ll place this event also on the event calendar with the ticket link to see how many we can get and if a joint effort travel together.

If one were interested in attending to see this very unique degree team preform, you can follow the link:

Unfortunately I could only find info on FB, so if you don’t have FB the info from the FB link is below:

The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Delaware will be proud to host the Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree Team.
The Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree team is made up of Native American Freemasons from the state of Oklahoma and is the only Master Mason degree team made up entirely of Native Americans! The team travels around the state, country and world to perform the Master Mason degree according to the Oklahoma Grand Lodge ritual. For the second section the M.W. Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma has allowed them to deviate slightly in the ritual work. For example, they wear full Native American regalia for the second section. In addition to degree work the team also puts on educational programs which include Native American singing, dance, and a Q & A session. The degree work is for the enjoyment of master masons everywhere.
The Team will visit Delaware on Saturday, June 4, 2022. The degree will be held beginning at 4:00 PM and following the first section will break for a dinner catered by Haass Family Butcher Shop. The second section will follow dinner.
The event will be held at the Delaware State Fairgrounds (18500 South Dupont Highway, Harrington, DE 19952).
Tickets are $38.77 (including fees) per Brother, which includes admission to the degree and the dinner. We encourage you to purchase your tickets as soon as possible, as they are going fast and we don’t want you to miss this once in a lifetime experience.
For more information on the event or the raffle, please contact PM Chad Robinson at (302) 270-4391.

The wild game dinner is back for 2022!

After a hiatus of a year due to COVID the Wild Game, AKA “Road Kill Dinner” is back. This year the dinner will be held a Riverhead Lodge #645 on Saturday, Feb. 26th at 6PM.

The Suffolk District Youth Committee hosts the event and will be serving us some favorites of the last 16 years the event has been held.

The proceeds of the event will go the Camp Turk Wishlist. The committee is requesting a $40.00 donation per person to attend the event. Don’t procrastinate as this event is very popular so tickets will go fast.

I hope to see many there for this event to support Camp Turk.

Call or text the numbers above for reservation/tickets.

Happy Masonic New Year!

It’s 2022 (A.L. 6022) and we hope all have a happy and prosperous New Year! There is lots happening in the coming months and the quarries have certainly been busy the last few.

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
MWBro.  Benjamin Franklin

We Mourn the loss of the First Lady of NY Freemasonry Joanne Kessler

Brethren and Friends,

It is with a deeply troubled heart that we learned today that our First Lady of New York Masonry, Mrs. Joanne Kessler, has been called to the Celestial Home above. She passed from this life at 1:42 PM on Monday, December 27th.

Almighty God, Heavenly Father, grant Your consoling grace to all who mourn the passing of loved ones. Hear our prayers for those we love dearly who have gone before us into the life to come. Look kindly upon our departed family members, brothers and sisters, and especially Joanne Kessler whom we now entrust to Your eternal mercy and goodness. Welcome our beloved into Heaven where tears are no more and suffering and pain are ended, where there is great joy, abundant life and peaceful rest in Your gracious presence. Amen.

The funeral arrangements for Lady Joanne Kessler are as follows:
Calling Hours on:
Sunday, January 2, 2022 between 4:00 pm — 8:00 pm
The Lester H. Wedekindt Funeral Home
3290 Delaware Ave.
Kenmore, NY 14217

Meet at 9:15 AM on Monday, January 3, 2022 for the Funeral Service.
The Funeral Service will be held on Monday, January 3rd
in the Chapel of Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church,
1085 Englewood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14223

The Internment will follow the Church service at Mt. Olivet Cemetery
4000 Elmwood Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14217

Grand Master Richard J. Kessler thanks each of you for all the love and kindness
you have given and extended to him and his family.

Cards and expressions of sympathy may be sent to our Grand Master, Most Worshipful Richard J. Kessler, and the Kessler Family at 62 Woodcrest Blvd., Buffalo, NY 14223-1317.

Public Re-Presentation for RW Joseph Saglimbene, Grand Treasurer & RW Spiro Triantafilis, Deputy Grand Marshal

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 12, 2022 for the Public Re-Presentation for R∴W∴ Joseph Saglimbene, Grand Treasurer & R∴W∴ Spiro Triantafilis, Deputy Grand Marshal at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, 28 Lincoln Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY.

REQUIRED:  RSVP – RW Joseph Saglimbene at 347-307-3867 or Grand Treasurer’s Email

Lets get ready to RUMBLE – with Masonic Education

2021 is coming to a close in a just a few weeks, the holidays will be here before we know it and our busy schedules will be strained to the breaking point. Its a yearly routine and as we all know the last 24 months has been anything but routine. Hopefully things will be rocking and rolling by February as this is the beginning of the Road to the East course, followed by the Masonic Development Course. The Road to the East (RTE) is a required course for all who seek to be installed in the east in the near future. The Masonic Development Course (MDC) is a great course for new Brothers to take to get a deeper dive into Freemasonry. Some older more seasoned Brothers are also welcome to reacquaint yourselves with the basics of Freemasonry and take the MCD as well.

If you plan to take either or both courses, you will need to contact R∴W∴ Robert Licata, GLSO. You can email him here -> GLSO


The Suffolk masonic district elects new advisor

This past week the Suffolk Masonic District has elected a new Suffolk District Advisor, R:..W:. William McCauley.

R:.W:. Wm. McCauley

It is a distinct honor to have been elected as District Advisor for the Suffolk Masonic District. It will be a pleasure to continue my fraternal service for the benefit of each of you in the District. This District is held in High Regard by Grand Lodge because of the Masonic work that is accomplished here. My role, simply put is to advise and assist the District Deputy his Team and any Brother in this District should their need require it. You can always reach out to me regarding any questions involving the Fraternity. I look forward to seeing all of you as I travel around the District with the District Deputy and his Team.

R:.W:. William E. McCauley

R:.W:. McCauley’s Masonic Resume

Master Mason in Dongan Patent Lodge No. 1134, May 1988

Past Master 1994, 2005 and 2015, Secretary 1998 to 2000, Trustee

Long Island Past Master’s Association, Past President

Suffolk Masonic District Finance Chairman

Suffolk District Membership Retention, Past Chairman

Suffolk District Masonic Education Committee

Past District Advisor for Suffolk District

Suffolk District Long Range Planning Committee, Past Chairman

Suffolk District Membership Development Committee, Past Chairman

Past District Deputy Grand Master, Suffolk, 2000 – 2002

Interim District Deputy Grand Master and District 2004

Interim District Advisor 2004

Grand Lodge – Deputy Grand Master’s Advisory Committee 2021

Grand Lodge – Individual Development Course, Site Coordinator and Instructor

Grand Lodge – Past Member of Long Range Planning for Deputy Grand Master, 2004

Grand Lodge – Lodges and Buildings Past Committee Member

Grand Lodge – Finance Committee, Member

Grand Lodge – Committee on Law Enforcement Member

Grand Lodge – Charters Committee Member

Long Island Scottish Rite Bodies, Member

Suwassett Chapter No. 195, Royal Arch Masons, Past High Priest, Past Trustee

Fourth Capitular District Royal Arch Masons, Past President

Patchogue Commandery No. 95, Knights Templar, Past Commander, Trustee

Suffolk Council No. 76, Cryptic Masons, Past Illustrious Master, Past Trustee, Treasurer

Kismet Shrine Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., member

Medford Square Club, Past President

Deputy Grand Master’s Advisory Committee – Current Member

Several other Masonic Bodies……

Order of the Eastern Star

Old Glory Chapter No. 622, Order of the Eastern Star, Past Worthy Patron

Pyramid Chapter No. 594, Order of the Eastern Star, Worthy Patron

Metlakhatla Chapter No. 439, member

Riverside Sunrise Chapter No. 399, Patron

Order of the Eastern Star, Suffolk District, Past District Grand Lecturer, Past Grand Marshal

The Friendly Folk of Suffolk Association – Past President and current Treasurer