Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's Talk Like A Pirate Day

Just bein' a reminder.
This be Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Shiver yer timbers.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Raper Commandery #1 Reception for Andy Jackson

I had the extraordinary honor last night to help with Raper Commandery No. 1's reception for Indiana Grand Commander Andrew R. Jackson. Nearly 90 Sir Knights and Ladies were in attendance at the Atheneum. It was a wonderful turnout. Kudos go to Eminent Commander Phil Garver, Standard Bearer (and the evening's sommelier) Tim Brinkmeyer, Senior Warden Carson Smith and especially Junior Warden Jim Dillman (who had a previous engagement with some Canadian fish) for their planning and execution of the evening's festivities. And to our tireless Recorder Wayne Williams for keeping it all straight.

Patty Smith and the ladies of the Beauceant presented Andy's lady Mary with a dozen white roses, and the Commandery presented Andy with a Rosslyn "Bloodline" chalice, inscribed for the occasion, decorated with a Templar cross, and a stem inspired by Rosslyn's Apprentice Pillar.

In light of the honored medieval phrase, to "drink like a Templar," I shamelessly cribbed the Masonic tradition of toasting at the conclusion of the evening, and I spent a couple of days seeking some inspiration for toasts more Templar than Masonic. My favorite of all came from a long-lost source, Prince Valiant.
Sir Knights, be upstanding!
I wish to offer a toast to Chivalry.
May Common Sense ne'er quell our love for high hearted adventure, nor dull expediency prevent our doing brave, splendid, foolish deeds. May we ever serve romance as we ride errant to and fro about a sunlit world. If we be not always wise, God send that we at least be admirable.
With me, Sir Knights, to Chivalry!

Monday, September 3, 2007

BBC Radio 4 "On The Trail Of The Templars"

As we approach October 13th and the 700th anniversary of the arrest of the Templars, there's an increase in media interest in the order. This weekend, there is an excellent BBC Radio 4 Program available on the web, On The Trail Of The Templars.

It requires a Real Player to listen.

There are several pieces to this hour-long program. The show itself is 27 minutes, and there are two extra interviews. The first is with Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith on the development of the Templar order, who gives an excellent explanation of where the Templar wealth REALLY came from (as opposed to digging for treasure). The second is with Rev. Robin Griffiths-Jones, Master of the Temple Church in London (who I've had the pleasure of meeting).

For those of you who have been to the London Temple Church in the past, it appears from photos on the feature page that there has been an unfortunate addition brought on by the Da Vinci Code mania - new steel rails have been erected to keep idiots from kicking the effigies in the floor. *sigh*

The show contains a nice section with Helen Nicholson who cuts through much silliness in no time flat. And there's a bit with a member of the Grand Priory of Knights Templar in England and Wales, which is part of the non-Masonic Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (who apparently took a negative view of joining the Masonic Templars. God love the British. They just can't help taking swipes at Masons).

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Masonic Week 2008 Moves To Alexandria

After two years of conjecture, the official word has come. The Allied Masonic Degrees/Masonic Week held every February in Washington DC is at last leaving its long-standing home in the Hotel Washington. Here is the announcement by William Koon:

DC MASONIC WEEK ~ February 6-9, 2008
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel
It has 480 Rooms and has Shuttle Service to Reagan.
Parking is less than 1/3 what it was at the Hotel Washington.
The $135 rate for 2008 is the same as we paid this year.
Meals have been negotiated at the same level as we paid this year,
and will escalate only at the rate that food rises.
The Hotel is located on I-395 at Exit 4 and is about 3 miles
from the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
Free shuttle service to the Metro Station at the foot of Shooters' Hill
for those who want to take the Subway into the District.
Hotel Rates will be $135, and are available by calling 1-800-HILTONS,
identifying the Hotel as the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
and the Group Name is "AMD".
Suites are available at a reduced price for Groups needing them.