The 2015 Annual Communication

On May 20, 2015 the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island was held. For most Masons in this jurisdiction this is a one day meeting. For the officers of Grand Lodge it begins on Sunday. Many of our out of town guests arrive here after spending Friday evening until Sunday morning at the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire Annual meeting. Needless to say they arrive in Rhode Island early on Sunday. Most of the Grand Council will be at the hotel to meet and greet our guests and see that their needs are taken care of.

The Grand Master’s banquet is that evening and this year the Grand Master wanted everyone to be comfortable so casual dress was the order for the evening. We enjoyed good food and good friends and it was a relaxed evening.

Monday morning comes early and begins with breakfast at the hotel. I then head right to the office for any last minute details to be taken care of. At 9:00 AM sharp, the Deputy Grand Master begins the opening of Grand Lodge. We have a regular agenda for the meeting and it is a guideline for what needs to be done. Of course, the meeting is run by the Grand Master and any changes he makes keep us on our toes. Some of the things are the awards that are given out. This year we had some Passport Awards to present, including some for members of Ezekiel Bates Lodge in Attleboro, Massachusetts. We presented awards for Meritorious Service, Exemplary Service, and Distinguished Service. We also had reports from The Order of Rainbow for Girls and from the Order of DeMolay, our youth groups in Rhode Island.

A highlight each year is the presentation of the Christopher Champlain Medal. This year our Grand Master chose to award two medals. Both of these Brothers were equally qualified and have done much for Freemasonry in their home jurisdictions. The recipients this year were M∴W∴Stewart Aronson, Past Grand Master of New Hampshire and, M∴W∴Vincent T. Labone, Past Grand Master of New York.

When the time came for the installation of the new Grand Master, M∴W∴Stephen E. Smith, PGM was escorted to the East and installed M∴W∴Raymond E. Hassell and the rest of the Grand Lodge Officers.

All in all it was a great day and if you can make it next May, please do. The meeting is open to all Master Masons. Hope to see you there.

By: M∴W∴Wyman P. Hallstrom, Jr. PGM