Tomorrow night, my lodge is raising five brothers to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason. The new District Deputy Grand Master will make his first fraternal visitation, and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is sending their Grand Master, their previous Grand Master, their Grand Historian (who will give a lecture on the history of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts), and their District Deputy Grand Master for our city.
There has been some redistricting, and our new DDGM is from a lodge that hasn't previously been in the same district as ours. He is a younger man, and I've met him informally at dinner at our lodge, but I'll be very pleased to welcome him to our lodge for his first fraternal visit. He is a drummer for one local rock band and a bass player for another. I had a few years in the music industry, and have toured with rock bands, but we haven't really had the rock and roll conversation yet.
I love that my lodge is on such amicable terms with our Prince Hall brothers. The PHA Grand Historian and PHA DDGM visited our last Lodge of Instruction to talk about PHA history, and we all had such a good time that they've come back to see our degree work. The previous PHA Grand Master was a guest of honor at our lodge's 225th Anniversary Banquet, and my girlfriend and I got to meet him and his wife then, and I'm honored that he chose to visit a 3rd degree ritual at our lodge, and that he will bring the current PHA GM with him.
I recently found a high school friend on Facebook. We were in the same dorm in boarding school, which has its own traditions and rituals. My house was founded in 1814, and the intramural House Football league at my boarding school is the oldest active football league in the USA. I haven't seen him since graduation, and I was pleased to see a photo of him in a Shriner's fez. He's a Prince Hall mason in New Jersey, a Scottish Rite Mason, a Shriner, and the Worthy Patron of his Eastern Star chapter. I chatted with him online before dinner tonight, and we compared notes. For me to be in a Grand Lodge that prevented me from calling my friend my brother would be unimaginable. Here in the first Black History Month under an African-American president, it's astonishing that some Masons to fail to recognize that regular and PHA masonry have a shared legacy and a shared future.