Installation of 2016 Officers

2016 Lodge Officers

Olympia Lodge #1, F&AM – 2016 Lodge Officers*

On December 12, 2015, Olympia Lodge #1 had it’s 161st Annual Installation of Officers.

Like a Hawaiian Prince being crowned in front of his people, Ben Wore a traditional Maile Lei, during his installation as Worshipful Master of Olympia Lodge #1.  The Maile is most often reserved for memorable occasions. It is known to many as the “lei of royalty,” which is poignant and fitting as they symbolize admiration, appreciation and respect and are given to signify respect and honor.  Check out the complete set of Officer’s Installation Photos on the Lodge Facebook Page.

The event was a brilliant success! The Worshipful Master whimsically declared a “best selfie contest” which fit in with the upbeat and family friendly vibe.  The Worshipful Master’s theme for the Lodge this year is “Spreading The Cement of Brotherly Love” which should be the goal of each Lodge member not just with fellow Masons, but with respect to all humankind.

*From the left above:  Junior Steward – Bro. Jay Bishop; Senior Deacon – Bro. Shaun Stahl; Chaplain – WB Jacob Vaughan; Secretary – WB Chuck Beck; Junior Warden – Bro Joel Lockwood; Worshipful Master – WB Benjamin Witten; Musician – WB Baxter Harwood; Senior Warden – Bro. Harry Howell; Tyler – WB Don Bulloch; Treasurer – Bro. Zahid Chaudhry; Marshal – Bro. Matthew Vandrush; Junior Deacon – Bro. Angelo Tosti; Senior Steward – Bro. Zach Nikkhooy

Two Pillars

Two Pillars

By Worshipful Master Jacob Vaughan

My journey in masonry began when I was exposed to the craft at the age of 16. Being the
first non-member to step in my Grand Father’s lodge hall in ten years imprinted on my mind I
was going to be the first to do some things in life. I was the first in my immediate family to go to
college and graduate. The first to join the fraternity. And the first out of the 24 years of
recognition to be installed as Worshipful Master under the M:. W:. Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington by an Honorary Past Grand Master of the M:. W:. Prince Hall
Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction.

After attending my first Prince Hall meeting many moons ago under the canopy of Fred
U. Harris #70 I was astonished by the differences between lodges. Not by the ethnicity of the
members or by the labors of the craft, but by the fellowship of acceptance and brotherly love. I
was put to work when the gavel was rapped as an equal and was expected to do so which I was
obligated to by my own free will and accord. My work was a little different from theirs, but was
accepted with open arms and smiles. To see and experience what I saw and felt that evening
cannot be described by words. It can only be lived by he who wishes to learn of that sacred bond which unites us.

The segregation of Blue Lodge and Prince Hall still exists to this day even after so many
improvements by both sides which has me question the fraternity’s tenets, principles and future. We are taught that there is only one Supreme Architect of the Universe who presides in the one and only Celestial Lodge above which we all strive to arrive at someday when our labors are finished here in this life. But, yet we can’t work, labor and enjoy fellowship as brothers under one Lodge here on Earth with each other. My hope is that one day the dreams of Prince Hall and William H. Upton will become a reality throughout the world. These two who are decades apart from different eras really understood and never lost sight of those truly masonic ornaments. Brotherly love, relief and truth.

Cultural Adaptation

By Olympia Lodge #1 Senior Warden Benjamin Witten (as appeared in the MWGLofWA Masonic Tribune Spring 2015 Issue)

still learning to use the selfie stick .... (higher!)

We have an uncommon strength at Olympia Lodge No.1: cultural adaptation. Our ability to adapt to modern culture is what makes my Lodge unique and relevant to men today.

The Tenets of Freemasonry and its precepts are ancient and honorable, and yet our society has changed rapidly in the last decade. Unlike many Lodges, our membership is younger now than it was ten years ago. Specifically, men in their twenties and thirties make up the majority of active members of our Lodge, and with them come their customs.

Some customs have been embraced by our Lodge. We use information technology and social media to enhance communications between the Officers, members of our Lodge, and the community. We offer libations at our festive boards to encourage our members to spread the cement of Brotherly love, toast a Brother, or drink as a devotion to deity. Our Lodge will continue to have better than average attendance in the foreseeable future if we continue these practices.

However, other youth customs are less supported. For instance, many younger Brothers engage in casual marijuana use (it’s legal in Washington) and are accepting of homosexuals. If these views are not in line with your morals or your religion, that’s fine. Masonic precepts prescribe that we each follow our own moral compass, but they do not forbid Brothers from smoking pot or being gay.

I ask that you be tolerant of these customs in the same way you are tolerant of another Brother’s differing political and religious views. Meet on the level. Without tolerance, there can be no Brotherly love. I encourage the future Officers of our Jurisdiction to prepare to lead by adapting to society’s changes while practicing and promoting the tenets and precepts of our Fraternity.