traveling in D.C.

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by caeservi, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. caeservi

    caeservi Registered User

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    greetings, I tried to post this friday but due to all sorts of computer shenanigans, it didn't post. so here it goes:

    Being stuck in D.C. for 3 weeks for mandatory government training, I am going to visit some of the lodges in the area. My first visit was this last thursday to Alexandria-Washington Lodge #22 which meets in the G.W. masonic memorial. I emailed the secretary to announce my visit and to verify the dress code was coat and tie. He responded by telling me what time they meet and to confirm that a coat and tie was required. Well, after I got out of training Thursday, I got back to the hotel and donned my nicest suit, grabbed a quick bite and hopped on the metro. When I got off at the king street exit, I walked outside and was awed at the amazing edifice, then I was filled with dismay:eek:. My friend had told me that the memorial was right across the street from the metro; it was directly in front of the metro station, but there was no direct access, it was about a half mile walk (I'm probably just being a prima donna, it cooooould have been more like 1/4 mile walk, but what can I say, I am a lazy ass lol) I walked to the side door of the memorial and walked in and immediately felt out of place:confused:. There were women drinking cocktails in very expensive looking clothes, men in tuxedos and in the distance, on the main floor, there were models wallking on a catwalk... turns out there was a fashion show going on. One of the security guards walked over to me and asked if he could help me. I told him I was looking for the lodge that was meeting tonight. He just smiled and said "are you a mason?" I said I was, still smiling he said to follow him. He led me up stairs to the lodge and told the SW I was a mason here for the meeting. I introduce myself and after a few minutes was led into an anteroom and examined (see the tiler's oath thread for how I was examined). Another visitor then showed up and was examined also. We then made our way into the lodge room and had a seat. this was going to be a typical stated meeting we were told. after opening, they were going to call it to refreshment and bring in any EA, FC, or non mason. They had one of the tourguides, who happens to be a mason, give a speech about the memorial and masonry, then the WM made a speech about the history of the lodge. He then politely asked everybody who wasn't a master mason leave, then called it back. He then did something I have never heard of, he asked if it was anyone's birthday. Two brothers stood up, and were led to the altar by the SD. The master asked them their "masonic" b-days. THey were then led to the east and given an opportunity to speak their lives since becoming a mason. After the brothers were led back to there places, the master then closed the lodge. We then had a light snack and talked. Let me say this about their rituals: while there are some simularities, there is more different between our rituals and theirs. A MM will be able to follow along and not look like a fool, but it was definitley different. If you ever see me in person, ask me about it and I will take pleasure in talking about my experiences. Tomorrow I am going back to the memorial for the tour when it is opened to the public and some stupid fashion show isn't taking up all of the main room. Next week I am observing a FC degree at the Naval Lodge in downtown D.C. and will write about my experiences.
     
  2. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    Thanks for sharing Shane. If you have not had the chance, go to the Scottish Rite Temple, headquarters for the SJ. It is great building with a great tour.
     
  3. caeservi

    caeservi Registered User

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    I walked by it today, but it wasn't open. My training schedule isn't conducive to visit during the weekdays, but I believe it is open next saturday and I plan to visit it then. It is very impressive from the outside though.
     
  4. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    i hope you are able to make in...you will be truly impressed
     
  5. C_Cabra

    C_Cabra Registered User

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    I love visiting the Memorial whenever I am in DC. Which lately seems to be all the time. Sadly I've never had the opportunity to attend a meeting there.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and I hope you enjoy the tour.
     
  6. caeservi

    caeservi Registered User

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    Took the tour and loved it. When I arrived there was no one else there so one of the tour guides, who is a brother, took me on a one on one tour. I really enjoyed it. As I was finishing up my tour and just walking around, people started to arrive and were going to do the fashion show again. Good thing I got there early lol
     
  7. VirginiaPM

    VirginiaPM Registered User

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    I am a Past Master of two Virginia Lodges and am currently learning the Texas ritual. There are more than a few differences believe me. Glad you enjoyed yourself at AW#22. I was WM of another lodge that also met in GW Masonic Memorial. If you visit a lodge in DC or MD you find different ritual as well. It keeps you on your toes!
     
  8. caeservi

    caeservi Registered User

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    Were a pm of Andrew Jackson? I didn't get a chance to visit them. You are correct about the differences. While it was different, I was still able to follow along; the wording of the ritual is different but the basic premise is the same.

    Unfortunately, I was not able to visit the House of the Temple. They changed their hours and are no longer open on the weekends. But the next time I am in the area, I will make it a point to visit.

    And now, as promised (though about a week late) my visit to naval Lodge:

    I arrived right as the meal was being served. I was cordially invited in and told to get in line and have some food. One of the past masters sat down and started a cinversation with me (he was the main guy in the degree shown on the Nat Geo special). Some other brothers sat down and we had a very good discussion over the differences between our states, we talked about retention of members and i gave them some ideas that worked for my lodge. I was then taken into the anteroom and examined along with a brother from Massachusetts. had to give the Tiler's oath, though they read it off the card. I did mine from memory though thee was some slight differences in wording, but they were satisfied with that and my dues card. I knew before hand that there was going to be a FC degree that night, but what I didn't know was that they were going to to do 6 brothers at one time! They did 2 EA proficiencies before the degree; they only have to know the obligation and the grip and word (there are not surprisingly, differences from ours and theirs). They proceeded to pass all six at the same time. It was very interesting. One of the things that surprised me was the lecture, it was given contemporaneously with the 2nd part of the degree, not at the end like ours. Another couple of things mighty different from us is that they "meet on the level" when closing their FC lodges instead of just the master's like we do. Also, when the lodge was called to refreshment, the JW stayed in his seat, and you had better not try to pass between him and the altar. They treat it like the altar and the master in the east. After wards the WM informed us visitors that, after closing the lodge, they usually repair to the south (literally) to a basement bar on the other side of the street they discovered by accident called the Fez Room. It has some masonic memorbilia in it. We repaired over there and had some adult beverages and had a good time. All in all, I enjoyed my visit to Naval Lodge. There is a very young crop of officers there, so if you are in town go and visit. Oh yeah, the egyptian motiff of the lodge is cool as well.
     

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