Monday, August 24, 2009

Skagway Visit

On Saturday, August 22, I made my official visit to White Pass Lodge No. 1 in Skagway, Alaska. This trip was just a short jaunt of 1,544 miles round trip from our home in Palmer, Alaska. Beth, the Most Worshipful Grand Parents (Marge and Kelly Cline), the Grand Lecturer (W John Bishop), and I left Palmer early Thursday morning to make the trek to Skagway. It is interesting to note that our journey from one part of our state to another required us to travel across a large portion of the Yukon Territory and a bit of British Columbia in Canada and to make four border crossings (two coming and two going). We returned home Sunday evening, tired but invigorated by the good fellowship from our Canadian and American brothers.

On the way down to Skagway, we encountered a lot of wildlife including Trumpeting Swans, coyotes, black bear, and deer. We also had the opportunity to travel through majestic mountains and beautiful forests along the Alaska Highway. Our return to Palmer was just as enjoyable, with tinges of color on the leaves of the trees and berry bushes; a hint of the change in season coming around the corner. About the only wildlife we experienced on the return trip were the hundreds of tourists and Alaskan “Snow Birds” streaming across the border in their motor homes, one step ahead of the first snow fall. They looked a bit like rats leaving a sinking ship.

On Saturday morning, the Grand Lecturer presented a lodge of instruction to the members of White Pass No. 1 and members of Whitehorse Lodge No. 46, who traveled down from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory for the visit. John’s instruction was very well received and there was quite a bit of interchange regarding the difference in customs between the Alaskan and Canadian lodges. At the conclusion of the lodge of instruction, we all adjourned to the Skagway Fish Company for a sumptuous seafood lunch.

After changing into more formal attire, we reassembled at the Lodge Building for the reception of the Grand Master and a brief program of speeches by selected members and Grand Lodge officers present. I wish to thank WB Ken Mayo for a very enjoyable day in Skagway and a wonderful lunch. I would also like to send a special thank you to RW Ron Ackerman (SGW) and his lady Debbie for all of their assistance and sharing their home.

We left Skagway in the late afternoon for our long drive back to Palmer. Along the way, we stopped in Whitehorse, YT to tour Whitehorse Lodge No. 46’s newly constructed Lodge building. It was a beautiful building and it was apparent to us that the Whitehorse Masonic family put a lot of time, effort, and love into their new Masonic Temple.

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