Rhea-Frances TetleyStaff Writer
The 64th annual Installation of Officers for Rim of the World Lodge # 711 of Free and Accepted Masons was held in Twin Peaks on Friday, December 27, 2013. That date was also the 200th anniversary of the merging of the two Grand Lodges in England in 1813, creating the Masonic Order as it is now known and practiced in America.
Prior to the installation, the lodge presented a Hiriam Award to Dr. Kenneth Witte, a Past Master, who is now very active with Rim of the World Lodge (Rim) since he moved to the mountains a few years ago. He joined the world of Masonry in 1995 and has been active in two previous lodges during his moves in life. Chester Olson, Rim’s Worshipful Master, described Witte as “a Mason’s Mason, that man to whom you can say something needs to be done and it is done.” Witte told The Alpenhorn News, “I am humbled and honored to receive this high award and hope to be able to continue to deserve the respect my fellow brothers have bestowed upon me.”
The formal Installation of officers began with a presentation of the American Flag by three members of the newly established Order of DeMolay chapter in Twin Peaks, Steven Lewis, Garret Marshall and Ethan Absher. Installing officers for the evening were retiring Master Chester Olson; Master of Ceremonies, Lynn Parker and Installing Chaplain Ed Davies. Roger Smith played the organ during the evening’s ceremonies.
Appointed officers installed for the ensuing term were Otis Davies as Tiler; Dr. Wes Kotz as Junior Steward and James Medis as Senior Steward; Scott Rishel as Senior Deacon; Ed Davies as Marshall and Raymond Cenceros, PM as Chaplain.
Elected officers for Rim Lodge were Dr. Charles Thompson as Treasurer, Joseph Grubb as Junior Warden in the North, and Dr. Kenneth Witte, PM as Senior Warden in the West. With great pomp and ceremony, Gran Lecturer Frank Lee installed Aaron Creighton, who was wearing a formal kilt for the ceremony, as Worshipful Master of Rim of the World Lodge #711 for the ensuing year. Before he could be installed to this highest office, Creighton had to prove he was proficient by memorizing the 35,000 words of the Masonic ritual and to understand the ancient traditions that the Masonic order represents. Creighton was “piped-into” office by the Praying Bagpiper Steve Moeller.
December 27 is also date of the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist. According to Masonic tradition, St John the Evangelist was a hot-tempered, intolerant young radical, a cousin of Jesus, who transformed over his lifetime to a man of peace who worked with others sharing his theology of a better way of life. He was the only Disciple who supported Jesus through his trial and attended his crucifixion. As his disposition mellowed, St John became the example of “Brotherly Love,” one of the first lessons taught in Masonry.
To celebrate the Feast of St John, the lodge put on a splendid free feast for all 70 attendees before the installation. The feast included both delicious spiral-cut ham and tender and moist turkey and with all the fixings of potatoes, veggies, breads and tasty apple and pumpkin pies for dessert. This was all made possible by the diligent work of Rose Wiegand, who spent the day in the kitchen; Kathy Creighton and Cheryl Lennox and members of the Order of DeMolay, who served the meals and helped with the clean up.
Rim of the World Lodge #711 meets at the Twin Peaks Masonic Center on Highway 189, behind the restored, antique logging wagon. They sponsor the annual Deep Pit Community Barbeque and other programs on the mountain. They invite all Masons to attend their dinners and meetings. For more information on meeting dates and times, contact Master Aaron Creighton at (909) 589-6281.