Volume LVNovember 2008Number 4

Lodges Advance in Statewide Minimum Ritualistic Standards

It's been less than a year since R.W. Grand Master Gardner announced to the membership the new Statewide Minimum Ritualistic Standard for Pennsylvania Masons. District Deputy Grand Masters had been informed a year prior to this initiative and many began working with their lodges immediately.

For some lodges, this "new" requirement wasn't so new after all. "Our district welcomes the adoption of the statewide minimum ritualistic standards," said Bro. William L. Kingsbury, District Deputy Grand Master for District C. "Ritualistic proficiency of lodge officers has been in the culture of District C for many years, long before my appointment as District Deputy. In most cases, our lodges have self-imposed even stricter requirements."

Others, however, had quite a bit of work to do. According to Bro. William H. Brandt, Sr., District Deputy Grand Master for the 12th District, many Past Masters remained in their chairs because other brethren in their lodge had not learned the ritual. And while the initiative took off rather slowly, he now boasts that his district's lodges have increased their qualifications by 75 percent. In fact, Bro. Brandt has implemented an even more stringent policy than the Grand Master's, requiring that brethren know the degree in each chair before being elected to that post. The district has been fortunate that some new young men joining the fraternity have gotten involved and learned the work in order to advance in the chairs. "One-on-one instruction is the key," he said.

Bro. Brandt admits that more than one brother has raised the question, "Why do I have to know this now?" His answer is simple. "If no one knows the work, there will be no work to learn and we'll lose the fraternity. It's what sets us apart. Without it, we could be like any other fraternal organization in the community, but we're not just a fraternal organization - we're Freemasons."

As of the end of September, the Unity Box and Gavel had traveled more than 12,000 miles. Be sure not to miss YOUR turn to share this experience with your fellow brethren across the Commonwealth!

Schedule for the Travel of the Unity Box and Gavel

Aug. 5 - Open & Close Dist. 35 No. 460
Aug. 8 - Open & Close Dist. 15 No. 472
Aug. 11 - Open & Close Dist. 34 No. 774
Aug. 12 - Open & Close Dist. 15 No. 338
Aug. 14 - Open & Close Dist. D No. 506
Aug. 15 - 50th Anniversary Banquet Dist. 54 No. 783
Aug. 16 - 150th Anniversary Banquet Dist. 23 No. 316
Sept. 1 - Open & Close Dist. 17 No. 247
Sept. 2 - Open Dist. 18 No. 397, Close Dist. 18 No. 232
Sept. 3 - Open Dist. 17 No. 602, Close Dist. 17 No. 556
Sept. 4 - Open & Close Dist. 17 No. 351
Sept. 8 - Open & Close Dist. 33 No. 675
Sept. 9 - Open Dist. 33 No. 379, Close Dist. 33 No. 382
Sept. 12 - Open & Close Dist. 33 No. 532
Sept. 15 - Open & Close Dist. 17 No. 350
Sept. 16 - Open & Close Dist. 17 No. 477
Sept. 17 - Open & Close Dist. 36 No. 709
Sept. 18 - Open & Close Dist. 58 No. 414
Oct. 1 - Open & Close Dist. 33 No. 566
Oct. 3 - Open & Close Dist. 21 No. 314
Oct. 6 - Open & Close Dist. 21 No. 639
Oct. 7 - Open Dist. 22 No. 505, Close Dist. 22 No. 555
Oct. 8 - Open & Close Dist. 22 No. 749
Oct. 9 - Open Dist. 22 No. 334, Close Dist. 22 No. 598
Oct. 13 - Open Dist. 21 No. 515, Close Dist. 21 No. 537
Oct. 14 - Open & Close Dist. 10 No. 469
Oct. 15 - Open & Close Dist. 22 No. 580
Oct. 21 - Open & Close Dist. 21 No. 268
Nov. 3 - Open Dist. 31 No. 643, Close Dist. 31 No. 60
Nov. 4 - Dist. 31 No. 638, Dist. 30 No. 346, Dist. 30 No. 601, Dist 49 No. 375
Nov. 5 - Open Dist. 30 No. 275, Close Dist. 31 No. 651
Nov. 6 - Open Dist. 54 No. 502, Close Dist. 38 No. 683
Nov. 7 - Open Dist. 55 No. 573, Close Dist. 57 No. 761
Nov. 10 - Dist. 30 No. 225, Dist. 31 No. 228, Dist. 31 No. 252
Nov. 11 - Dist. 30 No. 614, Dist. 30 No. 750, Dist. 31 No. 337
Nov. 12 - Dist. 54 No. 789, Dist. 38 No. 546, Dist. 38 No. 796
Nov. 13 - Open Dist. 31 No. 615, Close Dist. 30 No. 562
Nov. 14 - Open & Close Dist. 31 No. 331
Nov. 17 - Open Dist. 29 No. 623, Close Dist. 47 No. 669
Nov. 18 - Dist. 47 No. 513, Dist. 29 No. 447, Dist. 55 No. 287,Dist. 55 No. 725
Nov. 19 - Open & Close Dist. 57 No. 743
Nov. 20 - Open Dist. 55 No. 231, Close Dist. 55, No. 221
Nov. 21 - Open & Close Dist. 29 No. 454
Nov. 24 - Open & Close Dist. 54 No. 812
Nov. 25 - Open & Close Dist. 38 No. 635
Nov. 26 - Open & Close Dist. 55 No. 45
Dec. 1 - Open Dist. 47 No. 544, Close Dist. 29 No. 164
Dec. 2 - Dist. 38 No. 548, Dist. 55 No. 318, Dist 47 No. 657
Dec. 4 - Open Dist. 30 No. 568, Close Dist. 29 No. 459
Dec. 5-6 - Grand Lodge Quarterly Communication
Dec. 8 - Dist. 49 No. 714, Dist. 49 No. 765, Dist. 47 No. 674
Dec. 9 - Dist. 47 No. 652, Dist. 57 No. 269, Dist. 57 No. 794
Dec. 10 - Dist. 57 No. 509, Dist. 49 No. 731, Dist. 29 No. 237
Dec. 11 - Open Dist. 38 No. 716, Close Dist. 47 No. 630
Dec. 12 - Open Dist. 47 No. 653, Close Dist. 57 No. 684
Dec. 15 - Dist. 31 No. 461, Dist. 49 No. 582, Dist. 49 No. 526
Dec. 16 - Dist. 49 No. 583, Dist. 31 No. 593, Dist. 30 No. 518,Dist. 54 No. 799
Dec. 17 - Open Dist. 54 No. 613, Close Dist. 54 No. 644
Dec. 18 - Open & Close Dist. 54 No. 783
Dec. 22 - Open Dist. 29 No. 297, Close Dist. 29, No. 153

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