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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Polk City Eastern Star Dinner

The Freemasons of Operative Lodge #308 and their ladies were treated to a delicious, and filling, dinner on Saturday evening, Jan. 28, 2012, courtesy of the Polk City Chapter #361 Order of the Eastern Star. The O.E.S. prepared and served the dinner of ham balls, potato casserole, green beans, rolls, salads, and more at the Polk City Masonic Center. Over forty were in attendance including O.E.S. members, their spouses, members of Operative Lodge #308, and their spouses.

I had a great time Saturday evening. This was the first Star function I have attended, and let me tell you it will not be my last! This Star chapter knows how to put on a feast! The members of the chapter warmly welcomed me as soon as I arrived. I met last year’s Worthy Matron, Marilyn Whitmore, as well as other members of the organization. After dinner, past OES Grand Officer Jean Koss presented a brief program by sharing some of her memories as a long-time member of the chapter. I was very interested to hear about the history of the Polk City OES and I learned that it is 109 years old this year. Several other ladies spoke about their memories of the chapter and the history of the building.

Congratulations and thanks are due this year’s Worthy Matron, Carol Matthews, for a wonderful event.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Blue Lodge Breakfast

On Saturday, January 28, 2012, the Des Moines Scottish Rite hosted the annual Blue Lodge Breakfast. The Council of Kadosh served a complimentary breakfast of eggs, hash browns, sausage, and cinnamon rolls to over one hundred Freemasons who attended.

After breakfast, Master of Kadosh John W. Clearman introduced a short video program honoring the American Flag. The fifteen-minute video features historical information, patriotic themes, and a hilarious comedy routine by Robin Williams. The video is available free from the Freemason Network, a social networking site sponsored by the Supreme Council, 33°, A.&A.S.R. of Freemasonry, S.J. Click here for a link to the video on the Freemason Network’s YouTube page. This would make for an excellent educational presentation at a stated meeting!

After the program, a cribbage tournament was held. Operative Lodge was well-represented at the tournament, but unfortunately I don’t know the results yet. Check back for an update!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Master Craftsman Two rolls on...

Yesterday, I completed the seventh quiz in the Master Craftsman 2 course. This quiz covered the twenty-third through twenty-seventh degrees and was the most challenging of all the quizzes I’ve completed in either the first or the second course. I found it difficult for two main reasons: the length of the reading involved and the depth of analysis required to understand and write about several of the symbols in these mystery degrees.

The sheer volume of material in this quiz is staggering: the Knight of the Sun lecture alone is over 200 pages in Morals and Dogma. One of the books (A Bridge to Light by Rex Hutchens) used for the course claims that this lecture is the “...most lengthy of all, encompassing nearly one-fourth of the book.” I didn’t read the entire lecture, but I did refer to it in answering the essay question for the quiz. The challenge of reading Albert Pike is part of the fun of taking the Master Craftsman quiz for me. I don’t think I would have read as much of Morals and Dogma as I have without the structure of the Master Craftsman program to guide me through his writing. Some people take the quizzes without referring to the books, similar to a more traditional testing format. I complete the quizzes “open book” using the quiz as a guide to reading. The course can be completed either way, although I am baffled as to how anyone could do it closed book.

The other challenge for me was analyzing the symbols used in the mystery degrees. Many of the symbols are used throughout other Masonic degrees and some are quite familiar. For me, I learned that these seemingly simple symbols have more meanings than I thought, and that those meanings are deeper than I knew. That’s another reason why I enjoy the course: I’m learning more about Freemasonry through a structured course than I could have independently.

I would highly recommend the Master Craftsman course to anyone interested in learning more about Freemasonry. Just be prepared for a lot of reading!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Entered Apprentice at Operative Lodge #308 in Polk City

Welcome Luther Brown, the newest Mason in Iowa, at least as of 8:24 PM Monday, and an Entered Apprentice at Operative Lodge #308 in Polk City, IA.

Luther's friend, Lance, visited Lodge and delivered the extended Apron Lecture and Charge, doing an outstanding job. PM Lane Shaver and visiting brother Don Sardeson, PM at King David Lodge, gave the second section lecture. PGM D. Dean Johnson gave the third section in narrative form, FROM MEMORY, along with the EA slides.

It was a great night for everyone who attended!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

History of Operative Lodge #308 in Polk City

Below are several pictures from a presentation at our January meeting on the history of Operative Lodge #308 in Polk City, Iowa.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Operative Lodge #308 Installation of Officers

Worshipful Master Darrell G. Fremont and other officers of Operative Lodge #308 in Polk City, Iowa were installed Saturday, Jan. 7 in a public ceremony. Most Worshipful Craig L. Davis, PGM served as Worshipful Master for the installation.

The sidelines of Operative Lodge #308 were full for this public ceremony with friends, family, and representatives of other Lodges and organizations witnessing the installation.

I posted a few pictures of the installation and dinner below.