I was present at a truly amazing event for Minnesota Masonic history, the first raising of one of the newest Lodges in this jurisdiction, Sir Winston Churchill Lodge No. 351. The ranks of the Lodge are filled with many brilliant and distinguished brothers of this state including Past Grand Masters, Monitors of the Ritual Work, Past Masters of many Lodges, and some of the brightest minds in Minnesota Masonry. The Lodge is built upon the traditions of British Masonry, hence it's patron being the great British politician and Brother, Sir Winston Churchill. The Lodge, however, performs the Minnesota work, our own variation of Preston-Webb, which they performed last night in perfect form.
The Lodge moved its charter to the Minneapolis Valley Scottish Rite Temple to perform this Third Degree. The Minneapolis Valley is one of the few Valleys in this country that performs all 29 degrees of the Scottish Rite. I am not a member of the Scottish Rite, but visiting this beautiful and intriguing building has begun to whet my appetite for more Masonic participation. The building is epic, filled with a maze of different rooms and caverns. Strange implements of degrees I haven't taken a part. The library was amazing and the main room raised a canopy like those of heaven, just a beautiful sight to behold.
The idea of putting on this degree in the cavernous confines of the sacred space, with its various Masonic and Scottish Rite adornments defining the experience to be had within. How beautiful and fitting to confer the last and highest degree of Ancient Craft Masonry in this Temple dedicated to our highest aspirations and duties as Freemasons.
The degree work was done with great care and skill, led by Most Worshipful Brother Tom Jackson in the East. The entire degree work was performed, including the lectures, in handsome form. The lectures were crazy well-done by Bob and Doug, the Second lecture by Dan and the full third lecture by John. I really feel that the candidate got something from it. The brothers of this Lodge know their stuff and I was totally impressed. After the degree was conferred, I met with my friend and Brother, Nick, who had just returned from Washington, D.C. and was fortunate enough to sit in George Washington's home Lodge, Alexandria-Washington No. 22, and he returned with a gift for me, a pin from its Worshipful Master for this year. Nick is an extremely well-traveled brother with, dare I say (dare, dare) more knowledge of the Craft than me.
I'll try to get pictures of the event and publish them below.