At their stated meeting last night, LaFayette-Dupont Lodge No. 19, Grand Master Richard J. Bautista and the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia welcomed a large delegation of Masons from various Grand Lodges from Columbia, including Grand Master Jose Guillermo Orozco Alvarez.
Last weekend, leaders from across the jurisdiction came together for the 2018 Leadership Conference, hosted by our Grand Master, Richard J. Bautista and organized by Deputy Grand Master, RW Bro. Charbel T. Fahed.
The Wardens and Deacons of our constituent Lodges were taught lessons in Lodge leadership by a great slate of speakers, including author and Worshipful Bro. Matt Nelson from the Grand Lodge of Utah and Dr. Russell Bishop, managing partner of Bishop & Bishop. Breakout sessions for each office were also held and the assembled brethren shared their Lodge’s success and challenges with each other in a spirit of collaboration and growth.
Finally, Dr. Barbara Saperstone, former provost of Northern Virginia Community College at Annandale and the daughter of our beloved late Past Grand Lecturer, Carl Levine, helped put our work in perspective.
After the conference concluded, the brethren regathered for a large festive board to celebrate the morning’s work. And additional fellowship was shared until late in the evening at the hospitality suite hosted by Justice-Columbia Lodge No. 3.
The Eagle Lodge No. 1893, (an Academic Lodge for men with a connection to American University), is constantly seeking to build and strengthen their relationship with the University community. The Lodge includes AU history presentations in their meetings, partners with campus groups for events, helps plant trees to further beautify the campus, and is active in University Alumni Affairs. In addition, the Lodge donates a portion of each members’ dues to support the work of the American University Library.
The library is a central part of the American University experience, as well as the Washington, DC community. The library supports all the colleges and schools within AU and is part of a consortium of libraries that supports nine DC-area universities., It has a vast array of specialized research librarians that do everything from helping first year students with literature reviews to tracking down texts for senior research professors. The library also hosts several different resources including large poster printers, 3-D printers, and even has hand tools for students to check out.
Recently, Adam Tager, Worshipful Master of The Eagle Lodge, Perry Blatstein, Past Master and Secretary, and Peter W. Brusoe, Senior Warden, presented the Lodge’s 2018 donation to University Librarian Nancy Davenport . A significant matching contribution was also provided by the Masonic & Eastern Star Home Charities (MESH) of the District of Columbia.
After the check presentation, the Lodge members were given a private tour of the ongoing library renovations and the new collaboration spaces being constructed to further student research and engagement.
On the evening of June 15th, members of Petworth Lodge No. 47 gathered with the Grand Master, Grand Lodge officers and other Masons from around the jurisdiction in the verdant gardens behind the Tudor Place Mansion in Georgetown to confer the Master Mason’s Degree on three candidates in a unique “Veil Lodge,” under special dispensation from the Grand Master, Richard J. Bautista.
A Veil Lodge refers to a Lodge meeting held outdoors, under the actual canopy of heaven. They are rare occurrences, as the logistics of such meetings are often complex and weather dependent. But for the Grand Lodge’s Second School of Instruction, led by committee members RW Bros. Chip Mahaney, Adam Tager and Alan Gordon, their efforts and the weather held true.
For the officers and members of Petworth Lodge, the Second School of Instruction this year gave them the opportunity to showcase their Lodge and the excellent work they are doing for the entire jurisdiction. W Bro. Richard Gabbidon, in particular, performed extremely well in his role as Master.
The Master Mason’s Degree itself was conferred entirely by a cast of current Masters of Lodges in the jurisdiction. It was an impressive degree from both the candidate’s perspective and that of the sideliners. Not lost on those in attendance was the timing of the degree, purposely near the Feast of St. John the Baptist, or the Summer Solstice.
Grand Lodge Schools of Instruction are traditionally held in this jurisdiction to demonstrate, teach and reinforce the ritual of the Grand Lodge of DC to its constituent members.
Last week, with a special dispensation granted by the Grand Master, Richard J. Bautista and the Grand Master of Virginia, the officers and members of Potomac Lodge No. 5, opened their Lodge in an extraordinary place (a room in Sentara RMH in Harrisonburg, VA) to honor an extraordinary man, RW Bro. Dean Clatterbuck.
RW Bro. Clatterbuck is currently recovering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and unable to attend regular Lodge meetings at Potomac No. 5, where he is a Past Master, Past Secretary, and the Lodge's Fidelity Medal holder. But June is a special month for Bro. Dean – it is his 60-year anniversary of membership in Potomac. So, MW Bro. Bautista and the officers of Potomac planned a special presentation to RW Bro. Clatterbuck.
They gathered in his hospital room, where under dispensation and the presence of the Grand Master, W Bro. Daniel Dolan, Master of Potomac Lodge No. 5 opened the Lodge in Due Form and resumed the Labor of that Lodge at an Special Communication to present RW Bro. Clatterbuck his 60-year award.
Needless to say, it was quite a sight for the hospital staff, his wife Sandy, and the Masons involved to see how happy and proud Bro. Clatterbuck was in receiving his award. It was clear to all how much the assembled Brethren loved and respected each other.
Recently, on March 2, 2018, a fierce nor’easter rolled through the District and took down trees and traffic signs. In the north of the city, a branch of an elder tree planted next to Boundary Stone NW No. 6 fell and destroyed its protective iron fence. While the stone was unharmed, the fence needed to be replaced.
The Mary Desha Chapter of the D.C. DAR quickly mobilized to replace the iron gate. And on May 26, 2018, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia was invited to help mark the rededication with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony. RW Bro. Alan Gordon, Junior Grand Warden of the District of Columbia, assisted in the ceremony and provided brief remarks on the shared history of the DAR and the Freemasons and the importance of preserving this significant part of U.S. and D.C. history.
Charles “Charlie” Soren Iversen, Past Grand Master of Masons in the District of Columbia (1990), ascended to the Celestial Lodge above January 27th, 2018, he was 97-years-old.
A near-lifelong resident of the District Metro Area and a dedicated Freemason, Most Worshipful Brother Iversen will be dearly missed by his family and innumerable friends and brothers.
Charlie was born on December 9, 1920, in Cheshire, Massachusetts. His family moved to Washington DC in 1930 where he enrolled in H.D. Cooke Elementary on 17th Street, NW. After graduating Central High School in 1940, Charlie enrolled in Princeton University, where he graduated in 1943.
Later in 1943, after marrying his high school sweetheart, Eleanor Jeannette DeSale, and enlisting in the Army, Charlie was commissioned as an Field Artillery Officer in the US Army. That same year, he joined the Military Intelligence Service and was shipped to London, England for the start of World War II. He landed on Utah Beach, Normandy with the Army’s 5th Infantry Division in June of 1944, and earned five Battle Stars for his service in the war.
After the war, he remained with Military Intelligence and was assigned as an interpreter to a War Crimes Investigation Team in Bavaria where he investigated murders committed by enemy combatants and civilians during the war.
Charlie returned to the United States in November 1945, and while in reserve, attained a Juris Doctorate and an L.L.B. from Georgetown University. He served as a Judge Advocate until 1950, when he resigned his commission and moved into private practice.
Brother Iversen was raised a Master Mason in Benjamin B. French Lodge No. 15 in Georgetown, on November 29, 1948, and served as Master of that Lodge in 1969. Most Worshipful Brother Iversen was elected and installed as the 146th Grand Master of Masons in the District of Columbia in December of 1990 and served his one-year term with great honor. In 1998, he was awarded the Valentine Reintzel Medal for Meritorious Service to the Grand Lodge. And in 2001, a window at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA was dedicated to him. He received his 50 Year membership lapel pin in 1998, 60 Year membership lapel pin in 2008 and 70 Year membership lapel pin this year.
Most Worshipful Brother Iversen was a member and leader of dozens of other Masonic organizations and bodies, including the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shrine, Royal Order of Scotland, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, the Grotto and the Order of the Eastern Star. He was also an active member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Rotary International and several clubs in the DC area. He traveled the world as a leader in many of these organizations and touched the lives of countless men and women with his generosity, keen intelligence and sharp wit.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Eleanor in 2015. He is survived by his daughter, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He will be forever loved and missed in the fraternity of Freemasons for his singular dedication and wise leadership. Most importantly, though, was his mentorship of countless young Masons that he encountered over his many years of service to the Craft.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Charles S. Iversen's name to the Masonic Foundation of DC. http://www.dcmasonicfoundation.org/
At their Annual Communication last month, the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia bestowed Honorary Membership in their Grand Lodge to Most Worshipful Brother Roman Volsky, Past Grand Master of the District of Columbia. This is a great honor that has only been bestowed twice before in the history of the DC Prince Hall Grand Lodge.
Most Worshipful Brother Volsky worked alongside his counterpart last year, Most Worshipful Brother Phillip David, DC Prince Hall Grand Master, to fund a historic joint-scholarship fund at the University of the District of Columbia. The huge gift, $400,000, was designed specifically to support scholarships for students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and African American students from the District of Columbia. They will also provide emergency funds for students with critical and immediate financial needs.
They celebrated the finalization of this cooperative gift together at a joint event on the campus of the University last October, which drew nearly 400 Masons from around the district. (Click here to see photos and learn more about the event.)