Installation Night at the Celestial Lodge

We have just enjoyed another beautiful installation of the officers of this fine lodge. The installing team, as usual, defined well the duties of each of the stations and places of the lodge and charged the respective brothers who will occupy those chairs.

As we are all well aware, we always have had many members of rank and affluence in our midst. Over the centuries, many well known men have been members of our Noble Craft. For a few moments, please allow your imaginations to run wild and consider what may take place at the installation ceremonies at The Celestial Lodge, otherwise known as the Grand Lodge Above.

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 Board room we find a group of senior DeMolays 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.

At the other end of the hallway, Bros Emmett Kelly, Clyde Beatty and All Seven of the Ringling Brothers 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 Bro Sam Bronfman, late President of Seagram's 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 certainly an easy guess as to what the evening meal would consist of.

The orchestra members for the dance to follow the banquet were tuning up. This all-star group included: Bros Paul Whiteman, W. C. 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 emceed by Bros Arthur Godfrey and Danny Thomas.

Bros Harry Houdini and Harry Blackstone were setting up their props for their magic shows while Bros W. C. Fields, Oliver Hardy, Red Skelton, Bud Abbott, Harpo Marx and Foster Brooks were fine tuning their comedy routines for tonight's show.

The show was being produced by Bros Cecil B. DeMille, Flo Ziegfeld, Louis B. Mayer, Hal Wallis and D. W. Griffiths.

A number of sports celebrities were gathered together, including: Bros Abe Saperstein, creator of the Harlem Globetrotters, who was explaining his version of the game of basketball to Bro James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball. They were joined by baseballers, Bros Charles Ebbetts, Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey, Cy Young and our own Roger "Doc" Cramer who was a member of Mariners Lodge #150 in Barnegat, and his team mates Mickey Cochran and Nellie Foxx.

A little further down the hall was an array of masons in various dress. Some in knee breeches, lace cuffs and powdered wigs. Others in tuxedos. Many in their native or everyday dress such as: Bros Kit Carson, Davy Crockett and Buffalo Bill Cody, clad in their familiar buckskins and Native American Chiefs: Bros Crazy Bull, Tecumseh and Joseph Brant in their native attire.

Probably the most colorful are the military uniforms of Lord Nelson, Lord Comwallis, Captain James Cook, the Duke of Wellington, and John Paul Jones.

While gazing in awe at these members of the Celestial Lodge, the Grand Master MW Bro Harry S. Truman appeared from the preparation room accompanied by: Bros John Jacob Astor, Luther Burbank, J. C. Penney, Adiai Stevenson and Jennings Bryan.

Brethren were also lined up at the Tyler's desk to sign in with one of Bro John Schaeffer's pen.

At this time the Tyler, Bro J. Edgar Hoover informed the many brethren that the installation was about to begin.

On entering the lodge room the brethren were greeted by the Junior Deacon, Bro Paul Revere. Seated already were polar explorers, Robert F. Scott of England and Bro Richard E. Bird of the USA 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 Rickenbacker and Charles Kingsford-Smith.

From the Junior Wardens station came a burst of laughter. Bro Will Rogers had brought smiles to the faces of the Royal personages gathered around him including: Bros George I, Frederick the Great, Gustav V of Sweden and George VI of England. To the right of the Junior Warden's chair, architect Bro Sir Christopher Wren was joined by Statue of Liberty sculptor, Bro Frederic Bartholdi.

Bros Norman Vincent Peale and Peter Marshall who would assume the Chaplin's duties this evening, were in conversation with the Bros Victor and Peter Du Pont and Bros James and Nathan Rothschild.

Gathered around the Secretary's desk Bro Rudyard Kipling was discussing the evening's proceedings with Bro Robert Bums, who was to give one of the charges assisted by Bro Mark Twain. Also taking part were Bros Arthur Conan Doyle, Walter Scott, Samuel Johnson, Alexander Pope and Robert Service.

The Grand Organist, Bro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was discussing last minute musical changes with Bros Gilbert and Sullivan.

Bros Clark Gable, Peter Sellers, Wallace Beery, Douglas Fairbanks and Brian Dunleavy were discussing boxing with champions, Bros 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).

Some of the founding members, Bros George Washington, Sir John A MacDonald, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Benito Jaurez, John Hancock and Ben Franklin were seated in the East.

They were receiving Bro Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, along with the Generals, Bros Omar Bradley, Jimmy Doolittle, George C. Marshall, John Pershing and Douglas McArthur who would take their seats next to Bros Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

The Lodge Treasurer, Bro Henry Knox was busy collecting dues from Bros Thomas E. Dewey and William McKinley.

The Master, Brother George Washington, has rapped the gavel to call the lodge to order and it is now time for us to depart the Celestial Lodge Above. What an assembly of distinguished persons, certainly not all encompassing, who have graced our great fraternity. Each of these brethren found the time, in their very busy schedules, to proudly join and participate in this great society we call Freemasonry.

From the internet Thursday January 06, 2005 2:30 PM as modified by MW Earl F. Sutton, PGM, Grand Treasurer
Presented to Lakewood Lodge #174
December 12th, 2005
By: MW Earl F Sutton, PGM, Grand Treasurer