Sycamore Commandery Holds Evening of Instruction

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Just a few short years after Sycamore Commandery No. 15 was on the verge of being dissolved, ALL of the officers of our Commandery gathered recently for an evening of instruction end encouragement.

Instructing the 13 officers and members were Sir Knight Richard Carnall and our Grand Commandery’s Grand Senior Warden, Russ Schlosser. Longtime fan and supporter of our Commandery (as well as other York Rite bodies in Sycamore and DeKalb), Sir Knight Drew Michyetta, came along to help out as well.

Although most of the officers have only been Commandery members for a couple of years — if not just a few months — the evening went very, very well, with instruction on the full form opening and forming of the Line. Again, everyone did such a great job and the instruction went off without a hitch.

Sycamore Commandery will be holding an Order of the Temple some time in February and at least one more instruction session will be held before our Inspection on Saturday, March 26th. We’ll also be traveling to nearby Commanderies in the weeks before to help them with their Inspections (and paying back all of the good will local Commanderies have extended to No. 15 over the years).

Well done, Sir Knights.

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The Palace

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When I was a King and a Mason — a Master proved and skilled —
I cleared me ground for a Palace such as a King should build.
I decreed and dug down to my levels. Presently, under the silt,
I came on the wreck of a Palace such as a King had built.

There was no worth in the fashion — there was no wit in the plan —
Hither and hither, aimless, the ruined footings ran —
Masonry, brute, mishandled, but carven on every stone;
“After me cometh a Builder. Tell him, I too have known.”

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Sure, You’re a Knight Templar. But How Well Do You Know Knight History?

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Today, we bring to you, a comprehensive guide to all things “Knights.” From how to go from being a page to an esquire (or, simply, squire) to the knightly oath (how, upon returning home from an adventure, he would always tell of his escapades) to knowing the difference between a pauldron and a poleyn.

Sure, there’s not much of the medieval knight order left in our Knights Templar, but what enthusiastic Sir Knight wouldn’t like to know a bit more about the Order that had — in some part — an influence on our own Masonic body of the York Rite? Take a look — there will be a quiz later.

The full story can be found at “How Knights Work” on HowStuffWorks.com.

True Grit: Masonic References Abound

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We just got back from watching the remake of “True Grit,” yesterday, the popular western movie that starred Brother John Wayne in the 1969 original. We were curious as to whether there would be any Masonic references in this year’s version of the movie seeing that the book, written in 1968, was chock full of them (see below). We caught two:

When one of the main characters, Mattie Ross (played brilliantly in the remake by actress, Hailee Steinfeld), gives instruction to her man-servant to return the body of her slain father back to their hometown, she instructs him that he should be “buried with his Mason’s apron on.” Later, upon viewing the worldly possessions of her father, a square and compasses pendant is shown among the items.

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10 Things to Remember as a Freemason

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1. I am the representative of my Lodge and of all Free and Accepted Masons. Whatever I do or say reflects directly upon myself and my fellow Freemasons everywhere and our good works.

2. I am responsible for what my Lodge and Freemasonry represent. They can be no more than what my fellow Freemasons and I make them.

3. I should not criticize what my fellow Freemasons do for Freemasonry unless I have a better suggestion and I am prepared to do it myself.

4. I must remember that the fact that I bear the name, Master Mason or Freemason, is not enough. I must continue to be worthy.

5. My fellow members and I are our Lodges and Freemasonry. Without our active support they cease to exist.

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Functions of a Masonic Lodge

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It is not the primary function of Masonry to initiate candidates, or to enlarge its membership. Were it so, there would be no basis for our laws against proselyting.

The ordinary function of a Masonic Lodge indeed, the primary function of our Craft, is to train its members to an understanding of the truths which its rituals and its ceremonies are calculated to inculcate, to develop its members as benevolent men, to cultivate the social virtues among men, and to propagate the knowledge of the art.

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A Freemason’s Christmas Wish

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It is the time of year when the Brethren rejoice, and sing carols of praise in resounding voice.

Days of merriment and long nights of cheer, as we all await the “Happy New Year!”.

It is a time of family and life long friends, a time of happiness and to make amends.

Roast turkey and baubles and the Nutcracker Suite, we each have our own way to make Christmas complete.

As we stroll through this happy month of December find time to pause and take time to remember

that distinguishing sign of a Freemason’s heart — those acts of Charity.

How great they are. As your family gathers ’round your Christmas tree, and the children play with giggles of glee, spare a thought for the poor, the man with no shoes, whose daily meal is less than your dues.

Remember also the Grand Lodge above, and the Supreme Great Architect’s act of love. And practise those virtues we hold so true. Have some fun! But let Temperance chasten you. And during this season of peace and joy look well to our future — the girl and boy. Then wonder what lessons you may them teach, and with your guidance what heights they may reach.

So, to all of my Brethren from far and wide, whether your Christmas be snow, or hot and dry, may the Architect grant his celestial boon and keep your good health ’til we meet again soon. Take care of yourself and those you find dear. Keep this festive spirit throughout the next year. Look toward your next date with our happy band.

‘Til our next merry meeting. Apron, heart, and hand.

No Pancake Breakfast Tomorrow

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Merry Christmas, Brothers!

We will NOT be serving Pancake Breakfast tomorrow, Sunday, December 26th but we will be returning with our regularly-scheduled breakfasts next Sunday, January 2nd. At that breakfast, we’ll be featuring ham-off-the-bone (instead of bacon; included with the cost of your normal breakfast) as well as an Oatmeal Bar (for a nominal charge of $2) that will feature raisins, brown sugar, real maple syrup, dried cranberries, almonds and cinnamon. That Sunday will also be the return of the ever-popular blue berry pancakes!

Want a dollar off of your breakfast? Simply wear a shirt, sweatshirt, ball cap or other piece of clothing with the name, insignia or mascot of any college football team that was in (or will be in) a college football bowl game and we’ll knock off a dollar from your breakfast. Come on out January 2nd with your family, friends, neighbors and anyone else you might want to bring along.

We’re kicking off 2011 Pancake Breakfasts with a BANG! and these are just some of the improvements and changes you’ll be seeing. Come on out and support your Masonic Temple — and have a great meal to boot!

Special Elections Held at Lodge

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‘Evening, Brothers, some updates from these past weeks. More on the way.

At our last Lodge meeting on December 14th, Wor. Bro. Jim Tome “conferred” the Knife & Fork Degree on all who attended dinner. This humorous take on our Masonic degrees is designed to celebrate the fellowship we all enjoy while dining together as well as remind us that we are all part of the food chain. Lapel pins were sold afterward with $2.50 of the $5 cost going to our Lodge’s Masonic Widows & Orphans Fund.

After dinner, we began the meeting and immediately held special elections to fill the seat of Sr. Warden, recently vacated by Bro. Dean Clark. In a hotly contested race, Bro. Scott Bellis was elected as Sr. Warden for the remainder of the Masonic Year. Since Bro. Bellis was previously our Jr. Warden, we then proceeded to hold elections for that chair. Bro. Dick Zenzen was elected to that chair, also by way of a close run-off.

Following this, Wor. Bro. Minick then appointed officers for the remaining chairs as most moved up a chair (and, in some cases, made a sideways move). Officers elected and appointed were installed by Wor. Bro. Dean Quarnstrom and Wor. Bro. Brian Minick as Installing Officer with Wor. Bro. Jim Tome as Installing Marshall. Officers installed for the remainder of the Masonic Year are as follows:

  • Bro. Scott Bellis, Sr. Warden
  • Bro. Dick Zenze, Jr. Warden
  • Bro. Greg Born., Sr. Deacon
  • Bro. Matt Kapustianyk, Jr. Deacon
  • Bro. Eric Stice, Sr. Steward
  • Bro. Jamie Janiak, Jr. Steward
  • Bro. Eric Jones, Chaplain
  • Bro. Jan Demers, Marshall
  • Bro. David Nay, Tyler

A Mason’s Christmas

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“I don’t believe in a Christmas celebration by the lodge. I don’t think we ought to have one, or be asked to contribute to one or in any way engage in Christmas festivities.”

“The Junior Mason spoke emphatically and with marked disapproval of the little ante-room group nearby, making happy plans for Yule-tide.

“That’s very interesting,” commented the Old Past Master. I like to hear points of view unfamiliar to me. Would you mind telling me why?”

“Of course not. It’s very simple. Masonry is not Christian. King Solomon, of course, wasn’t a Christian, nor were either of the Hiram’s. Masonry admits to her ranks any good man of faith; Christian, Jewish, Mohammedan, Buddhist… it makes no difference, so he has a Faith. Then, as a lodge, we celebrate a holiday belonging to one faith. Now I personally am a Christian, and of course I celebrate Christmas. But my brother across the way is a Jew, who does not recognize Christianity. To ask him to spend his proportion of lodge funds in celebrating the birth of a Leader in Whom he does not believe would be exactly like asking me to celebrate, with my proportion of lodge money, the birth of Confucius. Of course, I have only one vote and the majority rules, but when it comes to personal contributions to a Masonic Christmas celebration, my hands will never come out of my pockets.”

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DeKalb Lodge Christmas Party Dinner Rescheduled

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As many of you know, we had to cancel this past Sunday’s Lodge Christmas/Holiday Party due to the inclement weather (and, instead, got to watch our Chicago Bears get the @#&* beat out of them!). Well, it’s been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 21st at 6 pm.

The Lodge will provide roast turkeys and ham (a $5 donation per person is requested to help defray costs) and our Worshipful Master has asked if everyone attending will bring a side dish to pass. Here’s the skinny on what to bring: If your last name starts with the letter J thru R, please plan on bringing a side salad to share. The rest should bring a dessert.

Holiday music will be provided and families are certainly invited. Dress is festive, but casual. Please contact Wor. Bro. Brian Minick by Saturday, December 18th to let him know if you are attending.