223rd Connecticut Grand Lodge
Members of the Craft who attended the pre-Grand Lodge festivities found the usual warm welcomes from the several groups hosting hospitality suites. Indeed, I’ve written in the past that the real “communication” of the Annual Communication happens outside of the business meetings, as people who haven’t had a chance to see each other in months have a chance to gossip and catch up on the news, learn what’s happening in other districts, and (as the evening wears on), propose ways to “fix” Freemasonry. In some ways, the evening festivities serve the same purpose of reconnecting as do those of weddings and funerals. That is, while everyone is ostensibly there for one purpose, a lot of business ends up happening outside of the original intentions.
The 223rd Grand Lodge of Connecticut Annual Communication was held in Cromwell on Monday, some of the brothers looking a bit the worse for wear after spending some long hours catching up with each other the night before. I have to admit, however, that I was surprised at the rather subdued atmosphere. Gary Arseneau, the incoming Grand Master was scarcely seen on Sunday evening; indeed, many of the higher-ranking Grand Lodge officers seemed to be MIA, as were members of several of the larger Grand Lodge committees, notably the Legal Matters members. Rumors were rife, of course, but that’s to be expected.
On Monday, the business meeting went smoothly, with the notable event being the chartering of Quinta Essentia Lodge No. 500 in New Haven. The lodge was started by a handful of brothers who wanted to return to a more traditional style of Freemasonry, with fewer meetings, better festive boards, and more focused on the history and esoterica of Freemasonry. Also, some of my friends in my other lodge have started a new lodge in a town in the center of the state (ETA: Hospitality Lodge No. 128 in Wethersfield). Again, it will be a small, inwardly focused lodge. With so many lodges having closed in recent years, it’s great to see this kind of activity, and we wish them well.
More pictures available at the Facebook album Grand Lodge 2012.
The big news for Friendship Lodge members, of course, was the installation of MW Gary Arseneau. Gary has been a solid fixture around the state, and we’re all looking forward to seeing how well his vision for the future of Masonry will be carried out. Also from Friendship, our very own WB Jim Vanderyk has been promoted from the lodge chaplain to MWGM Gary’s Grand Chaplain. WB Jim has long been known for his calm demeanor and a repertoire of quick quips. We’re sure he’ll be a great help when MW Gary needs inspiration.