Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From the East to the Northwest

In a magnanimous gesture of future commitment,  Worshipful Brother Doug Hrabe opened the 2008 Annual Communication of Gate City II as the outgoing Worshipful Master and served in the closing by coping the altar as Junior Steward.   There was no vacancy to be filled.  There was no physical need for Doug to inhabit the Northwest.  Doug's gesture served solely as an exemplification of the old adage, "all glory is fleeting."  

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Michael Bjelajac Worshipful Master At 30!

On December 9th, 2009, Michael Joseph Bjelajac received a unanimous vote of confidence from the brethren of Gate City II and became Master of the Lodge at age 30.  There have been only seven younger and all of them were elected Master prior to 1930.  

Worshipful Master Bjelajac takes the helm with an ambitious agenda including an eight part series of presentations on culture and religion (open to the public), two GA CHIPS events, and the 5th Annual Lodge Retreat.  With active past masters and a great officer's line to assist him, Mike feels confident that 2009 will be a banner year for Gate City II and a benchmark for the Craft.    

Jeremy Conlon Joins Gate City II

Gate City II welcomes it's newest member Jeremy Conlon.  Jeremy is a Dual member and Past Master of Clarkston Lodge.  He is an avid 60's era guitar collector, owns and operates The Appraisal Group, and lives in Tucker with his wife, Laurie.  Jeremy has been appointed as Co Chair of the Scottish Games CHIPS Event.  

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gate City II, 4th Annual Lodge Retreat, 2008

Gate City held it's 2 008 retreat in Big Canoe over the weekend of December  5 - 7. The sprawling mountain top home accomidated sixteen total guests. The Gate City retreat was instituted in 2005 by Beaux Pettys and was initially for officers. Now, in it's fourth year, the retreat serves multiple purposes: officer training in opening and closing ritual, catechism work with candidates, planning the year, as well as other lodge administrative duties. Of course, the best part of the retreat is always the fellowship.

David Llewellyn, a cook at heart and an attorney by trade, took on the chef's duties with zeal. From home made waffles to hand made hors d'oeuvres and full course Italian meals, David Llewellyn's culinary craft was a  major highlight of the retreat!

Ryan Weaver and Victor Marshall happily assist with the dishes...
The many, many dishes...

Left to right: Ryan Weaver, Zeithlin Waters, Victor Marshall, David Johnston & Bill Kayma have a break while going over the Entered Apprentice Catechism.   Bill, a MELD committee member and PM of Sandy Springs, devoted his weekend to seeing what the Gate City Annual Retreat was all about and came away with plans to initiate one at his own Lodge.

One of the Craft's hardest workers, David Herman, takes a much needed break.  
David is a DDGM for the Fifth Masonic District and PM of Chamblee Sardis 
where he plans to put together a Lodge retreat.  He is also an integral part
of the Gate City II Religion and Culture series.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


A beautiful fall day, the color of leaves offered the feel of life’s changes. November 8th, 2008, was a perfect day for the Dedication Ceremony for the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Alpharetta, Ga. Jack Harrison, Commander of American Legion Post 201 of Alpharetta, Ga. Stepped to the podium. A large crowed was in attendance to hear the words dedicating this memorial to Georgians who served our nation. Many dignitaries, Mayor of Alpharetta, Congressman and other politicians where on hand. Right W. Bro. Leonard Buffington and many Masons were in attendance. Rev. Danny Philpot gave the invocation. Bro. Lt. Col. Craig Knowlton lead the Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag.

A memorial to Georgian’s who have served the United States Military over the past two hundred and thirty two plus years. Many of whom were and are Freemasons. Many served. Many sacrificed their life’s health. Many sacrificed their lives. There is not enough words, enough praise, enough respect that can ever repay these citizens for their service to bring to us and preserve our freedom and our nation.

Early in June of 2008, Brother Dallas Johnson, volunteered to recruit Masonic Lodges in the community to join hands with the American Legion Post No. 201 to complete the park. Brother Dallas Johnson is the Senior Deacon at Clarkston Lodge No. 492 and a plural member of both Alpharetta No. 235 and Ducktown No. 372.

In a meeting in June, 2008 at the American Legion Post, where Bro. Dallas is also a member, he was told by Bro. J.R. “Chief” Wages the founder of the park that benches were needed for patrons to sit on while viewing the memorial bricks which bare the names of Georgians who served in the military.

Bro. Dallas knew that W. Brother Beaux Petty’s P.M. of Gate City No. 2, owned Inman Park Marble and Granite, Inc., a company that might be able to produce such a bench. They met and decided to move forward with the project.

Bro. Dallas then met with W. Brother Robert Young, Chair of the District Deputies of the 5th, Masonic District. With a price from W. Bro. Pettys, they set out to seek the assistance of lodges in the community to donate these benches to the Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Bro. Dallas has always stated that he felt Masonry should be involved in community projects and said: “American Freemasons have, since the founding of this nation, been an instrumental part of public projects. The cornerstones set at the nations Capitol, the White House, practically every courthouse, state capitol and post office built in the country
up to 1960 and a few afterward, is evidence of the involvement of
Freemasonry in our communities. This Veteran’s Memorial Park is just one more place where Freemasonry can show its support for our nation.”

Bro. Dallas then visited lodges, Bro.’s Pettys, Young and W. Bro. John Holt spoke with lodges of the community to raise the needed money to buy the materials for the benches, while W. Bro. Pettys contributed the labor to manufacture, emboss, deliver and install the benches at the park..

A total of twelve benches were donated to the park by Masonic Lodges, Alpharetta No. 235, Clarkston No. 492, Ducktown No. 372, Roswell No. 165, Thomas L. Scott No. 739, Palestine No. 486, Gate City No. 2, Leroy Duncan No. 262, the Scottish Rite Valley of Atlanta, Daughters of the American Revolution, Fielding Lewis Chapter on behalf of the Masons of Georgia, W. Brother Paul W. Bessiere and Barbara Milam Thurmond.

Bro. Dallas Johnson a longtime advocate of Freemasons being involved in civic endeavors has been a member of American Legion Post No. 201 in Alpharetta for two decades. He served on the Old Soldiers Day Committee and has been very active in the Parade that the City of Alpharetta and the Legion Post 201 sponsor every August. W. Bro. Robert Young is a member of American Legion Post 201 and is a native of Alpharetta and Past Master of Grant Park lodge No. 604 and a dual member of Alpharetta Lodge No. 235.

Together, Bro.’s Young and Johnson while assisting Bro. Roger Wise with the Georgia Mason’s “CHIPS” program approached Bro.Wise and asked him to assist in the dedication ceremony of the park. The three Bro’s met with Jack Harrison the Post Commander and worked out the details. W. Bro. Robert Young was assigned the task of arranging for guests and writing the program.

Bro. Roger Wise used his good standing with Gov. Perdue to reward J. R. “Chief” Wages the founder of the park for his dedication and hard work as well show appreciation to American Legion Post 201 who donated the land for the park and who’s members have worked with Bro. “Chief” Wages to accomplish that which has been done to this point in history. Bro. Dallas: “The park will live on as a lasting reminder of the joint efforts of Freemasonry, public officials, the American Legion and citizens working together for God and Country.”

W. Bro. Robert Young, stepped to the podium to introduce the keynote speaker. It was an easy task because this keynote speaker is a special Mason, Methodist and Marine, WWII veteran and Patriot.

M. W. Bro. Joseph P. Suttles, Past Grand Master of Masons in Georgia, was the guest speaker. “Today we gather together from every walk of life, giving thanks to these who love our country enough to cause us to have a beautiful park that we can point to our young people and tell’em, what America means. America! America! God shed his grace on the and crowned thy good with Brotherhood, from sea to shining sea. ....... one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. How do we have this land? We have it because of those who have been called, who answer to duty, bore arms or whatever that duty may have been. Not only do we have a duty to our country, we should love our country and reach out further in our endeavors to support it. ...... Our young people should be taught about this nation we have and what has been given, has been given that we might have it. And, the freedoms that we have..... our fore-bearers sought after liberty, sought after justice....they had to bear arms.... for 235 years the United State Army has defended our country to preserve our freedoms and our liberties.......when the United States Army was formed a Great Mason was Commander of that Army, named George Washington. His birthday was February 22, and don’t ya’ll forget it either. He’s the father of our nation. Founder of our Navy was John Paul Jones who practiced Masonry....... the U.S. Marine Corps was formed by Capt. Samuel Nicholas in his own Masonic Lodge.” He went on to tell of Alpharetta Lodge and Roswell Lodge and their one hundred fifty plus years of community service. “And, today we give thanks to the American Legion Post and those who have gone before.....”

Bro. Roger Wise is a veteran and a member of American Legion Post 201, Roswell Lodge No. 165 and Director of Community Relations for the Georgia Child Identification Program (CHIPS) a program sponsored by the Masons of Georgia.

Bro. Roger Wise said: “Freedom is not free.” Having served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Bro. Roger knows first hand the price of freedom. The foundation that supports wounded and killed military personnel families through problems caused by a family member’s service to our nation, raises the needed funds to support our military families.

All of this, support of a memorial park honoring our veterans, a dedication to our nation’s citizens who gave up their time, in the form of being in the military, to those who suffer from wounds, and who have died, is a Masonic endeavor that shows Masonic patriotism and dedication to our nation. Any person who has served our nation will tell you straight up, freedom is not free as echoed by the steady voice of Bro. Roger Wise.

Is it important that the Masons of Georgia support such endeavors asked one Brother? The answer can easily be found in our Nation’s Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and in our way of life. It is the love of freedom and our country that brings out the best in our people. Freemasons have been there every step of the way. Freemasonry is the Band of Brothers, the few who work behind the scenes to assist in the furtherance of that which Freemasons set out to create for the common man and preserve through time immemorial: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom!

Re Dedication Ceremony Rock Spring Presbyterian

On Sunday, September 14, 2008 at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, Officers of the Grand Lodge of Georgia and members of Gate City II attended services and performed a cornerstone re dedication ceremony. Rock Spring Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest congregations in Atlanta, having started in 1870. The current building was built in the early 1920s and the cornerstone laid by MWGM Joe P. Bowdoin in 1922 (AL 5922).

The service and re dedication was held in honor of a 2.4 million dollar renovation which was recently completed and organized by John Holt and David Johnston (a member and treasurer of Rock Spring Presbyterian Church and a Past Master and Treasurer of Gate City II).

The church service began at 10:55 AM, with the Grand Line, DDGM's of the Fifth Masonic District and Gate City II marching in to a seated congregation. Rev. Gail Perkins greeted the congregation and her Masonic Guests with a wonderful sermon well tailored for her Masonic guests.

As the service concluded, everyone proceeded outside. Rock Spring Presbyterian Church is located at the corner of North Rock Springs and Piedmont Roads. The intersection in front of the church is always congested and the restaurants across from it are always busy. With the gathering of some one hundred and twenty people in front of the beautiful old church on a beautiful September afternoon, many passersby stopped, turned or parked their cars to see what was going on.

The re dedication ceremony was performed by Most Worshipful Grandmaster Ted C. Collins and the Grand Lode with several District Deputy's taking part, John Holt, David Herman and Robert Young. Beaux Pettys was also enlisted to give a hand. Of the many guests were Grand High Priest of the York Rite Jeff Hodges (Gate City II), Sovereign Grand Inspector General Leonard Buffington, Mark Bohn Executive Officer Georgia Demolay (Gate City II).

After the re dedication ceremony, everyone gathered inside for a barbecue lunch catered by Fatt Matt's Rib Shack. Grand Marshall HarryBruno remarked that Gate City had "outdone" itself with the wonderful meal. Most Worshipful Grandmaster Ted Collins also received an exact
copy of the re dedication cornerstone in White Cherokee Marble. The new re dedication cornerstone will be placed on top of a marble & granite base in the memorial gardens of the church.

David LLewellyn Joins Gate City II

WB David Llewellyn, was raised in East Point Lodge 288 where he served as Worshipful Master in 1993.  He is now a dual member of Gate City II.  He is an attorney with Johnson and Ward in downtown Atlanta and serves as prosecutor for the Fifth Masonic District. Welcome aboard!

July 25, 2008 Gate City Summer Party

Mr. & Mrs. David JohnstonOn July25, 2008, the brethren of Gate CityII decended on the home of Mr. & Mrs. David Johnston, PM and Treasurer. The event was attended by wives, friends and family with several in attendance being either in the initiation or petition process. Most were to busy eating to take a dive into the pool as David Llewellyn and David Johnston manned the grill showing their respective outdoor cullinary expertiese.

Gate City's summer schedule is lighter than many
other lodges as it meets the second Tuesday in June, the fourth Tuesday in July and the 2nd Tuesday in August. After not seeing each other for the six week break between our June and July meetings, the summer party was a welcomed event.

Gate City has decided to host another Summer Party in 2009.

Andy Chopra Raised

Andy Chopra Raised on August 12, 2008. The first section was confered by Beaux Pettys as Worshipful Master. Donald Hall turned in an incredibly good showing as Senior Deacon. Doug Hrabe, Mike Bjelajac, Bill Wallace, Nick Hayes & Chris Wilson all did wonderful in their respective positions making the raising especially memorable. The second section was taken care of by David Johnston, David Llewellyn, John Guest and Beaux Pettys. In a Gate City first, Chopra received his obligation upon the Hindu volume of sacred law, Bhagavad Gita.

Andy and his wife at Gate City II Pool Party

July 22, 2008 Ode Tae A Haggis

Haggis, a traditional Scottish meal comprised of sheep intestines and subject of a very famous Poem by Robert Burns, Ardent Freemason, was reenacted at a joint gathering hosted by Clarkston Lodge, with the program being put together by Gate City II all for the benefit of the July 22, 2008 meeting of the DeKalb Masonic Association. The meeting was officiated masterfully by David Herman, who was until that time unawares that he was doing so, with an opening lecture about Robert Burns given by Robert Young. Robert introduced the group to deliver Burns' famous poem which included two swordsmen, a bagpiper, the addressor and the final fellow... carried the warm, stinking, rich intestines on a silver platter. Richard Graham, an Englishman, addressed the Haggis in full Scottish Brogue (the crowd of eighty were given written translations so they could follow along). After which, the crowd adjourned to the cafeteria for a nice helping of Haggis, Turnips and potatoes with many going for seconds.

Gate City Religion and Culture Series (1 of 8)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

at the Atlanta Masonic Temple, 1690 Peachtree Street.

Topic: Saivite Hinduism.

Representatives from the Kashi Atlanta Ashram will give a presentation on the Hindu religion, culture and history. The public is invited. Wives and families are encouraged to attend. Dinner will be Chicken Tikka Masala and Palak Panner (both traditional Indian dishes) and is $7. Questions or RSVP to .