|Volume LVI||October 2009||Number 3|
The Birth of Lehigh Valley Day Lodge
On Sept. 12, Stephen Gardner, R.W. Grand Master, and the Grand Lodge Officers held a Special Communication to constitute the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania's 813th lodge, Lehigh Valley Day Lodge, Macungie. The first day lodge in Pennsylvania Freemasonry's history, it is only the fourth lodge to be constituted in the last 30 years.
Lehigh Valley Day Lodge has been more than a decade in the making. Grand Master Gardner first suggested the idea while serving as District Deputy Grand Master of the 10th District (1992-1998), according to current District Deputy Grand Master Ralph Slider.
"We had two purposes for wanting to get a day lodge started," Bro. Slider said. "To accommodate older Masons who cannot drive or don't wish to be out late at night, and to attract younger non-Masons who work second or third shift and because of their work schedule have been unable to join the fraternity. We want members to have the opportunity to meet during the day time."
The process of forming a new lodge begins when brethren approach their District Deputy Grand Master. Through his approval, the members then petition the R.W. Grand Master for permission. Led by Bro. Robert H. Hoffman, III, W.M., Lehigh Valley Day Lodge No. 813 and P.M., Greenleaf Lodge No. 561, Allentown, the members working on approval of Lehigh Valley Day Lodge met as a club in January and elected future officers. The officers attended meetings of all Masonic bodies and informed membership of the new lodge. Response was immediate. Every officer carried several petitions with him at all times, and as of Aug. 29, they have 143 Warrant members.
The Warrant officers are Brothers Hoffman, Worshipful Master; David M. Howells, Sr., P.M., Senior Warden; James E. Flemming, P.M., Junior Warden; Carl J. Willis, P.M., Treasurer; and Curtis C. Lemuell, Secretary.
All brethren will keep dual memberships in their current lodge and the new Lehigh Valley Day Lodge. The lodge will meet in the Lehigh Lodge No. 326 Masonic Temple in Macungie.
"We're excited and anxious. Our officer line has been filled since day one," Bro. Hoffman said. "We hope [Lehigh Valley Day Lodge] opens the door to more day lodges throughout the state."
New lodges are numbered in the order they are constituted. If a lodge dissolves, the number is never reused. As of 2009, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has a total of 440 active lodges, including its newest, Lehigh Valley Day Lodge.
Three New Lewis Masons Raised at East McKeesport Lodge No. 765
Two fathers from East McKeesport Lodge No. 765, Duquesne, have been busy the first half of this year conferring degrees upon their sons and presenting them with Lewis Jewels. Lewis Jewels have been used in England and other Jurisdictions under the United Grand Lodge of England for many decades, and under the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania since 2007.
On April 16, George Drakulic III and Matthew Luke Mochan separately received the third degree in Freemasonry. Bro. George Drakulic II acted as the guide for his son, George. Bro. Edward P. Prihode, P.M., conferred George's degree.
Bro. Michael Mochan, P.M., W.M., conferred the Master Mason degree upon his youngest son, Matthew. On June 11, he conferred the Master Mason degree upon his eldest son, Michael Christopher Mochan. Michael's recently raised brother, Bro. Matthew, acted as his guide. A fine meal and fellowship followed both conferrals.
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