On Saturday, November 7, 2015, Twenty Two Masters of the Royal Secret were coroneted 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Masons. The following poem commemorates the occasion:
The Grand Commander assumed his station
And a hush suddenly fell over the class
They were filled with an anxious sensation
That something profound was about to pass
Their hearts and minds were open receivers
And they waited with bated breath
They were men of faith and devoted believers
Of an order they would defend till death
The mysteries revealed to them on that day
Were profound, esoteric and inspired
From the moment the Chaplain knelt to pray
Till the proceedings that day were retired
And the men went away that November day
With euphoric feelings of self worth
For they had learned their fears to allay
And to enhance their existence on earth
Now designated as Inspectors Honorary
They donned white hats with pride
With a determination to live in Harmony
And to take life’s setbacks in stride
All honor to the venerated Scottish Rite
Leading its devotees in the narrow way
Turning good men from darkness to light
May it continue forever and a day
Patrick C. Palmer
Coronation Ceremony Tampa, Florida,
November 7, 2015
Trustees January 16, 2016 (Saturday)
Lake Worth January 27, 2016 (Wednesday)
Panama City February 26, 2016 (Friday)
Jacksonville March 4, 2016 (Friday)
Fort Myers March 16, 2016 (Wednesday)
Foundation Cruise March 23-April 2, 2016 (Ft. Lauderdale)
Leadership Workshop April 15-16 (Charlotte)
Council of 400 July 15-16 (Friday/Saturday, Ocala SR)
Orlando July 22, 2016 (Friday)
Foundation Trustees July 23, 2016 (Saturday)
Tallahassee September 1, 2016 (Thursday)
Ocala October 3, 2016 (Monday)
Tampa October 10, 2016 (Monday)
Miami November 16, 2016 (Wednesday)
Key West November 17, 2016 (Thursday)
Pensacola December 1, 2016 (Thursday)
10 day Fun Filled Cruise Event Round Trip from Ft. Lauderdale
To the Southern Caribbean on the beautiful Royal Princess
March 23 – April 2, 2016
Dale I. Goehrig, 330 S.G.I.G. and Lady Rebba
Invite You To Join Them On The Spring 2016 Scottish Rite Foundation
Fundraising Group Cruise
Itinerary: Ft. Lauderdale, Princess Cays – Bahamas, St. Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, Ft. Lauderdale
|Stateroom Category Price*
Mini Suite (Cat. MC) $2374
Balcony (Cat. BD) 1899
Inside (Cat. IB) 1289
|Other stateroom categories available. Please call for prices.
*Prices as of July 13, 2015 are per person, double occupancy, and do not include taxes and government fees in the amount of $125 per person. Note there are no ocean view staterooms on the Royal Princess. Although government fees can change, the cruise fare cannot increase once a deposit is made. Now is the time to lock in these launch prices. However, we monitor prices, and if we see that the price is reduced, we will request that reduction for our group, provided there are still staterooms available at that reduced rate.
Further advantages of booking early include choice of staterooms (the best ones go early), and dining options (early dining usually fills up first).
Reserve Your Stateroom
by calling Jeff Pick, 320 Tel: 941-993-0990 or email
On Saturday, July 18, 2015, Thirty-two Scottish Rite Masons from the Orient of Florida assembled at the Scottish Rite Building in the Valley of Ocala for the annual meeting of the Council of 400. A dinner was held the previous night at the same site. Below are photos that were taken at the hotel following the dinner.
Honorary Inspector General Fort Myers
- Ted George Adams
- David Hardee Colson
- Charles Robert Cooper
- Stanley Leon Hudson
- William Henry McMillan
- Steven Alan Sucher
- Wallace Thomas Fine
- Glenn George Gomez
- Alvaro Alberto Lourido
- Alberto Muhtar
- Dannie Lee Snellgrove
- Steven Patton Boring
- Aldis Erik Grauds
- Walter Hobbs Ricks
- Ralph Manuel Valido
- Harry Robert Davis
- Wayne Norman Wert
- Thornton Lewis Rogers
- Dencel Raymon Smith
- James Wesley Ford
- Stephen Bono Jacobson
- Glenn David Walters, III
- Stanley Gilbert Weisman
Knight Commander Court of Honor Fort Myers
- George Alexander Baliotis
- Eduardo Sanchez, Jr.
- Fred Louis Wright
- William David Crime
- Lance Manning Day
- Robert Earl Eubanks
- Cory D. Kosciuszko
- Larry Mitchell Rogers
- Jay Thomas Glover
- Charles L. Weitzel, Jr.
- Michael E. Gauger
- Edward Roger Griffin
- Garry Milton Paxinos
- William P. Paxton
- Isidro G. Pentzke
- Christopher Grant Simmons
- David Ricardo Cespedes
- Carlos Correa
- Philip Albert Dixon
- James Henry Durr
- Wayne Franklin Foote
- Brett Anthony Gordon
- Robert Norman Latimer
- Sergio Julio Perez
- Nelson J. Rose
- Kurt Thomas Stone
- Paul Thompson
- Pedro Cruz-Gonzales (Balboa)
- James Edward Chafin
- Edward Joseph Mayfield, Jr.
- Thomas Earl Poole
- John Richard Story
- Roy Eric Campbell
- Howard Chancellor Chase
- William Bryan Erd
- Donald Ray Goolsby
- Imre Judovits
- Robert Bruce Murray
- Edwin Orellano
- Pedro Antonio Aroyo Rosa
- Ben David Gaillard
- David Hawthorne Gaillard
- Gerald Wayne Havel
- Edward Joe Metcalf
- Wade Anthony Pennington
- James Austin Gazaway
- Charles Thomas LeCroy
- Thomas Hoyt Martin, Jr.
- James A. Salisbury, Jr.
- Dwight Millard Manning
- Brian Douglas Campbell
- Richard Stewart Cowan
- Joseph Anthony Gonzalez
- Andres Lopez Morin
- Nick Paull
- Michael Roger Pender
- Jeffery Michael Pick
- Leonard J. Allen Smith
- Lambert Edward Villiaume, III
- Arthur Paul Woodman
To many, fellowship is the best part of the Masonic fraternity. It is usually enjoyed before or after a meeting or perhaps at a social event. Regardless of the locale the interaction with one’s brethren and their families builds wonderful memories and creates a true sprit of satisfaction from being involved with good people. In fact to live, love and laugh away from the usual Masonic routine perhaps elevates fellowship to a different level and spirit of socialization.
In 2014, Illustrious Dale I. Goehrig, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Florida, and his lady Rebba decided to capitalize on a fellowship opportunity by having a fundraising cruise for the Scottish Rite Foundation of Florida. The idea was to gather a group to travel the high seas while raising money for our beloved charity. The result was a successful trip that raised over $3,500 for the clinics. The success also validated having a repeat performance this past April. Research was conducted, plans were formulated and an itinerary was decided upon. A seven night cruise to the western Caribbean was chosen departing from the convenient Port Canaveral near Cocoa Beach. The central locale insured that masons, friends and family could easily reach the port from all points within the Orient of Florida.
A group of 57 arrived at the dock on Sunday April 27, 2015 ready to board the magnificent MS Freedom of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines flagship vessels. The ship weighing in at 154,400 tons and having a length of 1,112 feet is a former “world’s largest” and is an awesome site to behold tied up at the pier. With a capacity of 3,364 passengers, the “large” Scottish Rite group of 57 seemed somewhat insignificant in comparison but did not suppress the excitement of travelling the high seas with tropical destinations lying ahead. A welcome reception was arranged in the Viking Crown Lounge, one of the highest points on the ship. The group was able to greet each other and share in the kickoff of a tremendous voyage. A few hours later the lines were freed and the Freedom motored down the channel and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Beginning on the first day, suppertime was looked forward to each evening. The men and ladies put on their best and headed to the luxurious dining room. Seating with an ocean view was afforded to the group which enhanced the experience. The food was outstanding and there was plenty of it, as much as you wanted. A wide variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts were offered at each sitting and it was hard to choose what to order. The service from the wait staff is such that would be expected at a five star gourmet restaurant and lets the diner experience that level of luxury. One’s every need and desire is met with friendliness and professionalism and by the end of the week a special relationship seems evident between diner and waiter. Good food, good service and good friends. What a wonderful treat to enjoy each night of the voyage.
Nightlife onboard included much more than supper. Cruising is known for entertaining you in multiple ways. Each night a different variety show was presented in the main theatre. There was singing, dancing, comedy, and maybe even a little vaudeville. What a thrill to sit in a Las Vegas or Broadway setting and enjoy high quality entertainment. The cruise staff also put on game shows like the “Not So Newlywed Game” and the “Quest” where passengers compete against each other for prizes. These activities are always hilarious and sometimes the highlight of the cruise. The staff also puts on parties in the promenade or in the many lounges and discos. Several of the Scottish Rite group, including the author, were drawn to the many music trivia challenges held most evenings but always seemed to come up short after being cheated out of victory by more “knowledgeable” contestants. For those who like gaming there was Casino Royale, a full Las Vegas type entertainment center. Slots, Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, and other card games were available anytime the ship was at sea. Did Lady Luck shine on anyone in the group? No one will ever know for sure. If none of the above activities appealed to the senses there was always the option of sitting along the promenade having coffee and conversation. Although this may have been the most benign of choices it was indeed popular among the group.
Monday was a day at sea and presented the opportunity to explore the ship. Modern cruising is much different than the voyages of old. With so many onboard amenities one could argue that there is no need to disembark at any of the ports of call to enjoy a full week of excitement. The Freedom, along with many other ships under the RCCL flag, is a cutting edge floating destination in itself. Think of a grand tropical resort hotel that can move itself to many locales and you can envision the environment onboard. In fact, save that of looking out a window and seeing the ocean or feeling the waves below, one might never come to the realization that they are on a ship. Some of the features include a grand promenade of restaurants and shops, multiple dining rooms, specialty restaurants, a large Broadway like theatre, Las Vegas style casino, ice skating rink, multiple swimming pools, Jacuzzis, wave rider pool, rock climbing wall, miniature golf course, etc, etc, etc. With these amenities and a staff organizing activities for all ages and interest groups, it is impossible to participate in everything that is offered.
Tuesday morning the Freedom tied up at the pier in Labadee, Haiti. This exotic locale is located on the north coast of Hispaniola and is leased by Royal Caribbean as a private resort. There is swimming, sunning, snorkeling, shopping and, of course, the longest zip line over water in the world. A zip line is a taut cable that a person in a harness slides down from a high elevation. In this case the line begins on a small mountain and descends over the ocean to a point on the beach. A few in the group, including Most Worshipful James W. Ford, Past Grand Master of Florida and Right Worshipful Richard G. Hoover, Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Florida, “zipped”. Since they were Grand Master and Junior Grand Warden at the time, their present titles indicate that they survived the challenge. Others enjoyed the beach or just gazing at the beautiful lagoon and the mountains that surround it. As dusk arrived all were back on board sailing west along the coastline of Haiti.
Wednesday the ship pulled into Falmouth, Jamaica. This colonial era town on the north coast is a fairly new port of call developed by Royal Caribbean. There are many shops to peruse and exciting excursions to nearby Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. Jamaica is perhaps the best known of all the Caribbean islands and it is quite interesting to interact with culture and people of this nationality. Tourism is the number one industry and the locals go out of their way to accommodate the wants and needs of visitors. Many in the group enjoyed scenic tours and even some river rafting. One interesting side note was the solicitation of Cuban Cigars. With the recent re-establishment of relations between the USA and Cuba, cigars are now a hot item that can be brought back into the states.
Thursday the Freedom anchored offshore of Georgetown in the Cayman Islands. This was the only port where the ship could not dock as there is no channel or pier to accommodate large vessels. Tenders, or smaller passenger vessels, carried the passengers from the ship to the dock. Although a lovely tourist spot that is especially known for its scuba diving, the Caymans are the most important banking and business center in the Caribbean. The main street in Georgetown is lined with various banks and business buildings, more so than most other tropical ports. Shopping is also important with many jewelry and tourist type stores stocked with plenty of wares to bring home. Those who got away from downtown to see the island visited the rum cake factory, turtle sanctuary or the horrid looking landscape at the village of Hell. One interesting note here was to get back into the residential sections. Large modern homes lined canals and one could have easily mistaken these neighborhoods for any on the east or west coasts of Florida.
As the cruise wound down, Cozumel, the last port of call on the itinerary, was arrived at on Friday. This small island off the Mexican coast is a tourist’s paradise. For whatever reason, it is here that the water is the bluest and the clearest in the Caribbean. The beautiful color is amazing to look at and draws the eyes of even the most casual observer. It also draws the sportsmen who fish, snorkel, dive, para-sail, powerboat or just plain swim in its beauty. The commercial district on the west side of the island is large and linear and has an abundance of stores, especially those catering to local art and culture. Whereas the first three stops had a tropical Caribbean feel, Cozumel and Mexico had a decidedly Indian culture and the handmade art was incredible. Many, including our SGIG, traveled by boat across the bay to the Mexican mainland to tour some Mayan Ruins. These historic structures are amazing and challenge the mind to explain how they were built so long ago without modern tools and engineering. Others took a tour of the eastern coast where unspoiled beaches were plentiful. There were many animal parks as well, especially those of marine life. By late afternoon it was time to get back on the ship and bid farewell to the last stop.
Saturday as the ship rounded the western tip of Cuba and made its way through the Florida Straits, not only was it the second “at sea” day but was also the culmination of the trip. It was the last opportunity for everyone to wrap up anything they missed on the ship. Final purchases were made and packing was stated. Our SGIG, Dale Goehrig, made arrangements with the line to have a Masonic meeting in one of the conference rooms on the ship. Approximately 25 masons gathered to share a bit of fellowship and exchange ideas. The meeting evolved into a kind of round table discussion where the brethren reported what was going on in their respective valleys and/or Masonic jurisdictions. The meeting included members of almost all the valleys in Florida and several masons from outside the state. Although the cruise was strictly social in nature, it was nice to have this time to “talk shop”. After another day of activities everyone made their way to the dining room and were treated to the amazing site of the Miami skyline in the distance off the port side of the ship. It was a gentle reminder that we were back home to Florida and that our cruise had come to an end.
Upon waking up Sunday morning the ship was tied to the pier at Port Canaveral and everyone made their way to the disembarkation area. Goodbyes, farewells and see you next weeks were exchanged and luggage was claimed. The wonderful time of the past week was over but the memories would always live on. The cruise was enjoyed and appreciated by all but the most important part was that the Scottish Rite Foundation of Florida raised $7,765 to help fund its budget. What a great way to help these kids and have some fun! See you next year.
Ill. John Borsa, Jr. 33°
Feast of the Kadosh The Valley of Tampa held their first annual Feast of the Kadosh on Saturday March 28, 2015 at the Tampa Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Tampa Florida, celebrating the founding of the Knights Templars on January 18, 1119.
We were honored to have with us, Ill Ronald A. Seale, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander and his wife Sunny, Ill Dale I. Goehrig, 33° SGIG in Florida and his wife Rebba; Ill Jack Jones, 33° GC and MW James W. Ford, 32° KCCH, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Florida and his daughter Tracey Williams, who enjoyed a wonderful meal with 192 members of the Scottish Rite, their families and friends.
One of the highlights of the evening was the reenactment of the Chinon Parchment, which details the Pope absolving Jacques DeMolay and the Templars of the charges that the Church brought against them and restored them as members of the Church.
This re-enactment was written by Brother Michael L. Canavan, 32°, Valley of Northern New Jersey after studying the copy of the parchment that was purchased by the Grand Lodge of New York. The members of the Degree team are all Senior DeMolays and Past State Officers of Florida, Maryland and Illinois.
During the evening’s events, the brethren joined in proposing toasts to our Grand Commander, Sovereign Grand Inspector General, Grand Master, the United States of America and the founders of the Knights Templar. The evening finished with the Tyler’s Toast.
Ill. John Drewett, 33°
Valley of Tampa, Florida