Friendship abounds in March! I am ready to make that claim after the wonderful showing of fraternity and brotherly love at our Stated Meeting last Wednesday. We saw a tremendous crowd, with Brothers both familiar and new visiting from several Lodges to enjoy the warmth and fellowship of Friendship Lodge.
Our evening began with a predictably Irish feast (c’mon, it’s March after all) that was unpredictably unparallelled in quality – prepared by Brother Eric Pease. Thus fully fortified we entered the meeting where quite a bit of business was covered. Some of the highlights being:
- A unanimously successful ballot for our soon-to-be youngest Entered Apprentice Mason
- An enlightening lecture on the Art of Memory as taught in Freemasonry, by WB Erik Arneson. Earning himself one of our Education Challenge Coins.
- Some deep and inspiring thoughts on the hard internal work of being a Freemason, delivered by our District Deputy
Our dear friend and Brother (and Senior Deacon), Brian Gardes was absent for the night – spending his time most-wisely at home with his family for his eldest daughter’s 18th birthday! Nonetheless we enjoyed the company and contributions of visiting Brothers from 7 area Lodges. The biggest thanks being due to Bro. Hunter Bronson of Beaverton Lodge who stepped up to assist us in the absence of our Senior Deacon.
We also saw Masons from Enlightenment, Research, Kenton, Washington, Columbia and Esoterika (who brought their newest Entered Apprentice Mason along). The the largest turn out was from Columbia #114 who came with the requisite 6 men to take a gavel from Friendship. The Worshipful Master happily met with the Master of Columbia to shake hands and share a gavel seized in Friendship’s own travels – an antique originating from a Lodge in the Philippines, collected last year from a visit to Sunnyside Lodge.
WB Daniel Gray visited us again, this time with the company of Brother Curtis Lewis (both of Research Lodge of Oregon). Brother Quinn Haase was delighted at the opportunity to gift these men with an antique book of Masonic papers published by Research Lodge – a gift which deeply touched our dear friend and Brother.
At long last, the meeting drew to a close and our Junior Deacon, Brother Bryan Tanel gave a topflight performance of the Closing Charge. Inspired by this, and despite a deep and full meeting, the assembled Brethren enthusiastically stayed behind afterward for fellowship, conversation, cocktails and cigars until about midnight. Several even stayed further to help with the tidying up before “shutting down the shop” and going home – eager for one more conversation, one more joke, one more moment of friendship and brotherly love.
What a delight it is to be with this group of men.