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Greetings from the East, February 2023

Greetings Brethren,

Happy February!

As Worshipful Master, and as a past officer in other chairs, I had, and still have, many events, practices, degrees and travel to other lodges during this Masonic year. Without an understanding wife, these commitments could not have been fulfilled since she has sacrificed her time to do the things I should have been doing – giving up time with family and friends so I could spend time with my Brothers, and not being able to take my daughter to her various events. To my wife, Miranda, THANK YOU! To my daughter, thank you for your understanding.

To the lovely partners in our lives, who without their love, understanding and support of us Masons being away enabling us to fulfill our Masonic duties several times a week, a grand THANK YOU! We Masons wish you a very happy and well deserved Valentine’s Day. It is an honor for us to call you our partners.

Brothers, please embrace this day with your significant other, kiss them as you kissed them for the first time. Mine was walking in the rain to Greenwich Village on an unusually warm February evening in 2001. Tell them how much you love them. I did a few months after our first kiss, in May, in front of my mother’s tree on Mother’s Day. Remind your significant others of these significant moments and embrace them.

I would also like to remind everyone we celebrate Presidents Day this month, and we can call 14 of them Brothers. George Washington was the first Masonic President followed by James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Gerald Ford. Although not a Master Mason, Lyndon Johnson was an Entered Apprentice, and it is rumored Abraham Lincoln was scheduled to be initiated as an Entered Apprentice the Monday after his assassination.

Without mentioning any of the words or penalties of the three obligations taken to become a Master Mason, I would like to discuss what obligation means to us. The foundation of Freemasonry is built after we take our Entered Apprentice obligation, changing our titles from Mister to Brother. A candidate now becomes a member of the oldest, caring and brotherly fraternal organization in existence. He now has a stronger tie to the Masonic Brotherhood. This is even more so when a Brother brings in a friend and he also becomes a Brother. Their relationship has changed for the better and they are bound by stronger ties than ever before.

Although the obligations are mandatory to become a Master Mason in all three degrees, it is taken under free will. These obligations insure we are held to a higher moral standard, where a Brother can form friendships with other Brothers without worrying about being defrauded, wronged or cheated. This bond means a Brother can be trusted to help you if you are in need, as you would help him in doing the same. He is also obligated to care for widows and orphans. This obligation is sworn in front of the assembled brothers of the Lodge and is a promise from us all that we will continue to hold and honor Masonry to the highest standards possible. This is an agreement we made not only to the Craft but also to the Lodge, with our hand on the Greatest Light ever, the Holy Bible, or whatever other Holy Book you believe in if you are a non-Christian. In this way, we respect all religions and beliefs. As you promised in each obligation, which is the goal of every Mason, our path is toward the light so it becomes stronger and brighter each day.

My Dear Brothers, remember the promises you made while taking your obligation and always live life as you promised. Remember, the darker it gets the brighter your light must shine.

We mourn the sudden passing of our dear Brother, Frederick James Meuser, who laid down his Working Tools suddenly on December 18th. At the request of his family, we honored his memory with a Masonic Funeral Service. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Cathy, his two daughters, Catlin and Christy, and his entire family.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
W:.M:. Michael S Crispino, Jr

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Greetings from the East – January, 2023


Greetings my Brothers,

Happy New Year, and I wish you all good health, joy and Brotherly Love in 2023.

Reflecting on my role as Worshipful Master in 2022, it made me think of what responsibility entails. Merriam-Webster defines it as: “…the quality of being responsible, such as a moral, legal or mental accountability; reliability, trustworthiness; something for which one is responsible: burden.”

Since I was 10 years old, I’ve had obligations. I hated delivering newspapers on a cold, snowy day at 5 AM, but it was my responsibility to do so. At 14 I worked my entire summer at a gas station, 12 hours a day. I took 2 buses to the Bronx since that was the only place that would hire me at that age. I hated the pay, but I still did the job to the best of my ability since that was the agreed upon wage. With devotion came reward. My unemployed friends didn’t have what I was able to buy, and all that was due to my responsibility to my job. Even though it was not the best job in the world, it made my life easier and nicer.

After these experiences, I was more appreciative of jobs that came afterwards. At 18 I left the gas station and started working for UPS, a union job which provided me guaranteed raises, benefits, and a pension. That job led me to my current position while earning my master’s degree full-time. Thirty-two years later (with 4 promotions), it’s a job I love, all thanks to the foundations of accountability I had developed earlier.

I have always taken my duties to heart and do the best I can. As a Mason, isn’t that what’s expected? As an officer I was sometimes unable to make certain events since I was working as a first responder on a rotating shift, but I made it a point to miss the fun occasions in my life so that I could attend important Masonic affairs.

As Worshipful Master I am in charge of our Lodge, which is to make sure that polices I put forward benefit the Lodge not only during my term, but in the future. This is certainly true with my Wardens and Deacons since my actions will affect their terms. Add to all of this, numerous officers’ meetings.

As Junior Warden it was not immediately possible to cook for my Brothers during COVID and lockdown. That ended in February. In the meantime, I decided to make my newsletter articles lengthier than previously to compensate for the lack of our meeting in Lodge. With time this became something I love to do and one of my agreed upon responsibilities in which I take great pride.

One of the joys of a line officer is to pass on my knowledge quietly to an officer moving up, as I have also done at work. I always pull fellow Brothers and fellow workers aside when a basic question is asked that is done daily or often and speak to them in a low voice so that others don’t hear me, preventing embarrassment. Others in charge may find this a burden and become unkind to those who may have erred.

In Lodge, I have made errors in the roles I’ve held, and Brothers have whispered to correct me since they felt it was their responsibility to tell me in a low voice what had gone awry. They also told me what a good job I had done even when mistakes were made. Isn’t that what learning is all about, trying something new and perhaps erring along the way? Being a Mason is making a responsible commitment to the Craft, doing everything possible to make what we do as perfect as possible. But if minor mistakes occur, we should remember an honest attempt was made and best of luck next time.

Responsible commitment means showing up for practice, studying, working out difficulties yourself, asking for help when needed, and embracing our agreed upon assignments. For me as Worshipful Master, that means writing monthly articles for this newsletter, having substantive communications, visiting other lodges, and representing our Lodge so that its light shines brightly.

As we advance in the different officers’ chairs, responsibilities grow. The Senior Deacon is one of the greatest responsibilities when performing degrees. He has to coordinate what positions need to be filled months in advance, set up practices, meet and greet visiting Brethren, and lead the candidates/Brothers on their next Masonic journey. This is the make-or-break seat for a Brother moving up the line. I loved this chair when I held it, but there were also nervous and trying nights when presenting degrees.

With responsible commitment comes growth, an inner, satisfying beauty as well as accomplishment. Your lines may not always be perfect, but it is the attempt that counts because you are meeting your deadlines responsibly. Don’t be afraid to ask for help but be afraid of not meeting your commitments. Most important of all is to never undermine anyone, maliciously or with false kindness, or say to him, “This isn’t the way it’s done.” It’s unfriendly and unwanted. In this case a brother should show Masonic Brotherly Love and say to this Brother quietly and as an aside, “I’ve been down this road before. Do you need help from me to help you get to where you need to go?”

Never do I address any of my Brothers as “friend.” That is unworthy when speaking of our Brothers. When I see or address a Brother it is always as, “My Brother.” When I went to hear Brothers Anthony Colonna and Walt Willems’ band play, they introduced me to the lead singer, and she asked if we were friends. I said, “No, I am their Brother.” She didn’t understand at first, but it became clearer when I told her we were all Masons. The word “Brother” is used with pride, and it is our responsibility to do so because we all fulfilled the same obligation and proficiency when we became Brothers.

I would like to thank all my Brothers for accepting their commitments and responsibilities, and for all you do to improve your lives and our Lodge. Let us remember in fulfilling our own responsibilities to help those who may need help in fulfilling theirs, and to do so quietly, with Brotherly Love.

Always remember, it’s up to each one of us to continuously show how brightly our light can shine.

Sincerely and fraternally,
Michael S Crispino, Jr

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), Austrian poet and novelist

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Important update from W:. Peppaceno



On behalf of the Worshipful Master, Dominick Peppaceno:


The 1st degree that was planned for Tuesday, Nov. 1st, will be postponed to another date to be announced soon. The Lodge will open and close on Tuesday, November 1st and we’ll proceed to the Funeral Service for our departed Brother Jerry Shaw from there.


Details on the funeral service will be sent as soon as they are received.




V:.W:. Bill Arnold

Jr. Warden

Riverhead Lodge #645

Sad Tidings – V:.W:. Boysie Singh laid down the Working Tools of Life


It is with a heavy heart that I relay the news that V:.W:. Boysie Singh, Past Master of Potunk Lodge No. 1071, laid down the working tools of life and has passed upward to that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

May the GAOTU hold him in his hands. The Secretary will send out arrangements when they are available.

Please keep his wife Terry and their three daughters in your thoughts and prayers.

Successful 1st Degree


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.


V:.W:. Bill Arnold


Potunk Lodge #1071

The Light at the end of a tunnel


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.



V:.W:. Bill Arnold

Worshipful Master

Potunk Lodge #1071

From the East for March 2021


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.

From the East Jan-Feb 2021


As all have been keenly aware of the ongoing situation with COVID and meetings at Lodges, I am concerned about the ongoing damage to the Craft that virtualized meetings are doing. That being said, we are Masons and we are obligated to follow the rules, edicts and laws of the Grand Lodge. That’s all I will say about that.

There are a few things going on at our Lodge that we should all know about. Mainly that although we so far have been able to keep things going regarding the building and bills etc., this situation will soon turn critical.

I discussed in the last 2 meetings (1 virtual one in person) the fact that LIPMA has setup a grant program to assist with some of the losses in revenue due to the above situation Lodges are having. I have asked the Secretary, to review the info/application packet and begin pulling together the required documentation so that we may submit an application for the Grant this month.

I am still optimistic that by March/April we’ll begin to see the light at the end of this very long tunnel and begin to operate normally again.

Going forward I will resist any virtual Lodge Communications (unless new directives from the Grand Master are released). So I will be opening the Lodge as normal starting with the first meeting in February.

I hope all are staying healthy and safe this days and as in previous posts, wanted to thank all who have been busy at the Lodge all these long months getting things done that have been needed for some time, painting, tiling and fixing.

I look forward to seeing many of you soon at the Lodge and back to the quarries doing what we do.

We have a few candidates in waiting for sometime now and we need to look to get these potential Brothers initiated and educated.


V:.W:. Bill Arnold


Potunk Lodge #1071

Going forward in 2021


Many of you have been getting updates from the web, Facebook etc. on the state of the pandemic and the restrictions we are currently under. You can go on over to and the latest video message from MW Sardone is on the home page.

By the way I am of the belief that the image in this post is more and more a reality in this era than ever before.

There are only effectively 5 months left of my time in the east and although it has been challenging to try and gather and meet as Brothers we have done OK.  It seems that time truly does fly.

What we will be focusing on the next few months, restrictions or not, will be to train and educate our up and coming officers and ritual and Lodge management. I would ask that all elected and appointed officers please do your very best to attend in person meetings Feb-June 2021 so we can assure you are prepared to lead the lodge into the months and years to come.

Of course we will continue to follow all directives and edicts as good and true Brothers but although “Masonry never stops” is the current mantra, “slowing to a crawl” is not what I had envisioned at all. There are still lodges doing things here and there and some charitable giving etc. but time is that we need the Brotherhood and companionship face to face (albeit with covered faces) more then ever.

So I will say if you are feeling healthy and would like to attend please join us over the coming weeks and months as we begin our work anew to prepare our Jr officers for Mastership.

Holiday greetings!



These is no doubt 2020 has been a year to remember or forget, depending on your perspective. The one thing that can possibly put a good light to this year is a nice, happy and healthy holidays for all.


So I would like to wish each and all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And for those celebrating Hanukkah this season, Hanukkah Sameach!


As we move forward into 2021 know that there have been quite a few improvements at the Lodge and I am pleased that we can at least take the time to get these maintenance items done while nobody of at the Lodge. If you have a little time on weekends to join in the painting, fixing, etc. grab your mask and head on down. Look for notice from the Secretary when these fixit parties will take place.


I am looking forward to getting back to normal lodge meeting, hopefully soon after the new year. In the mean time there is zoom meetings and just keeping in touch with each other. Look toward your Brothers in the Lodge and email, text, call one another now and then.




V:.W:. Bill Arnold


Potunk Lodge #1071