Saturday, January 2, 2021: Open Installation of Officers for 2021

(L-R  Richard Hightower, Buck Owens, Jim Charrette, Joe Sosa, Mark Sawa-Szostak, Steve Johnson, Cozy DeRosa, Tim Delaney, and David Neville)

Gulf Beach Lodge’s Officer Installation was held today with Brothers, friends, and family in attendance in person, as well as virtually, as the Installation was streamed live via Facebook Live for the first time!

  • W∴ Mark Sawa-Szostak was installed as the 2021 Worshipful Master of Gulf Beach Lodge.
  • Brother Steve Johnson as Senior Warden.
  • Brother Joe Sosa as Junior Warden.
  • W∴ James Charrette as Treasurer.
  • Brother Cozy DeRosa as Chaplain.
  • Brother Richard Hightower as Marshall.
  • Brother Buck Owens as Junior Deacon.
  • and Brother Tim Delaney as Senior Steward.

It was also made note of that the Secretary, W∴ Dave Neville, has been previously installed, and that the installations of Senior Deacon, Junior Steward, Tiler, and Musician shall occur at a later date.

The Installation Team was composed of:

  • R∴W∴ Michael Rhoades – Installing Officer
  • W∴ Dave Neville – Installing Marshall
  • W∴ Oscar Salazar – Installing Chaplain
  • W∴ Joe Finocchiaro – Installing Musician

Some other highlights include:

  • W∴ Mark Sawa-Szostak presented his girlfriend with a bouquet of flowers.
  • R∴W∴ Michael Rhoades was presented with an Honorary Membership to Gulf Beach Lodge and remarked that he was honored to receive it, and in addition, that this was the first time (and we venture to guess not the last) that an Honorary Membership from a Lodge was presented to him.
  • W∴ Pat Lynch, the now Junior Past Master, was presented with his Past Master’s Apron and Past Master’s Jewel.

In addition, last year’s Funeral Lodge was closed with special mention of the eight dearly departed Brothers this past year. A new Funeral Lodge was also duly opened and adjourned.  All in all, it was a well conducted Installation and the newly Installed Officers of 2021 would like to thank all of those in attendance, either virtually or in-person, as well as acknowledge all the well wishes sent to us. We look forward to serving the Lodge in 2021, and in the words of our newly installed Worshipful Master, Mark Sawa-Szostak, leave the Lodge better than we found it.

Thursday, December 17, 2020: Stated Meeting

It was a chilly Thursday night, but that didn’t stop 17 members and visitors from coming out to a night of great Masonry at Gulf Beach Lodge! At the meeting…

  • Brothers John Patterson and Brian Marshall did an excellent job returning their EA Catechism, led by Brother Joe Sosa.
  • Brother Thomas Lacina was elected to membership of Gulf Beach Lodge.
  • The Worshipful Master presented the 2020 officers with a wonderful gesture of appreciation for their dedication and efforts throughout the year. (pictured above)
  • Brother Jim Wittstruck reminded everyone that we will be delivering the next round of holiday baskets to local families on Saturday, December 19th. We will meet at the Lodge at 8:30 AM and depart the Lodge promptly at 9:00 AM.
  • Senior Warden Mark Sawa-Szostak thanked all the members of Gulf Beach Lodge who have given their time and energy to help maintain the Lodge throughout the 2020 year.
  • Worshipful Master Patrick Lynch gave his end-of-year report, and Worshipful David Neville gave the Secretary end-of-year report. Both reports were well received
  • Worshipful Lynch donated the “Gulf Beach Family Event” banner to the Lodge for future events to enjoy!
  • The Craft donated an additional $100 to the First Lady’s project.
  • The Craft voted to donate $150 to sponsor a Madeira Beach Youth Basketball team.

It was a busy and wonderful night. As a reminder, the Lodge will be dark for the next two weeks as both days fall on holidays. Stay safe, happy, and we look forward to seeing you at our 2021 Officer Installation on Saturday, January 2nd.

Thursday, December 10, 2020: Entered Apprentice Degree

There was wonderful energy in the air at Gulf Beach Lodge last night as thirty members and visitors from near and far joined us in welcoming Brother Lukas Vanagaitis to Freemasonry!

The lecture was delivered by R∴W∴ Bill Sundquist, the charge by W∴ David Neville, and the lambskin poem by Br∴ Mark Sawa-Szostak.

Coming up on December 17th we will be holding our last Stated Meeting of December before going dark on December 24th and 31st.  We hope to see you there!

Friday and Saturday, December 4 & 5, 2020:

Friday, December 4th: Masonic Leadership Training (MLT) units 1-5 at Sutherland Lodge, 7.00pm. 1297 Michigan Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698 MAP

Saturday, December 5th: Beach Cleanup. Meet at Gulf Beach Lodge at 9.00am

Saturday, November 28, 2020: Lodge Clean Up & Salvation Army Angel Tree Toy Donation

Gulf Beach Lodge took part in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program for the 12th consecutive year at Tyrone Mall. 

Thank you to all the Brothers, friends, and family that helped or stopped by! We had nineteen Brothers and family assisting this year.

The Angel Tree program provides holiday gifts for needy children in the community. It was a very moving experience to see how the community comes together to bring joy to children’s hearts this time of year, even during a pandemic.

Gulf Beach Lodge appreciates the Salvation Army for allowing them to take part in this worthy program and encourages other organizations and individuals to take part in this event in the future.

Saturday, November 21, 2020: Holiday Basket Delivery

After departing the Lodge at 9:00 AM on November 21st, Gulf Beach Lodge members and family carried on our tradition of delivering Thanksgiving meals to twelve less fortunate families and military veterans within Pinellas County.

Thank you to all who have helped support this great cause over the years, and we hope to see you at our next basket delivery in December!

Thursday, November 19, 2020: Stated Meeting

At our Stated Communication on Thursday, November 19th, we had a busy meeting with much good work accomplished! Throughout the evening, the Craft:

Welcomed Worshipful Cory Underwood, a first-time visitor from Tarpon Lodge No. 112.

Presented Br∴ Nils Pete Bengston his certificate and pin for 25 years in the fraternity.

Donated a $100 gift card to Mrs. Lisa Tsotsos, retiring Administrator of the Masonic Home of Florida, in honor of her service and dedication to the home and its residents.

Donated $100 to Grand Master’s Charity (Masonic Home of Florida).

Donated $100 to First Lady’s Project.

Worshipful Kirk Hinote gave an outstanding talk on Public Education and Citizenship.

As a reminder, the Lodge will be dark next Thursday, November 26th, for Thanksgiving. Our next meeting will be our Stated Communication and Officer elections on December 3rd.

Thursday, November 5, 2020: Stated Meeting

This past Thursday, November 5th, 23 members and visitors enjoyed an excellent Stated Communication led by Br∴  Mark Sawa-Szostak sitting in for the Worshipful Master.

  • 1) Br∴ Chip Cahall returned his Fellow Craft Catechism, led by Br∴  Bobby Burkett, in a wonderful display of their hard work and dedication.
  • Our newly appointed District Deputy Grand Master, Michael Rhoades, was recognized and presented his first-time visitor card, coin, and given Grand Honors.
  • Our District Instructor, R∴W∴ Rick Wendling, was in attendance and recognized.
  • The nominees for the elected offices were read.  They are Mark Sawa-Szostak (Worshipful Master), Steve Johnson (Senior Warden), Joe Sosa (Junior Warden), David Neville (Secretary), and Jim Charrette (Treasurer).
  • Br∴ Mark Sawa-Szostak presented some Masonic Education on the Grand Master’s Directive 13.
  • Br∴ Jim Wittstruck reported that preparations are underway for the Holiday Gift Baskets for November.
  • The Craft donated $100 to the Shriner’s Hospital.
  • Br∴ Steve Johnson reported that the Angel Tree date has been confirmed and that Gulf Beach Lodge will be tending to the Angel Tree at the Tyrone Mall on November 28th from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM.  W∴ David Neville, Secretary, has the sign-up sheet.
  • Br∴ Richard Hightower was presented his membership card.
  • Our District Instructor provided further Masonic Education on the proper method of giving the due guard and sign.

The final months of 2020 are shaping up to be very busy, so stay tuned for further information about upcoming events and we hope to see you soon!

Thursday, October 29, 2020: Entered Apprentice Degree

Gulf Beach Lodge No. 291 held a stirring Entered Apprentice Degree Thursday night for Brother Marshall D. Wood which was enjoyed by all in attendance!

The lecture was delivered by Right Worshipful Derryl O’Neal, the charge by Brother Bobby Burkett and Brother Mark Sawa-Szostak the lambskin poem. Brother Marshall Wood was very appreciative and his dad, Brother Russ Wood who stood in as Chaplain for the Degree shared an emotional tribute to his son for taking this step.

Gulf Beach Lodge looks forward to seeing as many of you as possible for our Stated Communication next Thursday, November 5th.

Thursday, October 22, 2020: Fellow Craft Degree

Gulf Beach Lodge No. 291 would like to congratulate Brother Charles ‘Chip’ Cahall for being Passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft . The Lecture was delivered by Brother Bobby Burkett and the Charge by Brother Mark Sawa-Szostak.

It was a wonderful evening of fellowship enjoyed by all. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020: District Deputy Grand Master’s Official Visit

Twenty-four members and visitors enjoyed a wonderful, well attended night of Brotherhood at Gulf Beach Lodge for our District Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Tom Quay.  R∴W∴ Tom delivered the Grand Master’s message which was well received by all in attendance.

R∴W∴ Tom was also presented with an Honorary Membership to Gulf Beach Lodge, for which he expressed his appreciation to the Craft.

Saturday, October 3, 2020: Trash Pirates and District School of Instruction at Clearwater Lodge, No. 127

Brothers,

Good day, my Brothers,

This Saturday, October 3rd, we’ll be joining the Trash Pirates of Madeira Beach in their ongoing effort to rid our beautiful beaches of trash!  We’ll be meeting at Gulf Beach Lodge at 8:00 AM and then departing for Madeira Beach.

We will be providing latex gloves, trash bags, and grabbers before we depart the Lodge.  With your help, we can support the community in this great effort, keeping our beaches clean and wildlife safe for years to come.

Thank you, and see you Saturday!

Steve Johnson, Junior Warden

DISTRICT SCHOOL OF INSTRUCTION

Coming up on October 3rd at 10:00 AM, Clearwater Lodge will be hosting a District School of Instruction covering the floor and ritual work for opening and closing a Lodge in the Master Mason Degree.

This event is open to all Master Masons and is an excellent opportunity to brush up on your work or learn something new.

Clearwater Lodge No. 127 is located at 705 S Hercules Ave, Clearwater, FL 33764.

David Neville, PM, Secretary

Thursday, September 24, 2020: Entered Apprentice Degree

Twenty-five members and visitors of Gulf Beach Lodge assembled to welcome Brother Brian Marshall to our Lodge in an outstanding Entered Apprentice Degree. R∴W∴ Jim Rocha delivered the lecture, and Br∴ Mark Sawa-Szostak delivered the charge and Lambskin Apron poem.

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