DISTRICT HISTORY

LETCHWORTH MASONIC DISTRICT

HISTORY

THE BEGINING

The Livingston District has joined with the Genesee-Wyoming District to form the new Letchworth Masonic District.

The Letchworth Masonic District was created May 5th , 2016 at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of New York, chaired by M:. W:. Jeffrey M. Williamson, Grand Master of Mason in the State of New York.

In the months preceding the Annual Communication, R:. W:. Henry Robinson, District Deputy Grand Master for Genesee-Wyoming District and R:. W:. Doug Stanley, District Deputy Grand Master of Livingston District, with guidance from then Deputy Grand Master R:.W:. Jeffrey M. Williamson held “Town Meetings” and discussed consolidation of Districts in New York State and or Lodges within the Districts. This seemed like a good idea for us because of the closeness our two Districts have worked in the years preceding. After a favorable vote from the Lodges in both Districts, Masonic Leaders from Genesee-Wyoming District and Livingston District meet and formed a Consolidation Committee to facilitate a cohesion in the harmonious amalgamation of both Genesee – Wyoming District and the Livingston District. Our new committee was chaired by R:. W:. Neil Bedford and R:.W:. Charles Roberts, with their leadership new by-laws were written for two refurbished Masonic organizations within the new District. Letchworth Masonic District Council and Letchworth District College of Grand Lodge Officers. (R:. W:. Henry Robinson and R:. W:. Doug Stanley are now considered the “Fathers of our Letchworth Masonic District”).

2016 being an election year for the Grand Master and thus new District Deputies were  appointed; R:. W:. Michael Rhodes, District Deputy Grand Master from Genesee – Wyoming District and R:. W:. Richard Howe, District Deputy Grand Master from Livingston District both retained their office for the entire two year term as District Deputies for the Letchworth District, as did R:. W:. Robert Ball, GDC and R:.W:. Robert Cox GSB as Grand Lodge Staff Officers; and Assistant Grand Lectures are R:. W:. John Wiktorowski and R:. W:. Richard Truscott. This team will sub-divide and work cohesively and seamlessly visiting (1/2) half of all 17 Lodges of Letchworth District for the first year and then switching to visit the other half the second year.

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With this  discussion of the birth of our Masonic District it is only fitting to give some information about the inspiration for the new name of the District. We desired to use a Landmark much like those of Freemasonry. The chosen Landmark was Letchworth Park which is almost centered between Genesee-Wyoming District and Livingston District.  The article provided by R:.W:. R J Kessler, Grand Lecturer after his Grand Lecturer Convention November 9th, 2016  describes the chosen Landmark for our work in the craft.

 KHALED E. TABET MEDAL

This award  consist of a Bronze bar engraved with the words “NEW YORK”. Below the ribbon is the round bronze medallion struck with the actual likeness of R:. W:. Khaled E. Tabet. Around the medal is engraved the words “LOYAL AND FAITHFUL SERVICE”. The medal is suspended on a distinctive red and white ribbon, along with a green stripe running through the center, symbolizing the national flag of Lebanon. This medal was and in the future will be conferred by the Grand Master to any deserving member within our jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, specifically for loyalty and faithfulness to our Grand Lodge.

May 1st, 2017, at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge of the State of New York, our Grand Master, M:. W:. Jeffrey M. Williamson, bestowed the prestigious award to R:. W:. Kenneth Kohlhagen from West Star Lodge #413 for his Loyal  and Faithfulness to our craft, the Kahlad E. Tabet Award for has years as a leader in our District and our Craft and we share in his pride for the award but the surprise is his, we have known for years that he deserved accolades in this regard. Congratulations Brother on being the first New York State Mason to receive this recognition.

 R:.W:. Brother Ken Kohlhagen this year reached the honorable age of 90 years young on July 21, 2017 and his Lodge West Star 413 had a birthday party for him and R:.W:. Vern Rupert.  the party was in Varysburg Park with over 90 Brothers, friends and family attended. Pictures can be found on www.WestStarLodge 413.org . Visit their website created by W:. Glen Cramer as web master and view the pictures. Click on one of the pictures to see what happens.

Brother Ken’s Masonic resume is extensive and reads as a want to be for all young Masons. it starts in 1951 when he was raised and continued in 1956, 1976, 1977, 2006 and 2007 when he was Master of his Lodge. DDGM of Genesee Wyoming District 1972; Deputy Grand Standard Bearer of the Grand Lodge 1998 and Standard Bearer 2000 – 2001.

As member of Western Star Chapter 35 of RAM he was High Priest 1988, 1992, 1993 and 2005. As member of Nundawaga Council 92 Cryptic Masons and Illustrious Master 1996 and Grand Rep of Michigan 2009. As member of Batavia Commandery 34 Knights Templar he was Commander 1990 and Deputy Zone Commander 1995-97 and Zone Commander 1997-99. Brother Ken is a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Valley of Buffalo member and Genesee York Rite College 25 were he received the Order of the Purple Cross 2003. This is a summary of Brother Ken’s membership in our Fraternal organizations there are many more.

His Honors and wards are many and we can see why. Thank you my Brother you have held the bar high.

THE FIRST TWO YEARS ARE PAST

It is now 2018 and ending our first two years as a fledgling District. We have grown Fraternally and shrunk physically at the same time. Mt Morris Lodge #122 and Geneseo Lodge #214 are in the final stage of combining with the name Genesee Valley Lodge #122 located in Mt Morris, that’s how we shrunk. Future shrinkage that is in the development stage is Livonia Lodge will also combine with the new Genesee Valley Lodge #122. This will bring our Lodge number  in the District to 15.

We have grown Fraternally with the work of every Mason who visited another Lodge across the District, our District Council meetings throughout the District at different Lodges, our College of Grand Lodge Officers meetings and support of the District, and especially our Ritual training at different locations (Lodges) through-out the District. We are not finished with our Fraternal work as Masonry grows so shall we.

For the 2018-2020 term we will have one District Deputy Grand Master and one Staff Officer with two Assistant Grand Lecturers. Our new DDGM is R W Michael Driver from Mt Vernon Lodge and Staff Officer is R W Jack Flint from Olive Branch Lodge while RW Robert Strang and RW Henry Robinson will be AGL’s.

VISIT FROM OUR GRAND MASTER

April 4th, 2018, Olive Branch Lodge #39 held their annual awards program. This year was special because M W Jeffrey M. Williamson, Grand Master of Masons for NYS visited as guest of honor. He was called to present two DSA awards to Brothers of our District and several longevity awards from Olive Branch Lodge. Our Grand Master received Honoree Membership in Olive Branch Lodge #39. The program was attended by over 104 persons as the photo link below shows, it was a huge success. The event was recorded by Brother Eric Dykstra from Eunice Lodge #870 as photographer.

https://ericdaviddykstra.smugmug.com/Masonry/Olive-Branch-39-4418