Gulf Beach Lodge Welcomes R:.W:. Rick Wendling, DDGM
June 6, 2019: Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located at 14020 Marguerite Dr. in Madeira Beach, recently welcomed the new District Deputy Grand Master, Rick Wendling, for his official visit with forty-four Masons in attendance.
Rick grew up in North Pinellas County after moving from New Jersey when he was two months old, and has worked as an EMT and a fire fighter during his career, and now is a business owner.
Rick was initiated into the Freemason Fraternity on November 29, 2010 and served as Worshipful Master for Sutherland Lodge No. 174 in Palm Harbor in 2017. Rick was appointed as the District Deputy Grand Master (DDGM) on May 29th, and the visit to Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge was his first official visit.
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge No. 291 was chartered in 1950 and has been an active force on the Gulf Beaches for over 69 years. Its members have included bankers, contractors, teachers, Congressmen, soldiers, pharmacists, police, firefighters, and a myriad of men from all walks of life. Freemasonry is open to men ages, 18 and above and offers an opportunity to be proactive in the community as well as to be a part of a fraternity that dates back three hundred years. Some notable Freemasons were George Washington (and 15 other US Presidents), Ben Franklin, Henry Ford, Red Skelton, and General Douglas MacArthur. Those interested in more information about Freemasonry can visit the Lodge website at https://gulfbeachlodge.org.
Bikes for Books
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge presents twelve bicycles to local students
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located at 14020 Marguerite Dr. in Madeira Beach, recently awarded twelve elementary school students from Madeira Beach Fundamental School with new bicycles. The ‘Bikes for Books’ program was begun in 2018 by Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge to encourage elementary school students to read more books. The students were challenged to read as many teacher approved books as possible during the school year and the student with the most books read from each grade level would receive a brand new bicycle. Also, the runners up received a $25.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble Bookstores, donated by Brother John Cone in memory of his late wife who was a retired Pinellas County School librarian. Mr. Chris Ateek, Principal of Madeira Beach Fundamental School, stated that the students reading skyrocketed this year following last year’s presentation. Gulf Beach Lodge plans on continuing this program well into the future and encourages other organizations and groups to support their local schools.
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge No. 291 was chartered in 1950 and has been an active force on the Gulf Beaches for over 69 years. Its members have included bankers, contractors, teachers, Congressmen, soldiers, pharmacists, police, firefighters, and a myriad of men from all walks of life. Freemasonry is open to men ages 18 and above and offers an opportunity to be proactive in the community as well as to be a part of a fraternity that dates back three hundred years. Some notable Freemasons were George Washington (and 15 other US Presidents), Ben Franklin, Henry Ford, Red Skelton, and General Douglas MacArthur. Those interested in more information about Freemasonry can visit the Lodge website at www.gulfbeachlodge.org
(L-R) Mark Niceley, Steve Johnson, John Cone, Mark Sawa-Szostak, Bob Meeks, David Neville
Mutual Recognition Announcement
Gulf Beach Lodge Awards Scholarship
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located at 14020 Marguerite Drive in Madeira Beach, presented its annual Albert T. and Tupper MacMillan Scholarship, supported by the Ernest J. Freeman Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship was presented to Ms. Gayathri Kotha, a graduating Senior at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport. Ms .Kotha will be attending University of Florida in Gainesville where she will begin her studies in biology and work toward a medical degree. Ms. Kotha has been extremely active in service projects in the community including over 175 hours of volunteer time at the Bay Pines VA Hospital. Ms. Kotha is also a member of the High School volleyball, swim, and marksmanship teams. She has served on student government and is a member of the National Honor Society, Health Occupations Students of America, and is an Honor Society member in Science, Math, History and Spanish. Ms. Kotha serves as Brigade Executive Officer of the Boca Ciega High School J.R.O.T.C and was awarded the ‘Distinguished Cadet” award. She is ranked 4th in her graduating class and was selected as an “American Legion Auxiliary Girls State” recipient in 2018.
Ernest J. Freeman Jr., Master of Gulf Beach Lodge in 1984, had a vision. This vision was to create a scholarship program that would grant deserving local students funds to assist in their college tuition. It was also his vision to create a program which would be self-perpetuating thereby being a source of assistance well into the future. After the passing of Ernest Freeman the Scholarship fund was renamed in his memory and has helped support a deserving college student each year since its inception. Albert T. MacMillan, a member of Gulf Beach Lodge, left a sizeable sum of money in his will for the scholarship program. After Al MacMillan passed away the scholarship was named in his honor. The annual Scholarship winner receives $2,000.00 to assist in their College or University expenses.
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization for men ages 18 and older and is dedicated to being serviceable to the community as well as offering men an opportunity to better themselves and be a part of a world-wide organization of friends and brothers. Its members have included presidents, statesmen, actors, astronauts, clergy, teachers, athletes, musicians, firefighters, and men from every walk of life. Freemasonry strives to take good men and make them better men. Just a few of the things that Gulf Beach Lodge takes part in is providing holiday food baskets to the needy, volunteers at the annual Salvation Army Angel Tree, adopts local teachers and their classrooms, and sponsors a ‘bikes for books’ program at local elementary schools.
L-R David Neville (Master), Ms. Kotha, Pat Lynch (Senior Warden)
W:. Donald T. Harriott Receives 65 year recognition
W:. Donald T. Harriott Receives 65 year recognition On Thursday March 21st Donald T. Harriott, a member of Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge in Madeira Beach, received recognition for his 65 years of service in Freemasonry.
Thirty-four Masons were in attendance at the Lodge meeting when Brother Donald T. Harriott was presented his sixty-five year certificate and pin by Past Master of the Lodge, Worshipful Ralph E. Vaughan, who served as Master in 1994.
Brother Donald Harriott was made a Mason in Fidelis Lodge No. 242, Patterson, New Jersey on March 5, 1954, and served as its Worshipful Master in 1963. Don retired to Florida in the 1980’s and moved to the Gulf Beaches. In 1991 he became a dual member with Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge and has served as Chaplain of the Lodge since 1992.
Brother Harriott has also been active in other Masonic bodies including the Order of DeMolay (1948), Scottish Rite, the Tall Cedars of Lebanon and the York Rite bodies where he served as the Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Florida in 2005. Don has also received the Knight York Cross of Honor in 1996 and the Knight York Grand Cross of Honor in 2005.
The Lodge and its members congratulate Don on this milestone in his Masonic career. (Photo: W:. Neville, W:. Harriott, W:. Vaughan)
Annual Awards Dinner November 29, 2018
It was a wonderful night of awards and recognition at Gulf Beach Lodge last Thursday night. A packed house enjoyed a wonderful lasagna dinner prepared by the Junior Warden, Pat Lynch. Guest speaker was City of Madeira Beach Manager, Mr. Jonathan Evans. Those receiving awards were Deputy of the year, Shannon Roxby; Firefighter of the year, John Sleppy; Eagle Scout, Ashton Raymer; Steven M Fetherman JROTC excellence award, Shyann LaPorte; Honorary membership, Matthew Winters; 66 years of service, Bill Harper; newest Master Mason, Craig Hunter; eldest member, Dean Fink 93; youngest member, Cozy DeRosa; OES service award, Pat Milnes for Chapter 241; newest Perpetual member, Howard Feldman. A great time was had by all in attendance.
Angel Tree Volunteers December 1, 2018
24 Gulf Beach Lodge members and their family volunteered today from at the Salvation Army Angel Tree in Tyrone Mall. This is our 9th year volunteering for this worthy cause which gives Christmas gifts to children in need.
Bikes for Books October 27, 2018
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located at 14020 Marguerite Dr. in Madeira Beach, recently held an Oktoberfest Fundraiser to raise money for their “Bikes For Books” program. The Oktoberfest was held at the Masonic Temple on October 27th and was well attended. The Junior Warden of the Lodge, Patrick Lynch, with the assistance of brothers Buck Owens, Joe Sosa, Steve Johnson, Howard Knapp, David Neville, Oscar Salazar, Howard Feldman, Cozy DeRosa and Charles Eisele prepared a traditional German meal of bratwurst, sauerkraut, red cabbage, German potato salad and German Chocolate cake for the numerous attendees. The Temple was decorated in German Oktoberfest fashion with real German Oompah music playing to set the mood.
The Lodge raised $2,800.00 at the Oktoberfest for their “Bikes For Books” program, which is spearheaded by brother Robert Meeks. The program awards twelve elementary school students from Madeira Beach Fundamental Elementary School, who have read the most teacher approved books during the school year, with a brand new bicycle. A boy and girl from each grade level is chosen by the teacher as the winner of the award. Principal Christopher Ateek stated that the “Bikes For Books” program Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge held at Madeira Beach Fundamental School last year was one of the best received programs held in many years.
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization open to men from ages 18 and up and is dedicated to building a better community through charitable works. Freemasonry is the oldest continuous fraternity in the world dating back to 1717 with the formation of the first Grand Lodge in England. Countless men through the ages have been members of the fraternity including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Douglas MacArthur, John Wayne, Henry Ford, and Buzz Aldrin to name a few. Men of all walks of life come together through Freemasonry to better themselves and better their community. For further information on Freemasonry please contact the Lodge Secretary, Howard Knapp, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Lodge website at www.gulfbeachlodge.org
Recent Press Release
October 23, 2018
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge Adopts A Classroom
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located at 14020 Marguerite Dr. in Madeira Beach, recently took part in the Pinellas County Adopt a Teacher/Class program by adopting Mrs. Dority’s 3rd Grade class at Orange Grove Elementary School in Seminole. For a donation of $150.00 an individual or business can adopt a classroom or teacher which will assist them in procuring educational items for their students. Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge encourages individuals, organizations and businesses to consider taking part in this worthy program and help our public school teachers accomplish their goals. Orange Grove Elementary School was established in 1961 and its mission is to ‘establish leadership and a love of learning’ in its students.
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge No. 291 was chartered in 1950 and has been an active force on the Gulf Beaches for over 68 years. Its members have included bankers, contractors, teachers, Congressmen, soldiers, pharmacists, police, firefighters, and a myriad of men from all walks of life. Freemasonry is open to men ages 18 and older and offers an opportunity to be proactive in the community as well as to be a part of a fraternity that dates back over three hundred years. Some notable Freemasons were George Washington (and 15 other US Presidents), Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Red Skelton, and General Douglas MacArthur. Those interested in more information about Freemasonry can visit the Lodge website at www.gulfbeachlodge.org