|Volume LVI||February 2009||Number 1|
Doylestown Lodge Raises Six
at its 3rd Annual Master Mason Day
For the last several years, Doylestown Lodge No. 245 has been experiencing significant growth in its membership. Social historians spend their lives studying social and community dynamics, but you only have to attend one of the lodge's Stated Meetings to see why the lodge is so vibrant.
On the second Friday of the month, their humble dining hall is quite lively, bustling with laughter and welcoming fellowship. The brethren here resemble ambassadors for Freemasonry in general, and for Doylestown Lodge in particular. If you were to ask the members and visitors, "What is it about this lodge?" you would hear several answers which could be summarized into a few things: friendly, fun, well-run meetings, quality ritual and a unique retreat from the outside world.
The ritual quality of this lodge is primarily due to the champion efforts of Bro. Ralph Wagner, P.M., coupled with an active Past Master corps. All the masters of this lodge, as far back as memory serves, have known two, if not all three, degrees as trained by Bro. Wagner. This is something Doylestown Lodge views as a requirement. Looking to the future, two of their next four members in line for the Junior Warden's chair have already conferred all three degrees.
Their stated meetings are well attended, averaging 65 members and visitors present. It is often humorously noted by Bro. William A. Wetterau, now the Past District Deputy Grand Master of District 8, that the candidate balloting period at Doylestown Lodge is like a social gathering. While the formalism of the ballot is always strictly observed, there is a convivial roar of social activity within the lodge room.
When visitors are recognized, they are always offered a transfer petition. This is typically followed with an outburst of laughter in the meeting. It is a running joke within the lodge, and they have fun with it. The lodge membership is getting younger with each passing month. The majority of the petitions for membership received have been from men between the ages of 20 to 45 years old. The current officer corps in line for the chairs is also from this age group.
Doylestown Lodge holds two extra meetings each month when called on to labor. They have been doing this for several years now in addition to having two separate groups of appointed officers and an eager group of Past Masters to share in the labor. Additionally, what is becoming a tradition is a Master Mason Day held at the Grand Lodge in Philadelphia, initiated in 2006 by Bro. Randolph Scott, P.M. In that year, Bro. Scott hosted six Master Mason degrees, which was followed in 2007 by Bro. Charles Hollowell, P.M., hosting nine Master Mason degrees.
The third annual Master Mason Day was held on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008, when seven Master Mason degrees were conferred. This was followed by all the members reconvening in the Ionic Hall where Bro. Carl Swope, District Deputy Grand Master for District 8, delivered the Ancient Charge at Raising to the new Master Masons. The proud new Master Masons are Bros. Andrew Bergstresser, Gary Bergstresser, Jr., Kevin Barry, John Oehler, Colin Phelps, Paul Gourley and David Christian.
The conferring masters for the degrees, all from Doylestown, were Brothers Emery Kohut, W.M.; Kent Baird, S.W.; Albert McDevitt, Jr., J.W.; Gary Schuyler, P.M.; James Dowling, P.M.; and Hurley McBrierty, P.M.
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