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2021 • Vol. 1 • Issue 2

Most Venerable
Sovereign 
Grand Master’s Message

Planning the future, near and far
 
My Brothers:
 
I hope this letter finds you well and busy at labor in the various quarries of our fraternity. The last few months have been an active time for your Grand Council officers. We have constituted three councils in New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico, and have addressed various national and international matters that are important to the working of our order. My thanks to the various committees, especially the Board of General Purposes, Fraternal Relations, and Jurisprudence for their time and dedication. At an emergent communication of Grand Council, we received your unanimous vote to allow us to enter a three-year contract with the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, where Masonic Week will continue through February 2025. We have finalized a tentative schedule for Masonic Week 2022, spanning February 9-13, which we will share with you soon.
 
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Grand Superintendents and AMD leadership of the Pacific Northwest region. Congratulations also to Tennessee, Iowa, Texas, Michigan, and Indiana for hosting Ingatherings. Also to the Grand Superintendents and local councils that have welcomed me and other Grand Council officers for in-person or virtual visits. AMD fellowship and hospitality throughout our country is second to none. Thank you for your kind efforts and invitations!
 
I also would like to recognize Allied Times Editor Jay Hochberg and Art Director John Bridegroom, who have been instrumental in the launch of our newsletter. The feedback has been great! Please keep sending Jay your council news to share with the fraternity.
 
Finally, I am particularly excited to continue our Virtual Lecture Series on Tuesday, July 20 on Zoom when Dr. Mike Kearlsey, Senior Warden of Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076, who will discuss the Roberto Calvi affair, P2 Lodge, the Italian mafia and, other interesting, related information. Please Sign up here, and I promise an evening of education, fellowship, and a little humor.
 
Enjoy your summer! I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

 
Yours in the Mystic Tie,
MV Mohamad A. Yatim, KGC
Sovereign Grand Master
Miscellanea deadline nears
By Venerable J. Robert Mullis
Publications Committee Chairman
 
Greetings from the Miscellanea Publication Committee.
 
We are working hard on reviewing all councils’ submissions for inclusion in the next edition of Miscellanea, your annual book of original Masonic education reading. If your council has a well written and original article, please ensure it is properly cited and have your secretary send to us here. The deadline is July 31.
 
Files must be saved in Word. When writing, please adhere to the Masonic Society’s Quarry Project Style Guide to use the correct formats of citations, punctuation, capitalization, numerals, and other essential elements of writing for Masonic publication. Please include this information on the top of the first page, beneath the title, of your paper:
 
  • your name, including any AMD title
  • your council’s name, number, and state
  • the date it was presented in council
 
While we cannot print all papers, we want to ensure that Grand Council is keeping record of the transactions taking place, and publishing quality and original work.
 
Some of you may not be aware of how AMD brethren present at their meetings papers on myriad Masonic subjects, including ritual, symbol, history, biography, philosophy, ethics, and other topics of interest to Freemasonry.
 
Originally, in the 1930s, Miscellanea was intended to publish material not captured in Annals, the yearly compendium of official Grand Council business. Over time, Miscellanea was developed to include research papers and other articles and communications from AMD’s constituent councils. If you need help, see your Sovereign Master, Secretary, or Grand Superintendent.

Allied Masonic Degrees

Meet Your Grand Superintendents!

Right Venerable Seth C. Anthony
Pennsylvania-Central
 
Right Venerable Seth C. Anthony joined the Craft nearly two decades ago while participating as a DeMolay. Since that time, Seth has enjoyed a wide variety of Masonic experiences, including an eight-year stint as an employee of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, where he worked in public relations for the Masonic Charities.

He is a Past Master of Abraham C. Treichler Lodge 682 in Elizabethtown; a past presiding officer in the three York Rite bodies; and is serving the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite as Most Wise Master of the Chapter of Rose Croix in the Valley of Reading. Masonic education has long been a focus for Bro. Anthony. He holds the roles of secretary of both Pennsylvania Lodge of Research and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s Committee on the Academy of Masonic Knowledge. Additionally, he was counted among the first four graduates of the AASR Northern Masonic Jurisidiction's Hautes Grade Academy.

Seth's membership in the Allied Masonic Degrees started in 2013 when he became the Warrant Sovereign Master of Junto Council 537 in Elizabethtown. Upon completing his term, he served as secretary there since. An active AMD member, Seth has led and participated in several degree conferrals at Masonic Week, including St. Lawrence the Martyr, Knight of Constantinople, and the Third Grade of the Order of Scarlet Cord. He also has assisted in organizing Ingatherings in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Professionally, Seth leads the business development and marketing function for LW Consulting, Inc., a firm that specializes in providing compliance and financial services to healthcare organizations.

Delphi, Delectables & Davidoffs

By Venerable Michael Loiacono
Delphi Council 568, New Jersey

It truly is a beautiful thing to see a dream come true. After nearly a year of countless talks, boxes of cigars, a hundred libations, and a few hundred emails, Delphi Council 568 was consecrated on June 3. This auspicious evening was hosted by Philo Lodge 243 F&AM in South River, New Jersey. With numerous AMD grand officers and brethren in attendance, and with great support from officers of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, our council set sail. The ceremony was performed flawlessly by none other than Most Venerable Sovereign Grand Master Mohamad A. Yatim. In addition to our charter being presented, five AMD brothers were initiated, and all officers were properly installed. I was a little nervous to begin with, as all eyes were on us, but guess what? The night was a blast! The energy in the room was fantastic. Truth be told, I had my fingers crossed all evening, hoping that no mistakes would be made, and it turned out to be an incredible night!
 
Here is the short story of Delphi’s origins: My dear friend, W. Bro. Mohammad Al-Zubaidi, had asked me a few moons ago about membership in the Allied Masonic Degrees. As Moe and I enjoyed discussing this over time, I saw how he would be a great fit in AMD. He is a Past Master of Philo Lodge, where he and I and others labored hard to make the lodge successful. We found ourselves posing “What if?” questions, culminating in the ultimate query: What if we created a new AMD council?
 
Week after week, month after month, Moe and I would share a smoke (and an occasional scotch) and chat about things. What could we accomplish if we reached out to Grand Council and proposed a new council? It seemed a little daunting, but the idea was accepted with enthusiasm and excitement. There had to be something magical in those cigars.
 
There is a process, so first we contacted New Jersey’s Grand Superintendent, Right Venerable Michael Neuberger, who guided us through the next eight months and my approximate 500 nonstop questions about everything. Michael graciously answered every question and offered great advice. Next, we needed the permission of the Grand Master. MV Yatim accepted our proposal, and was helpful at every step, offering guidance and excitement.
 
Next, we had to recruit help. Moe and I approached like-minded Masons, picking those who we felt would want education, with interest in esotericism and a thirst for knowledge being necessary for our selection. In the end, we picked seven Royal Arch companions to join our endeavor.
 
Then, we completed the paperwork and a petition to begin the creation process. Now we had to discuss by-laws and rules. This was where the “fun” started. Moe and I used by-laws of other councils as templates, and as we smoked a few more cigars, we jotted countless notes and borrowed the best items from each sample, omitting others that wouldn’t work for us. Then we simply added some new standards that we felt were appropriate for our vision. Once complete, the Grand Superintendent reviewed it all, and we submitted it to Grand Council for approval. Just as importantly, Moe and I created a list of Standards & Practices—guidelines for our new AMD brethren that will be the basis of Delphi’s culture for the future. This took a lot of time and thought, but now every member may have proper expectations of jurisprudence for their conduct, as well as for their scholarly presentations. On the mundane side, we of course had to obtain an EIN from the government, and then open a bank account. With that done, we collected dues and purchased regalia. We were ready for the consecration of our council and the installation of its officers.
 
How did we settle on the name Delphi? Well, it starts with the ancient Oracle at Delphi, a town in Greece at the foot of Mount Parnassus, just north of the Gulf of Corinth.
 
In ancient Greece, people of all backgrounds sought the advice and wisdom of the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo who sat at Delphi, the center of the world. Her cryptic counsel influenced everything from when a farmer would plant crops to when a king would declare war. As a very interesting side note, it was at the entrance of the Temple of Apollo where three maxims were posted: All things in moderation. Surety brings ruin. Know thyself.
 
The Sovereign Grand Master called the meeting to order and adroitly guided all the brethren through a very organized and polished ceremony. His ritualists were sharp and on point—until the electricity went out.
 
Due to the inclemency of the season, twenty minutes into the ceremony, we found ourselves in complete darkness, except for a few emergency lights and someone’s smartphone flashlight. As blackness filled the room, so did the laughter. No big deal for the professionals! Our Most Venerable kept going without missing a beat. Truth be told, it made the night even more memorable, and before too long, there was light.
 
It’s fun to organize a party, at least it is for me, and I like them big. We invited AMD brethren from near and far, and welcomed more than forty that night. While most traveled from within New Jersey, we also had Masons join us from New York and Massachusetts. We feasted on catered barbecue: ribs, brisket, chicken, and many side dishes, desserts, and even someone’s homemade wine. To top off the evening we went outside under the pavilion and enjoyed more brotherhood with cigars and drinks—in due moderation, of course—and under God’s star-decked heaven we all seemed to relax, our labors fruitful. This was especially important as we were emerging from darkness of the COVID pandemic. It truly was an incredible moment. That’s my type of Freemasonry, brethren.
 
And now the real work begins, my brothers.

Feast Day of Saint Lawrence

 

By V. Jay Hochberg
J. William Gronning Council 83

 
We could use a few more feast days for celebration in Freemasonry. Generally speaking, Masonry derived from England has both Saint John the Baptist Day (June 24) and Saint John the Evangelist Day (December 27). And Masonry of Scottish heritage has the Feast Day of Saint Andrew (November 30). I always wondered about the Irish, but that’s another story.
 
I propose we brethren of the Allied Masonic Degrees make August 10 a cause for festive commemoration. That midsummer day is the Feast Day of Saint Lawrence, who was martyred on that date in 258 at Rome. His death is just as it is described in our Saint Lawrence the Martyr Degree, so there’s no need to render the story here. Even the grim humor about turning over his half-cooked body is according to tradition. He is the patron saint of both poor people and of cooks, appropriately.
 
Brethren, call for informal gatherings of your councils the world over for Tuesday, August 10 to honor heroic Saint Lawrence, whose principled bravery, even unto death, is no less admirable than even that of our Operative Grand Master Hiram!
 
I suppose a menu of grilled meats would be most fitting.

NEW ENGLAND BRETHREN SEE A DAY OF DEGREES

By Venerable Dennis A. Sheridan
John Harris Council 458, New Hampshire

 
John Harris Council 458 met June 19, admitting two new members to the council: Bro. David Akridge and Bro. John Loven of New Hampshire. They were lucky enough to see the degrees of St. Lawrence the Martyr and Knight of Constantinople conferred by our officers.
 
Following lunch, the New Hampshire Faslairt of the Red Branch of Eri was convened and the Order of Man-at-Arms was conferred on Bro. Bernard Gibbons. The Order of Esquire was then conferred upon Brothers Joseph Rella and Adam Pulchalski. Brothers Gibbons and Pulchalski received courtesy work for Elias Ashmole Council 563 in Massachusetts.
 
John Harris Council was chartered in 2008, and it has maintained a quarterly meeting schedule. The brethren do present papers occasionally, but they really enjoy discussions about the degrees they work. With twenty-four active members, plus additional emeriti members, the council keeps busy, having conferred almost all the Allied Masonic Degrees. Secret Monitor and several grades of Scarlet Cord are scheduled for later this year.
 
After the work, our new Presiding Knight Commander Malcolm Wooff was installed as such in full ceremony. Pictured, from left: Bro. Adam Pulchalski, Secretary of Elias Ashmole Council; Right Venerable Robert Y. Chan, Grand Superintendent for New England; Venerable Patrick J. O’Sullivan, Past Presiding Knight Commander of NH Faslairt and John Harris Council 458; and Bro. Joseph Rella, also of John Harris Council.
MV∴ Mohamad A. Yatim, K.G.C.
Sovereign Grand Master

Grand Council of the
Allied Master Degrees
Of the United States of America

mayatim@gmail.com

 www.AMDUSA.org
Right Venerable
Clyde H. Schoolfield, Jr., KGC
Grand Secretary
 
Right Venerable
Aaron M. Shoemaker

Publications Committee Chair
 
Venerable Jay Hochberg
Editor
 
Right Venerable
John A. Bridegroom

Art Director
Allied Times is the electronic newsletter of the Grand Council of Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America. Copyright ã 2021. All rights reserved. Articles published in Allied Times articulate the understandings only of their writers, and not the Grand Council or any other organized Masonic body. The writers are free to publish their own articles elsewhere, but attribution, identifying Allied Times as the original publisher, is requested. Having work published in Allied Times in no way bestows or promises membership in the AMD or in any other Masonic body. Submit copy and art to the editor here. Receipt of submissions by the editor is not a guarantee of publication, and submissions are edited for length, style, and content.
Copyright © 2021
Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the U.S.A.
All rights reserved.


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