By Paul R. Swanson, 32° KCCH January 25, 2024
My visit to Hawaii and a local lodge as well as the Scottish Rite Temple in Honolulu hit several obstacles despite prior planning and early contact with the groups. At my age I’ve learned to just roll with the flow and enjoy what I can.
The Scofield Barracks lodge was up first. Unfortunately, my call to them a month earlier with claims of no problem, welcome, come any Tuesday evening turned out to be incorrect. The lodge voted the week before my 30-day visit to go dark on the exact days I was in Hawaii. You can’t make this stuff up. However, I didn’t give up and kept calling for other options, and behold, the right person returned my call and invited me to a potluck being held instead of the stated communications or other tiled meetings. I was happy to accept.
This pic was after the meal, which if visible in the background. It was fantastic. I’m in the near area, behind me is the next year’s Grand Master of Hawaii if all goes as expected, the current master of the lodge behind him, and the end brother with the usual Hawaiian hand gesture of welcome briefed me on the Scottish Rite Temple visit as he is a 33°. All three belonged to the Scottish Rite and were very generous with their time.
The pic above is in the lodge. Jeromey Holloway is next to the flag.Two days later I took the family, and we visited the Scottish Rite Temple in Honolulu. The building was converted back in the 1920s from a previous life as a
Christian Science Center.
The pic above is the SR officer manager & brother Marlon next to the suit of armor, which is part of the tour.
The AASR banner above from the Honolulu Consistory was part of the tour anyone can take if they call ahead and make an appointment.
Marlon took the Best Practices paper I hand delivered and offered me a book which he had thought of when I told him we were looking to rebuild our Valley after the COVID epidemic hit us so hard. He thought the author’s experience in what Masonry should do to rebuild our fraternity would resonate with me.
Look for a review of the book in the future.
The Feast of Kadosh seems to be the item rather than Burns night for this time in Hawaii.
President FDR was the first US President to visit the territory of Hawaii. This was in 1934.
Scottish Rite Masons who became 33° in Hawaii.
Blown-up images of the cards that members are handed out each year.
The two sides of the same folded card on the previous page show the entire schedule for the temple in 2024. Note that the various groups rotate opening the lodge on different nights. For instance, the Feast of Kadosh on January 18th, a Thursday is opened by Kadosh. The other groups, Rose Croix, and Consistory open on different months too. I brought our fraternity an example of 2023 and 2024 for their review and to see if we have any options for using this idea to replace the old calendar, we have published in the past, but which has become way too expensive recently.
I’m sure a committee will review the idea in the future. The cards are 4 inches by 3.5 inches. We could change the size if needed I suspect and still save considerable costs.
In my opinion, the lessons learned here would be simple changes if we see their value for Tallassee Valley SR.
I did obtain from the Grand Lodge of Florida a letter of introduction for the Scofield Lodge which was not necessary since I didn’t get to see any ritual. I was told they would not have needed it either way. But if you travel outside of 50 states sources have told me it helps.
The Scottish Rite Orient of Hawaii and Guam was a real treat to visit and tour for my family and me. If you go to Hawaii, call ahead to schedule your tour. They are very informative.
They sent me back with a pin for our PR which I will present at the next stated communication in February 2024.
The office manager personally gave me a book he had obtained from the author on how to change US Freemasonry in his view for the better. I plan a Masonic book review soon.
Ideas from that visit include:
- The year’s events on one simple card planned out and printed in December of the previous year.
- Several feasts are planned. I have mentioned this idea in my best practices paper. They said the feasts are well attended.
- Rotating monthly openings for different bodies scheduled during the year. Everyone gets a chance to participate in their group.
- They list May as Spring Reunion for 4° to 18°
- They list November as Fall Class for 19° to 32°