Volume LIVAugust 2007Number 3

Second Pennsylvania Traditional Observance Lodge
Presented at June Quarterly Communication

The day after Kite & Key Lodge No. 811 was constituted on Feb. 28, Bro. Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. Grand Master, asked Bro. P. J. Roup, District Deputy Grand Master for District 54, if he felt there would be any interest in a Traditional Observance (T.O.) lodge in the western part of the state. The answer? An emphatic "Yes!" This was something Bro. Roup had been passionate about for quite some time. He knew a number of other brethren in his district were, too, including Bro. Erastus Allen, Duquesne- McKeesport Lodge No. 731, Duquesne, who had approached the Grand Master with the concept a few years ago. On March 10, eight interested brethren conducted their first organizational meeting. "It just picked up steam from there," Bro. Roup said.

Left to right: Brothers Paul J. Roup, D.D.G.M.-54; Rodney Boyce, D.D.G.M.- 30; Jeffrey Wonderling, P.D.D.G.M.; Bob Addleman, P.D.D.G.M.; and Bob Marietti, P.M., Warrant Senior Warden

At a later meeting, the group met under the name Western Pennsylvania Traditional Observance Masonry Club. The 28 Warrant Members signed the Petition for Warrant for Lodge Ad Lucem No. 812 on April 30, and it was presented to the Grand Lodge at the June Quarterly Communication.

Lodge Ad Lucem No. 812, meeting in Pittsburgh, will become the second T.O. Lodge to be constituted in Pennsylvania on Sept. 25, 2007. Ad Lucem means "to the Light," signifying a Mason's journey and quest for the eternal truths. The lodge will meet at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association on the fourth Monday of each month. The Warrant Officers are Robert T. Addleman, Jr., W.M., Pleasant Hills-Guthrie Lodge No. 509, Pleasant Hills; Robert P. Marietti, S.W., Bethel Lodge No. 789, Lower Burrell; and Robert B. Kording, J.W., Plum Creek-Monroeville Lodge No. 799, Pittsburgh.

For Lodge Ad Lucem, membership is open to all Master Masons, but it is capped at 60. The membership is kept intimate to encourage deeper bonding and relationships within the lodge. As such, the brethren are expected to attend at least seven of the ten stated meetings each year.

Each stated meeting is followed by an Agape feast in the tradition of the ancient lodges, who would retire from lodge to eat and drink with their brothers.

A few other notable differences are that the candidates are expected not only to understand the ritual, but also to research the symbolism and meaning of each degree and present a paper to the lodge before advancement to the next degree. It is expected that at least six months may elapse between degrees. Therefore, to allow all brothers to be a part of the experience throughout their journey, it may be necessary for the lodge to meet in the first degree.

T.O. Masonry is a unique North American approach to Freemasonry. According to the Masonic Restoration Foundation, there are only six recognized T.O. lodges, including Kite & Key, and five recognized T.O. clubs, including the Western PA T.O. Club, organized for the purpose of eventually becoming a T.O. lodge. More information on Traditional Observance Freemasonry can be found at www.masonicrestoration.com.

Lowther Manor Lodge No. 781 Celebrates 50 Years

Lowther Manor Lodge No. 781 of Camp Hill, celebrated its 50th Anniversary on April 18, with a special meeting to receive Bro. Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. Grand Master, followed by a banquet at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Harrisburg.

The Grand Master presented certificates and 50-year Emblems of Gold to four members of the lodge: Brothers George E. Eichelberger, Jon F. Lafaver, Rodney N. Tolbert and Meade R. Wilt. He also presented certificates and 60-year Service Wreaths to five members of the lodge: Brothers Robert K. Rhodes, Robert E. Hazen, Edwin A. Julius, P.M., Leonard W. Sorensen and Eugene H. Steffy.

The Grand Master then presented the lodge with his Masons Helping Masons Medallion and a copy of the lodge's history. To show the lodge's appreciation, Bro. Douglas E. Mickey, Worshipful Master, presented the Grand Master with a $5,000 contribution for the Temple Initiative.

Afterward, a delicious filet mignon dinner was served to over 400 brethren in the Banquet Hall. Following dinner, a Table Lodge was held. The brethren then proceeded to the Scottish Rite Auditorium where they were entertained by a well-known award-winning group of 50 singers, the Keystone Capital Chorus. At the completion of the performance, the benediction was given by Bro. James R. Richwine, Grand Chaplain, and the brethren joined hands for the singing of "Auld Lang Syne."

Left to right: Bro. Douglas E. Mickey, Worshipful Master, with three 60-year members of Lowther Manor Lodge: Leonard W. Sorensen, Edwin A. Julius, P.M., and Eugene H. Steffy.

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