Thursday, January 14, 2021: Master Mason Degree

Last night, Gulf Beach Lodge raised Brother Chip Cahall to the sublime Degree of Master Mason with a well-attended group of Masons present!

The Lecture was delivered by R∴W∴ Bill Sundquist and the Charge by W∴ Mark Sawa-Szostak.

Congratulations on taking this important step in your Masonic journey, Brother Chip!

Thursday, January 7, 2021: Stated Meeting

Gulf Beach Lodge No. 291 held its first meeting for 2021 under the direction of the newly installed Lodge Officers. A great evening was enjoyed by all in attendance and much was accomplished. For those unable to attend here is what we did.

  • A thank you was read from R∴W∴ Michael Rhoades (District Deputy Grand Master) for receiving an Honorary Membership to our Lodge
  • Prayers and cards went out to our Sick and Distressed brothers
  • W∴ Mark Sawa-Szostak presented officer insignia pins to his 2021 line
  • The Master installed Brs∴ Bobby Burkett (Senior Deacon) and Billy Sewell (Tyler) for 2021 as they were unable to attend the installation last Saturday.
  • The craft donated $100 to the U.S. Special Olympics on behalf of Phillip Lynch, brother of our Junior Past Master, W∴ Patrick Lynch
  • End of the Year (2020) reports were shared with the craft
  • W∴ Sawa-Szostak announced that W∴ David Webster has retired from the Treasurer position after 13 years of service. The craft is sorry to see him step down and appreciates his long and faithful service. 
  • W∴ Jim Charrette is the new Treasurer (Plural member of Gulf Beach Lodge and Past Master of Star Lodge No. 78)
  • Br∴ Steve Johnson, Senior Warden, reported that the Lodge is now wired with WiFi, he mentioned that our first live streamed open installation was made possible by the WiFi.
  • The PR Team thanked Br∴ Robert Graziani, who lives in Texas, for the great job he does with our website.
  • W∴ Sawa-Szostak gave Masonic Education on the similarity and differences of Lodge Installations in other Grand Jurisdictions

Join us on January 14, 2021 for the Master Mason Degree, Br∴ Chip Cahall will be Raised.

(Note: Per W∴ Sawa-Szostak, the Grand Lodge Directive No. 13 regarding masks & social distancing while at Lodge events and meetings will be strictly adhered to.)

Brs∴ Bobby Burkett and Billy Sewell were installed to their new places in the Lodge.
(L-R Bobby Burkett, Senior Deacon; Mark Sawa-Szostak, Master; Billy Sewell, Tyler; Richard Hightower, Marshal)

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!

Thursday December 3, 2020: Stated Meeting & Election of Officers for 2021

A fantastic and very well attended night of Freemasonry last night at Gulf Beach Lodge’s Stated Meeting!

Some highlights:

The following Officers were elected to the 2021 Line: Worshipful Master: Br∴Mark Sawa-Szostak, Senior Warden: Br∴Steve Johnson, Junior Warden: Br∴Joe Sosa, Treasurer: W∴ James Charrette, Secretary: W∴ David Neville.

The following Officers were appointed to the 2021 Line: Senior Deacon: Br∴ Bobby Burkett, Junior Deacon: Br∴Buck Owens, Senior Steward: Br∴Tim Delaney, Chaplain: Br∴ Cozy DeRosa, Marshall: Br∴ Richard Hightower, Tyler: Br∴ Billy Sewell.

A hearty congratulations to all these Brothers for their willingness to serve our Lodge next year!

A petitioner was elected to receive the Three Symbolic Degrees of Freemasonry.

Right Worshipful Mike Rhoades, our current District Deputy Grand Master, was elected to receive an Honorary Membership to Gulf Beach Lodge.

Five members of the Widow’s Sons attended last night’s meeting and Right Worshipful Larry Pomeroy shared Masonic Education on the various activities conducted by the Widow’s Sons including their positive impacts on the Community.

Worshipful Mark Niceley received a Certificate of Proficiency from Br∴Bobby Burkett for completing Master Mason Exams I, II and III.

Our current Worshipful Master, Worshipful Pat Lynch delivered stirring congratulatory remarks on the newly elected and appointed 2021 Officers.

Join us next Thursday for an Entered Apprentice Degree.