This year our Quest XXXVII was one of the best educational programs I have attended in many years! Think of it, here in Queens we have THE longest CONTINUOUS Educational Seminar of the Grand Lodge of New York! Even though the day was bleak the Scottish Rite Temple in Rockville Centre was bright and warm with Brotherhood and the desire to learn.
We started the morning with a continental breakfast, the bagels and coffee were great! Then, everyone went up to the meeting hall where RW George Wacob thanked everyone for coming and introduced our Queens District Deputy, RW Spiro Triantafilis, which received much applause. RW George then introduced the Quest team and thanked them for all their help in making this day possible.
RW Peter Flihan III, Grand Treasurer, was introduced to the group, but, RW George read his accomplishments in Masonry and the profane world. RW Peter gave us a definition of what Quest was and how it relates to Masons today. He likened Quest to King Arthur and Frotto Baggins, and how Masonry helps to define who we are and how we live our lives. It also helps outside of the Lodge and prepares us for becoming a “True Brother”. We all should not fall under the spell of all the trappings of Masonry, symbolic of the weight that all our Brothers entrust upon us. He said we all should support the Masonic Hall and Home.
RW Peter told us that our teachers want us to become better than they have been in Masonry. As teachers, we share all our student’s journey as if they were our own. We all suffer from the same frustrations, just get up and start again. Do the work and when we get it right that is when learning happens. Realize that there is always a new Quest to go after! This is the Noble Quest and should be realized by all Master Masons.
RW George then introduced W Adam Schoepflin who had a wonderful presentation about Masonic Millennials. Based on the book, “Millennial Apprentices: The Next Revolution in Freemasonry” by Samuel Friedman. W Adam concurs with the author that this generation of Masons has the most members with a higher education than previous generations. W Adam also said that millennials have higher Masonic ideals and aspirations than previous Masons, they enjoy Masonic Education and history and believe that Masonry is a revolutionary organization, a training ground for Democracy. It is a place for building new ideas and values as well as spreading them throughout society. He asked the question of why would a young man want this fraternity or an old fraternity want these young men? Answer: To encourage all who are Masons to go farther, ask more questions, aspire to higher learning and thought.
Attendance was taken and we had 72 Brothers in the assembly. Then we had the “Break-Out” Sessions which had certain restrictions but every Brother had to say something about the topic.
When we came back the MW Jeffrey M. Williamson gave a great lecture using new Brothers from the audience. The moral was that we must help others, but, don’t brag about it for then you get nothing out of what you did. In Masonry, you must invest your assets, knowledge and give it to your Brothers! MW Williamson said that you should know what you have to give in order to receive. Masonry reinvents itself with every new group of Brothers that is giving on all levels!
M W Jeffrey spoke of how we can revitalize Lodges and how this is being done right now. We are also starting Lodges in Colleges an exciting new idea.
We are Masons 24/7, not just in the Lodge room. There are still countries around the world that you would be killed or imprisoned for being a Mason. Masonry is one of the greatest institutions ever invented, a way to help and be helped and understood and loved by Brothers all around the world. Some countries are using the New York Ritual for meetings of their Grand Lodges and local Lodges. MW Williamson then thanked everyone for coming and the team for having another great Quest. RW Jay Austin gave the closing benediction and we all went down for lunch.
Hope you went this year, but, if you didn’t please try to make it next year, it was a wonderful day filled with Brotherhood and Fellowship.
W Nick Isabella
Queens District Historian