Challenge coins are all the rage these days it seems. Really they are the Millennial Freemason’s version of the lapel pin. They let a Brother proudly declare their place in the fraternity and share their own story with others. The Masons of Friendship wanted to do things a little differently though – a challenge coin which cannot be bought and isn’t simply gifted. Ours is earned by accepting a challenge. Any Brother who presents their own unique education at our meetings earns one.
It was a thrill to give out the first challenge coin of 2018 to Brother Kent Smith at our January meeting. Brother Smith delivered a riveting lecture on the shifting meanings of the word “Libertine”, how it informed the formation of the Masonic fraternity, and why we should keep an eye to the older meaning it once bore.
Worshipful Brother Leo Schuman was presented with his Past Master’s certificate and had his nickname revealed to him at long last. We also installed Bro. Brian Gardes in his role as Senior Deacon, who had missed our installation celebration in December to be abroad with his family (and maybe recover from the rigors of rugby).
After closing the Lodge we retired to our library for casual discussion of the night’s topic over cocktails with several visitors who are looking to become Masons. The draw of Freemasonry is strong these days, to compel these men to wait patiently after supper for us to rejoin them, and then to stay some hours more to keep the conversation alive!
January was (and still is) an industrious month at Friendship Lodge: we have an upcoming board game night on January 10, a Master Mason Degree on the 24th, and additional events to promote our regular charitable and educational efforts within the fraternity and Portland.