It was a wonderful Family Night event last night at Gulf Beach Lodge! Our Junior Warden, Mark Sawa-Szostak, along with his kitchen crew, provided a very delicious BBQ rib dinner with all the traditional sides.
Following dinner the Lodge recognized Phillip Lynch for earning a Gold Medal in the recent Special Olympics, and also on his 25 years of employment at Taco Bell. Gulf Beach Lodge recently made a donation to the local Special Olympics organization in honor of Phillip.
Finally, everyone retired upstairs for a free-showing of the Pirates of the Caribbean Movie on the big screen.
Forty-eight Masons enjoyed a wonderful dinner followed by an excellent Master Mason degree at Gulf Beach Lodge. We congratulate Brother Gregg Pappas on being raised a Master Mason. Brother Robert Guthrie, the newest Master Mason from Northside Lodge, presented Brother Pappas the District 18 Unity gavel. The lecture was delivered by R:.W:. Howard Knapp and the Charge by Br:. Mark Sawa-Szostak. Also attending was M:.W:. Gerald Sharpe, Past Grand Master of New Jersey.
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located at 14020 Marguerite Dr. in Madeira Beach held its annual Lodge of Sorrow on Thursday January 31st to honor and remember those members of the Lodge who passed away during 2018. Prior to the ceremony the brothers and guests enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by the Junior Warden, Mark Sawa-Szostak, after which they retired to the Lodge room for this special ceremony of remembrance. This ceremony, over 150 years old, was open to the public and attended by Masons and non-Masons alike. Unlike the solemn funeral services rendered by a Masonic Lodge at the death of a brother, this ceremony is designed to honor their memory and to pay respect to the many things they accomplished during their lives. The Worshipful Master and officers of the Lodge are dressed in black with white gloves and Masonic aprons. After introductory remarks by the principal officers a procession is formed and symbolic emblems are placed on the altar in remembrance of our departed brothers. Gulf Beach Lodge remembered five departed brothers from 2018, Steven Fetherman (Past Master), John Denehan (Past Master), Craig Cramer (Past Master), Ed Villiaume III (Past Master/Past District Instructor) and Steven Goodman (Master Mason).
(Photo: L-R Howard Knapp, Buck Owens, Steve Johnson,Patrick Lynch, David Neville, Mark Sawa-Szostak, Joe Sosa, Craig Hunter, Don Harriott, Howard Feldman)
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, located at 14020 Marguerite Drive in Madeira Beach, performed their Annual “Empty Chair Ceremony” in presence of forty members, family and friends from as far away as Ohio and Canada. The Empty or vacant Chair ceremony dates back to 1875, a decade after the close of the American Civil War when it was used in Masonic Lodges to pay tribute to those who did not return from the war. Since then it has been used by many Lodges at Remembrance Day to pay homage to those Brother Masons who fell during WWI, WWII, and other wars; or it may be adapted to remember Past Masters, Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Personnel, EMS and other first responders.
Prior to the ceremony the guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by Junior Warden, Mark Sawa-Szostak. Following the meal everyone retired upstairs at the Masonic Lodge where the Worshipful Master, David Neville, led the Officers in the rendering of the solemn ceremony.
A chair was draped in black and placed in the center of the Lodge room and after a Masonic apron and acacia sprig were placed on the chair, members, family and friends placed memorabilia on the chair to honor and remember their fallen comrades and brothers. Some of the items placed on the chair in remembrance were a Marine’s helmet, a WWI equipment belt, a Firefighter helmet, a Naval and Air Force cap, a Vietnam war hat, a Police Badge, and a Paramedic ID Card.
Fifty-four Masons from around the U.S. and Canada attended the Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge Annual Past Masters Master Mason Degree on January 10th for Brother Tracy S. Livingston. Prior to the degree the brothers enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by Junior Warden, Mark Sawa-Szostak. Of the fifty-four in attendance, twenty-four were Past Masters, thirteen of those were from Gulf Beach Lodge. W:. John R. Cone III was recognized and presented a certificate for this being the 50th Anniversary of his Installation as Master of Gulf Beach Lodge.
The lecture was delivered by R:.W:. Howard Knapp; the Charge by R:.W:. John Hickey. Brother James Bahn of Tampa Bay Lodge presented Br:. Livingston the District 18 ‘Unity’ gavel, which is passed from one newest Master Mason in the District to the next newest Master Mason.