Iowa Freemasonry is a personal journal of a Freemason in central Iowa. This blog documents my Masonic research interests, experiences, and reflections. Welcome!

Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 Grand Conclave

Here are a few photos from this mornings Grand Conclave of Knights Templar of Iowa:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Worshipful Master Keith Gordon, Operative Lodge #308

2014 Operative Lodge #308 Worshipful Master Keith Gordon (in the middle) with installing officers Worshipful Brother Jim Trotter (PM), Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master Mike Aves Sr., Most Worshipful Brother D. Dean Johnson, and Worshipful Brother Lane Shaver (PM).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Knights Templar Honor Guard

Sir Knights Rusty Hill, Wade Sheeler, Tom Megel, and Mike Miller (not pictured) assisted in the installation of officers at King David Lodge #407 in Altoona, Iowa on January 7, 2014. Megel, as the 2013 Eminent Commander of Temple Commandery #4 in Des Moines, initiated this practice of performing an honor guard at the officer installation ceremonies in the Des Moines area. The Sir Knights march into the Lodge room, present swords, and form an arch of steel in honor of the new Worshipful Master and other officers of the Masonic Lodge. The honor guard performed by the Knights Templar is a way to show respect and add to the dignity of the officer installation ceremony. Other Sir Knights participating in these honor guards at local Lodges include Dan Hobson, Ken Brickman, and Charlie Smithson. More information on Temple Commandery #4 in Des Moines can be found at this link.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Des Moines York Rite Fall Festival 2013

The Des Moines York Rite of Freemasonry hosted its Fall Festival Saturday, November 23 with sixteen candidates participating. York Rite bodies from across the state participated both with candidates and with officers assisting in the work. The Heads of all three Iowa Grand York Rite bodies participated: M.E. David G. Klein Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Iowa, M.I. Thomas E. H. Gruis Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Iowa, and Terry L. Hudik Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery Knights Templar of Iowa.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Des Moines Scottish Rite Fall Reunion

Congratulations to the 2013 John H. McKlveen, 33° Fall Memorial Reunion class: Class President: Donald A. Burkhart, Class Secretary: Brandon V. Scheuring, Class Orator: Joseph W. Seidlin, Andrae C. Delaney, Mark A. Konrad, Lee Roy W. Porter, Alan C. Rodruck, and Mark A. Terhune. More detail is here: 2013 Fall Gala

Friday, November 8, 2013

Delicious Pizza!

The pizza chefs once again turned Polk City’s Operative Lodge #308 into a pizza factory on October 19. Twice a year the members of Operative Lodge make and sell pizzas to benefit charity. This fall Lodge members, and a few wives, turned out in force to create just about the best pizza you’ve ever eaten! Seriously, the pizzas are great and you can pick the toppings. Plus, the money helps support charity.

If you missed out this fall, look for us next Spring!

John Bizzack at Iowa reserach Lodge #2

John Bizzack spoke to the members and guests of Iowa Research Lodge #2 on November 1 in Des Moines. Worshipful Master George Harrison introduced our guest speaker as the author of the book For the Good of the Order: Examining the Shifting Paradigm Within Freemasonry. Bizzack argues that a return to traditional Freemasonry in our Lodges is a way to address membership decline. His book, as well as his speech Friday evening, examines more than just the old debate about membership decline. Bizzack advances the argument that the recent move on the part of some Lodges towards longer periods of time between degrees for a candidate, higher dues, and strict standards of dress aren’t anything new. These characteristics can also be found in Lodges in the 18th and 19th century. His speech was entertaining and informative, a combination rarely seen in many Masonic meetings. 

The Iowa Research Lodge biannual meetings feature dinner, a speaker, and good fellowship. Friday night was no exception.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Operative stone carving at Operative Lodge in Polk City

The Freemasons at Operative Lodge #308 met for their stated meeting Monday evening, March 11, and were treated to an informative presentation by Brother Ben Mayer, a visitor from Acanthus Lodge. Brother Ben is a working stone carver and he brought some of his working tools as well as his work with him. A few pictures are below.

Brother Ben’s talk included explanations of both traditional and modern tools used by masons. The several common gavels and hammers he had are still used today, but the pneumatic chisel, which operates at over 3000 cycles per minute, has replaced much of the manual work. Even a modern pneumatic chisel requires a considerable degree of skill; Brother Ben spoke of how he must both listen to the tone of the sound produced from chiseling as well as be attentive to the feel of the tool as it moves lest the work be ruined.

Thank you Brother Ben Mayer for your interesting and enlightening presentation!