Volume LIXJanuary 2012Number 1

New Grotto Constituted to Serve South Central PA

Photos (left): All the new officers and members of Ubar Grotto and
(right): The new black fez made exclusively for Ubar Grotto.

On July 23, 2011, a new Grotto of the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm was constituted in Elizabethtown, Pa. Taking the name Ubar Grotto, it will serve South Central Pennsylvania, with members already coming from Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

The Grotto was constituted by a team of Supreme Council and Grotto Association Officers from across the country. The ceremony was coordinated by Bro. Mike Trojan, Past Monarch of Islam Grotto, in Pittsburgh, and led by Bro. Aquinas "Moe" Evans, Grand Monarch, hailing from West Palm Beach, Fla. Assisting him was Bro. Otto Thiergart, Grand Chief Justice, of Florida; Bro. David Blythe, Grand Venerable Prophet, of Louisiana; and Bro. Bernie Mitchell, Past Grand Monarch, of Ohio. Representing the Pennsylvania Grotto Association was Bro. Bob Lorenz, 1st Vice President. The Ohio Grotto Association was also in attendance, thanks to the presence of Bro. Woody Sibly, President, of West Virginia.

The Friday evening prior to the ceremony, Grand Officers and other members of the new Grotto arranged a dinner with the Grand Monarch at Bube's Brewery in Mount Joy, Pa., in a real-life grotto room known as "the Catacombs."

The ceremonies took place in the lodge room at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. The event started at 2 p.m., with an initiation of the new Prophets. Ubar transferred four members, who were previously initiated into Delco Grotto, but their numbers swelled as 24 new Prophets were greeted at this session! The ladies, who were just wrapping up their own reception, were then invited up to the lodge room to witness the Institution and Constitution. The ceremonial team installed Bro. Seth Anthony as the Charter Monarch, Bro. George Hindson as the Charter Chief Justice and Bro. Tim Settlemyer as the Charter Master of Ceremonies.

Following the installation, Bro. Settlemyer gave an oration on the history of the lost city of Ubar, a real place, now buried in the sands of Oman. The Charter Monarch started his remarks by announcing that Bro. Evans had been elected to Honorary Membership for Life in Ubar Grotto and presented him with his very own Ubar fez. Bro. Anthony then delivered his installation speech, challenging the Supreme Council to take a fresh look at what Grotto is and to trust the new, young members to do what is right for the organization.

Bro. Evans thanked the new Grotto members for all their hard work and expressed his appreciation to the group. He then created Bro. Anthony a District Deputy of the Supreme Council and tasked him to help invigorate the Grotto program wherever he travels

With a long day of ceremonies behind them, the group retired, changed into comfortable clothes and headed to Flavers Restaurant in Elizabethtown. There the group indulged in a Mediterranean feast, fun and song, followed by fellowship out on the deck.

The new Grotto is already very visible with its own website and Facebook group, and it even recruited several new members through targeted Facebook marketing. You can see more pictures and read all of the remarks given by the new Grotto officers at the Ubar Grotto website, http://ubargrotto.com, and you can also keep up with weekly posts about Ubar Grotto on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ubargrotto.

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