Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spreading the cement of Brotherly love...

On Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Brethren of Enchanted Mountains Lodge #252 (including yours truly) traveled to East Aurora, New York for the 17th Annual gathering of Blazing Star Lodge #694, F&AM. This gathering also celebrates the reception of Brethren from Palmer Lodge #372 from Fort Erie, Ontario. I had been asked to come to the meeting to receive a hand made skerritt from Bro. Bearss, the Senior Warden of Palmer Lodge.

Some time ago, several of the Brothers of my Lodge and I journeyed to Palmer Lodge for their annual chili cook-off. It was a great time and you could not ask to meet a better, more welcoming group of Brothers. During that time we had occasion to tour their Lodge and talk with them about the similarities and differences between New York Masonry and Canadian Masonry. One of the big things that stood out to me was their use of several working tools that New York does not utilize - specifically the pencil, the chisel and the skerritt. I was educated by Bro. Girdlestone, the Lodge Secretary (pictured all the way to the right in the above photo) as to their uses. This followed me back to New York.

As I began to hold classes for our new Brethren, these other working tools began to be a point of discussion. So, I gathered a kit of working tools to bring to these discussions. I had everything - even a chisel and a setting maul - but the skerritt was tough to obtain. I contacted Brother Jeff and he said he would see what he could do. Several months later, he contacted me and told me that Bro. Bearss had handcrafted one for me and they wanted me to come to Fort Erie to get it. Problem was, I don't have a passport. So, what to do?

A few months pass and Bro. Jeff asks if I can come to the annual gathering in East Aurora. I contact the Brother hosting the event and next thing you know - seven Brothers and I are in East Aurora. Again - we experienced a warm reception from the Brothers from Blazing Star and Palmer Lodge. A wonderful time was had by all and I was presented with an absolutely beautiful piece of work by Bro. Bearss (he is third from right and I am fourth from right). It was tough to head home, but we can look forward to next year's gathering. A huge thank you to Blazing Star Lodge and Palmer Lodge for allowing us to come to their annual event.

So - what's a skerritt? Stay tuned...a little something about the skerritt in my next post.

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