Halcyon Lodge as a Model for the Future by Bro. Jeff Peace
Back in 1999 I was dreaming about what the lodge of the future looked like. After seven years of listening to the younger brothers desires I had a pretty good idea of what was needed and as a member of the Scottish Rite membership committee presented my ideas in writing. Needless to say I was laughed out of the room.
“Who cares about education?”
“We’re not concerned with quality; we need quantity.”
“Why would young men want a gym?”
“The lodge as a social center? Are you nuts?”
The brothers at Halcyon Lodge 498 in Cleveland, Ohio didn’t laugh or call me crazy. They actually implemented those “crazy” ideas, and today they have the model of what I honestly believe the future of Freemasonry will look like.
They have a “traditional observance” lodge (although not affiliated with the Masonic Restoration Foundation) complete with a Chamber of Reflection. A billiards room decorated in the Victorian period to reflect the age of their lodge and building. A club house room with a big screen TV, satellite dish and wireless Internet for the brothers to meet after work and relax, and for Super Bowl parties and other fraternal activities. They are installing a modern theater sound system in their lodge room to aid in making the rituals more powerful. They have digital projectors and laptops for the third section lectures in the degrees as well as educational presentations.
Presently, they are installing a gym and work-out room which will also support their charity, an inner city boxing league for underprivileged kids. Most importantly, they had the commitment and spirit of brotherhood to accomplish all of this on their own.
In a word — Amazing!
Masonic education and personal enlightenment through the teachings of Freemasonry is high on their agenda. My talk in April was just the beginning of a series of talks on Freemasonry that will be taking place over the next two years by my self and other Masonic speakers.
These brothers started with a beautiful but deteriorating old lodge building in desperate need of renovations and repair. Working together they repaired the walls, electrical and plumbing systems. The floors are being re-carpeted and tiled and the antique furniture repaired and restored. In the end they will have the lodge that so many young Masons have dreamed about for so many years.
This should stand as an example of what is possible when Freemasonry works like it was intended and brotherly love prevails. As one great brotherhood Freemasons can accomplish anything they set their sights on.
Good work, Halcyon 498 brothers!
— Bro. Jeff Peace
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