Even though it was late fall, there was a warm breeze blowing and the
sun was setting behind the Lodge Hall. Gathered in the parking lot
filled with their works were Bros Henry Ford, Ransom Olds, Walter
Chrysler, John Willys and Andre Citroen. The only vehicle missing was
Bro Hart Massey's tractor.
Greeting members in the entrance hall was Bro Cliff Arquette of Charley
Weaver fame and Bro Ed Wynn. In the boardroom, a group of senior
DeMolays were gathered including Bros Walter Disney, Chet Huntley,
Wendell Corey, Van Johnson, Robert Cummings, John Steinbeck, Fred
McMurray and John Cameron Swayze.
King Gillette, razor in hand, passed the lodge caretaker who was having
a minor problem with his vacuum cleaner, which was quickly cleared up
with the help of its inventor, Bro Frank Hoover, while at the other end
of the hallway Bros Emmett Kelly, Clyde Beatty and all seven of the
Ringling Bros were discussing the Shrine Circus.
Taking a quick look into the Banquet Hall, Bros John Molson, Frederick
Pabst and Joseph Schlitz were busy rolling in some kegs of beer for Bros
Sam Bronfman, late President of Seagrams Distillers, who was setting up
the bar for the Festive Board to follow the Ceremony. Bro Colonel
Harland Sanders was cooking up a storm in the kitchen and it was an easy
guess as to what the evening meal would consist.
The orchestra members for the dance to follow the Banquet were tuning.
Members of this All-Star group included leader Paul Whiteman, WC Hardy,
Nat King Cole, Irving Berlin, George M Cohan, Cyril Stapleton, Duke
Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Al Jolson. Tonight's
performance would be M.C.'d by Bros Arthur Godfrey and Danny Thomas.
Magical Bros Harry Houdini and Harry Blackstone were setting up their
props while Bros WC Fields, Oliver Hardy, Bud Abbott, Harpo Marx, and
Foster Brooks were fine tuning their comedy routines for tonight's show
which was being produced by Bros Cecil B DeMille, Flo Ziegfeld, Louis B
Mayer, Hall Wallis and DW Griffiths.
A number of sports celebrities were gathering together, including Bros
Abe Saperstein, creator of the Harlem Globetrotters, who was explaining
his version of the game to Bro James Naismith, the inventor of the game.
They were joined by baseballers Bros Charles Ebbetts, Ty Cobb, Branch
Rickey, and Cy Young, the first pitcher to be inducted into the Baseball
Hall of Fame.
A little further along the hall was an array of masons dressed in knee
breeches, lace cuffs and powdered wigs, others in tuxedos, including
Bros Kit Carson, Davey Crockett and Buffalo Bill Cody, clad in their
familiar buckskins, Chiefs Crazy Bull, Tecumseh and Joseph Brant in
their native attire. Most colourful are the military uniforms of Lord
Nelson, Lord Cornwallis, Captain James Cook, the Duke of Wellington and
John Paul Jones.
I was gazing in awe at these members of Celestial Lodge, when the Grand
Master, MW Bro Harry Truman, appeared from the preparation room
accompanied by Bros John Jacob Astor, Luther Burbank, JC Penney, Adlai
Stevenson and Jennings Bryan.
Bro John Diefenbaker had just signed the Tyler's Register with one of
Bro John Shaeffer's pens. He was accompanied by Bros Robert Borden and
RB Bennet, fellow Canadian Prime Ministers, and by Bro Joe Smallwood of
At this time, the Tyler, Bro J Edgar Hoover, informed the brethren that
the meeting was about to come to order.
On entering the lodge room the brethren were greeted by the Inner Guard,
Bro Paul Revere. Seated already were polar explorers, Robert F Scott of
England and Bro Richard E Bird of the United States, together with
Matthew G Perky and Canada's Henry Larsen. Bro Charles Lindbergh could
be seen in deep conversation with Bros Hap Arnold, Gus Grissom, Eddie
Rickenbaker and Charles Kingsford-smith.
From the Junior Warden's station came a burst of laughter. Bro Will
Rogers had brought broad smiles to the faces of the Royal personages
gathered around him, including George I, the King Kamehameha=92s (III, =
IV, and V), Frederick the Great, Gustav V of Sweden and George VI. To the
right of the Junior Warden's chair, architect Sir Christopher Wren was
joined by Statue of Liberty sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi.
Bros Norman Vincent Peale and Peter Marshall, who would assume the
Chaplain's duties this evening, were in conversation with the DuPonts,
Peter and Victor, and the Rothschilds, James and Nathan.
Gathered around the Secretary's desk, Bro Rudyard Kipling was discussing
the evening's proceedings with Bro Robert Burns, who was to give one of
the Charges assisted by Bro Mark Twain. Also taking part were Bros
Conan Doyle, Walter Scott, Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope and Robert
The Grand Organist, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was discussing last minute
changes with Bros Gilbert and Sullivan.
Bros Clark Gable, Peter Sellers, Wallace Beery, Douglas Fairbanks and
Brian Donleavy were discussing boxing with champions Jack Dempsey, Jack
Johnson and Sugar Ray Robinson. Another small group, in the persons of
Bros John Wayne, Hoot Gibson and Tom Mix, were listening to Bro William
Thaddeus Phillips, also known as Butch Cassidy.
The founding members, Bros George Washington, Sir John A MacDonald,
Guiseppe Garibaldi, Sam Houston, Benito Jaurez, John Hancock, and Ben
Franklin were seated in the East. They have been joined by Sir Stamford
Raffles, founder of Singapore.
The Generals, Omar Bradley, Jimmy Doolittle, George C Marshall, John
Pershing, and Douglas McArthur, take their seats next to Franklin
Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
The Lodge Treasurer, Bro Henry Knox was busy collecting dues from Bros
Thomas E Dewey and William McKinley.
The Master, MW Bro HRH The Duke of Connaught, has rapped the gavel to
call the Lodge to order and it is now time for us to depart. With one
last took at this brilliant assembly, one wonders what the public's
perception of Freemasonry might be if they were able to visit such a
Author: Jim Harrison of Park Lodge (Canada)