Annual Communication to Feature Historical Apron Presentation

Bro. Patrick Craddock

Noted expert on Masonic aprons and regalia, author and historian, Bro. Patrick Craddock of Conlegium Ritus Austeri No. 779, Nashville, Tennessee will be speaking at the 155th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Kansas in Salina on March 18, 2011.
Craddock, who received his Master of Arts degree (Middle Tenn. State Univ. ’92) and Master of Philosophy ( University College of Wales – Aberystwyth ’01) in history, is a contributing author to Encyclopedia of Tennessee History, C. Van West, ed., as well as a past-curator of

exhibits at the Carter House Museum, Franklin, Tennessee. Initiated, passed and raised in O.D. Smith Lodge, No. 33, Oxford, Mississippi, he is a life member Hiram Lodge No. 7, Franklin, Tennessee and the sitting J.W. of Conlegium Ritus Austeri No. 779 in Nashville ( as well as a charter member of same). Additionally, he is the owner of The Craftsman’s Apron, manufacturers and providers of the highest quality Masonic regalia extant.

Custom-made apron created by Craddock

Bro. Craddock will present one of four Masonic education sessions during the Annual Communication.

His talk,  “Properly Clothed & Vouched For: Historical Masonic Aprons & Regalia” focuses on the development of the Masonic apron from its origins to the present day.

According to Craddock, Masons traditionally were responsible for their aprons, sometimes making them themselves, or crafted by a family member, and they brought them to lodge with them. Additionally, many of these aprons were decorated with masonic symbolism from the simple to the intricate.

“It’s a comparatively recent development that Masonic lodges supply cloth aprons to their members and guests,” he said, “but it hasn’t always been that way.”

Craddock’s presentation will trace the operative origins of the the Masonic garment and other Masonic regalia through the 18th and 19th centuries, showing hand-crafted and machine-made aprons from America and Europe. His presentation – the time to be determined – will be open to Masons and their ladies.


Grand Lodge 155th Annual Communication March 18 – 19

Brethren,

To remind you, the 155th Grand Communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Kansas will take place March 18 and 19, 2011 in Salina.  As I have highlighted when visiting with you this year, the Council of Administration has discussed at great length the importance of bringing Masonic education into the Annual Communication.  This year we will provide Masonic education sessions that are sure to interest all Masons, plus we have made an effort to bring in exciting and talented entertainment for the All-Masonic Banquet.

To give you a brief glimpse, there will be four (4) educational sessions that will run concurrently.  We plan to run each session twice so everyone attending will have an opportunity to attend two of the four.  I strongly encourage each lodge to bring more than one representative to get the benefit of all four sessions.  The sessions are as follows:

·         How To Conduct A Thorough And Proper Investigation

RW Daren L. Kellerman, Delphian No. 44

·         Masonic History and Symbolism

Bro. Patrick Craddock, Conlegium Ritus Austeri No. 779, Nashville, Tennessee

·         Build Your Lodge’s Strategic Plan

RW Rick Reichert, Hancock No. 311 & RW Robert Nelson, Emporia No. 12

·         By Virtue of the Letter G: Geeks, Gigabytes & Gmail; Better Masonic Communication Through Technology

W Michael Halleran, Emporia No. 12.

Our All-Masonic Banquet will mainly consist of a brief welcome, then entertainment that most everyone should thoroughly enjoy.  No other business or speeches will be planned for the evening.  This will be an evening of good food and entertainment.

Bro. Randy Riggle will be bringing his Las Vegas quality show to Salina for that Friday evening.  The nationally touring production of “NOSTALGIA” takes you down memory lane as we remember the times and people who changed our lives. You’ll be taken back to that fateful day at Pearl Harbor and travel through the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s until the first steps are taken on the lunar surface. Nationally touring stand-up comedian Randy Riggle will be your tour guide on a trip filled with songs and laughs in this 90 minute one-man show.

Randy entertains his audiences with stories, gun slinging, dancing, and pantomime.  His observational humor about the era is complimented with over 50 impersonations and a special tribute to veterans. The entire revue is backed with a multi-media slide presentation.

Please consider joining us for an evening of nostalgic memories of a by-gone era.  Check this website www.nostalgiashow.com for information regarding this performance.  I would also note that Randy is very proud to be a 25 year member of our fraternity in Pittsburgh, PA.

I look forward to seeing you at our Annual Communication.

Fraternally,

Kent


GL Indiana Airs Online Masonic Education

The Grand Lodge of Indiana has launched a new online Masonic education effort.  Beginning January 1, 2011, and continuing through December 31, 2011, The Worldwide Exemplification of Freemasonry 2011 Lecture Series provides – free of charge – videotaped lectures from some of Freemasonry’s most prominent scholars on the history of the fraternity from the Middle Ages to today.

Each presentation is broadcast live on Saturdays at 7 p.m. CST and stored online for two weeks.  Viewers who tune in live on the web will have an opportunity to join with the speakers in a live conversation on a related Facebook page .

The full lecture schedule may be found online, but highlights are here:

01-15-11 The Evolution of Scottish Freemasonry Robert L.D. Cooper, PM
01-22-11 Formation of the United Grand Lodge of England John Hamill, PM

02-12-11 Evolution of the Ritual Roger Van Gorden, PGM, Indiana
02-26-11 Why “Ancients & Moderns” ? Trevor Stewart, PM

03-05-11 The Grand Lodges in British Colonies, 1850-1900 Dr. Jim Daniel, PJGW, UGLE
03-19-11 A Vast Chain Extending Round the Whole Globe: Freemasonry and Empire Prof. Jessica L. Harland Jacobs

04-09-11 The Royal Secret in the U.S. before 1801 Dr. S. Brent Morris, PM
04-30-11 The Social Evolution of American Freemasonry Mark Tabbert, PM

05-07-11 Female Freemasonry Dr. Andreas Onnerfors
05-14-11 Why Brothers Killed Brothers in the American Revolution Prof. Steven Bullock
06-18-11 The Catholic Church & Freemasonry Michel L. Brodsky, PM

07-02-11 The Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction Grayson W. Mayfield III, DDGM, SC
10-15-11 Part 1: Prince Hall Masonry Ralph McNeal, MWPHGL, Arizona
11-05-11 Hitler & Freemasonry Aaron Kornblum, MM

11-26-11 Is Freemasonry a Religion? Dr. Anthony Fels
12-03-11 God and Geometry Howard Coop, PM
12-10-11 An Historical Outline of Freemasons on the Internet Trevor W. McKeown, PM


Jury Returns Verdict in Favor of GL WV

In the culmination of the much-anticipated lawsuit brought by expelled PGM Frank Haas against the Grand Lodge of West Virginia and two former Grand Masters, the jury sided with the defendants yesterday, and refused to grant Haas damages for breach of contract or defamation.

Charleston Gazette story here.


Dec 2010 Kansas Mason Now Online

The latest issue of the Kansas Mason will reach your mailboxes shortly, but it is also online.

This issue features news about the new website, Bob Pfuetze’s retirement as office manager, and his hand-off of those responsibilities to Tracy Bloom, as well as news about Kansas Masonry and the Craft abroad.


West Virginia PGM Trial Starts This Week

The much discussed lawsuit of PGM Frank Haas against the Grand Lodge of  West Virginia begins in Charleston, WV this week.

Haas, who was Grand Master of West Virginia in 2006 was summarily expelled from the fraternity the following year.

Haas has contended that he introduced reforms in West Virginia Masonry that were unpopular with the leadership of the fraternity and especially with the subsequent Grand Master, resulting in his expulsion without benefit of Masonic trial.  The Grand Lodge of West Virginia, and two former Grand Masters, Charles Coleman, and Charlie Montgomery have been named in the lawsuit.

The defendants have denied Haas’ allegations and counter with the argument that Haas was expelled for what amounts to unmasonic conduct.

The case, which brings Freemasonry into sharp relief in West Virginia, will be heard by Circuit Court Judge Carrie Webster, herself no stranger to controversy.  A recent decision of hers, unrelated to Freemasonry, involving disciplinary suspensions at a West Virginia high school has been appealed to the state Supreme Court.  At stake in the Haas case is just how far a profane court may reach into a private organization.

Jury selection began last week — the trial is expected to begin this week.  The Kansas Mason Online will cover the trial as events dictate.

Further reading: Charleston Daily Mail


Freemasonry Featured on New History Channel Series

The explosion of interest in Freemasonry and secret societies in the wake of Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” has spawned another prime time television series. The  new History Channel docu-series “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” which begins Thursday, December 2nd at 9PM CST, features the Craft in the debut episode.

The series, which was developed by Chris Hodapp and his wife Alice Von Kannon,  features some of history’s strange connections – some of which involve Freemasonry.

Writing in his blog Freemasons For Dummies, Hodapp explained,

Last December, Alice and I were hired to develop a ten episode series for the History Channel. Tentatively titled, “Decoded” (not our choice – it came with the project), the idea was to explore some of the more mysterious monuments, buildings and artifacts in America, from a different point of view. Our concept was to borrow from the structure of the classic James Burke PBS series “Connections” to show how one seemingly insignificant thought or idea or symbol led to another and another, to finally get you to the Statue of Liberty, and so on. We spent three months providing research, stories and episode outlines, and novelist Brad Meltzer (“Book of Fate”) was hired to headline the show.

The first episode concerns the missing White House cornerstone, which according to an article in The Washington Times

…was laid down [in 1792] in a Masonic ceremony. Within 24 hours, it mysteriously went missing.  For over 200 years, everyone from Harry S. Truman to Barbara Bush has looked for it, but to no avail.

Truman literally tore up the White House looking for it. He went as far as gutting the entire interior of the presidential home to search for the long lost relic.  “It’s the first piece of the White House and how is that no none knows where it is,” asks Meltzer.

What was so special about the first cornerstone?  Was it hollow? I so, what was inside, a time capsule or maybe something of even more historical significance?

The series premiere attempts to answer those riveting questions. And there’s even an appearance by history’s most notorious secret society, the Masons.

According to the Times story, the fraternity is portrayed in a positive light.  “What I want to accomplish with ‘Decoded’ is to separate what’s truth and what’s myth. Freemasons are always portrayed as bad guys but they were incredibly helpful, they couldn’t have been easier to work with,”  Meltzer said when interviewed.

Upcoming issues may feature more Masonic connections, particularly an upcoming episode on the Statue of Liberty, a subject that was featured in Disney’s National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.

For more information:

Washington Times: Brad Meltzer Decodes History’s Greatest Mysteries

Freemasons for Dummies:  Brad Meltzer’s Decoded Airs Thursday

History Channel: Brad Meltzer’s Decoded


WIBW-TV Highlights Clay Center Lodge CHIP Efforts

WIBW TV-13 News broadcast a feature interview on the Kansas Masonic CHIP program on November 4, 2010.  Jeffrey Hunter, Clay Center Lodge Secretary/ CHIP coordinator, Wayne Link, Clay Center Lodge Treasurer and Marvin”Butch” Buchenau of  Benevolent Lodge No. 98 were interviewed about an upcoming Clay Center CHIP event and the importance of child identification.

The interview highlighted the excellent work of Clay Center Lodge which  has  held seven events in 2010 completing a total of 148 child ID kits this year alone with hopes for even more participation in the future.

The new website for the Kansas chip program is www.kschip.org

Clay Center Lodge No. 134 is also online at http://www.claycenterlodge134.org/