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The Masonic Society


The Masonic Society Announces Speakers for “Frontier” Conference

The Masonic Society has announced the final lineup of nine speakers for its conference “Freemasonry on the Frontier.” The conference will be held October 7-9, 2016, in Morgan Hill, California, just 20 minutes from San Jose International Airport.

Society president Kenneth W. Davis remarked, “We’ve tried build the Masonic event around a particularly distinguished slate of speakers. When possible, we’ve arranged topics chronologically and geographically, tracing the growth of Freemasonry from the Atlantic  to the Pacific Ocean.”

Samuel Clemens, better known as “Mark Twain,” will kick off the program with an after-dinner speech Friday evening. Brother Clemens’s talk is made possible by Jefferson H. Jordan, Jr., immediate past master of Masons in New Mexico.

Mark Tabbert, director of collections at the George Washington Masonic Memorial and author of several acclaimed Masonic books, will deliver Saturday morning’s keynote address. His topic will be “George Washington and the Masonic Frontiers of the 1700s.”

Also on Saturday morning, William Miklos, past master of the Northern California Research Lodge, will speak on “Masons Pushing or Pulling the Constitutional Convention,” and Moises Gomez, past grand historian of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, will speak on “Early Traveling Lodges of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey: Bringing Light to the American Frontier.”

Adam Kendall, collections manager and curator of exhibits for the Henry W. Coil Library and Museum at the Grand Lodge of California and editor of The Plumbline, the quarterly bulletin of the Scottish Rite Research Society, will keynote the Saturday afternoon sessions, speaking on “Pilgrimage and Procession: The 1883 Knights Templar Triennial Conclave and the Dream of the American West.”

Also speaking Saturday aftrernoon will be Kyle Grafstrom, of Verity Lodge 59, Kent, Washington, and author of articles in Philalethes and Living Stones, on “Freemasonry in the Wild West,” and Wayne Sirmon, past master of the Texas Lodge of Research and instructor and fellow at the University of Mobile, on “West by Southwest: The Expansion of Frontier Freemasonry in the Old Southwest.”

John Bizzack, fellow and board member of The Masonic Society, fellow of the Rubicon Masonic Society, Lexington, Kentucky, and author of five books on Freemasonry, will deliver Saturday evening’s after-dinner speech, on “The Expansion of Freemasonry into the West: The Pivotal Role of Kentucky, 1788-1810.”

John Cooper, past grand master and past grand secretary of Masons in California and current president of the Philalethes Society, will keynote Sunday morning with “Freemasonry and Nation-building on the Pacific Coast: The California Experience.” His speech will be followed by a panel of all speakers, discussing with the audience “Freemasonry on the Frontier.”

Sunday afternoon will feature a tour of the Winchester Mystery House, with Masonic connections and said to be haunted.

The conference is directed by Gregg Hall, member of Morgan Hill Masonic Lodge, California, and The Masonic Society’s board of directors.

A registration form and hotel information can be found on The Masonic Society website, at themasonicsociety.com.


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