From the East:

Greetings Brothers, Families, and Friends of Friendship Tuscan Lodge #145. The all so familiar winter chill is upon us again. Though it may seem like a scene from a Robert Frost poem every time we look out of our windows, it warms the heart to see brothers working towards the continued success of our lodge. Whether it’s with degree work, lending a helping hand, or simply trying to make ourselves better men, we always strive to improve, and this, among many other reasons, makes me proud to be a member of Friendship Tuscan Lodge
#145. Of course, I would be remiss to not include our families and friends in that equation. Without their constant love, help, and support we wouldn’t be half of what we are today, and I think I speak for all the brothers in saying we greatly appreciate you all!

One of my goals this year is community outreach. I have recently reached out to some local schools to see if we could assist them in any way. There are many under privileged kids that are in need of school supplies and warm clothing, among many other things. The schools only have so much to give out and are always accepting donations to help. I have met with the principal of the Verplanck Elementary School which is currently located at the Robertson School right up the street from our lodge. He gave me a list of school supplies that kids are always in need of. Throughout the year we will do a school supply drive for them. The flyer for this drive and items needed will be sent out to the craft via email and also located on the website. Donations will be accepted at the lodge in marked boxes. All help is appreciated. The youth of today are the future of our communities tomorrow and I feel that if we could help in any way, we should. Additionally, if there are any Brothers that have ideas of their own in helping our community, I’m open to any and all

Recently we portrayed our first degree of the year. It is always amazing to see the Brothers work together to make a memorable experience for the candidates being initiated. I would like to congratulate our Junior Warden, Bro. Jordan Porcher, and his degree team for all their efforts in making a superb degree. I have scheduled another EA degree for our first meeting in April. Hope to see you brothers there.

In January a group of us gathered together for the first Lodge of Fun to enjoy a night of hibachi, where the name “Sake Super Man” was dubbed to a Past Master of Friendship Tuscan Lodge #145. I won’t mention any names. You know who you are! On February 16th, the Brothers and Ladies again enjoyed another lodge of fun Valentine’s dinner at Portofino’s Restaurant in Berlin, CT where we enjoyed some drinks and a delicious Italian meal. I hope to see many more of you joining us at the upcoming Lodge of Fun nights for a great night of community and fellowship. If anyone has a suggestion for a night out, please let me know. I am always open for ideas.

The next few months are going to be very busy. During our first business meeting in March, the 7th, Brother Gary Arseneau, RW Past Grand Master, will be hosting Masonic Jeopardy. The last time this game was played at our lodge all the brothers had a great time. Every time I have played it I always learned something new. I would recommend to any and all brothers to join us if you’re able. It’s always a fun night.

Also in March, we have our Annual Irish Night event on the 14th with the Golden Harp dancers. This event is being run by our Junior Deacon, Brother Rick Balboni. On Palm Sunday (April 14th), the Annual Pancake Festival will be run by our Senior Deacon, Brother Brad Young. Look for the flyers for these events in the mail. March – April 2019

Each of these Brothers will be looking for volunteers to help with them as well. I hope to see you there.

This year, another goal of mine is to continue with Masonic education. I hope to bring to light different aspects of masonry that some brothers might not be familiar with. Our first meeting in January, Right Worshipful Bro. Brian Beals and Dominic Rowland, current State Junior Councilor, gave the lodge a presentation on DeMolay. It was very insightful and wonderful to see a part of one their rituals.

Our second meeting in January we had another presentation by Bro. Justin Duffy explaining the significance of the Chamber of Reflection. This was also very informative and great to learn about yet another aspect of masonry that many might not know about. I would like to thank all of these gentlemen for taking the time to talk to our lodge. I know all the brothers enjoyed it as much as I did and we greatly appreciate it. Continuing on this theme, I hope to include other presentations throughout the year at our meetings with the idea of educating and introducing different elements under the Masonic spectrum that some brothers might like to learn about or perhaps be involved in.

The Annual Lodge Trip date is currently set for September 13th thru the 15th. We will be traveling to Salem, Massachusetts. More info on the trip will be provided as soon as last-minute details are ironed out and a total cost for the trip per person is established.

Gabriel A. Garmendia – Worshipful Master