Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Beer

I know this photo looks like a chemistry experiment gone awry, but it is actually me transferring my home brew to Cornilus Kegs for the Grand Lodge Hospitality Lounge. The one on the right is an IPA and the one on the left will be an Amber. I am told that there will be two other home brews to sample. Please come join us at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alaska, and stop by the Hospitality Lounge for a taste. To register for Grand Lodge, go to our website (www.alaska-mason.org) and follow the links to the registration form and hotel.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

To all my family and friends, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. At this time of year let us rejoice in the many blessings we have received and at the same time be mindful of those who are less fortunate. Remember, at this time of giving, the greatest gift that you can give is your love and friendship.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How We Dress is a Reflection of Who We Are

It is my custom to only place original content in this Blog. However on occasion, I run across sentiments on other sites that I feel are worth sharing. Such is the case of message from MW Barry Rickman, Grand Master of Masons in South Carolina. That message is printed on The Palmetto Mason Blog. MW Rickman addresses the manner in which Masons should dress to represent the best qualities of our institution. It struck a cord with me and I encourage all to follow the link above and read the Grand Master's message.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Installation of Officers - Aurora Lodge No. 15

After attending the installation of officers of Matanuska Lodge in Palmer, Beth and I rushed into Anchorage to catch the installation of officers for Aurora Lodge No. 15. The temperatures were crisp when we left Palmer, about 3 to 4 degrees above zero. By the time we reached Anchorage, the temperature outside had risen to 17 to 18 above. With all of the good friends and fellowship atthe Anchorage Masonic Center, it was much warmer inside.

Beth and I arrived in plenty of time to witness the installation of officers, where WB Dave Oaks was installed as Worshipful Master of Aurora for 2010. The other officers for 2010 include: Bro. Jon Ward (Sr. Warden), Bro. Joe Dahl (Jr. Warden), Bro. Andrew Balser (Treasurer), WB Al Schuerger (Secretary), WB Paul Gabbert (Chaplain) Bro. Luke Boggess (Marshall), Bro. Steve Cords (Sr. Deacon), Bro. Andrew Dickinson (Jr. Deacon), Bro. Andy Flack (Sr. Steward), Bro. Jeff Wilson (Jr. Steward), Bro. Chris Dahl (Organist), and Bro Ken Smith (Tyler).

This installation of officers marked the first time in the 21 year history of Aurora Lodge No. 15 that all of the Installing officers were Past Masters of the Lodge. WB Rodney Young was the Installing Master, WB John Bishop was the Installing Marshall, WB Paul Gabbert was Installing Chaplain, and WB Philip (Steve) Lee was the Installing Secretary.

At the conclusion of the installation of officers the members of Job’s Daughters International Bethel #1 performed the most impressive “What is a Mason” Ceremony.

Palmer Lodge Installation of Officers

This morning, Beth and I attended the installation of officers for 2010 for Matanuska Lodge No. 7 (my Mother Lodge). There was quite a crowd present for this event and our small Lodge room was very cramped. WB Tad Dean (outgoing Master) welcomed those present and introduced the various dignitaries. Tad also recognized those Brothers who had contributed to the success of the Lodge this past year. WB Russell Sanders received recognition for attending to the sick and distressed members of the Lodge, Brother Ted Hutchinson was honored for his ritual accomplishments during the year, WB Jerry Pendergrass was recognized for his hard-working support of the Lodge as Almoner, and Brother Dennis Oakland was named Mason of the Year from Matanuska Lodge for 2009.

The Installing Officers were VW V. Clifford Darnell (Installing Master), MW Charles Corbin (Installing Marshall), WB Larry Wright (Installing Secretary), and MW Harry Koenen (Installing Chaplain). WB Ted Hutchinson was installed as Worshipful Master for 2010. Brothers Dennis Oakland and Mitch Coulthard were installed as Senior and Junior Wardens respectively. WB Tad Dean was installed as Secretary. The appointed officers included WB Jerry Pendergrass (Chaplain), Brother Bruce Downs (Marshall), Brother Tom Lehe (Senior Deacon), Brother Don Ridge (Junior Deacon), Brother Robert Miles (Senior Steward), Brother Alex Conners (Junior Steward), and WB Norm Gutcher (Tyler). WB Jackie Carl who was elected Treasurer had another commitment and was not present for the installation.

The newly installed Worshipful Master thanked all who had attended today’s installation, most especially his wife Judelie and the Installing Officers. It is great to see my Lodge in such good hands and I look forward to great things coming from Matanuska Lodge this coming year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cub Scout Pack 354

This evening, I attended the Leaders Meeting for Cub Scout Pack 354 in Palmer, Alaska. Pack 354 is chartered by Matanuska Lodge No. 7 in Palmer, and I am their Charter Organization Representative. Skip Krysak (Cub Master) and his wife Christie have led this very successful Cub Pack for nearly 20 years. The meeting took place at Skip’s home and featured a wonderful Seafood Boil dinner. The Pack participated in the Popcorn Sales again this year and sold $30,000 in popcorn. From this, they netted $10,000 for the Pack, which will be used to support their activities this coming year. Another one third of the proceeds of this sale goes to the Great Alaska Council of the Boy Scouts of America to help fund their ongoing programs.

Pack 354 currently has 89 Scouts in 11 Cub Dens. They keep the boys very active in the community by providing support to various charitable organizations like Special Olympics, the American Cancer Society, and Wounded Veterans Program. On Saturday, December 19, the Cubs and their families will be caroling at the Palmer Veterans Home (Pioneer Home) at 6:00 PM. In addition to their regularly planned activities, the Pack will be sponsoring an “Adult Pinewood Derby”. This event gives Scout parents and other adults the opportunity to build and compete with their own Pinewood Derby cars and provides them an opportunity to contribute to the Wounded Veterans Program. The entry fee is $25, for which the participant get their own Pinewood Derby kit. The adults will compete on May 6, 2010 at the Palmer Elks Club on Finger Lake. For more information about Pack 354 please contact Skip at krysak@mtaonline.net.

Glacier Lodge No. 10 Installation of Officers

Last Saturday, December 5, I attended the installation of officers for Glacier Lodge No. 10. The installation took place at the Anchorage Masonic Center, and the Lodge room was packed with visitors. WB Clarence E. Keto was installed as worshipful master, with Brothers David Prentice and Bruce Morgan as Senior and Junior Wardens respectively. Rounding out the elected officers are WB Jerry W. (JJ) Pinion Jr., Treasurer and RWB Jerry W. Pinion, Secretary. The Pinion son and father duo performed the installation ceremony as Installing Officer and Installing Marshall, switching roles when it was the others turn to be installed. Other installing officers included WB Paul Gabbert (Aurora Lodge No. 15), Installing Chaplain, MWB Henry Dunbar, Installing Secretary, and Ms Alice Chaney, Installing Organists. This was a bit of a family affair, with Clarence’s wife Beverly, daughter Susan Keto Fogg, and grandson all taking part in the festivities.

This is Clarence’s second time in the East for Glacier Lodge No. 10. Clarence is also a past Potentate of Al Aska Shrine and, this year, he is serving me as the Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Alaska. I know he will do a great job at the reins of Glacier 10, and I wish him well.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and have to use a file photo of Clarence for this posting. I don’t think he will mind, since it shows him enjoying one of his favorite activities.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Daddy Rabbit Welcome

I just heard from MW Steve Cox (Grand Master of Masons in Alaska, 2002), who was transplanted to Oklahoma a few years back. Steve’s initial major in college was fine arts, and he has done cartooning since childhood. A watercolor painting of the old Fairbanks Masonic Temple that Steve did while at Tanana #3 hangs in the new Tanana Masonic Center. Steve does oils, watercolors, mixed media and sculpture, all original work. The following is Steve’s message and his accompanying artwork. Enjoy.

Well, being stuck in the house while a toe heals, I became bored. Gayle let me have some pencils and paper to play with… So I drew a new cartoon.

It is my Daddy Rabbit cartoon, turned forward for the first time in nearly 45 years. I chose Masonry as his debut so I hope you like him. Those of you who are Masons will understand the open arms and greeting. Those of you who are not… maybe you should join?

If you like him, let me know… if you don’t, who are you anyway to judge my artwork!!!!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

29th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alaska


I extend to you a cordial invitation to attend the 29th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alaska in Anchorage, February 2 – 5, 2010.

Beth and I have planned several social activities, which all are welcomed to participate in during their stay in Anchorage. A proposed schedule of events, interactive registration form, and fliers providing more information about our Alaska Masonic Library and Museum Foundation fund raiser and Potentates Ball can all be found under announcements on the Grand Lodge of Alaska web page.

Please note that Alaska Airlines has currently reduced airfare to and from Anchorage, Alaska. This reduction may not last long.

I look forward to seeing all my Masonic friends in February.

Sincerely and Fraternally,

MW John R. “Bo” Cline
Grand Master of Masons in Alaska

Bake Sale

Back in March, I issued a challenge to the lodges in this jurisdiction to conduct at least one fund raising activity during the year, and I asked that a portion of the proceeds raised be donated to the Grand Lodge of Alaska. I asked that any funds donated to Grand Lodge be earmarked to support one or more of the various endowments we sponsor, i.e. Grand Lodge Permanent Fund, Grand Lodge Travel Fund, Alaska Masonic Foundation for Children, or the Alaska Masonic Library and Museum Foundation. I explained that I hoped the lodges would make the presentation of their gifts during the open session of the 29th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alaska, February 4-5, 2010.

My purpose in issuing this challenge was to provoke the lodges into initiating some sort of activity that would demonstrate their presence in the community as a force for doing good.

Last night I visited my mother lodge, Matanuska No. 7. During the reports of committees, I learned that the lodge had conducted a bake sale over the weekend and had raised $715.85. During the course of the meeting, several motions were made and approved to dispose of this money. The lodge agreed to donate $200 to the Palmer Food Bank, $200 to the Alaska Family Resource Center, $200 to the Matanuska/Susitna Borough Secret Santa Program, $100 to the Grand Lodge of Alaska, and $15.85 to the lodge’s Almoner’s Fund.

Last night, I had a deep sense of pride in my lodge when I saw that they had participated in my requested fund raising activity, and, when it was over, contributed the bulk of monies they had raised directly back to the community. My lodge is not large as lodges go. We have limited resources and many demands on the money we have at hand, not the least is the maintenance of our Masonic Hall. Despite that, Matanuska Lodge No. 7 chose to demonstrate that they are a force for good in their community, and I applaud them for that.