Thank you for entrusting me with the honor of being the Master of Anacostia Lodge No. 21 for the ensuing Masonic Year. This is a tremendous honor and a responsibility I do not take lightly.
I plan to make the “Master’s Message” a regular monthly means of communicating with the members of Anacostia Lodge No. 21. It’s a way to share some of my thoughts with you as well as talk about what happened during the last communication and what’s ahead. It’s also a way for me to cover some things I may have failed to mention during our previous communication.
First, I would like to thank those who were in attendance for being a part of a great evening. A special thank you to Worshipful Brother Carl Hoecker for stepping in with little notice as Worshipful Master to open the lodge. And, thank you to Most Worshipful Brother Joe Crociata for performing the installation. It’s something I will never forget. Finally, I would like to thank Brother Greg Smith for a fantastic meal prior to the communication. For those of you who were not able to make it, Brother Smith prepared a variety of tapas that were quite tasty. It is a true blessing to have an actual chef as a member of Anacostia No. 21. I hope more of you will join us this year so you can experience Brother Smith’s culinary talent.
Moving on from culinary nourishment to Masonic nourishment, I plan for this to be a year dedicated to Masonic Education. We have a blend of experienced and knowledgeable brethren as well as a group of newer Masons who are hungry for knowledge and to make Anacostia No. 21 even better.
Anacostia No. 21 has a tremendous history. We are known as “The Lodge of The Past Grand Masters.” We have a number of members with a wealth of Masonic knowledge. I want to draw on that knowledge to educate our newer brethren so we might all improve ourselves in Masonry. We should all strive to become better men and Masons. We should share the goal of growing in the Craft and, in that process, growing Anacostia No. 21.
Prior to my installation, I had a great meeting with Most Worshipful Brother Bob Drechsler. He shared with me some of the history of Anacostia No. 21, the way a number of things used to be done in Lodge and how Anacostia used to be an integral part of the community. MWB Drechsler and I share a desire to see Anacostia No. 21 continue to survive and thrive. While I know I won’t be able to accomplish all the things he and I would like to see done in the coming year. I hope to set us on a solid path and leave the East next year with Anacostia No. 21 in a better, stronger place than when I started.
There is a reason why MWB Drechsler is our Fedelity Metal holder. His love for and dedication to Anacostia No. 21 is without question and beyond compare. He is a tremendous asset to our lodge as are all our Past Masters.
Speaking of Past Masters, I would be remiss if I did not thank our most recent Past Master, Worshipful Brother Justin Russell, for stepping up last year during a time of need for Anacostia No. 21. I like to think that part of being a good leader is recognizing when you are not ready to take on leadership, and I wasn’t ready last year. WB Russell did our lodge a great service by agreeing to step forward at the last minute to lead our lodge at a very difficult time. He helped steady the ship and get us pointed in the right direction. He gave me and those who will come after me the additional time we needed to prepare ourselves to take on the role of Master and make Anacostia No. 21 a better, stronger Lodge. The kind of Lodge we all want it to be. We all owe WB Russell a tremendous debt of gratitude for his service.
Along with the great wealth of experience within our lodge, we have some young Masons who are very passionate about making Anacostia No. 21 a better lodge. They want to see it grow not only in numbers but also in its prominence in the community. Brother Senior Warden Steven Higdon has been a leader virtually since he stepped foot in lodge. He took on the task of coordinating our monthly coffees and other activities. He is also working with MWB Drechsler on documenting the history of Anacostia No. 21. Brother Junior Warden Richard Morrison stepped up as a trustee when we needed one. Brother Secretary Adam “Sammy” Roth as stepped up and done a fantastic job as our secretary. As I mentioned earlier, Brother Smith has embraced the role of Senior Steward to the benefit and joy of our taste buds and stomachs. I do not envy those who will follow in the rather large shoes he will leave to fill. If the leadership, passion and effort exhibited by these younger brethren isn’t reason for optimism about the future of our lodge, I don’t know what is.
I would like to invite you to our next communication on January 4th. I invite those of you who have not been to lodge recently or in some time to come back and be a part of the resurgence of your lodge. We have a great opportunity ahead of us when we combine the knowledge and experience of Anacostia No. 21’s past leaders with the passion of its present and future leaders.
In closing, I would like to give you an idea of what is ahead for this year. As I mentioned, I want this to be a year dedicated to Masonic education, and I can’t think of a better way to start that year off at our January communication than with a discussion about the rich history of Anacostia No. 21 which will be led by Brother Senior Warden Stephen Higdon with input from our Past Masters.
February – Men, Masonry and the Modern World, based on one of the essays in our Grand Lodge leadership book.
March – EA Degree
April – Free Masonry 101, a discussion about some to the basics of Free Masonry – the how’s, why’s and wherefore of Free Masonry.
May – Table Lodge
June – FC Degree, put on by Past Masters of Anacostia No. 21
July – Dark Due To July 4 holiday
August – Warden’s Night, presentation by Scottish Rite and York Rite
September – Traditional Dark Month. Will have a special communication for MM degree.
October – Presentation on meaning and symbolism of the three degrees.
November – Elections
December – Installation
Thank you for your attention. I look forward to seeing you in Lodge and working with you throughout the coming year. Best wishes for a happy, safe and prosperous New Year.
Sincerely & Fraternally,
Anacostia Lodge No. 21