L’Union Franciase 17

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Travelers Corner | 0 comments

[NOTE: This is not our home lodge but is a lodge that one of our brethen has visited. Our lodge is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.On a recent trip to NYC, I decided to ping Brother Michael C., with whom I share memberships in research societies and lodges. Being a brother from NYC, he quickly inquired around and found out the French Lodge L’Union Francaise 17 was meeting during a night I was free.] L’Union Francaise has a very rich history (founded in 1773 and chartered in NY in 1797) that can be found on their website at: http://www.unionfrancaise.org/TranslationPage.html Bro Michael made the necessary contact and next thing I know, we were invited by the equivalent of District Inspectors (District Deputy Grand Master). Since I arrived a bit in advance, I decided to visit the library. There, beside discovering they have a massive list of masonic books, all kept in a secure, temperature controlled room, I saw some very emotionally charged object such as these French masonic jewels recovered from the Gestapo Headquarters in Berlin by GIs and Brethren. The brethren who were the rightful owners of these had probably died in the end of the ruthless criminal Nazi regime. I also saw one of the rare numbered copies of the Processus Contra Templarios, the book published in 2007 from the secret archives of the Vatican and that mostly show that the Templars were originally declared innocent by the Inquisition before the pope, under pressure from the King of France reversed that original ruling. The proceedings were then sealed in secrecy for more than 700 years. Finally, time arrived when I presented myself to the members of L’UF17. There I was received and quickly vouched by the District Deputy GM who knew about my visit but also about the “standard” paperwork from the GL of California. Each and every one of the brethren shake my hand with a big smile saying they were happy to have a visitor from the West. That night, in addition to brother Michael and I, another brother from the GLNF in France was visiting. Then, the calendar of events that night was communicated. Stated meeting AND 3 second degrees. In my mind, this was going to be a long evening. When the meeting started, WM Alan B. decided to invite me to a seat in the East (the perk of being an Inspector). From there, I had a partially obstructed view of the floor and thought it will be hard to fully see the degrees. However, to my surprise, and also feeling honored and privileged, they decided that the 3 visitors will be the guide for each candidate at the 2nd degree....

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Seattle, WA

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Travelers Corner | 0 comments

Doing the packing for one of my trips, I wasn’t sure if I should take my apron or no. It found a small place in my suitcase and on my way, I arrived in Seattle. On the first night, my business dinner was re-scheduled to the next day for lunch. This gave me a precious free evening. At that point, having not contacted the GL of CA for official presentation, I just searched the web to find lodges around the Seattle area. One that got my attention was Eureka #20, for it was a sciences lodge. Their website presented some recent events where the lodge sponsored a Science Fair (Washington State Science and Engineering Fair (WSSEF) and Seattle Public Schools Middle School Science Fair), in Seattle which for me was a big deal. http://www.eurekamasons.org/ After reaching out to the Secretary, I presented myself at the Green Lake Masonic Temple. There, after pushing the door, I moved upstairs where all the Brethren were having dinner. After a brief chat, the WM verified my credentials and invited me for dinner. Little to say, this is quite an interesting lodge. Brethren from all nationalities are there, Korea, Turkey, Germany, etc…and also it is a family affair, with the current WM having his brother, father and nephew being members of the lodge. And in a funny twist, their Inspector (aka District Deputy Grand Master) was also there as well as the Grand Tiler. After chatting with the Inspector (VW Bro Richie), we discovered we had a lot of common contacts around Europe. This was quite fun. They also assisted at the visit of MW Ken Nagel few years back. Another thing that also got my attention was beautiful paintings which were made by a local brother. The representations of the 3 degrees symbols, especially the 3rd one were mesmerizing. I was received and introduced with a battery of 3 and presented the lapel pin of GL and coin from Peninsula 168 to the WM and the VW District GM. In return, they presented me their own tokens of appreciation. Trying to find a taxi for my return to the hotel, a brother offered me to give me a ride. Half way to the hotel, I told him I hoped he was not going out of his way. He laughed and said he lived actually the opposite direction but I would not have found a cab that night and the walk was long. That’s what Masons do. Going out of their way and brushing the effort required with a joke. Good laugh to end a nice evening. I am sure glad I took my apron that morning. On another note, Eureka #20 also has...

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