Masters Message February 2022
January marks the midday of the Masonic year at Saint John's Lodge #1 Providence. It is humbling to look up at the sun in the sky and realize that the day has already passed high twelve!
The Lodge is fully in its stride doing the work of Masonry. It is also the height of the Masonic year, and the lodge officers have been busy traveling throughout this Grand Jurisdiction and accompanying our Most Worshipful Grand Master and Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master to their visitations.
After demonstrating their Entered Apprentice Proficiency before the lodge, our seven candidates were passed to the degree of Fellow Craft at January’s Communication by the officers in a truly exemplary fashion. Brother Senior Deacon Jason Shealy’s presentation of the long-form Middle Chamber Lecture was the culmination of many months’ hard work and was truly masterful. We were honored to have his father, Brother Charles Shealy of Little Mountain Lodge 281 (Little Mountain, South Carolina), in attendance that night to witness his son perform one of the crown jewels of our ritual.
The degrees are often the most visible work of the Lodge, but of course, much of what we do as Masons take place quietly and behind the scenes. I am extremely proud of my line officers for the diligent and dedicated efforts and energy they continue to put into their roles.
Brother Senior Steward Bill Gouge, with the assistance of his Lady Jaroen, has been invaluable in his role as Almoner by checking in on and caring for our Special Ladies, as well as delivering much-needed comfort to our sick and distressed brethren. Lady Jaroen, in particular, deserves our recognition for greatly expanding the Lodge’s charitable reach in our community and for personally delivering baskets to needy families during our Holiday Baskets event. I am grateful for everything Brother and Lady Gouge do for the Craft and our Lodge.
Brother Junior Deacon Bob Larrabee and Brother Junior Steward Scott Alexander continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our candidates receive the very best Masonic education, and to push the candidates to bring their very best efforts to their Proficiency training. As our candidates proved their Proficiency, our brothers’ excellent work is paying off handsomely!
Our program for February’s Communication will be a semipublic presentation by historian Dr. Samuel Biagetti on “Freemasonry in Revolutionary Rhode Island.” Dr. Biagetti literally wrote the book on the early history of Rhode Island Freemasonry from its establishment through the early 1800s. If you were ever curious as to the fascinating and exciting origins of what we do as Rhode Island Freemasons, this is a presentation you won’t want to miss!
As with our previous semi-public presentations, wives and partners are welcome to attend this event. As always, please be sure to include your guests when you make dinner reservations.
W∴ Joshua A. Irizarry