A Great Visit with the DDGM

It was a great night at Gulf Beach Lodge last night as we welcomed R∴W∴ Michael St-Laurent for his Official Visit. Accompanying him were R∴H∴ Joe Griffith, District Instructor, and the District 18 Committeemen.

The evening began with a wonderful Pulled Chicken BBQ dinner prepared by our Junior Warden, Br∴ Tim Delaney, and the Stewards, Br∴ Jim Tizzano and Br∴ Brian Marshall.

Here are some things that went on during the meeting –

  • R∴W∴ Michael St-Laurent was given Grand Honors and presented an honorary membership to Gulf Beach Lodge and a commemorative Lodge “Stanley” mug.
  • Br∴ Dagoberto Cruz returned his EA catechism in fine manner.
  • The brothers present collected $43 for the Let Your Pennies Make Good Cents.
  • The craft voted to make our late brother, W∴ John R. Cone, a Memorial Perpetual Member
  • The craft donated $250 to the Empowered Parent, Inc. Charity
  • The Lodge’s new Logo Flag was presented to the Master and will fly outside Lodge.
  • The craft approved spending $300 to re-paint the upstairs Lodge room
  • Members of Tampa Bay Lodge presented us with the “Hot Gavel”, the purpose of which is to promote visitation between Lodges.
  • Each of the District Committeemen present spoke briefly about his committee.
  • R∴W∴ St-Laurent gave the Grand Master’s message, which was met with a standing ovation.
  • R∴W∴ Howard Knapp gave the closing charge.
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Gulf Beach Lodge Divides and Conquers Today

Gulf Beach Lodge was represented on two fronts today. First, the Master (Bobby Burkett), Junior Warden (Tim Delaney), and our newest Master Mason, Jon Reed attended the Master Mason Degree at Tarpon Lodge this morning where Brother Reed presented Tarpon Lodge’s MM candidate, Brother Guy Lafitte, the District 18 Unity Gavel. The Gavel gets passed from the last newest Master Mason in the District to the next newest MM. Everyone enjoyed a wonderful degree.

Secondly, Gulf Beach Lodge held a Family Day Bowling at Seminole Lanes, which was a great success! Brother Chip Crain of Sutherland Lodge (pictured in the front row with red shirt) joined us and ended the day with the best score. After bowling everyone met at Miller’s Ale House in Seminole for lunch.

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Welcoming Our Newest Master Mason

Gulf Beach Lodge welcomes our newest Master Mason, Brother Jon Reed, who was Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason last night in presence of 34 members and visitors, including a visit from Tarpon Lodge No. 112 and Northside Lodge No. 283. Also in attendance was R∴H∴ Joe Griffith. 

The evening began with a delicious pierogie meal prepared by the Junior Warden, Tim Delaney and Stewards Jim Tizzano and Brian Marshall. Afterwards the brothers retired to the Lodge room where they enjoyed an excellent Master Mason Degree. Many brothers took on new parts and performed them beautifully, including brothers David Marrs, Steve Johnson, Buck Owens,  and Al Yoder. 

The Lecture was delivered by W∴ Bobby R. Burkett II, the Charge (for the first time) by Br∴ David Marrs, and the Bible Presentation (for the first time) by R∴W∴ Howard Knapp.

Tarpon Lodge No. 112, proudly presented Br∴ Reed the District 18 Unity Gavel (which is past from the newest MM in the District to the next newest). Tarpon Lodge was represented by their W∴M∴ Cy Havron and newest Master Mason Br∴ Craig Hull.

It was a great evening of fellowship and brotherly love. Please join us next Thursday for the D∴D∴G∴M∴ Michael St-Laurent’s official visit.

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2024 Scholarship Winner

(L-R) Bobby R. Burkett – Master; Ms. Lesslee Hendricks; Joseph T. Sosa – Chairman of Scholarship Committee

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. Lesslee Hendricks a graduating Senior at Seminole High School in Seminole. Ms. Hendricks will be attending Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, NC) in the Fall where she will begin her studies in Biology. Her future goal is to earn her degree in Physical Therapy. Ms. Hendricks has volunteered many hours in the community, including packing care packages for overseas military with Operation Military Matters, preparing and serving meals at Everybody’s Tabernacle, and Christ the King Church food bank. Ms. Hendricks has been active in several organizations at Seminole High School, including Student Government, the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, English Honor Society, Psychology Honor Society, Varsity Tennis Team, and Future Business Leaders of America. Ms. Hendricks is graduating with a 4.03 weighted GPA.

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 named in his memory and has helped support deserving college students since its inception. The annual Scholarship winner receives $3,500.00 to assist in their College or University expenses.

Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge was chartered in 1950 and has been an active presence on the Gulf Beaches since that time. Besides the scholarship, the Masonic Lodge annually presents 24 bicycles to elementary students as an award for excellence in reading, provides Holiday Food Baskets in November and December to families in need, participates in the Keep Pinellas Beautiful program and is a strong supporter of many charitable organizations such as the American Heart Association, PARC, the American Lung Association, the St. Petersburg Free clinic, and many others.

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Members of Gulf Beach Lodge attending the 195th Grand Communication

Members of Gulf Beach Lodge, including our delegates (Bobby R. Burkett- Worshipful Master; Buck Owens – Senior Warden; and Tim Delaney – Junior Warden) attended the 195th Grand Lodge Communication this week at Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando. They enjoyed a wonderful week of fellowship and brotherhood and represented Gulf Beach Lodge in the highest manner.

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Awards Dinner 2024

Gulf Beach Lodge No. 291 held its annual Awards Dinner tonight at the Lodge. The evening began with a wonderful Chicken Cordon Bleu meal prepared by Junior Warden, Tim Delaney, assisted by the Stewards, Jim Tizzano and Brian Marshall. The keynote speaker for the evening was Howard Knapp, whose address was titled ‘The Beginnings and Legacy of Freemasonry’. Persons recognized for their achievements were Brother Alan Shedler who received the “Firefighter of the Year” award, Brother Ryan Armstrong who received the “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” award, Ms. Leah Van Arsdale (Admiral Farragut Academy), who received the JROTC “Steven M. Fetherman Memorial” award (which was presented by Kendra Fetherman, and also Michael Castleman presented a print of his father’s watercolor painting of Admiral Farragut Academy), Ms. Lesslee Hendricks received the “Albert T. and Tupper MacMillan Scholarship” award, Brother Al Yoder received the “Newest Master Mason” award, Brother Cozy DeRosa received the “Youngest Master Mason” award and Don Harriott received recognition as a “70 Year Master Mason”.

Some other recognitions were made to the 2024 kitchen crew for their outstanding meals, the lodge Secretary, Steve Johnson, for his hard work in the office, Junior Past Master, Joe Sosa, for his efficient year as Master, and David Neville for his 16 consecutive months as employee of the month (a tongue in cheek award).

It was an excellent evening enjoyed by all in attendance.

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Bikes for Books at Madeira Beach Elementary

Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located at 14020 Marguerite Dr., Madeira Beach, began a “Bikes For Books” program in 2017 and it has since been named the Bob Meeks Bikes for Books Program in honor of the member of the Lodge who set the program in motion. This program provides a boy and girl from select Elementary Schools (grades K-5) with a new bicycle purchased by the Masonic Lodge. The winners are students who have read the most teacher approved books throughout the school year.

The winners at Madeira Beach Fundamental Elementary School were announced and presented their bikes on Thursday May 23rd at the school. Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department assisted with a demonstration on bicycle safety. Freemasonry supports public education and the teachers who are tasked with educating and molding the minds of our children.

Madeira Beach Fundamental School works within the fundamental guidelines, to academically challenge, stimulate creativity, and increase student achievement. They do this by working collaboratively with parents and community partners and by fostering a safe and nurturing environment where students are encouraged to reach their maximum potential.

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Bikes For Books at Orange Grove Elementary

Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located in Madeira Beach, began a “Bikes For Books” program in 2017, which has been named the “Bob Meeks Bikes For Books” program in honor of the Lodge member who began the program seven years ago. This program provides a boy and girl from each grade level (K-5)  at a chosen elementary school with a new bicycle purchased by the Masonic Lodge. The winner is the student who read the most teacher approved books throughout the school year. The winners at Orange Grove Elementary School in Seminole were announced and presented their bikes on Thursday April 25th at the school. Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department also assisted with a bicycle safety talk and presentation of free bike locks.  

Freemasonry supports public education and the teachers who are tasked with educating and molding the minds of children.  Orange Grove Elementary School works to academically challenge, stimulate creativity and increase student achievement. They do this by working collaboratively with parents and community partners and by fostering a safe and nurturing environment where students are encouraged to reach their maximum potential.

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Family Picnic

Today’s Gulf Beach Lodge Family Picnic (supporting the 2024 Masters Project) was a great success! The weather was perfect, the food was amazing and the fellowship was wonderful. The grill was skillfully manned by Past Master Tom Willmot while folks enjoyed outdoor games and activities. Proceeds from the event go toward Worshipful Bobby Burkett’s Masters Project (which includes making improvements to the lodge building).

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Wonderful FC Degree

What a wonderful Fellow Craft degree we had at Gulf Beach Lodge last night. 35 Masons, from as far away as Scotland, enjoyed a Chicken Pot Pie meal before the degree, prepared by our Junior Warden (Tim Delaney) with the assistance of the Stewards (Jim Tizzano and Brian Marshall).

Brothers Jonathan Reed (Gulf Beach Lodge) and Michael Amyx (Clearwater Lodge) were Passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft. The Lecture was delivered by W∴ Bobby Burkett and the Charge by R∴W∴ Howard Knapp

 

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Assembling Bikes For Books

Brothers gathered today at Russ Woods’ shop and assembled bicycles for the “Bike For Books” program. The first round of presentations will be made at Orange Grove Elementary School this Wednesday morning.

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April 18th Meeting Highlights

It was a wonderful night of Freemasonry last night at Gulf Beach Lodge. Here is what was accomplished:

  • Our Junior Warden, Br∴ Tim Delaney, prepared a wonderful meal
  • R∴W∴ Rick Wendling, Grand Sword Bearer of Florida, was welcomed and introduced and gave comments to the craft
  • W∴ Joe Sosa, Junior Past Master, presented the 2023 officer line Stanley mugs with our new lodge logo on them.
  • The Lodge donated $150.00 to the Scottish Rite Foundation’s flagship charity.
  • A first time visitor from Indiana was introduced and welcomed with a Lodge coin.
  • The Lodge donated $300.00 to theWarrior Horse VeteransCharity.
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Lodge Cleanup Day

A Saturday Lodge cleanup day with Gulf Beach Lodge brothers. Kitchen deep cleaning, fire escape painting, removal of dead plants out front! Lots going on.

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April 11th Meeting Notes

L-R Joe Sosa (Junior Past Master); Bobby Burkett (Worshipful Master; Tim Delaney (Junior Warden)

Everyone had a great time at our Lodge technology night, led by our secretary, Worshipful Steve Johnson. A number of brothers were able to create accounts and get logged into our social media platforms which help us keep connected as brothers of the Lodge.

Also, Worshipful Joe Sosa, our Master from 2023 was presented a beautiful Past Master’s apron case from the 2023 officers of the lodge.

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April 4th Meeting Notes

R∴W∴ Don Cowart and R∴W∴ Howard Knapp

It was a wonderful night of Freemasonry last night at Gulf Beach Lodge. Here is what was accomplished:

  • The brothers enjoyed a terrific Enchilada meal prepared by the Junior Warden, Tim Delaney and Stewards Jim Tizzano and Brian Marshall
  • Deputy Grand Master, R∴W∴ Don Cowart, and R∴W∴ Tony Chavez were in attendance and heartily welcomed.
  • R∴W∴ Howard Knapp received his Grand Lodge Master Mason Exam I, II and III certificate
  • The craft donated $150.00 to Pinellas Hope Charity
  • The craft donated $50.00 for a full page Ad in the Rainbow Grand Assembly Program
  • R∴W∴ Jim Rocha, candidate for the Grand South, spoke to the Lodge.
  • R∴W∴ Howard Knapp gave Masonic Education on the duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer.
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Members visit St. Pete Lodge

Members of Gulf Beach Lodge attended a great EA Degree at St. Pete Lodge No. 139 last night. W∴ John Livingston, Secretary and Past Master of St. Pete Lodge sat in the East for the first time in 26 years and did a superb job. R∴W∴ Howard Knapp had the honor of sitting as Chaplain and delivering the Lecture.

Brothers attending from Gulf Beach Lodge were W∴ Bobby Burkett, Br∴ Tim Delaney, Br∴ Joe Galluccio and R∴W∴ Howard Knapp.

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Family Bowling Day

Members and their families shared in a fun filled morning at Seminole Lanes Bowling Alley. A great time was had by all in attendance.

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Doing What Masons Do…

Thank you to our Chaplain, Brother Russ Wood, for delivering flowers and cards to our sick, distressed and hospitalized members and their families! Freemasonry at work!

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Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, No. 291, F & A M