This past Wednesday Friendship had the privilege of hosting several Brothers from Research Lodge, most notably WB Joseph Lambert, who we would learn was indispensable in the effort to guide the Grand Lodge of Oregon to recognize Prince Hall Masonry. This legacy was the central theme of our education for the evening. WB Daniel Gray elucidated on this history with his talk, “The Innovators”.
We were delighted to accept our first petition of the year, while later granting a second to a good fellow who’s been visiting a while now, eager to join in the mysteries of Freemasonry.
For want of anticipated communication from the Grand Lodge we were unable to make any progress on our ongoing efforts to shape non-discrimination language for the fraternity. However, WB Leo Schuman kindly offered a synopsis of just what we have accomplished thus far to guarantee the safety and dignity of our homosexual brothers.
WB Daniel Gray provided our Masonic Education for the evening, earning him the second challenge coin of the year. His talk focused on the group of men (“the Innovators”) who were instrumental in guiding the Grand Lodge of Oregon to recognize Prince Hall Freemasonry.
WB Joseph Lambert also chimed in. He having been around for all the good work the Innovators did, and working closely with them, building bridges throughout the greater Masonic community; WB Lambert’s anecdotes offered a compelling thesis on the benefits of tangible and intangible work.
During this premier performance of his talk, WB Gray revealed that the central figure of this group is a Friendship Mason – Jack Armstrong – and provided a brief biography of Brother Armstrong, who is in his nineties, sharp as a tack, and always at his wife’s side. WB Gray has generously shared his research and interview transcriptions with us. Members can find it in the Original Content section of our Library.
We were also joined by a delegation from Kenton Lodge, who had come to return an artifact from Friendship’s history – a commemorative cigar ashtray, marking the laying of the cornerstone of our old building. Since there were more than five brothers from Kenton they were entitled to “take a gavel”. The Worshipful Master descended from the East and presented WB Sami Aldrete with Friendship’s gavel, festooned with ribbons to commemorate its travels. The most recent ribbon sported a good deal of gold glitter, prompting WB Aldrete to say, “now I’m completely covered in glitter. Leslie’s gonna have a lot of questions when I get home.”
The Worshipful Master concluded the meeting with a dramatic reading from “Pale Blue Dot” and an admonishment to contemplate conflict and peace, which was followed by an expert rendition of the closing charge from our dear friend and guest, Dan Gray.