Volume LVIIIAugust 2011Number 3

"Retirees" School Expands Instruction

A group of Masons from the 50th District remains connected and sharpens their ritualistic skills throughout the summer, as well as all year round, by meeting every Thursday morning for Masonic instruction at the Rimrock Masonic Center in Bartonsville. Established primarily for officer development of Barger Lodge No. 325, Stroudsburg, members of all lodges of the 50th District are invited to attend.

Originally dubbed a "retirees school," the group was started in 2008 by Bros. Constantine A. Gerfelder, P.M., and Joseph Zelez, P.M., both of Barger Lodge, who were Worshipful Master and Senior Warden at the time. They enlisted the help of Bro. Elwood E. Davidson, P.M., Pocono Lodge No. 780, Cresco, and Principal of the 50th District School of Instruction.

On average, six to eight brothers are in attendance on any given Thursday morning, with sometimes as many as 15. No longer just for retirees, members of all ages throughout the district attend, whether on a regular basis or occasionally as their time permits.

Generally, the group has no predetermined agenda but decides what work will be covered depending on who attends and who is working to become proficient in what. The sessions usually last two to three hours.

Since its inception, the group has assisted numerous members in becoming proficient in one or more degrees, and has assisted at least six in becoming proficient in all three degrees. Additionally, the group instructs in business of the lodge, election and installation of officers and examination of a visitor.

The group has built a great camaraderie among its attendees and has helped to significantly improve the working relationship among lodges in the district.

The 50th Masonic District also includes Portland Lodge No. 311, Manoquesy Lodge No. 413, Bath; Pen Argyl Lodge No. 594; Whitfield Lodge No. 622, Tatamy; and J. Simpson Africa Lodge No. 628, Stroudsburg.

Camaraderie & Celebration

On May 4, at the stated meeting of Lake Erie Lodge No. 347, Girard, Bro. Lyell E. Cook, W.M.; Bro. Richard N. Fitzsimmons, District Deputy Grand Master for District 24; and members of the lodge were honored by a visit from the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Ohio, Bro. Bradford Goebel, and the Right Worshipful Grand Tyler of Ohio, Bro. Robert Hager. The meeting was preceded by the lodge's annual "all you can eat" perch fish fry, enjoyed by 120 attendees. The evening included 60-year Masonic Service presentations and honoring the Past Masters of the lodge.

Back row, left-right: Bros. D. Scott Green, P.M.; J. Robert Taylor, P.M., P.D.D.G.M.; Douglas J. Wright, P.M.; Richard A. DeArment, P.M.; John H. Downey, P.M.; David R. Strubel, P.M.; and Timothy A. Rocco, P.M. Front row, left-right: Robert L. Crowe, Sr., P.M.; Edward W. Steele, P.M.; Ohio R.W. Grand Tyler Robert Hager; Charles E. Hunzinger, P.M.; Richard B. Wheeler, P.M.; Howard E. Miller, P.M.; Lyell P. Cook, W.M.; Richard N. Fitzsimmons, D.D.G.M.; David P. Cassel, P.M.; Ohio M.W. Grand Master Bradford Goebel; Daniel P. Lemmon, P.M.; Richard A. Killian, P.M.; and John J. Contrucci, P.M.
Marines Confer Degree

Doric Lodge No. 630, Sewickley, conferred a Master Mason Degree on Staff Sergeant Dan Verduce on May 26. The conferral team was comprised of all former Marines.

Front row, left-right: Bros. Staff Sgt. Dan C. Verduce, candidate; Sgt. Robert K. Moisey; and 1st Sgt. Carl C. Curtis, all of Doric Lodge No. 630, Sewickley. Second row: Bros. Gunnery Sgt. Robert L. Knallay and Staff Sgt. Gary Farole, P.M., Lodge Education Officer, both of Doric Lodge No. 630. Third row: Bros. Sgt. Robert Wagner, Coraopolis Lodge No. 674; Sgt. Don J. MacMillian, Infinity Lodge No. 546, Verona; Sgt. Robert D. Stoops, Coraopolis Lodge No. 674; and Staff Sgt. Dick Wertz, St. James Lodge No. 457, Bridgewater.
Open House Yields Impressive Turnout

On May 28, Shamokin Lodge No. 255's open house attracted some 68 visitors along with several brethren of lodges in other jurisdictions, members of the Eastern Star and former members of various Masonic youth groups. All expressed awe in the magnificent architecture and beauty of the lodge room, many inquiring into the origins of the symbols.

Bro. Augustus 'Gus' Hatzas, Chair of the Open House Lodge Community Welcome Committee, and Robert C. Briggs, P.M., District Deputy Grand Master for the 58th Masonic District, were impressed with the turn out, the depth of the inquiries and the image of Freemasonry shared with every guest.

Left-right: Bros. Robert C. Briggs, P.M., District Deputy Grand Master for the 58th Masonic District; Augustus 'Gus' Hatzas, P.M.; and guest Charles Wesley Parrish, Emeth Lodge 2028, Phoenix, Ariz.

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