George Washington’s Inauguration

My Brothers, All of us continue to hang on to every new announcement regarding social distancing, etc. I am pleased to see that health guidelines are moving in the right direction. While we continue to observe Covid Protocols I am also seeing numerous lodges meeting again and conferring initiations. Lots of initiations. Today we celebrate […]

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Successful 1st Degree

Brothers,

I am pleased to say we did a pretty well done 1st degree last night and I am very happy with all that participated from the start and at the last minute fill in.

Our new Brother, Bro. John Umina was initiated last night and a big congratulations to him.

Several members of our own and sister lodge filled in (some 10 minutes prior to start) to make the degree work and they did and awesome job. Challenges are meant to be overcome.

To add to it all, we discovered lake Potunk beginning to form in the collation room towards the end of the degree and W:. Dan jumped in and grabbed the shop vac and suctioned up all the flood waters while most of us were in tuxes and too pretty to assist. So big thank you to W:. Dan for stepping up with the vac and stepping in for the Q &As last minute.

Bro. Keith talked the apron presentation and did well for the first time out of the gate. Great work!

At our next communication we’ll present the Lecture of Reasons (whys and wherefores) for the benefit of our new EA. I will ask for 2 brothers to volunteer to learn and recite this at the May 6th Communication. If you would like to volunteer, please contact me asap.

Finally our Lodge elections are next month and there is a lot to do between now and then. After elections in May and Installations in June, we’ll have one more meeting before going dark for the summer. The Lodge really needs all members to step up and step in where needed to get through these difficult times. We’ll be looking to start doing fundraisers very soon so let’s get some ideas on the table and start planning as best we can.

Fraternally,

V:.W:. Bill Arnold

Master

Potunk Lodge #1071

The Light at the end of a tunnel

Brothers,

Its been a lot of work and sometimes actually fun to have another round in the east. However the end of another Masonic season is almost upon us. June will be here before we know it. As my time as Master comes to a close and a new Master is elected and installed in my place, it is all of our duty to make sure that the Lodge is left better than we left it.

There has been a lot to discuss as of late in our Lodge and many changes both in our Lodge and out of it. I wanted to thank all the officers of Potunk Lodge that took the time and energy to keep things going and help keep the Lodge clean and open despite nobody using it between meetings. We must not slack off now as the end of season will see more changes and the Lodge being rented for occasions and parties again soon.

Our upcoming Lodge elections, just over a month away at the time of this writing. There is a lot to contemplate and the new Master elect will have quite a bit to do. We must support and assist whomever occupies the East with all our fervency and zeal.

June will have us installing the Master Elect and his Officers, most likely in a tiled installation, not by choice but by mandate. Then hopefully we’ll have our strawberry night on the last meeting in June and with luck maybe we can have our families join us to enjoy the festivities.

So please do not give up just yet brothers, there is light at the end of the tunnel and a new beginning or journey for some.

I hope all are healthy, wealthy and wise and I see more and more brothers come out to Lodge to enjoy fellowship and human contact or interaction at least in the coming months.

 

Fraternally,

V:.W:. Bill Arnold

Worshipful Master

Potunk Lodge #1071

From the East

Thank you for taking the time to express your interest in Freemasonry and investigate the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world.  Connetquot Lodge #838 Free & Accepted Masons is located at 85 North Main Street in Sayville.  As the current Worshipful Master (leader) of the Lodge, it is my duty to ensure its smooth and efficient operation and to welcome those who may be interested in joining our august Brotherhood.

The past year has been a difficult one as we have all been forced to comply with safeguards and restrictions that impacted both our daily lives and our ability to congregate socially.  Although the Brothers of Connetquot have continued to work individually on our Masonic improvement, most official Lodge activities were halted throughout the pandemic.  Now, as we begin to re-open our Lodges and resume Masonic activity, we hope that you will continue your investigation into our noble Craft.  We at Connetquot are excited to return to our regular Lodge & Fellowship meetings and restart our charitable endeavors.

Regular Lodge meetings, or “Stated Communications”, begin at 8:00 p.m. and are held on the 2nd & 4th Mondays of each month.  These meetings are open to all Masons.  Our Fellowship Club meets on the 1st & 3rd Mondays of each month for casual social activities.  These meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. and are open to anyone who would like to stop down, meet the Brethren, and learn about Masonry and the process for joining.  We encourage you to drop by and meet everyone!

Please remember that current protocols require face coverings and practicing social distancing while inside the Lodge.

The Mysterious Painting

By W:. Ronald J. Seifried, DSA

Walking around the antiquated rooms of Jephtha Lodge, I am constantly searching for clues that uncover forgotten memories, broaden the history of our lodge and its place in Huntington for over 160 years. Patience, determination, enthusiasm and, above all, curiosity are the main attributes of a lodge historian. Short of donning a dusty fedora and cracking a leather whip, the “fortune and glory” that many may envision is usually tempered by long hours of internet research. We need to “forget any ideas about lost cities, exotic travel, and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and “X” never, ever marks the spot.”

But the “X” may be right in front of our faces everyday we walk into our lodge room.

Masonic lodge historical records sometimes suffer from the lack of detailed provenance of an artifact’s origins. It is exceedingly rare a lodge historian or trustee is trained in the skill of database management or basic record keeping. Many times, the historian will be required to pore over the thousands of pages of lodge-meeting-minute-books to uncover a brief detail from where a piece of the lodge history originated. Illegible handwritten notes aside, digital scanning documents does not alleviate the challenges in research, and an archivist would still need to implement optical character recognition (OCR) to enable the search function in a converted PDF document for more manageability.

But one recent discovery started a long path based on just one word, or in this specific case, one name. 

On display in our lodge room for several years without any details of its origins is a 3’ x 2’painting that depicts the builders of King Solomon’s Temple. Simply signed on the bottom right corner “Gerard Tempest,” my interest in this unknown and overlooked piece got the best of me.

My first instinct was to look up the list of all Jephtha Lodge members dating to 1860 to see if we ever had a member with the name “Tempest.” When that option was exhausted, the next step was to photograph the painting with a closeup of the signature and resume the research on my home computer during my spare time.

My google search turned up an intriguing discovery, but it was so extraordinary, my skepticism restrained any premature enthusiasm. Gerard Francis Tempest (1918-2009) was a painter, sculptor and architect and is considered the father of Abstract Spiritualism. The painting the lodge has on display is far from any form of abstract art. Additional research led me to Gerard Tempest III’s widow, Connie, wife of the artist’s eldest son.

His widow referred me to her brother-in-law, John Tempest, an accomplished artist in his own right and a renowned expert of his father’s work. I doubted this painting was a Tempest original as it did not fall into his usual style of surrealism which kept my enthusiasm restrained, but I noticed some early portraits on his official website to which this piece may be similar.

Gerard Francis Tempest

John Tempest’s reply to my email and attached photos stunned me.

“Yes, it’s original. I can tell by his handwork and colorization. I assisted him in his last 20 years of painting. He painted it during the period we lived at the Villa Tempesta from 1959-66 in Chapel Hill NC. Next door to the Villa was a Masonic Temple that must have commissioned him.”

The Italian born Tempest, the protégé of Giorgio de Chirico, the forerunner of Surrealism, received the Gold Medal at the Cannes Art Festival in 1987 and was honored by the Holy See during the reign of Pope John Paul II. His work became a part of the permanent collection of the Vatican Museum in 1982 and 1990.

Tempest’s impressive resume also includes his time as an allied officer during World War II, serving under General Omar Bradley in the 82nd Airborne Division. Tempest fought in campaigns all over Europe, including Normandy on D-Day, the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge, and with the French Underground in the Liberation of Paris. One of the main characters in the film Is Paris Burning? (1966) is said to have been based on him. Tempest received the Bronze Star Medal in 1944 and designed the 101st Airborne Division’s insignia, the “Screaming Eagle”.

There are no records that Gerard Tempest was a Freemason. I reached out to University Lodge No. 408 A.F. & A. M. in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the lodge located next to Tempest’s home, Villa Tempesta, between 1959-1966.  Brothers of University No. 408 and I have started a correspondence but unfortunately has been delayed due to the current pandemic crisis which has prevented them from further research.

One Masonic brother shared an interesting hypothesis that this piece may not be a commissioned work. While most present members of University No. 408 may not remember when the lodge was originally built in 1960, it is known that it required major excavation for the building to be constructed at the same elevation next to the Villa Tempesta. The area also witnessed major road relocation during the early years of Tempest’s residency.

The Villa Tempest today is Whitehall Antiques.

The brother continued, “Considering Mr. Tempest’s abilities as an artist, is it not possible, with all this going on around the Villa, he transposed the real into the surreal qualities of the painted temple’s construction?” The brother continued, “I remember the road project, but the Villa was under construction. I can see the connection between our lodge and the amazing painting. The realignment of Franklin Street was the end of the Village of Chapel Hill and the beginning of the Town of Chapel Hill as we know it today. I choose to believe that while the painting gives the appearance of surrealism it is Mr. Tempest’s view of his surroundings during that time. “

The mysterious painting has partly revealed itself to the members of Jephtha Lodge, but there are several unanswered questions. Was the painting commissioned by University Lodge No. 408? When was it painted? Was Tempest inspired by the construction around his villa when he was in North Carolina? How did the painting end up over 500 miles away at Jephtha Lodge in Huntington, New York?  And was Gerard Tempest a freemason?

The mystery continues…

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Easter-Passover Message

Dear Brethren, Passover has begun. Easter will soon follow. Spring is officially upon us. It is a time when we wish our Jewish brethren and their families a “Zissen Pesach” and a Blessed Easter for all our Christian brethren and their families. It is a time when we would “normally” gather as friends and families […]

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The Constitution and Bill of Rights and Freemasonry

The Constitution and Bill of Rights and Freemasonry

Written by:
Wilfred G. “Bill” Soutiea, Jr., Grand Master (1999-2000)
Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri
and
Phillip G. “Phil” Elam, Grand Orator (1999-2000)
Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri
(Undelivered Grand Oratory for the 179th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Missouri.)
Edited for Lodge by: W:. William Arnold, WM, Potunk Lodge #1071 (2021)

 

What is patriotism -– this almost universal instinct for which more men have given their lives than for any other cause, and which counts more martyrs among its ranks than religion itself? What is this potent sentiment that has produced so many great and splendid deeds of heroic bravery and unselfish devotion? What is this driving force that has fostered liberty, won independence, and advanced civilization?

The dictionary tells us that a patriot is “one whose ruling passion is the love of his country,” and that patriotism is “love and zeal for one’s country.”

John Paul Jones, a most worthy Freemason, and America’s first naval hero, called himself “a citizen of the world.” Though a Scotsman by birth, he fought for the Colonies because he believed they stood for a broader form of patriotism than had ever before been attained by any group of men. He stood for America because he regarded America as standing for “man as man.” Love of country is a most noble passion, but love of man, as directed by the Great Architect of the Universe, is even more noble.

True patriotism is, however, a thinking patriotism. It is a sacred entity. No noise, however great, no shouts, however thrilling, no hurrahs, however enthusiastic, no blare of brass bands, no flaming fireworks, or no strenuous stump speeches can begin to tell what true and genuine patriotism is really about. True patriotism is a great, calm, and altogether lovely and holy thing, that worships God and loves its fellow men. It is a consecration of high ideals, and it is the hallowing of a man’s entire soul in a most holy cause.

Americanism can easily be defined by the Declaration of Independence, which, basing its doctrine upon the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” asserts the rights of man in one immortal sentence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principals and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

Is there any doubt to any Freemason who reads those words, and those in our Bill of Rights and Constitution, would fail to recognize them as Masonically-inspired documents – not because of the great number of Freemasons who wrote or influenced them, but because they embody the living and time-honored tenets, precepts, and principles of our Ancient Craft.

We Americans are the freest people on the face of the earth. Our strength rests in our patriotism, and anarchy flees before its Shining Light. Peace, order, security and liberty are safe so long as love of country burns bright in the hearts of our people.

We could call the role of nations, asking of each what it had or has to give of Beauty and of Truth to mankind. Each country will have its own contribution, and the citizens of that country should be justly proud. Even so, our country has a genius that is truly unique. What is that service to mankind if it is not to show, not only “government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the face of the earth,” but that it is the highest ideals in government, and that it makes for the greatest happiness of man, both in private nobility and public welfare?

Of that genius and service our flag is the emblem, and loyalty to that emblem is demonstrated in our devotion to it. As Freemasons, our field is the world, but our solicitude is to our own country – as it makes its unique and priceless contribution to universal good. With due reverence for other nations, and by loyalty to our own flag, we best serve the human race.

Every Freemason in these United States should understand that Freemasonry, as an institution, has always been an integral part of America’s history and destiny. An understanding of this will enable any Freemason to accurately state the relationship between Freemasonry and Americanism. His life and example should evince the fact that to be a good Freemason is to be a good American. For Americanism, we are most proud to proclaim, is the latter day effort to embody our age-old Masonic idealism into law and practice for the just governing of an entire nation.

It was Freemasonry in a pre-eminent degree that so tenderly, and yet so resolutely, cradled democracy in the first eventful years of America’s history. In confirmation of this fact, we need mention only a few of the many illustrious names written on the pages of both Masonic records and American history – names like Wor. Bro. George Washington, Most Wor. Bro. Ben Franklin, Most Wor. Bro. Joseph Warren, and Bro. Lafayette, the hero of two countries!

Some names I just mentioned most or all of you know, one may be unknown to you. Dr. Joseph Warren. Why would I single out Dr. Warren from the rest of these illustrious names?

Dr. Joseph Warren (June 11, 1741 – June 17, 1775 – 35 years old) was an American physician who played a leading role in American Patriot organizations in Boston in the early days of the American Revolution, eventually serving as President of the revolutionary Massachusetts Provincial Congress. Warren enlisted Paul Revere and William Dawes on April 18, 1775, to leave Boston and spread the alarm that the British garrison in Boston was setting out to raid the town of Concord and arrest rebel leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Warren participated in the next day’s Battles of Lexington and Concord, which are commonly considered to be the opening engagements of the American Revolutionary War.

Warren had been commissioned a Major General in the colony’s militia shortly before the June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. Rather than exercising his rank, Warren served in the battle as a private soldier, and was killed in combat when British troops stormed the redoubt atop Breed’s Hill. His death, immortalized in John Trumbull’s painting, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill, June 17, 1775, galvanized the rebel forces. He has been memorialized in the naming of many towns, counties and other locations in the United States, by statues, and in numerous other ways.

We fail to grasp the full significance of the noble record of those selfless and illustrious Brethren of our Order who took such prominent roles in Revolutionary days if we see it only as a source of pride and gratification. It is all of this, of course, but it is much, much more – for every page of America’s early history imposes duty, obligation and responsibility.

Dr. Joseph Warren’s Death at Breed’s Hill 1775

If it is true, and records indicate it as such, American nationality was largely brought about by Freemasons, and that to this end, the energies of the entire Craft were devoted to this grand cause in the trying times of the Revolution. If our predecessors gave ‘their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to start our Republic on its glorious path, surely, we can best honor and prove true the traditions of American Freemasonry by continuing the work they began. Our advantages, if not our opportunities, are even greater than theirs. The small and isolated Fraternity of that day has become a powerful Order – and it can exercise a mighty leverage for civic progress and reform.

The most noble lesson taught us by the Freemasons of the American Revolution is this: To place patriotism above partisanship, to preserve and extend the free institutions of the Republic, to maintain the honor and dignity of the Nation at home and abroad, and to realize the lofty ideals of our Eighteenth Century Brethren, bequeathing them as a priceless national heritage for generations of Americans yet unborn.

Freemasons, who teach so much by symbols, point with pride to the part Freemasonry played in establishing the greatest symbol known among all free nations – the Stars and Stripes we so fondly call “Old Glory.”

The most sacred symbol of any people is their flag, and in an hour of crisis and destiny, the old emblem becomes instinct with all of its lofty and holy meanings. In that flag is the soul of each nation, the outward and visible sign of its invisible and invincible spirit. The very body and blood of a free people are in the folds of its flag, and when it is unfurled, the soul of the nation stands proudly erect.

Historical Flags of the United States

On June 14th, 1777, Congress officially adopted this flag, changing the number of stars to thirteen and arranging them in a circle. The wording of this famous resolution is as follows:

“Resolved, that the Flag of the United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white, and that the Union be thirteen stars white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

The colors blend in our Flag to make it the sanctifying symbol of Unity, Fraternity and Goodwill among men. It is the Flag of Freedom and Friendship woven of the mystic cords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, proclaiming the time-glorified principles wrought out by the tears, prayers and blood of our early American forefathers.

As Freemasons, we can fully appreciate the words of President Calvin Coolidge:

 

“We do honor to the stars and stripes as the emblem of our country and the symbol of all that our patriotism means. We identify the flag with almost everything we hold dear on earth. It represents our peace and security, our civil and political liberty, our freedom of religious worship, our family, our friends, our home. We see it in the great multitude of blessings, of rights and privileges that make up our country. But, when we look at our flag and behold it emblazoned with all our rights, we must remember that it is equally a symbol of our duties. Every glory that we associate with it is the result of duty done.”

Freemasons preach and firmly believe in the right to think, the right to speak, the right to worship in freedom and as conscience alone shall dictate, but how many Freemasons truly know what these things mean – how many really believe in them? How many believe in them so firmly that they are willing to fight for them, live for them, and die to defend them if need be? These things, when mentioned, sound decidedly like those principles of Americanism the soldiers, sailors and airmen of our country so nobly protect. If our Masonic Fraternity stands for these principles, whole-heartedly and unafraid, then we should use our Beloved Order as the greatest force of all time for the continued up-building of America – individually, one Brother at a time.

The real challenge to us as Freemasons is to prove our worth and show cause why our Ancient Order should continue to exist in today’s society. The cry of the hour within Freemasonry is for leadership – leadership within both our Lodges and our communities. Committed and moral leaders who will do “the right thing,” and who are not afraid to show their patriotism and love of country. Leaders who are so filled with inspiration and consecration to the development of true citizenship – for the sake of America — that they will forget both self and self-interest to work for the further attainment of the very Masonic principles on which our country was founded.

As Freemasons, we need, as never before, a clear and commanding conception of what America really means. It would be a poor Freemason, and no patriot at all, who has not asked himself what plan, what purpose, what prophecy the Great Architect of the Universe is trying to work out through our national destiny. Surely, America exists to build in the new world a community based upon the God-given principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth – a community united, just and free, where men of every race and creed may live and live well because they freely choose moral fellowship under a sense of common interest and obligation.

Commitment to that ideal is true patriotism, and, perhaps, that is the greatest gift Freemasonry can give to the world as we step into the 21st century and a new millennium. The histories of America and of Freemasonry have always been inseparably intertwined for the betterment of mankind and to the glory of the Supreme Grand Master of the Universe – and may it ever be so.

Finally, we would like to share some words thought to have been written by an unidentified Revolutionary soldier and Brother Master Mason. It is a simple, yet profound, prayer written by the very type of man and Freemason that made this country great, and describes the purpose of Freemasonry better than the most eloquent orator could ever hope to do.

These are inspirational words that every Freemason working in the quarry of life can live by, and words that demonstrate the true patriotism of a simple soldier who looked beyond his own needs even in the hardest and most dangerous of times:

“Oh, Thou, who hast called us out of Darkness to be the bearers of Light; we beseech Thee to make us helpers in the world. Take away from us the love of ease, and fear of mortal men. Show us the simple things that we can do to help our neighbors, our families and our country. Brighten the daily round of tasks that we have undertaken and are tempted to neglect. Make us faithful to the trust that life has put upon us; hold us to the humblest duty.

“Prepare our hearts in sympathy to be partners in suffering with the weak; partners in eager service with the strong.

“Reveal to us the wavering ranks of those that are struggling upward that we may cheer and support our comrades unknown. Remove from us the love of glory and the thirst for praise. Give us, in weariness, refreshment, and in strength, peace; but when we are idle, send shame, and when we are false, send fear, to bring us back to Thee. By Thy Love restrain our censorious speech and teach us to commend. By Thy Divine Wisdom enlighten our plans, and direct our endeavors for the common wealth. And give to us the vision of that bright City of God, the New Jerusalem upon Earth, where all men may share the best they have, in thought and in deed, and where none shall harm or make afraid.

“And establish Thou the work of our hands; yes, the work of our hands establish Thou it.”

To these stirring words from the innermost desires of this early American patriot and Freemason for both his young country and for all of mankind, we can only most humbly add –

So Mote It Be.

 

34 Masons, a Mason’s Son and a Goat Capture Block Island

By W:. Ronald J. Seifried, DSA

Over the course of the history of Freemasonry, brothers had the ability to travel to Masonic lodges other than their home lodge to share in fellowship with other recognized lodges. It is possible for several brothers from one lodge to travel as a group to other lodges for degrees, table lodges or special communications. Several brothers of Jephtha Lodge No. 494 not only travelled to another Masonic lodge, but to another Masonic district in a different state.

Block Island, Rhode Island
Jephtha and Atlantic Lodge members, 1922

 
On June 2, 1922 Right Worshipful Ambrose W. Rose, District Deputy Grand Master of the Suffolk Masonic District and Past Master of Jephtha (1919), led a delegation of 12 Past Masters, 22 Brothers, a son of a Past Master who was waiting to be of age to join the lodge, and a goat on a trip by sea to Block Island, Rhode Island.  The occasion was to meet with Worshipful Lester Littlefield, Master of Atlantic Lodge No. 31 and nephew to Brother Rose for a special travelling lodge.

It was through the kindness of Worshipful Emmett B. Hawkins (1895-98; 1909-10) that a delegation of over 35 Huntingtonians had the opportunity of going on this trip. It was Hawkins, also affectionately known as “Cappy” to his brothers, said, according to contemporary accounts, “Well boys, I will take the old Isaac Sherwood and the whole lodge can travel on her.”

So, with “Cappy” at the wheel and Brother Henry A. Murphy in charge of the commissary, with some assistance from Worshipful Russel Young (1917), the sendoff party started off at Archer’s Dock in Huntington Harbor at 8AM on a Friday morning, with Jack Cushing blowing the fire whistle to start the long trip. 

By the time the ship of Masons reached the Huntington lighthouse, a small rowboat was coming up behind the Isaac Sherwood with a man in the bow giving a distress sign that only fellow Masons would recognize. The twin engines in the Isaac Sherwood were stopped and silence crept aboard the ship, a silence so deafening one could hear a pin drop. A line was shot across the little rowboat which carried dedicated Brother “Uncle” Sam Horn, late for the early morning departure strictly called by “Cappy.” Big Ernest Carlsson and Elbert Fleet assisted the unpunctual Uncle Sam aboard the Isaac Sherwood and the party continued its long-distance trip. While travelling on Long Island Sound, Worshipful Murphy called out, “Dinner is now being served!”  Cappy later stated he “never saw such a well-trained gang of men in all the years he had travelled the water.” The crew and brothers were fed a hearty feast, including fruit, pies, cake, sardines, and anything else that might have been in ship’s cupboards. After dinner and coffee, the card tables were rearranged for a night of gambling. It was at this moment it was realized the unnamed committee forgot to bring any prizes, leading the brothers to play for actual peanuts.

The strong headwind and tide the Isaac Sherwood faced on this cool Friday evening, Cappy decided to anchor in Gardiner’s Bay for the night and expected to weigh anchor at sunrise on Saturday. The sun failed to be seen through the thick fog the following morning and Brother Clarence Cutting remarked “It had not been seen since yesterday.” Because of the thick fog, the party did not set sail for Plum Island until 7:30AM and were unable to find the eastern island for over five hours.

Eureka Hotel, Block Island

The Isaac Sherwood finally reached the Block Island dock by 1:45 PM, with Worshipful Lester Littlefield and his landing crew patiently awaiting the arrival of the visiting brothers from Jephtha Lodge. Littlefield yelled out at the approaching ship that he just received a telegram from Right Worshipful Douglass Conklin, Past Master of Jephtha (1886-87; 1899), that the new District Deputy was on board. The excited brothers from Atlantic Lodge gathered on the dock to shake hands with the new District Deputy affectionately nicknamed “Rosie.”

A list of several brothers with a case of “sea sickness blues” was recorded in the archives of Jephtha, with the caveat that “nothing is against a man being seasick.” As the brothers from Huntington disembarked the Isaac Sherwood, some of the early settlers of Block Island were gathering outside to witness the visiting Masonic brothers.

The Master Mason Degree was conferred in full form at Atlantic Lodge No. 31, Block Island, Rhode Island by Jephtha Lodge No. 494, Huntington, New York. After the degree work was completed, both lodges retired to the banquet room of the Eureka Hotel, where proprietor Ollie Rose prepared an elaborate feast.

At the conclusion of the banquet, “Cappy” Hawkins initiated all the members of Atlantic Lodge into the Order of the Turtles and gave the Block Island lodge the power to confer the order at any time during his absence. The drinking fraternity traces its origins to an English pub in 1943, loosely organized by a group of fighter pilots complete with an initiation ceremony, grip and passwords. The discovery of the Order of the Turtles in 1922 predates the “official” start of the fraternity by 21 years, an interesting revelation that will need further research.

The Jephtha brothers departed from Block Island at 9AM on Sunday morning and arrived at Huntington Harbor at 6AM on Monday morning. Everyone was happy and ready for the next trip to Block Island, which there would be many, except for Brother Tang, who said he would rather “fill up the holes here on dry land than to fill up in Long Island Sound.” Senior Warden Kurt J. Galow and Junior Master of Ceremonies Louis Sammis were the men before the mast and nightwatchmen, ensuring that everyone was made comfortable during their watch.

The infamous, yet unnamed goat, of which Jephtha was so proud as their travelling mascot, was presented to the brothers of Atlantic Lodge, which received the high honor as the only goat on Block Island in 1922. The lack of DNA evidence cannot confirm if this goat were a direct descendent to one of the many goats Brother George W. Dowling rode, as reported in an 1886 edition of the Long Islander.

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2021 Grand Lecturer’s Convention

I am encouraging all Brothers, especially our newer members to register/RSVP to attend the Grand Lecturer’s Convention. Its open to all Masons (EA, FC & MM). It will only be about 90 minutes according to the Grand Lecturer. Below is the invite that was posted and emailed to all Lodges and Masters to disseminate. I hope Potunk Lodge has a decent attendance at this event. The RSVP links are bellow for all to use. The preference is to use the suffolkmasons.com link as it’s just easier.

 

Fraternally,

V:.W:. Bill Arnold

Master

Potunk Lodge #1071


To the Master, Wardens and the Brethren of your Lodge,

 

The R:.W:. Kevin G. McCauley, District Deputy Grand Master of the Suffolk Masonic District, cordially and fraternally invites you to join him in welcoming the R:.W:. Richard Friedman, Grand Lecturer of the State of New York at his annual convention.

 

You are cordially and fraternally invited to attend the 2021 Grand Lecturers Convention on Saturday, March 27th, to be held at 2 PM online (virtual only).

As this is a pandemic year and travel and gatherings are curtailed and or restricted this years Grand Lecturer’s Convention will be 100% virtual, directed and hosted by the Grand Lecturer, R:.W:. Richard Friedman.

The topic of the Grand Lecturer’s convention will be the Masonic Memorial Service.

 

All Brothers are encouraged to attend. The Grand Lecturer’s Convention this year will begin at 2 PM sharp and expected duration is 2 hours. The Grand Lecturer will begin with opening words and then a presentation on the Masonic Memorial Service. After the presentation is concluded the Grand Lecturer will take questions and answers from the Brothers in attendance. Open to EAs, FCs & MMs

 

In order to receive the link to the GLC members MUST RSVP with email address or on BAND or the Facebook private Group for the Suffolk Masonic District or via Suffolk District Grand Lecturer’s Convention – Suffolk Masonic District (suffolkmasons.com)

 

We look forward to wonderful afternoon of Masonic Ritual Enlightenment and an evening of Brotherhood.  Please feel free to contact the Assistant Grand Lecturers for further information or instruction.

 

Sincerely and Fraternally,

 

V:.W:. William Arnold, AGL

V:.W:. Robert Licata, AGL

From the East for March 2021

Brothers,

Well the year keeps marching on and weather changes have really added to the isolation and current state of hibernation. At least that’s he feeling I am getting. I hope you are all not getting too comfortable being away from the Lodge lately.

In the Grand Master’s message as of January 29th, all meeting restrictions are withdrawn with the following exceptions.

  • NY State guidelines on gatherings indoors still as of this writing limited to 50.
  • Masks still must be worn indoors and social distancing observed
  • Degrees are still under the COVID modified rules.

So in light of the lessening of restrictions, our next Stated Communication on March 4th 2021 will be in person and attire will be business. We’ll be meeting upstairs for this one and there is very good reason for this. In just a few short weeks really, the Lodge will be holding elections and hopefully investiture and Installations. Our Jr. Officers really need to be back in the Lodge and practicing their ritual so they can take the reins and keep the Lodge running into the future.

I hope to bring as many back into Lodge as possible, since 50 at a meeting is unheard of, I’ll gamble that we do not come near that number, although it would be really cool to see it. Freemasonry will endure and so will Potunk Lodge and we need officers to know the work and be able to take the lead.

I have high hopes that by April we’ll be able to begin planning some fundraisers to try and get back to assuring the financial future of the Lodge as well.

I truly hope all are healthy and doing well and can come out and be with your Brothers in a Lodge setting and enjoy human to human interaction and enjoy true Brotherhood.