October 20, 2011 marked the Annual Visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master to North Star Lodge No. 8. RW Brother Darrell A. Louis and his Suite attended the meeting and presented the Grand Master’s Message to the brethren.
The Worshipful District Education Officer Brother David A. Rich did an informative talk on the nuts and bolts areas of the Lodge including administrative and customs. RW District Deputy Grand Lecturer Brother Ronald N. Crane put forth his message concerning ritual and commented on the work done earlier in Opening the Lodge. The DDGM brought forth the Grand Master’s Challenge and reiterated the Back to Basics philosophy of the current Administration.
Masonry does indeed seem to be growing around the State. Even up North in our under populated region of depressed economy, all Lodges are experiencing a resurgence of candidates actively seeking to join the Lodges and witnessing better public awareness of who we are.
The Open House of the previous weekend brought some attention to the Lodges. Ours in Lancaster, however, does a private Open House as a part of Lancaster’s Old Tyme Christmas Celebration on the first Thursday of December. We have been participating in this endeavor for 6 years prior and always enjoy a fantastic attendance by the Townspeople in Lancaster. We will do the same on December 1st this year.
Traditionally we open our doors at 5:00 p.m. and the Officers and Brethren dress in Tuxedo for the occasion. We are assisted by members of Olive Branch Chapter No. 1 of the Order of the Eastern Star who supervises a pot luck dinner where food is offered to everyone who visits.
Last year we asked all who toured to sign a ledger to keep track of how many braved the 3 flights of stairs to enter our domain. Over 100 signatures were procured that evening. The Brethren all assisted with guided tours and spreading enlightenment to those so inclined to listen. I could see most of the Masons were enjoying themselves acting as such hosts.
We also invite the Appendant Orders to be represented and have seen the likes of people from York Rite’s Grand Chapter, Grand Council and Grand Commandery Officers in full regalia assisting us. Seeing someone in a Knight Templars’ Uniform with full dress chapeau stimulates a few comments ad makes an impressive sight. The Lodge Officers are all dressed in their Aprons and Jewels and the Lodge is set up for Opening.
About 7:15 p.m. we start steering the visitors to the outer chambers and at 7:30 we open Lodge in form. As several of us have wives in the kitchen area still entertaining the rest of the visitors, we shorten our business down to necessities, and endeavors to conclude in the fastest fashion possible.
Generally we are closed by 8:15 p.m. or sooner. No degree work is scheduled.
If you find yourself in the North Country on December 1st, why not stop by and visit with us as well. Bring the family and join us for dinner. Bring along your potential candidates for a guided tour.
Dennis A. Sheridan, RW PDDGM District Five of NH
Worshipful Master of North Star Lodge No. 8, F & AM of Lancaster, NH