Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quinta Essentia Lodge U.D. - Connecticut's First European Concept Lodge

At the Grand Lodge of Connecticut Annual Communication on April 4th, 2011, a dispensation was granted for the formation of Quinta Essentia Lodge. This dispensation is the product of two years of hard work by brothers in the Southern Connecticut Region to create a European Concept Lodge. These brothers have been meeting as a dinner club during these two years and discussing their plans for the formation of a new lodge.  The structure and format of the lodge is similar to Lodge Vitruvian and other highly successful European Concept Lodges.

R:.W:. Brother Brandley K. Cooney will serve as our first Worshipful Master and I will serve as our first Secretary. Although our by-laws are not yet set, here are some of the concepts that the new lodge will be based on:
  • Meetings and festive boards will take place at a local restaurant with high quality food in a private dining space, instead of a Masonic Building.
  • The lodge will meet only six times a year and each meeting will be an outstanding event.
  • Every lodge meeting has an accompanying cocktail hour, festive board and open discussion topic during the dinner.
  • Our discussion topics are typically philosophical in nature.
  • We require excellence in dress.  All brothers are required to dress in tuxes or dark suit and dark tie.  Lodge paraphernalia will exemplify simplicity in an effort to symbolize the equality of our brotherhood.
  • The dues structure of the lodge will be significantly higher than most blue lodges.
  • There will be no long introductions of past masters, officers from other lodges or appendent bodies. The only brothers to be recognized are the District Deputy, the Grand Master and his suite.
  • The lodge will never have a large, inactive membership.  Brothers are required to regularly attend meetings unless there an acceptable reason not to attend determined by the Worshipful Master.  Brothers who do not regularily attend will be required to demit and join another lodge.   We will cap membership at about 35 members. Once we hit the maximum, a new lodge should be formed.
  • We will demand ritual excellence.
  • We will not elect officers based on a "progressive line". Brothers will be elected based on their abilities and may repeat several terms in the same chair.
  • We will actively participate in community service. This lodge will not simply write a check. The mason's place is in the world, not separate from it.

The list of petitioning Brothers are as follows:

  • Bro. L. Scott Brand
  • M:.W:. Bro. Charles A Buck Jr.
  • R:.W:. Bro. Bradley K Cooney
  • W:. Bro. Paul L Chello
  • R:.W:. Bro. Theodore J Doolittle
  • W:. Bro. Martin Ede
  • R:.W:. Bro. Kenneth I Greenhill
  • M:.W:. Bro. Alfred J Lobo
  • Bro. Kristian Maiorino
  • W:. Bro. Randy S Stevens
  • R:.W:. Bro. Charles H Tirrell
  • W:. Bro. James A Tirrell
  • Bro. Howard D Turner
  • W:. Bro. Jordan T Yelinek

The date of our first meeting has not yet been set and will be publicized once it is.  We are currently working on a lodge web site that will have more details.

For more information about Quinta Essentia Lodge U.D., email Charles Tirrell (chtirrell at gmail dot com)

Using Technology to help with my duties as District Deputy

During the orientation of the new District Deputies and Associate Grand Marshals on Saturday, we were supplied with a CD containing a digital copy of all required manuals, documentation, rules, regulations and protocols required for District Deputies to have possession of and be familiar with. In past years, this was supplied in paper form and was sizable. I'm extremely excited to see the Grand Lodge move in this direction for two reasons; it saves the Grand Lodge money and I can transfer the documents to handheld devices and not carry them around in massive paper form.

Today, I transferred all the documents to my iPad. Now instead of carrying around several books and storing them in the back of my car, I have my single digital device, which I carry everywhere. Woot!

My First Week as District Deputy

On Monday, April 4th, I was installed as Right Worshipful District Deputy of Masonic District 4A in Connecticut, along with my Associate Grand Marshal, Wayne G. Bailey. Attending Grand Lodge came on the heals of a last minute business trip to Montreal for three days. Grand Lodge was a lot of fun and before the banquet on Sunday, I was given the opportunity to give a technology talk to an audience comprised of most of the several Worshipful Masters, Grand Lodge officers, the outgoing Grand Master and the incoming Grand Master. The presentation went very well!

On Tuesday, I attended my mother lodge where I currently sit as Tyler and on Wednesday, I performed my first visitation as District Deputy at Cosmopolitan Lodge No. 125 in New Haven. Cosmopolitan Lodge is one of the lodges that I formerly visited as Associate Grand Marshal, while accompanying Right Worshipful Brother Ted Doolittle. They are a bunch of great guys and I look forward to frequenting their meetings in the future.

Thursday was a night off, which I spent with my wife (an important part of my schedule that I can't forget about). On Friday, Illa and I (along with a brother from the Valley of New Haven) went to Lexington, Ma to attend the Scottish Right Leadership Conference. We got to meet up with brothers we haven't seen in a while, attend some great talks/workshops and had a wonderful time.

After rushing back from Massachusetts Saturday afternoon, Illa and I attended the Grand Masters dinner and orientation. We got to meet some great brothers and their ladies from around the state. At this event, we were informed of the new programs that the Grand Master, James T. McWain, is instituting. I'm looking forward to helping him implement his programs in my district and assisting the brothers of my district with keeping our fraternity the great brotherhood it is.

Overall, the past week has been very busy and this coming week will be likewise busy with a business trip to Boston, an awards night and a social event at my local lodge. Although busy, it's also extremely exciting and continues to fuel the fire in my soul for our great fraternity. Masonry is about establishing personal connections and meeting new people. This is why I love being a Freemason.