Grand Commandery Articles

Spring York Rite Festival Held in Jacksonville

A Spring York Rite Festival was held in Jacksonville on March 23 – 25, 2017. Nine new York Rite Masons were exalted and greeted, in the Chapter and Council, and knighted in the Commandery of Knights Templar.


Pictured first were the new Royal Arch. Companions with M. E. Companion C. Robert Cooper, M. E. Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, R.A.M. of Florida, after the R.A.M. Degree on Friday, March 24, 2017.
In the second picture, the new Sir Knights are pictured with the Commandery officers and cast after the Order of the Temple and knighting on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Shown in the first picture, front row, left to right were new Companions: James R. Baade, Jr., Jeffrey Starke, Thomas Marschall, M. E. Companion Robert Cooper, MEGHP; Randall McCorvel, Dusty L. Lewis, Matthew Spence, and C. Edward Constant, KYCH, Ex. Grand Sentinel of the Grand Chapter of Florida. Seen from left in the second row, were: D. Rodney Moody, John Block, Darryl A. D’Angina, KYGCH, MEPGHP of the Grand Chapter of Florida; Gene Hall, Jason Canl, Anthony Gediis, Robert Gagnon, KYCH; Corey D. Kosciuszko, KYCH, Ex. Grand Master of the 1st Veil; and Corbin P. Elliott, KYCH, PDDGHP.

The second picture shows the following new Sir Knights, officers, cast members and other Sir Knights after the Orders on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Shown in the front row, left to right, were new Sir Knights: Randall McCorvel, James R. Baade, Jr., Jason Canl, Thomas Marschall, Matthew Spence, Dusty L. Lewis, Anthony Gediis, Gene Hall, and Jeffrey Starke. Seen in the second row, from left, were: Randall Burkett, Clifford Baker, C. Robert Cooper. KYGCH, PGSWB, MEGHP; William Hicks, Kenneth Hinton, KYCH; Robby Stokes, and Thomas A. Olsen, KYCH, DDGHP, Sec.-Recorder of the Jacksonville Y. R. Bodies. Seen in the third and fourth rows, from left, were: Darryl A. D’Angina, KYGCH, MEPGHP, PDDGC; Unrecognized Sir Knight, Todd Connor, D. Rodney Moody, Corey D. Kosciuszko, KYCH, Ex. Grand Master of the 1st Veil, Grand Chapter, R.A.M., DDGC; Eric Cole, E.Commander, Damascus Commandery No. 2; Paul James Mast, E.C., St. Augustine Commandery No. 10; Charles Matthew Smith, KYCH; Mark Balester, Gen., Damascus No. 2; and Corbin P. Elliott, KYCH, KCT, PDDGC.

Masons pay tribute to those buried at historic Evergreen

Historic Evergreen Gainesville

Right Worshipful Kurt Morauer, Sr., with the local Knights Templar, thanks everyone for attending a Templar Funeral Memorial Ceremony during Masonic Recognition Day at Evergreen Cemetery in Gainesville Saturday March 1, 2014. Evergreen Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Gainesville and has many Masons buried there.
Photo by Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun

Right Worshipful Kurt Morauer, a freemason, stood wearing his Templar uniform, a black military-like outfit adorned with golden shoulder boards and medallions featuring red crosses across the breast.

Atop his head he wore a white-feathered chapeau, and across his waist lay a gold-striped belt that held a gold-hilted sword, which he unsheathed with a white-gloved hand and held up in front of him as Right Worshipful Frederic Latsko began the Knights Templar Memorial Ceremony.

Morauer’s elaborate attire was all part of Masonic Memorial Appreciation Day, which was held Saturday in the historic Evergreen Cemetery in southeast Gainesville.

Our departed knights were taught that the sword, in the hands of a true and courteous knight, was endowed with three excellent qualities: it’s hilt, with justice impartial; it’s blade, with fortitude undaunted; and it’s point, with mercy unrestrained, Morauer said to the crowd.

He could never grasp it without being reminded of the attributes it symbolized.

And to these attributes, with their deep significance, we renew our pledge. And inspired and heartening hope leads up to the comforting belief that they met their trying hour with fortitude undaunted. And walking in the dawn of a new day, have received justice tempered with mercy unrestrained, which is the glorious attribute of the Son of God.

With a focus on York Rite freemasonry, which includes the Knights Templar, this year’s Masonic appreciation day featured a recognition of the fraternal order’s grand masters and grand high priests who have been buried at Evergreen and a Knights Templar memorial ceremony.

The history of masonry in Gainesville is as old as the city itself, said Grand Commander Henry Adams; Gainesville was founded in 1854 and incorporated in 1869, while the Gainesville Masonic Lodge was founded in 1857.

Between then and now, he said, the lodge has served the community, and he gave the example of when the lodge housed military troops during World War II.

He also pointed out that Evergreen Cemetary’s founder James Thomas was one of the founding members of the local Masonic lodge.

So, masonry here in Gainesville has a long history and a long tradition, and its families have been aided in their grief by Evergreen Cemetery, which (is the burial grounds for) many, many of our brothers” , he said during a speech.

Morauer said the lodge is the oldest nonreligious building in Gainesville that is still owned by the original owners and used for its original intent and that masons have had a hand in shaping the area.

If you go back through the history of the whole area (you’ll find that) the Chesnut family, the Zetrouer family and the Hailes, which are the old families that established (here) — they had the original plantation(s), they were all masons,

And, over time, the significant business owners, politicians, past presidents of UF (were masons).

The event began with a Knights Templar procession, which had the knights marching toward the lectern from behind while carrying an American flag and banners called beauceants that each symbolized a commandery in North Central Florida.

Once the flag and beauceants were planted, Morauer welcomed those in attendance and explained that the memorial, which was held for its first time last year, is a product of happenstance that resulted from his attending an American Legion Post ceremony where he met Jimmy Brown, the cemetery’s historian. Morauer asked how many masons were buried on the grounds, to which Brown replied that the cemetery was actually trying to determine just that and was looking for someone to help them identify Masonic symbols.

It was one of those timing-cosmic things that has just turned out very well, said Morauer.

He then explained that they have discovered that more than 300 masons are buried within the grounds, and spoke of plans to hold such an event annually.

Shortly after, Henry Adams, grand commander, recognized past grand masters and grand high priests who lay buried in the cemetery, which was followed by County Commissioner Lee Pinkoson, who officially proclaimed the day as Masonic Appreciation Day in Alachua County.

Finally, the memorial ceremony was held in tribute to all those masons who lay beneath the soil at Evergreen.

The event was open to the public, which may run counter to what many think of when they think of freemasons.

The reality is that outside of the secretiveness of what we do — and we’re not a secret society, although we have secrets in our degree work that we don’t let out to the public. But if you’ve seen the History Channel, you’ve seen most of them anyway — we do a lot of public work, both locally and nationally, said Morauer. We’re known a lot for our charity work.

Morauer explained that to be a mason, one has to simply believe in a supreme being of any denomination and that they are not allowed to talk about religion, politics or have alcohol in their lodges.

Meanwhile, he said, the Knights Templar are the only distinctly Christian part of masonry.

For me, masonry is about doing studies and having a fraternal support network that makes me a better person, which in consequence makes me a better father, a better husband and a better participant in my community, he said. A lot of it really is taking a higher moral ground and a higher ethical ground.

By Christopher Baldwin, Correspondent

Original article here.

100 Knight Conclave – Triangle Commandery No.38

Triangle Commandery No.38
of Lake Sumter York Rite

1st Annual
100 Knight Conclave

Join us for a celebration of Knighthood

May 6th 2017

Leesburg Masonic Lodge
200 Richey Rd
Leesburg, FL

Registration: 5pm
Dinner: 6pm
Program: 7pm

Cost: $20 per person

This is an open event – all are welcome

S.K.: Full Uniform, including sword
Ladies/Guests: Business dress

Notable S.K. Attendees:
MW Stanley L. Hudson
REGC Frederick Gerdom
RE Dept Cmdr Southeast Henry A. Adams

Download the flyer here

Palatka Commandery No. 5 Presents Flag Ceremony at Pineland Lodge

Palatka Commandery No. 5, K.T. participated in the Youth Activities/Americanism Program held recently at Pineland Lodge No. 86, F. & A. M. in Palatka.  The Commandery team exhibited the solemn and proper folding of the Flag of the United States of America accompanied by a narration of the deep meaning of each fold which completes the Flag folding ceremony.

Palatka Commandery

Pictured here were Sir Knights in the Commandery U.S. Flag Folding team. From left to right, they were: P. James Mast, EC, St. Augustine No. 10, SwB, Palatka Commandery No. 5; Robert Pringle, PC, Palatka No. 5; Christopher C. Lanham, Jr., Commander of Palatka Commandery No. 5; William Hicks, Gen.; and C. Ronald Holland, S.W. of Palatka Commandery No. 5, K. T.

Palatka Commandery No. 5 Installs New Officers for 2017

The new officers for Palatka Commandery No. 5, K. T. were installed on January 26, 2017. The Installing officers were: C. Robert Cooper, KYGCH, MEGHP of the Grand Chapter, R. A. M. of Florida, Installing Officer; Darryl A. D’Angina, KYGCH, MEPGHP, Installing Marshal; and Corbin P. Elliott, KYCH, KCT, PDDGC, Installing Prelate. Christopher C. Lanham, Jr. was installed as Eminent Commander.

Palatka Commandery Installation

Pictured here were the newly installed officers with the installing officers and other Sir Knights present after the ceremony. Shown in the first row, from left to right, were: Corbin P. Elliott, KYCH, KCT, PDDGC, Installing Prelate; Thomas Olsen, KYCH, DDGHP, PC, Warder; Bobby Niles, KYCH, PDDGC, Prelate; Darryl A. D’Angina, KYGCH, MEPGHP, Installing Marshal; William Hicks, Generalissimo; Christopher C. Lanham, Jr., Eminent Commander of Palatka Commandery No. 5; Kenneth Hinton, Jr., PC, Generalissimo; William L. Buck, Jr., MEPGHP; LeRoy Zetrouer, Sentinel; and C. Robert Cooper, KYGCH, MEGHP, Installing Officer. Seen in the back rows, from left to right, were: Charles G. Sipes, KCT, REPGC of Utah; Mickey Cunningham, Ronnie Holland, S.W.; Paul James Mast, EC, St. Augustime Commandery No. 10, SwB, Palatka Commandery No. 5; Exum “Buddy” Bardin, StB; Frederick L. Piasecki, REPGC; Edward Dunn, PDDGC; Bob Pingle, PHP, PC; Robert Gagnon, KYCH, PDDGHP; Randal Bolen, J.W.; Bobby Owens, PHP, PIM; Henry A. Adams, Ex G.M. of 2nd V., Grand Chapter, R.A.M. of Florida, R. E. Department Commander, S. E. Department, Grand Encampment, K. T. of the USA; and George E. Preston, Jr., PHP, PC, Recorder of Palatka Commandery No. 5. K. T.

The second picture shows a number of the ladies, families and friends present at the open installation to enjoy the fine dinner and socializing, and to support and congratulate the new officers.

Palatka Commandery

St. Augustine York Rite Bodies Install Officers for 2017

The St. Augustine York Rite Bodies installed their new officers for 2017 on January 17, 2017.

Charles Robert Cooper, KYGCH, MEGHP of the Grand Chapter R. A. M. of Florida, was the Installing Officer for St. Augustine Chapter No. 17, R.A.M. and St. Augustine Council No. 15,
R. & S. M. Corbin Elliott, KYCH, PDDGHP, PDDGIM, PDDGC, was Installing Marshal for the Chapter and Council, and Installing Officer for St. Augustine Commandery No. 10, K. T.

Pictured here were the Chapter and Council officers and Companions present after their installation ceremonies.

St Augustine Installation

Shown in the Chapter picture, from left to right, in the first row, were: Robert Wilson, M. of 2nd V.; Matthew Sweeney, PHP, RAC; J.B. Hunt, PDDGHP, PDDGIM, PDDGC, King; C. Robert Cooper, KYGCH, MEGHP, Grand Installing Officer; Thomas A. Olsen, KYCH, DDGHP, newly installed Excellent High Priest of St. Augustine Chapter No. 17; William L. Buck, Jr., MEPGHP, Grand Chapter R. A. M. of Florida; Richard Aeh, Scribe; Robert Pringle, PHP; Bobby Niles, KYCH, PDDGC; and Paul James Mast, PHP, PIM, EC, Principal Sojourner. Seen in the back row, from left, were: Bobby Owens, PHP, C. of H.; William D. Hicks; Art Holden, PHP, PIM, Treasurer; Robert Gagnon, PDDGHP, Recorder; LeRoy Zetrouer, and Mickey Cunningham, M of 3rd V. Not shown was Corbin Elliott, KYCH, PDDGHP, Installing Marshal, taking the picture.


Pictured in the second group photo were the newly installed officers of St. Augustine Council No. 15, R. & S. M., with Installing Officer Charles Robert Cooper, KYGCH, MEGHP.

St Augustine Instalation

Shown, left to right, in the first row were: Robert Wilson, Matthew Sweeney, PHP, Deputy Master; Bobby Owens, PHP, PIM, Illustrious Master for 2017; C. Robert Cooper, KYGCH, MEGHP, Installing Officer; and J.B. Hunt, KYCH, PDDGIM, PCW. Shown, in the back rows, from left, were: Thomas A. Olsen, PDDGIM, Steward; Art Holden, PIM, Treasurer; Mickey Cunningham, Sentinel; Robert Gagnon, PIM, Recorder, Installing Chaplain; and Paul James Mast, PIM, Captain of the Guard. Not shown was Corbin Elliott, KYCH, PDDGIM, Installing Marshal, taking the picture.

The officers of St. Augustine Commandery No. 10, K. T. were also installed. We do not have a picture of the new cadre of Commandery officers. Sir Knight Paul James Mast was installed as Eminent Commander.

Port St. Lucie Commandery #17 Installation of Officers

Port St. Lucie Commandery #17 Installation of Officers

M:. W:.  Stanley L. Hudson, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Florida, was installed as Eminent Commander of Port St. Lucie Commandery #17 on Tuesday January 11th, 2017.


Front Row – (L to R):   Mike Halfling,  Thomas Bonaminio, R:.E:. Fred Gerdom Grand Commander, M:.W:. Stanley L. Hudson,  R:.E:. Paul Friend PEGC,  E:. C:. Eric Kleinbach / Triangle Commandery No 38, E:.C:. Garry M. Paxinos / Melita Commandery No 35

Second Row – (L to R): Grand Marshal Douglas Ankney, John Pickford PDDGC,  Demetrios C. Kirkiles / Melita Commandery No 35, Thomas Randazzo


Grand Commander Homecoming

R.E. Fred Gerdom

Table Commandery in Honor of R.E. Frederick Gerdom

Saturday February 18th, 2017

Time: 6:00pm

Tuscan Lodge No. 6
320 S Florida Avenue
Bartow, FL

Cost $20 (commemorative “cannons” are included)

Registration begins at 5:00pm


  • SK – Uniform, no sword
  • Ladies – Casual Dress
  • Men – Business Casual

This is an “Open” event, meaning that all are invited.

Download the flyer here