More than 40 Masons and their wives and friends gathered at the Holderness Lodge on Saturday, April 19 to recognize achievements from the 2013 Visitation Season for the Eighth Masonic District (“None Higher!), and to celebrate the friendships that will always bind together the Brethren, family and friends of what will be now be known as the “Old Eighth Masonic District”. Led first in prayer by our most senior Grand Lodge Chaplain, R.W. Max Jenness, he set the mood of thanks, grace, gratitude and friendship. Then a sumptuous “Easter” turkey dinner was prepared and served by Br. Ken Allen, chef and Secretary of Doric Centre Lodge, assisted by Steve Bracy and his son Nick Bracy (DeMolay).
A beautiful “8th District pin” cake, crafted by Cyndy Shippee, was ceremoniously cut by R.W. (Right Worshipful) Craig M. Shippee, District Deputy Grand Master and R.W. (Right Worshipful) Wayne A. Norris, District Deputy Grand Lecturer and Bruce Kominz, President of the 8th District Masters and Wardens Association. After pie & cake, the presentations commenced, headed up by M.C. Br. Bruce Kominz, President of the 8th District Masters & Wardens Association, and R.W Craig M. Shippee, District Deputy Grand Master, with R.W. Wayne A. Norris, District Deputy Grand Lecturer assisting.
Door prizes, including four whole turkeys and “old” 8th District pins & stickers, were given out, as well as souvenir “old” 8th District Table Lodge glasses to all the men and flowers to all the ladies.
Awards for “perfect attendance” at all Visitations, which include a free dinner, a framed certificate and homemade cookies (from Susan Kominz) were given to:
David Ransom (Olive Branch Mount Prospect#16)
Jay Bernier (Olive Branch Mount Prospect#16)
Clifford Eastman (Olive Branch Mount Prospect#16)
Chris LaCourse (Olive Branch Mount Prospect#16)
Bruce Kominz (Olive Branch Mount Prospect#16)
Bruce McLaughlin (Doric-Centre#20)
Ken Allen (Doric-Centre#20)
Woody Fogg (Doric-Centre#20)
George Luke (Doric-Centre#20)
Craig Shippee (Mt. Lebanon #32)
Scott Kinmond (Red Mountain #68)
Next, recognition and thanks were given to our District Grand Lodge Officers, R.W Craig M. Shippee, District Deputy Grand Master and R.W. Wayne A. Norris, District Deputy Grand Lecturer. They have done great service to our District.
The 8th Masonic District Traveling Gavel, which has traveled in its many years to all Lodges in our District was presented by Wor. Br. Bruce McLaughlin, Master of Doric Centre Lodge #20 (their Lodge held possession often) to R.W Craig M. Shippee, the creator of this beautiful hand crafted gavel. He will make repairs to it and intends to send it out to 6th and 7th Masonic Districts to continue its prime purpose of spreading Brotherly love and friendship. The basic rule was that any 8th District Lodge with 5 or more Members present at the “tiled” Lodge that currently held it would take it back to their Lodge.
Next came the presentation of the Eighth Masonic District Visitation Traveling Trophy. The Traveling Trophy is awarded on a point system to the Lodge with highest overall attendance at Visitations. After a tight race with “four years in a row (a ‘four-peat’?) winner”, Doric-Centre Lodge #20”, this year’s trophy was presented to Olive Branch Mount Prospect Lodge #16’s Worshipful Master, Jay Bernier who accepted for his Lodge. As the 8th District Lodges will soon be split and sent to the 6th and 7th Districts the Trophy will stay at Olive Branch Mount Prospect Lodge #16, which is also the home Lodge of its creator.
Special presentations of Appreciation were awarded to: Wor. Br. Bruce Kominz, President of the 8th District Masters & Wardens Association for the last eleven (11) years, for his creations of the Visitation Traveling Trophy as well as the Awards Banquets, the idea of the Traveling Gavel, his work/teaching and record keeping for Masters Classes, his monthly calendars and numerous communications, and R.W Craig M. Shippee, District Deputy Grand Master of the “Eighth Masonic District” for his many years of service to the District as District Education Officer, District Deputy Grand Lecturer and currently District Deputy Grand Master, as well as his work/teaching/coordinating our Masters Classes as well as other many contributions.
Before wrapping up the evening, closing remarks were made by: Wor. Br. Bruce Kominz, who thanked the Brethren and Ladies; Right Worship John Gordon, Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Masters representative (and our guest) to this evening of celebration who congratulated the District on a fine evening and wished the Brethren well as they will now enhance their new Districts with a great Masonic spirit – John even let us get in some last “Eighth Masonic District – None Higher!’s” (thank you, John!!). The final word was given to our Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master, Craig M. Shippee, who relayed the warm Fraternal Greetings of our Grand Master as well as those of our Grand Lodge. He also reminisced about his many travels and friends in the District, thanked everyone for a great evening and wished us all well on our future Masonic travels and endeavors, noting that he still visit the Lodges in the “old” Eighth Masonic District (“None Higher”!)
Please note that while this may signal the end of the “old” Eighth Masonic District, the Lodges and Brethren of the “old” Eighth Masonic District will be bringing the spirit of the “old” Eighth Masonic District to the 6th and 7th Masonic Districts – and as such we welcome all to the “new” 6th and 7th Masonic Districts!
Bruce Kominz, P.M., President 8th Dist. Masters & Wardens Assoc.
(Photos by Susan B. Kominz)