Robert L. Dluge, Jr. was installed as the 113th R.W. Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania on Dec. 27 in the presence of more than 600 brethren in a Grand Lodge room-in-the-round staged in the expansive Chocolate Ballroom of the Hershey Convention Center.
The Annual Grand Communication was attended by an impressive line of visiting dignitaries from many of the grand jurisdictions in the United States, as well as the Province of Ontario, Canada, and Haiti. The leaders, or their representatives, from most of the appendant and allied bodies of Freemasonry attended.
The Grand Master's installation at noon climaxed the administering of obligations to the other elected officers: Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., Deputy Grand Master; William Slater II, Senior Grand Warden; Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., Junior Grand Warden; and Donald L. Albert, Grand Secretary. As the re-elected incumbent R.W. Grand Treasurer, it was not necessary to re-install Marvin G. Speicher.
After the new Past Grand Master, James L. Ernette, "passed the gavel" of leadership, Grand Master Dluge introduced a new symbolic ceremony during which those retiring Worshipful Masters of Blue Lodges who were present in Grand Lodge "passed the gavel" of their leadership to their successors by transferring to them the collars and aprons of their offices.
Grand Master Dluge introduced another inspiring innovation, "The Pennsylvania Charge," which was delivered by Homer Jones, P.M., Pocono Lodge No. 780, Cresco. The charge recalls the obligatory values, principles, and character of a Freemason.
Among his first acts as Grand Master, Bro. Dluge awarded the Pennsylvania Franklin Medal for outstanding, distinguished service to Freemasonry to Past Grand Masters Edward O. Weisser and James L. Ernette. (click here to see corresponding story)
Some 1,300 brethren and ladies celebrated the installation of Bro. Dluge at the gala Grand Master's Banquet held that evening in the new Great American Ballroom of the Hershey Convention Center. The gala evening was climaxed by a well received, lively show featuring Marilyn McCoo and Billie Davis, Jr., the founding headliners of the Original 5th Dimension.