Successful Venison Dinner to benefit Camp Turk

Dear Readers,

The critics have spoken and it’s unanimous!

Thanks to all those who participated I last night’s event. Fantastic evening for everyone. Kudos to the Stokke family for all they do.  – V:.W:. Bill Debenedetto

Thats just one of the many posts since last night’s Venison Dinner. With this event canceled the last 2 years due to concerns, it was a welcome and wonderful return. I’ll just point to all the smiling faces in the images to tell you how the evening went. A big thanks to the Stokke family and Bobby Able and all those that pitched in and made this event a great success.

Below are images taken by our Brother Paparazzi – W:. Al Baker

There are lots of pics so it may take a few seconds to load…be patient.

Aid to Ukraine

Dear Brethren and Friends, We at the Grand Lodge of New York are trying to do our part towards answering the call of the distressed in providing a source of much-needed help to those adversely affected by these unprovoked acts of violence and war against the good citizens of Ukraine. These unprecedented assaults and aggression […]

The post Aid to Ukraine appeared first on Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of New York.

Feb 2022 School of Instruction

Suffolk District AGLs V:.W:. Bill Debenedetto and V:.W:. Gil Kruse came out last night to Potunk Lodge #1071 for a School of Instruction. On the agenda was to discuss and get info on the Drama of the 3rd degree.

Brothers from Potunk Lodge, Riverhead Lodge, Smithtown Lodge, Suffolk 60 and others all joined in the discussion and ritual.

All had a very enlightening evening and are looking forward to the next.


Is it President’s Day or Washington’s Birthday?

Although the holiday is most often referred to as “Presidents’ Day,” the observed federal holiday is officially called “Washington’s Birthday.”

Neither Congress nor the President has ever stipulated that the name of the holiday observed as Washington’s Birthday be changed to Presidents’ Day. Additionally, Congress has never declared a national holiday that is binding in all states; each state has the freedom to determine its own legal holidays. This is why there are some calendar discrepancies when it comes to this holiday’s date.

So why is Washington’s Birthday commonly called Presidents’ Day?

In a sense, calling the holiday Presidents’ Day helps us to reflect on not just the first president, but also the founding of our nation, its values, and what Washington calls in his Farewell Address the “beloved Constitution and union, as received from the Founders.” Additionally, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is in February (on the 12th), so by calling the holiday “Presidents’ Day,” we can include another remarkable president in our celebrations as well.

Today, many calendars list the third Monday of February as Presidents’ Day, just as quite a few U.S. states do, too. Of course, all of the 3-day retail store sales are called “Presidents’ Day” sales and this vernacular has also been influential in how we reference the holiday.

Presidents’ Day History

Historically, Americans began celebrating George Washington’s Birthday just months after his death, long before Congress declared it a federal holiday. It was not until 1879, under President Rutherford B. Hayes, that Washington’s Birthday became a legal holiday, to be observed on his birthday, February 22.

Washington’s birthday was celebrated on February 22 until well into the 20th century. In 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law to “provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays.” By creating more 3-day weekends, Congress hoped to “bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the Nation.”

Today, George Washington’s Birthday is one of only eleven permanent holidays established by Congress. One of the great traditions followed for decades has been the reading by a U.S. senator of George Washington’s Farewell Address in legislative session, which remains an annual event to this day.

When Is George Washington’s Real Birthday?

Although the federal holiday is held on a Monday (the third Monday of February), George Washington’s birthday is observed on February 22. To complicate matters, Washington was actually born on February 11 in 1731! How can that be?

George Washington was originally born when the Julian calendar was in use. During Washington’s lifetime, people in Great Britain and America switched the official calendar system from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar (something that most of Europe had already done in 1582).

As a result of this calendar reform, people born before 1752 were told to add 11 days to their birth dates. Those born between January 1 and March 25, as Washington was, also had to add one year to be in sync with the new calendar.

By the time Washington became president in 1789, he celebrated his birthday on February 22 and listed his year of birth as 1732.

To summarize, Washington’s birthday changed from February 11, 1731 (Old-Style Julian calendar), to February 22, 1732 (New-Style Gregorian calendar).


The rest as you know dear readers is history!

Send a Kid to Camp

Dear Brother, As we know, Camp Turk at Round Lake is a premier summer camp and one of the crown jewels of New York State Freemasonry. The past two camping seasons have been very difficult as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 season was canceled entirely, and last season Camp Turk operated with […]

The post Send a Kid to Camp appeared first on Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of New York.

2022 Grand Master’s Message – Camp Turk

Dear Brother,

As we know, Camp Turk at Round Lake is a premier summer camp and one of the crown jewels of New York State Freemasonry.  The past two camping seasons have been very difficult as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The 2020 season was cancelled entirely, and last season Camp Turk operated with far fewer children than in previous years.  This was due in large part because of the continued uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 protocols and the difficulty in finding competent staff.

As we continue our plans for the 2022 camping season, we need everyone’s help in bringing the number of children attending camp to pre-Covid levels.  Therefore, I am asking that each district in our jurisdiction sponsor 2 children to camp this year.  By sponsoring these children your District is not compelled to pay the full amount of weekly tuition.  If the district is unable to pay the full amount which is $550 per week, there are scholarship monies available for families that qualify.   We also expect families to pay a portion of the tuition as well.

This is an important transition year for us as we strive to bring our “one of a kind” camping experience to as many children as possible.  This information can be shared with all our bothers, their families, neighbors and friends.

Applications are now being accepted by registering at our website at .  Please contact Mollie Denslow, Camp Administrator at 315- 392-2081 or email , with any questions or to obtain a Scholarship Application.

Thank you for your kind and generous consideration.

M:.W:. Bro. Richard J. Kessler


Grand Master

Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of the State of New York

71 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010

Lodges are getting serious about securing the District Traveling Gavel

As of late we have seen a great Brotherhood and competitive spirit among Brothers of the Suffolk District with the District Traveling Gavel. There has been Bragging rights and quite a bit of smack talk as well. All in good fun and of course good taste (mostly).

Lately, as April approaches, some Lodges once they have snagged the gavel for their Lodge, are going to greater and greater lengths to secure it and assure that none attempt to acquire it for another Lodge. Case in point, Suffolk Lodge No. 60, recently went to Amityville Lodge No. 977, where Start of the East Lodge No. 843’s, W:. Joe Lombardo, recently appeared with the Traveling Gavel.

Amityville Lodge was conferring the 1st degree on a candidate and the Brothers of the District came out in force to help, aid and assist the Lodge in the best way possible. Filling the Lodge with Brotherly Love and Fellowship. However, once the Traveling Gavel was spied, all that went out the window and in the end Suffolk 60 emerged with the Traveling Gavel. And there was much rejoicing.

The Brothers of Suffolk 60, naturally proud of their acquisition and not wanting the gavel to be absconded with, have secured the Traveling Gavel in a most interesting, and possibly dangerous way. You be the judge!


I am not sure about any other Brothers, but I am pretty sure I won’t be reaching for that Traveling Gavel in its current location. I suspect for another Lodge to acquire it, it will take thought and cunning and a very large steak by the looks of it.

Craftsmen Online

Brothers the Craftsmen Online has taken another great step to bring substantial Masonic content to every Freemason. The Grand Master, M:.W:. Richard Kessler recently chatted with Craftsmen Online about his vision for Freemasonry.

You can get to Craftsmen Online and all their content here ->

FROM Grand Lodge of New York:

We are very excited to announce our grand lodges partnership with the Craftsmen Online. To kick off our first conjoined program we bring you the Grand Master! This also was shot with a video segment you can see on their website. We will have a wide range of programming coming to you over the next weeks with access and insight to our Grand Lodge as never before.

Listen to “Craftsmen Online Podcast” on Spreaker.

Rules to live by

If you have every looked closely at Masonic protocol & etiquette as well as Masonic Landmarks and law, it should become evident that there is a common thread.

WBro. Washington wrote a booklet on rules of etiquette for gentleman. He gleaned most of this from books he had read as a boy and young man and from most sources here tried to live by these same rules.

I recently came across a social media post for “Rules to teach your son”. The post reminded me a lot of WBro. Washington’s booklet, albeit with a slightly more modern twist on it. I would also re-title this “Rules to teach a young Mason” The items in Red are the ones I would include that list. What’s your list look like?

Rules to teach your son

  1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.  – Common Courtesy
  2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs. – Be bold when called for
  3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king. – Among men this is an axiom
  4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer. – Common Sense
  5. Request the late check-out. – Enjoy life
  6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it. – Self Explanatory of course
  7. Hold your heroes to a higher standard. – Never step down, always bid men step up to you
  8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas. – Again, Common courtesy
  9. Play with passion or don’t play at all… – If you are going to do something, give it your all
  10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye. – Directly out of WBro. Washington’s booklet
  11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be. – Don’t let anything stop you in your pursuit of your dreams
  12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point. – Certainly true
  13. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her. – Be the rock for the ones you love
  14. You marry the girl; you marry her family. – The nuclear and extended family is what make you what you are, love all of them
  15. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath. – Never let them see you sweat
  16. Experience the serenity of traveling alone. – Know thyself
  17. Never be afraid to ask out the best-looking girl in the room. – pursuit of happiness
  18. Never turn down a breath mint. – share and accept what is offered to you graciously
  19. A sport coat is worth 1000 words. – Always overdress for an event or occasion. You can always remove to dress down
  20. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising. – Momento Mori
  21. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him. – Yes “thank you for your service is always nice, if you get the chance buy them a drink or event lunch. 
  22. Eat lunch with the new kid. – seek out new members at meetings and get to know them, introduce them to well informed brothers
  23. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it. – This, as in all things, is an axiom
  24. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win. – Your mom will always be your mom
  25. Manners maketh the man. – Again, right out of WBro. Washington’s booklet
  26. Give credit. Take the blame. – Definitely applies to every WM
  27. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied. – Always and every time
  28. Write down your dreams. – Set goals, write them down and reference them regularly
  29. Take time to snuggle your pets, they love you so much and are always happy to see you. – of course, they are family
  30. Be confident and humble at the same time. – Stand erect among men, be the example of grace and humility
  31. If ever in doubt, remember whose son you are that you are a Freemasons and REFUSE to just be ordinary! – This is key to showing those in your life and the world what a Freemason is.
  32. In all things lead by example not explanation. – Another truism if there were any

The rules above (with commentary) are not arbitrary. Like the “Golden Rule”, they have come down from antiquity from many, if not all, civilizations in one form or another.

Civilization must have “rules” like the golden rule and maybe even some or all of those above to be civilized. Freemasons need to embody No. 32 and exemplify it in all we do.

Just to cement the ideas above I will also offer the following:

In The Farmer’s Almanac for 1823 published at Andover, Mass., the following was printed under the heading,
 of a Freemason”

The real Freemason is distinguished from the rest of Mankind by the uniform unrestrained rectitude of his conduct.
Other men are honest in fear of punishment which the law might inflect they are religious in expectation of being rewarded, or in dread of the devil, in the next world.
A Freemason would be just if there were no laws, human or divine except those written in his heart by the finger of his Creator. In every climate, under every system of religion, he is the same.
He kneels before the Universal Throne of God in gratitude for the blessings he has received and humble solicitation for his future protection.
He venerates the good men of all religions.
He disturbs not the religion of others.
He restrains his passions, because they cannot be indulged without injuring his neighbor or himself.
He gives no offense, because he does not choose to be offended.
He contracts no debts which he is certain he cannot discharge because he is honest upon principal.

Finally, I believe Bro. John “The Duke” Wayne said it more simply, yet succinctly:


“I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” ― Bro. John Wayne “The Shootist”




It would really be a wonderful thing to hear what the Brothers say about the rules above, would you add any, remove any, re-word any? If you want a lively discussion in a Lodge, bring up what does it mean to be a Freemason, and a man.

Suffolk District Traveling Gavel floating around the East End

The Suffolk District Traveling Gavel is making its rounds on the east end of the island as of late. The only question is will it need a customs declaration and accompanying paperwork to cross the border back into the mainland.

As of this writing the Traveling Gavel is now back at Star of the East Lodge. Riverhead Lodge sent a good sized contingent but, in the end, Star of the East won out.

The next available date to travel to Star of the East and snag the gavel will be Thursday, February 10th, 2022.

Safe travels my brothers and don’t forget your passports if you plan on claiming the gavel for your Lodge.

As a reminder the location, leaderboard and simplified rules are all right here -> Suffolk District Traveling Gavel