Friday, January 30, 2009

Religion and Culture: Sixty Five Attend First Presentation

The Gate City II Religion and Culture series was born out of a mid November phone call between Beaux Pettys and David Herman. The goal of the program was to raise the bar on Lodge presentations, to increase visibility by inviting friends, family and the public, and to provide education and exposure to worldly topics. The idea was presented to incoming Worshipful Master, Mike Bjelajac, who immediately embraced it and began promoting The Religion and Culture Series. With WM Bjelajac's efforts, Gate City II pulled together the January 27, 2009 presentation of Saivite Hinduism given by members of Kashi Ashram Atlanta. From the announcement of the event, all Gate City hands were on deck designing and making posters, posting advertisements, purchasing food, welcoming visitors, photographing, serving food, giving tours of the building, granting access to the library, setting up microphone and speakers, and handing out the programs.

The crowd was greeted with a meal consisting of Chicken Tikka Masala, Navratan Curry and Palak Paneer (traditional Indian dishes) all prepared in the hearty Nepalese style and supplied by Bombay Cafe. The food was certainly a crowd pleaser and delighted the most discerning palate. Even those who regularly dined at Indian restaurants remarked at the high quality of the meal. After dinner, the crowd adjourned to Gate City II's Lodge room where several candles were already lit complementing the warm red glow of the dimmed lights overhead. The Altar had been moved to accommodate a lectern and microphone as well as a table with pictures of the two guru's of Kashi Ashram. Draped over the lectern was a tapestry with the image of the Hindu God Shiva.

Worshipful Master Michael Bjelajac opened the presentation by welcoming our visitors and praising the good work of the brethren of gate City II. He turned the floor over to David Llewellyn, who gave a short history of Freemasonry, and David Johnston who gave a history of Gate City II. Afterward, Agni Ma and Saivite Wilson, of Kashi Ashram, were introduced and the presentation got underway.

The presentation covered a number of different topics. The history of Hinduism in general was discussed at length, by Saivite Wilson, including origins and beliefs. Agni Ma led the crowd in and out of two meditations. She also spoke of Kashi Ashram's Yoga and Meditation programs which are a part of Kashi Ashrams interfaith outreach where Christians, Muslims, Jews and people of other faiths are taught to practice some of the many universal elements of the Hindu religion. Worshipful Master Bjelajac thanked Agni Ma and Saivite Wilson for their fine presentation and informed the gathering of our next month's event. After the presentation, our guests were treated to a tour of the Masonic Center and a peek at the library.

DCMA's Guest Speaker for February: Beaux Pettys

Beaux Pettys, PMGCII, will be the guest speaker for the Dekalb County Masonic Association at their February 12, 2009 meeting. His presentation will be about the programs of Gate City II and the six points of Gate City's success. Beaux will feature examples from three brethren, Mike Bjelajac, WMGCII, Bill Wallace, SWGCII, and another surprise guest, who will give their perspective on what draws them to the craft, what almost kept them from it, and what keeps them coming back.

The meeting will be held at Chamblee Sardis Lodge and is open to the public. Dinner is at 6:30, meeting starts at 7:30PM.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

April 28, 2009, Religion & Culture Series IV: Jewish History: Surviving Auschwitz

On Tuesday, April 28, 2009, Murray Lynn will be our guest speaker. He is the only member of his family to survive Auschwitz, among the most infamous of Nazi Germany's concentration camps. He also had to escape Russia when it annexed his village in eastern Hungary. Murray Lynn will speak on the history of the Jewish People leading up to the Holocaust and how he and others survived it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

February 10, 2009: GCII Raising II

On February 10, 2009, The Master's Degree will be conferred on Zeithlin Waters and Victor Marshall who, last evening, passed their Fellowcraft examination in excellent form. The degree will be administered by burning taper and in formal attire.

The body will be raised!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25, 2009: The 250th Birthday of Robert Burns, Ardent Freemason

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) was a poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is acclaimed worldwide. Robert Burns was initiated into Lodge Saint David Tarbolton on 4 July 1781.

His work offered pride to a country whose crown, half a century earlier, had passed unrightfully from its unbroken Scottish Stewart dynasty to the Germanic Hanovers by way of English Parliamentary decree. His words gave solace to a people whose Highlands were being cleared for sheep, and whose families were forcibly split by a combination of English wars and economic hardship, many to flee home for opportunity abroad and never to see Scotland again. Whereas in the Tudor years and prior, Scotland could at least leverage her strategic location and support between the ceaseless intrigues and wars of England and France, she was by the early eighteenth century a harmless vassal to the north whose only use was manpower, sheep fodder and the occasional estate. Robert Burns, through verse, elevated the national pride of his downtrodden country and told the world of the Scottish tragedy. He also conveyed the culture and people in an endearing and lasting fashion leaving us with his beautiful imagery of life in the late eighteenth century.

There is a distinct line of Scottish progress marked by Burns’ popularity. Use the search engine of your preference (the most popular search engine is based on an algorithm, a mathematical concept divined by Scotsman John Napier) and enter 'inventions of the Scottish people'. You will find that an uncanny amount of the most important discoveries, advances and inventions of the nineteenth century were made by the Scottish. As you browse through the impressive list of Scotsmen, make note of their life dates and the dates of discovery for their respective invention, or find, and it will soon be apparent that most of them came after Robert Burns (1759 - 1786) by about eight to one.

Making cast steel from wrought iron: David Mushet (1772-1847)
Wrought iron sash bars for glass houses: John C. Loudon (1783-1865)
The hot blast oven: James Beaumont Neilson (1792-1865)
The steam hammer: James Nasmyth (1808-1890)
Wire rope: Robert Stirling Newall (1812-1889)
Steam engine improvements: William Mcnaught (1831-1881)
The Fairlie, a narrow gauge, double-bogey railway engine: Robert Francis Fairlie (1831-1885)
The mechanical reaping machine: Rev. Patrick Bell (1799-1869)
The Fresno Scraper: James Porteous (1848-1922)
Universal Standard Time: Sir Sandford Fleming (1827-1915)
Light signalling between ships: Admiral Philip H. Colomb (1831-1899)
The telephone:(disputed) Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)[4]
The teleprinter: Frederick G. Creed (1871-1957)
The television: John Logie Baird (1888-1946)[5]
Radar: Robert Watson-Watt (1892-1973)[8]
Fax Machine - Alexander Bain
Radio (underlying principles) - James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)
Identifying the nucleus in living cells: Robert Brown (1773-1858)
Hypnosis: James Braid (1795-1860)
Colloid chemistry: Thomas Graham (1805-1869)
The kelvin SI unit of temperature: William Thompson, Lord Kelvin (1824-1907)
Devising the diagramatic system of representing chemical bonds: Alexander Crum Brown (1838-1922)
Criminal fingerprinting: Henry Faulds (1843-1930)
The noble gases: Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916)
The Cloud chamber: Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1869-1959)
Pioneering work on nutrition and poverty: John Boyd Orr (1880-1971)
The ultrasound scanner: Ian Donald (1910-1987) get the point.

Did Burns' nationalistic poetry move and inspire a whole generation of his countrymen to establish one of the most important eras of invention the world has ever known? Or was it merely a coincidence? Perhaps he was simply among the first in a long line of innovators who came from the least obvious of places? There is no doubt that the astounding progress of the Scottish occurred for a number of reasons - not the least of which was the rebirth of national pride, the availability of education and the relative taming of religion. Perhaps it is best to impart that, in the eighteenth century, Prometheus spoke with a Scottish Brogue. He carried a torch comprised of wood from the felled trees of the Highland clearances. In lieu of a lost kingdom, a pitch soaked rag was crowned atop his torch and Robert Burns lit the match.

Burns started life in an anonymous, rustic Scottish village as the poor, blind traveler. He worked his way into everlasting light and ended his days as the master of his craft and was mourned by millions. There is no finer material exemplification of the symbolic Masonic course. Did he fall prey to the trappings of life in his travels? To be certain, don't we all?

Occasionally, as a Freemason, I have been subjected to the odd comment of "I don't think Robert Burns would have been admitted into a Masonic Lodge these days." The superfluous conjecture which circulates through some in the craft as to The Bard’s ability to make it through our petition process in modern Freemasonry without being "black balled" begs to be answered with a few questions: Would he want to sit in Lodge with you? Could you sit next to a "Robert Burns" without exhibiting profane jealousy or engaging in disgraceful backbiting? Never mind the built in, defensive piety of mediocrity. Are you enough of a Freemason that you would not hold a man's genius or accomplishment against him?

Beaux Pettys
January 25, 2009

Robert Burns

Ye sons of old Killie, assembled by Willie,
To follow the noble vocation;
Your thrifty old mother has scarce such another
To sit in that honoured station.
I′ve little to say, but only to pray,
As praying′s the ton of your fashion;
A prayer from the muse you well may excuse,
`Tis seldom her favorite passion.

Ye powers who preside o′er the wind and the tide,
Who marked each element′s border,
Who formed this frame with beneficent aim
Whose sovereign statute is order,
Within this dear mansion may wayward contention,
Or withered envy ne′er enter,
May secrecy round be the mystical bound
And brotherly love be the center.

Robert Burns

Ther′s mony a badge that′s unco braw;
Wi′ ribbon, lace and tape on;
Let kings an′ princes wear them a′
Gie me the Master′s apron!

The honest craftsman′s apron,
The jolly Freemason′s apron,
Be he at hame, or roam afar,
Before his touch fa′s bolt and bar,
The gates of fortune fly ajar,
`Gin he but wears the apron!

For wealth and honor, pride and power
Are crumbling stanes to base on;
Fraternity suld rule the hour,
And ilka worthy Mason!
Each Free Accepted Mason,
Each Ancient Crafted Mason.

Then, brithers, let a halesome sang
Arise your friendly ranks alang!
Guidwives and bairnies blithely sing
To the ancient badge wi′ the apron string
That is wom by the Master Mason

Robert Burns

Adieu, a heart warm, fond adieu,
Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favored, ye enlightened few,
Companions of my social joy!
Tho' I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing fortune's sliddery ba',--
With melting heart and brimful eye,
I'll mind you still, though far awa'.

Oft have I met your social band,
An' spent the cheerful, festive night;
Oft, honored with supreme command,
Presided o'er the sons of light;
And by that Hieroglyphic bright,
Which none but Craftsmen ever saw,
Strong memory on my heart shall write
Those happy scenes, when far awa'.

May freedom, harmony and love
Unite you in the grand design,
Beneath th' omniscient Eye above,
The glorious Architect divine;--
That you may keep the unerring line,
Still guided by the plummet's law,
Till order bright completely shine,
Shall be my prayer when far awa'.
And you farewell, whose merits claim

Justly that highest badge to wear,--
Heaven bless your honored, noble name,
To Masonry and Scotia dear!
A last request, permit me here;
When yearly ye assemble a',
One round,--I ask it with a tear
To him. the Bard. that's far awa'.

Wha's like us? Damn few and they're A' died

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gate City II 2009 GACHIP Event:

Gate City II will be at the Scottish Games on October 17th - 18th, 2009, as part of the Georgia CHIPS program. Frank Vexler, WM 5th Masonic District of Georgia and Associate Director of GACHIP, has already reserved our computers for this event. Every year, the Scottish games sees 25,000 visitors from across the southeast and over seas. Among the many attractions are pipe band, caber toss, and falconry competitions as well as Scottish heritage apparel and genealogical services. It's one of he only places I know where you might purchase a claymore sword, a cable knit sweater and a cup of tea within fifteen feet of each other.

GACHIP (GeorgiA CHild Identification Program), sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Georgia, is part of MASONICHIP, an initiative of North American Freemason's Grand Lodges, which generates "completed packs" of various identifying items of children for parents or guardians. MASONICHIP is recognized by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and received a special Award of Commendation from the NCMEC in February 2007.

Schubert & Mendelssohn: Religion & Culture #3

A quintet from Agnes Scott Strings will be providing the third installment of our Religion and Culture series. The program will feature selections from Franz Schubert, 1797 - 1828, (left) and Felix Mendelssohn, 1809 - 1847, (right). The performance will be March 24, 2009 at 7:30PM with dinner starting at 6:30PM. The Masonic Library will be open and tours of the building will be available.

Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was a composer from Austria. The body of his work includes over one thousand pieces of music comprising of eight symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), religious music, operas, chamber music, "songs" and solo piano music. While his style was, in most instances, pleasing to the ear, he was a tireless innovator and experimenter. He died at age 31 just as his music was gaining popularity. Schubert was obsessed with the music of Ludwig Van Beethoven and was interred next to him. Though twenty seven years younger than Beethoven, Schubert only managed to outlive his idol by eighteen months.

Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was pronounced a child prodigy by none other than Goethe himself. His compositions ranged from symphonies to concerti and chamber music. Mendelssohn's musical tastes and compositions were extremely conservative and borrowed heavily from the Baroque Era, J.S. Bach in particular. He was the happily married father of five. He died at age 38 after suffering several strokes.

As with the Patron Saints of Freemasonry, it's hard to imagine two more different approaches to life, music and art. Despite their profound differences, Schubert and Mendelssohn represent the romantic era well and there are more similarities than one might suspect both musically and otherwise. Sadly, among the parallels, both men died young... neither made it out of his thirties. Both were Freemasons.

The craft is no stranger to the giants of composition: Haydn, W.A.Mozart, Liszt, J.C. Bach, Leopold Mozart, Paganini, and Berlioz have all been well documented as Brethren.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Gate City Religion and Culture Series (1 of 8)Tuesday, January 27, 2009at 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 .

Brotherly Love, the First of the Three Great Tenets of Freemasonry

As Free and Accepted Masons we are taught that the first great tenet of our Fraternity is Brotherly Love. By it we do not mean that we are all of one opinion in all matters, personal and political. By it we do not mean that we are all the same in religion, creed, nationality, race, political opinion, status or fortune. Rather the concept teaches us, in the words of the Georgia Masonic Manual, “to regard the whole human species as one family; the high and the low, the rich and the poor, who, as created by one Almighty Parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other. On this principle, masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at perpetual distance.”

Admittance to our order is not based upon the artificial distinctions created by the human race. Rather it is based upon only those principles upon which all good men agree and which all religions teach. As set forth in the Ancient Charges and Regulations adopted by the Grand Lodge of England in 1722 candidates are “to be good men and true, or men of honor and honesty, by whatever denominations or persuasions they may be distinguished, whereby Masonry becomes the center of union and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons who would otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.” Thus, our traditions and the Masonic Code (Chapter 39-1) only require that a candidate believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, in some revelation of His will, and in the immortality of the soul and that he be a man of at least 21 years, freeborn (i.e. not a born a slave or a vassal) and his own master, in respectable circumstances, able to read and write, capable of learning and performing the intellectual and physical duties of Masonry, and of good reputation. These are our only requirements.

Every candidate at initiation is informed of our purpose: “The design of the Masonic institution is to make its members wiser, better, and consequently happier. We receive none into our ranks, knowingly, who are not moral and upright before God, and of good repute before the world. Such persons, when associated together, will very naturally seek each other’s welfare and happiness equally with their own.”

By binding such men together as brothers Masonry does not intend to make them agree in all respects. That would be taking the concept of brotherhood much too far. Rather it recognizes and celebrates the legitimate differences between brothers. It seeks to subdue those discordant passions that are within each of us and to so harmonize and enrich our hearts with God’s own love and goodness that we can associate together on common ground as friends and brothers no matter what our other distinctive attributes are.

Indeed, Masonry does not require that we must “like” all of our brothers. But it does require that we respect them and treat them with dignity. Worshipful Brother H. L. Haywood in his book The Great Teachings of Masonry (Enlarged Edition) (McCoy Publishing and Supply Co., Inc., Richmond, 1986) explains,

Brotherhood does not demand of us that we privately like people who are obnoxious to us, or that others should like us who find our company distasteful. Such things are in the domain of one’s intimate likes and dislikes and have to do with private friendship rather than with brotherhood.

If I cannot like this neighbor of mine I can be a brother to him nevertheless. I can give him exact justice in all my dealings with him. I can always refuse to do evil to him or speak evil of him. I can always maintain an attitude of good will to him, and wish for him good fortune and happiness. I can ever stand ready to help him to fullness of life, insofar as circumstances make that possible, and I can always refuse to place any obstacles in his path. If I have a difference with him I can differ with him as one man to another, honestly and openly, without childish petulance. Such an attitude is brotherly spirit, and it can flourish where private friendship is impossible.
. . .

In proportion as a man understands brotherhood and acts in conformity with its demands, he will always work for human unity. In his lodge he will not be a dividing and distracting force. In his community he will be a good citizen who knows that the community has a right to demand many sacrifices on the part of its children He will uphold and maintain the principles of his country, and oppose every influence that makes for its degradation and division. He will everywhere use his efforts to break down racial antipathy, religious jealousies and unjust ambitions, the base intrigues of false statesmen, and the public connivance in public vices, he will everywhere and always oppose. It is his task as a true soldier of brotherhood.

This, then, is true Brotherhood: to act with respect to each other and to always do good to one another, even when we do not “like” each other. Masonically speaking, “Brotherly Love” means “charity” in the truest sense of the word: benevolent goodwill toward and love of humanity without any consideration being given to those artificial distinctions that are the creation of human prejudice, weakness, and greed. It is the chief lesson of the Entered Apprentice degree. No true Mason can bear ill will toward another, brother or not, unless the other violates the moral law, the laws of the land, or, if a brother, the laws of Masonry. Even then the true Mason must not hate him, but must pray for the miscreant’s reform.

If Masons understand this first great tenet of Freemasonry and follow it in their daily lives, their lodges will be places of peace and the Fraternity as a whole will be an institution where brotherly love prevails and where every moral and social virtue cements us. Moreover, Masonry will be understood and recognized by the profane as a force for human unity and happiness. The constant practice of Brotherly Love will be the primary refutation of our critics and the chief attraction to new candidates. Therefore, Brethren, let us ever so meet, act, and part. Let us never fail to practice Brotherly Love toward all mankind. We can only be the richer for it. So mote it be!

David J. Llewellyn, P.M.
East Point Lodge No. 288
Gate City Lodge No. 2

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Atlanta Masonic Library Adding New Titles To Coincide With Religion And Culture Series

The Atlanta Masonic Library is adding new titles to coincide with Gate City Lodge No. 2’s Religion and Culture Series. These volumes are from the Library of Brother Albert Martin, Library Assistant. In the past month he has added 25 books on India and the Hindu and Buddhist Religions . More volumes are to be added as the series progresses. The Library, located at the Atlanta Masonic Center, will be open at 6:00P.M. for anyone attending the Religion and Culture Series wishing to visit.

The Atlanta Masonic Library features many rare editions on a variety of topics pertaining to Freemasonry, esoteric writings, religion and history. The Library consists of the Denslow Library of the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International, the William R. Fisher and Greenfield-Blackwell Collections and the Library of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons.

Curator, C. Danny Wofford, PGM, General Grand Librarian of the General Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons welcomes all visitors and also any donations of books to the collection. Should you wish to bring donations of books to the Series please leave them with the Atlanta Masonic Center Tyler between three and seven in the afternoon. The Masonic Library is normally open to visitors 10:00 A.M. to 3 P.M. on Mondays and Thursdays but call before making a special trip. It is also open to researchers by appointment.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ancient Islamic Poetry: February 24, 2009

J.D. Jordan

Most of the following article (all except for the date) was taken from the August 2008 issue of The Newsletter of The Burns Club of Atlanta. The original article was written by Victor S. Gregg, Past President of the Burns Club of Atlanta.

For our second installment of the Religion and Culture series, our program for Tuesday, February 24, 2009 will be presented by J.D. Jordan. J.D. is a graphic artist, an author and an educator who recently completed a graduate degree in US - Middle Eastern history.

J.D.'s program will look at the classical period of Islamic Poetry, using a small handful of notable Arab and Persian poets to explore the most common themes of the genre: from uniquely Middle Eastern devotional works to familiar romantic styles, tavern poems and satires.

This program aims to demystify an often-adversarial culture through verse, the most celebrated art form in the Islamic world, historical perspective, and Islam's impact on Western Literature.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Belated Welcome Aboard to Edwin Demars

Edwin Demars became a dual member of Gate City II last March. He is the first of several dual memberships to join GCII in the past twelve months. In his short tenure, Edwin has helped with our new secretary database and put together our new website. Edwin was raised in Pythagoras 41 where he served as Senior Steward.

In the last two weeks, Gate City 2 has received another two petitions for dual membership.

David Llewellyn's Son, Chris, Subdues Bomber in Plane, Gains National Attention

Chris Llewellyn, Son of Gate City II all star, David Llewellyn, subdues would be bomber on a Delta Flight to Los Angeles. Chris was en route to a Television appearance on "Last Call With Carson Daly" as guitarist for Asher Roth, an up and coming rapper.

Chris responded to cries for help as the plane was approaching Los Angeles, "The suspect was yelling 'don't come near me, I have a bomb. I have a bomb.' Chris thought the would be bomber was about to open one of the plane's emergency doors.

Chris and others jumped on the man and as Chris would later say, "everyone was holding down a different body part, he was going nuts, I told him to 'chill' cause he wasn't going anywhere." Chris stayed behind to speak with the FBI while Asher Roth was rushed to make call time for the Carson Daly Show.

Roth's management company released the following statement late Wednesday afternoon, "Chris Llewellyn was the real-deal tackler of the person crying 'bomb' on Delta Flight 110 yesterday, and they and Asher want to give him his full hero due. Asher is thankful and proud of Chris' bravery and hopes Delta gives him free flights for life!" In another twist, sort of related to this story, the wife of another one of Gate City's marquis brethren, David Johnston, Beth, just retired from the role of Senior Vice President of Delta Airlines...perhaps she still has connections?

GC II Honored on Prominent, National Blog by Author of Freemasons for Dummies, "Masons across the country and the world should take careful note"

Taken from the website Freemasons for Dummies by Chris Hodapp.

Chris Hodapp is the author of "Freemasons For Dummies," "Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington DC," and co-author of "The Templar Code For Dummies."

"Atlanta: Gate City Lodge's 2009 Religion & Culture Series

At its most basic level, Freemasonry teaches civility and tolerance for for our fellow men, and is a platform upon which its members may meet upon the level, hopefully without the divisions that exist among men outside of the lodge."

"To that end, the brethren of Gate City lodge No. 2 in Atlanta have instituted a public program of which Masons across the country and the world should take careful note. This from Brother David Herman about Gate City Lodge No. 2 and its 2009 lecture series on religion and culture."

Atlanta's Gate City No. 2 is taking a bold step forward this year by inviting all brethren, their families, and the general public to hear a series of speakers on a variety of religions and cultures. For meal planning purposes, attendees are asked to to RSVP to

On Tuesday, January 27, the topic will be Saivite Hinduism.
Representatives from the Kashi Atlanta Ashram will give a presentation on the Hindu religion, culture and history, and will speak about some of the Ashram’s Interfaith work. Dinner will be Chicken Tikka Masala and Palak Panner (both traditional Indian dishes) and is $7.00.

On Tuesday, February 24, the topic will be Classic Islamic Poetry.
J.D. Jordan, an educator who recently completed a graduate degree in US-Middle Eastern History, will present a program which looks at the Classical period of Islamic Poetry. The most common themes of the genre will be explored from Middle Eastern Devotional Works to familiar romantic styles, tavern poems and satires. The purpose of the program is to demystify an often-adversarial culture through verse and historical perspective. The meal will be Shish Kabob and is $7.00.

Future topics and bookings will include eclectic Shamanism, the Catholic Church, and more. Expect dates to be on the fourth Tuesdays when they occur; the information will be announced here when released.

Presented at the Atlanta Masonic Center at 7:30pm, following a $7.00 dinner at 6:30pm, various dates.
posted by Chris Hodapp at Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

GCII Featured in Work & Lectures Article

David Herman publishes the "Work & Lectures" newsletter every month. It is incredibly well done, highly regarded as the best Masonic newsletter in Atlanta, and is well circulated amongst it's target audience.

Gate City's Religion and Culture series was announced on page 1 of David's newsletter with a schedule of future events on page 3 and an article on page 5. See the entire article at under January 2009.

Monday, January 5, 2009

GCII: Religion and Culture Series: Saivite Hinduism

Gate City Religion and Culture Series (1 of 8)Tuesday, January 27, 2009at 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 .

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gate City II: The Lodge of Henry Grady

From Fred William's, "History of Gate City II:"

One of the Lodge's most notable sons was Henry W. Grady, the eminent journalist and the leading spokesman of the "New South" toward the end of the Nineteenth Century. A native of Athens, Georgia, and a graduate of the University of Georgia, Grady bought an interest in the Atlanta Constitution in 1880. Although he did not become a Freemason until entering Gate City in 1888, at age 37, his legendary charity, willingness to champion worthy causes, and forthright calls for harmony and good will had given indication that his was a spirit well attuned to the principles of the Craft. He was an excellent speaker (he claimed to be a "talker" by inheritance, his father having been an Irishman, and his mother a woman!), and his keen insight and uncommon common sense were in great demand. He contracted a severe cold while in Boston on a speaking engagement in December 1889; it worsened into pneumonia prior to his return to Atlanta, and on December 23, 1889, Henry Grady died, aged 39 years. The passing of such a man was a tragedy of national scope, and a Lodge of Sorrow was held, with the brethren of the Lodge marching in solemn procession to the First Methodist Church where the service was held. Gate City's 1912 "History" stated that "in many respects, this was the most impressive and sacred Masonic service ever held in Atlanta."

The twenty foot monument to Grady was sculpted by Alexander Doyle (1858 - 1922) and is located at the Intersection of Marietta and Forsyth Streets, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, outside the headquarters of Henry Grady's old haunt, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The monument was originally dedicated on October 21, 1891.

Inscription I:
Journalist, Orator, Patriot, Editor of the Atlanta Constitution. Born Athens, Georgia, May 24th 1850. Died in Atlanta December 23rd 1889. Graduated at the State University in the year 1868. He never held or sought public office." "When he died he was literally loving a nation into peace.

Inscription II:
This hour little needs the loyalty that is loyal to one section and yet holds the other in enduring suspicion and estrangement. Give us the broad and perfect loyalty that loves and trusts Georgia alike with Massachusetts~that knows no South, no North, no East, no West; but endures with equal and patriotic love every foot of our soil, every State in our Union. Boston, December 1889

The citizen standing in the doorway of his home - contended on his threshold - his family gathered about his hearthstone- while the evening of a well spent day closes in scenes and sounds that are dearest he shall save the republic when the drum taps is frugal. University of Virginia, June 23, 1880.

Grady County, Georgia and Grady, County Oklahoma, Henry W. Grady High School, Henry W. Grady Hospital and The Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia were all named in his honor. The College of Journalism named for him annually awards the George Foster Peabody Awards.

Henry W. Grady is Interred in Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, GA, where the Square and Compasses seem to rival the Cross for dominant symbology.  The tragedy of the broken column is consoled by accomplishments that live on after the untimely call home.  The memory of his greatness has already outlasted his short life span of 39 years by a multiple of three. Henry W. Grady, 1850 - 1889.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Two Appendant Bodies Headed By GCII PM's

Jeff Hodges (left) and Mark Bohn (right), pose with 2008 Grand Master Ted C. Collins (center). 

Jeff Hodges and Mark Bohn, both PM's of Gate City II, head two of the four appendant bodies of Freemasonry in Georgia: The York Rite and The Demolay.   Jeff Hodges, Right Eminent Grand Commander, is a sixty year Freemason who, in his eighties, drives an hour and a half from Big Canoe to Downtown Atlanta to attend Lodge meetings.  He was Past Master in 1979.  Mark Bohn, Executive Officer of Demolay in Georgia, was Past Master of GCII in 1997 and has been active in Demolay since he moved to Atlanta in 1980.