Volume LVIMAY/JUNE 2009Number 2

New Assemblage: "The Operatives"

On Nov. 29, 2008, the Bryn Athyn Quarry Assemblage of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plaisterers and Bricklayers was constituted at the Allentown Masonic Temple. The three Grand Master Masons of the order traveled from England to constitute the new assemblage, which is the first in the United States.

Fourteen founders, who had previously joined the order in Canada, were joined by 38 newly-initiated members to form the new assemblage. The new members received the first two degrees of the order. The exemplar candidate for the First Degree was Bro. Willie Clemmer, S.W., Shiloh Lodge No. 558, Lansdale, and Bro. Edward H. Fowler, Jr., R.W.P.G.M., Avalon Lodge No. 657, Pittsburgh, was the exemplar for the Second Degree. The remaining candidates included Masonic dignitaries from around the country as well as active Freemasons from Pennsylvania. The Worshipful Society of Free Masons, commonly known as "The Operatives," preserves the structure, rituals and practices of medieval stonemason guilds. Candidates for membership must have received the degrees of Master Mason and Royal Arch Mason. The seven degrees conferred within the order are based on the initiation and advancement rituals of medieval stonemasons' guilds. The three Grand Master Masons jointly and equally rule the order, with the Third Grand Master Mason being replaced annually when he is ritually slain in the Ancient Drama that is performed each September in London. The applied use of geometry and architecture played an important and impressive part in the ritual.

The new assemblage will meet three times a year in Allentown, with an additional meeting during Masonic Week in Alexandria, Va.

Front row: The three Grand Master Masons with the officers of the Bryn Athyn Quarry Assemblage - Brothers David Kibble-Rees, 2nd Grand Master Mason; Arthur Craddock, 1st Grand Master Mason; and David Hooker, 3rd Grand Master Mason

Second row: Brothers George Haynes, Colombia Lodge No. 91, Philadelphia; George Metz, Melita Lodge No. 295, Philadelphia; A. Lindsay Rowland, St. John's Lodge No. 260, Carlisle; Matthew Dupee, Shiloh Lodge No. 558, Lansdale; William Glassmire, Widener-Apollo-Kensington Lodge No. 211, Philadelphia; and Gerald Hamilton, George Washington Lodge No. 806, Chambersburg.

Third row: Brothers Edward Belden, Cumberland Star Lodge No. 197, Carlisle, and St. John's Lodge No. 260; Michael Sienkiewicz, Fernwood Lodge No. 543, Philadelphia; Jeremy White, Jordan-Martin Lodge No. 673 and Kite and Key Lodge No. 811, Allentown; Barry Lavinson, St. John's Lodge No. 115, Philadelphia; Aaron White, Jordan-Martin Lodge and Kite and Key Lodge; Timothy Settlemyer, Cumberland Star Lodge and LaBelle Vallee Lodge No. 232, Jersey Shore; John Lanckowski, Pilgrim Lodge No. 712, Philadelphia; and Trent A. Anderson, St. John's Lodge No. 260 and Cumberland Star Lodge.

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