Jerusalem Lodge in Keene recently put on two fun events, keeping their Masonic families busy this summer.
On Saturday, June 16, Charity Lodge No. 18 in Jaffrey once again partnered with the Jaffrey Public Library to kick off their summer reading program. This is the second summer in a row that the Lodge has provided bikes to the children of Jaffrey through the “Bikes for Books” program. In just over two hours, 216 children signed up for the program Saturday morning; while enjoying ice cream donated by Hayward’s Ice Cream of Milford, meeting and reading with “Pete the Cat,” and learning about (and playing on) a great assortment of vehicles on display for the “Touch a Truck” event.
New this year, the Lodge and Library also came together to bring the Child Identification Program (ChIP) to area families. The library enthusiastically helped promoted the event through social media, press releases in local papers, and flyers that went home with every Jaffrey Grade School child before the last day of school. The Jaffrey Police also threw their support behind the program. Charity Lodge has held successful ChIP events in Jaffrey previously, but this was the first at this venue.
From 10 o’clock in the morning until shortly after noon, 33 children came through the space generously provided by the library. It was a truly family focused event, with several Brothers’ wives and adult daughters lending a smiling face and a friendly hand to guide children and parents through the ChIP registration process and where to go next, while the Brethren operated the equipment and conducted video interviews. At one point the Brethren even had to set up a third station to keep the line moving. Feedback from the community and event organizers was overwhelmingly positive and Charity Lodge hopes to be back again next year to continue bringing this important service to the community, with the assistance of the Grand Lodge.
Article by Right Worshipful Brother Ken Clay
On Tuesday, April 17th the members of Benevolent Lodge No. 7 gathered in Milford, NH to honor their Masonic Veterans. The evening began with a delightful meal served in the dining room. While there, Most Worshipful Brother John E. Lobdell, Grand Master of the Freemasons in the State of New Hampshire honored Brother David B. Hinckley by presenting him with the Major General John Sullivan distinguished service medal in silver. Attendees made their way upstairs to the Lodge room where the Worshipful Master formally received our Grand Master and his suite.
Following the Worshipful Master recognizing 25 and 40 year Veterans, the Master then turned the gavel over to our Grand Master. M.W. Brother Lobdell then recognized the 50 year Veterans in attendance – Worshipful Brother Joe W. Rush and Brother Gordon E. Stockman. Our Grand Master then recognized the 60 year Veterans in attendance – Brothers Eddy W. Whitcomb and William B. Newbold. Congratulations to Benevolent Lodge No. 7 and their distinguished honorees.
Article by Worshipful Brother Eric Fleck
After a successful summer reading “Bikes for Books” partnership last year with the Jaffrey Public Library and the Ingalls Memorial Library in Rindge, Charity Lodge No. 18 in Jaffrey teamed up once again with both libraries for their winter reading programs. Jaffrey announced their top reader winners on March 16th and Rindge will be announcing theirs at an upcoming “End of Winter Reading” event on Thursday, April 5th.
Jaffrey and Rindge have a joint cooperative school district and children from the two communities have an opportunity to win bikes donated by Charity Lodge through their partnership with both public libraries. Although relatively new to the area, having just started in 2017, the program has already been a great success and is one that Charity Lodge hopes to support for years to come.
Thanks also goes to Walmart in Rindge for their financial donation to support the program.
By Right Worshipful Brother Art Dunham
Brother Fred A. Stewart, a member of Paradise Valley Silver Trowel Lodge No. 29 in Phoenix, AZ created “Bikes For Books” in 1995. It has since spread through the Masonic Fraternity nationwide.
I became aware of Bikes For Books while visiting a Past Master in 2008 who now lives in Northern Maine. His son-in-law, also a Past Master from Madison, ME had started the program in Maine and shared his success stories with me.
In 2009, Benevolent Lodge No. 7 sponsored Bikes For Books at Heron Pond Elementary School in Milford. Masons provide bikes and helmets and the school sets up the reading program. Each time a student reads a book, their name goes into a bucket for a chance to win a new bike and helmet. That first year in Milford (2009) the children read 300 books and the teachers thought that was great! Last year (2017) they read 3500 books! Last year’s award ceremony is on the cover of this year’s 2018 voter guide.
In 2015, Benevolent Lodge No. 7, Milford received the New Hampshire Partners in Education Award “The Gold Circle School Partnership Award” for our Bikes For Books Program.
I’ve personally made presentations of this program from Portsmouth to Keene and am very pleased that several Lodges now are involved with their own Bike For Books Programs.
Benevolent Lodge No. 7 has also added several libraries to our Bikes For Books program. We recently participated in the Winter reading program at the Stephenson Memorial Library, Greenfield, NH.
Myself and Worshipful Brother Jon Manley watched two white doves and a white bunny in the magic show that preceded our presentation of two bikes and helmets to the winners.
For more information on Bikes for Books, contact Right Worshipful Brother Dunham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday March 4, 2018, Charity Lodge No. 18 in Jaffrey held its semi-public installation of officers. Bro. Eric Fleck was installed as a first time Worshipful Master. Worshipful Brother Fleck will bring strong leadership and knowledge to this lodge. In attendance were well over 60 guests and members. Included were the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother John Lobdell, Deputy Grand Master Most Worshipful Brother Ken Clay, Junior Grand Deacon Right Worshipful Brother Larry Sprague, Grand Marshal Worshipful Brother Jerry Becker and their wives.
For the Installing suite, Worshipful Bro. Fleck had chosen three Past Masters from Charity Lodge and one from Altemont Lodge. He explained his thought process for choosing the three Past Masters from Charity Lodge, Worshipful Brothers Record, Rittenhouse, and Vernazzaro. When he entered the Lodge and had his eyes opened for the first time it was Worshipful Bro. Record who he saw. Along virtually every step of his Masonic journey, it was Worshipful Bro. Rittenhouse who took him by the hand and led him. And when he was made a Mason, it was Worshipful Bro. Vernazzaro who’s words he repeated. Worshipful Brother John Kaufhold assisted throughout the ceremony.
Later in the afternoon, Worshipful Bro. Fleck introduced members from the Rindge and Jaffrey Food Pantries. He explained that every year in the fall and winter, the Lodge sells Christmas Wreaths. The proceeds up to $300 plus matching funds from the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire are split between the two food pantries.
He recognized the Rainbow Girls from Milford Assembly No. 13 who were in attendance, and their Mother Advisor, Pam Traurig. He also introduced the DDGM of the Third District, Right Worshipful Brother Paul Donaldson.
At the end of the installation he turned the Lodge over to the Most Worshipful Grand Master of NH. After making his remarks, the Grand Master asked the Secretary, Right Worshipful Bro. Earl Cole to introduce him to his wife Alice. He then surprised the Secretary and his wife by announcing that Charity Lodge had voted unanimously to request the Grand Master present him with the Major General John Sullivan Distinguished Service Medal.
Article by Right Worshipful Brother Ken Clay, Senior Grand Warden
Saturday, April 15: Today Charity Lodge No. 18 and Bethel Souhegan Lodge No. 24 gathered in Jaffrey, NH to honor their Masonic Veterans.
The day began with a delightful meal hosted by the Lodges. We then entered the Lodge room to enjoy the festivities. Worshipful Brother Frank Vernazzaro of Charity Lodge and Worshipful Brother Douglas Archambault of Bethel Souhegan Lodge presided. Following the presentation of 25 and 40 year pins, the Worshipful Masters then presented the gavel to Most Worshipful Brother John F. Gordon, Grand Master of New Hampshire. Our Grand Master presented 50 year Masonic Veteran medals and pins to Worshipful Brother Bill McGinnis of Charity Lodge and Worshipful Brother William Pillsbury of Bethel Souhegan Lodge. Just prior to concluding, M ∴ W. ∴ Brother Gordon surprised Brother John W. Britton by presenting him with the Major General John Sullivan Medal for distinguished service. Many family and friends were on-hand to witness these honorees receiving their well deserved recognition.
Congratulations to Charity Lodge and Bethel Souhegan Lodge on a great day!
By Right Worshipful Brother John Lobdell, Deputy Grand Master
Charity Lodge No. 18 in Jaffrey recently celebrated their Semi-public Installation of Officers. The Lodge took advantage of this semi-public function to give back to their community. The Lodge presented donations to the Directors of the Rindge and Jaffrey Food Pantries. Fraternal Greetings from the Grand Master were also given.
Congratulations to Charity Lodge for this special day!
by Right Worshipful Brother Kenneth Clay, Senior Grand Warden
November 19, 2016: Today during the 158th Semi-Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire, Most Worshipful Brother John F. Gordon took time out from the program to honor a distinguished Brother. MW Gordon presented Right Worshipful Thomas A. Welman with the Jeremy Ladd Cross Medal – the highest form of Blue Lodge recognition that can be afforded a Masonic brother in the State of New Hampshire.
In making this presentation, our Grand Master cited Brother Welman’s numerous Masonic accomplishments, the most recent of which was chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee. After more than 5 years of active work in making our Grand Lodge constitution and manual more user friendly, and introducing a new rules and regulations document, today these documents were formally adopted by vote of Grand Lodge. A hearty congratulations to our dear Brother!
An Autumn Celebration in Keene
By: Right Worshipful Brother Kenneth Clay, SGW
October 16, 2016: On a beautiful autumn afternoon in New England, members of Jerusalem Lodge No. 104 gathered to honor their Masonic Veterans. Following recognition of 25 year Lodge members, the Worshipful Master turned the gavel over to Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother John F. Gordon.
Our Grand Master recognized the following honorees:
Brother John F. Bemis 50-year member
Brother Carl D. Nelson 50-year member
Brother John R. Bradshaw 60-year member
Our M.W. Brother Gordon also took advantage of this special day to present Brother Richard F. Colby with the Major General John Sullivan Distinguished Service Medal for his many years of outstanding service to Jerusalem Lodge.
Many family and friends were on hand to join in the celebration.
Congratulations to Jerusalem Lodge for a great day, and to those distinguished brothers who were honored.