Volume LVMay 2008Number 2

Lodge No. 19 Hosts Connecticut Lodge at Masonic Temple

Through special dispensations granted by both the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, William B. Hackenburg-Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 19, Philadelphia, was permitted to host Friendship Tuscan Lodge No. 145 of Manchester, Conn., for the purpose of conferring a 3rd degree upon their candidate, Michael Duncan. Lodge No. 145 conferred the degree using Connecticut ritual in the Egyptian Hall of the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.

Thirty-eight Connecticut brethren arrived for the event in September, including then-Grand Master of Connecticut, William L. Greene, and his entourage. District Deputy Grand Master William L. Kingsbury of District C officiated the Friday night meeting attended by more than 100 brethren from the two lodges, with some traveling from as far away as Canada, California and Bermuda to witness the pageantry of the evening.

The five-hour event allowed both lodges to display their ritualistic talents. After a host of introductions by Hackenburg-Mt. Moriah's then- Worshipful Master, Gil Stein, P.M., and a welcome by M.W. Grand Master Greene, Hackenburg-Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 19 exemplified the opening and closing of the lodge in Pennsylvania ritual. Bro. Stein then explained the normal business of the lodge to the visiting brethren.

Then Friendship Tuscan Lodge No. 145 took the floor and showed all in attendance why they enjoy traveling such distances as a lodge to confer degrees. Their 3rd degree was a 2 1/2-hour masterful performance that any lodge in any state would be proud to perform.

The 3rd degree in Connecticut ritual bears little resemblance to Pennsylvania ritual, as the differences would take a book to describe. After the one-hour obligation of the candidate was completed in formal attire, Friendship Tuscan Lodge changed into costumes and a powerful nine-scene dramatic 90-minute enactment of the Hiram Abif story unfolded, with 18 brethren having scripted roles.

"It was spectacular to witness the 3rd degree so deftly acted out before our eyes with such style and precision," Michael Feldsher, then- Senior Warden of Hackenburg-Mt. Moriah Lodge, noted. "The costumes of the 12 fellowcraft, the three ruffians and the three Grand Masters complemented the ritualistic performance perfectly. Together, the play brought the 3rd degree to life for everyone who witnessed it."

Formed in 1962, Friendship Tuscan Lodge No. 145 has a long tradition of traveling to perform degrees, including throughout New England, Bermuda and Canada.

During the event, Friendship Tuscan Lodge No. 145 sent their ladies to see a local theatre production. A banquet was held the next evening with Hackenburg-Mt. Moriah Lodge and their ladies.

Left-right: Brothers Stephen Spencer, Ruffian; John Pierce, Craftsman; Michael Duncan, Candidate of the Degree; Jack Cohen, Craftsman; James Wilson Jr., Warden & Craftsman; John DiCioccio, Jr., W.M., Friendship Tuscan Lodge No. 145, A.F.&A.M.; Gil Stein, W.M., Hackenburg-Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 19; Michael Feldsher, Sr. Warden, Hackenburg-Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 19; William Greene, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Ct.; Charles Mertens, Craftsman; William Strickland, King Solomon; Anderson Zeidler, Jr., Hiram Abif; Alex Matthews, Craftsman; and William McKee, W.M., Craftsman (Canada)

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