Ubar Grotto is an organization for members of the Masonic fraternity. It is a constituent body operating under the Supreme Council of the Mystic Order of the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, having been constituted on July 23, 2011. The Grotto is officially located in Elizabethtown, PA, and meets on the fourth Sunday of each month, at the Spring Garden Conference Center in Middletown, PA. Meetings start at 6 pm. Questions and comments can be sent using the Contact page.
Ubar Grotto is very pleased to have no less than 4 (!) worthy Prophets vying for the position of Venerable Prophet of our Grotto. In an effort to help the members get to know these Prophets a little better, each of them has been asked five questions, the responses to which will be posted here.
From Jack -
“Wait, what? Candidate for what? Oh man! George, you crazy man. What were you thinking? Why the very thought that I could out campaign Shawn Spoonerism or El Douchie is preposterous. I would, however, serve (beverages) to the best of my ability and in the performance of the many offices and honors derived therefrom serve our little slice of the Realm in an upright and mostly proper way.”
“My first order of business would be to encase George’s fez in an acrylic cube so as to prevent others from ever wearing such a noble and well-travelled rag. Second, I would pour Evil Pete another Manhattan. And finally, I would insist that all visitors to Ubar Grotto present a speech of not less than enough time to go refresh our beverages before they conclude. SMIB.”
“And so fellow Prophets, in sympathy and good fellowship, I give you; Me”
John F (Brother Jack) Harley, PM
- Ephrata Lodge #665
- Valley of Lancaster AASR
- Reading Consistory AASR
- UBAR Grotto
- Chapter 43, YRM
During the Fall season, many look forward to cool nights, the falling of leaves, apple cider, and football. While Ubarians enjoy all of these things, we enjoy one Fall festivity more than any other – dressing up and making a mockery of ourselves. Annually, this takes the form a bacchanalia that has come to be known as the Halloween Hootenanny, now in its third year.
Held on October 26, 2014, Prophets come from miles around (and even surrouding States, no less) to celebrate with the Prophets of Ubar. Special guests included Prophets from Islam Grotto in Pittsburgh, Azim Grotto in New York City, and Abaca Grotto in Fredericksburg, VA. However, the most important part of this event is the welcoming of new members into the Realm during the Ceremonial of the Order. This time around, we were happy to iniate three Prophets into our mysteries, bringing total membership in Ubar to 107! All of this was accomplished under the watchful eye of our District Deputy, Pro. Victor “Why you gotta be like that Boo?” Mann, of Azim Grotto.
The other big news from the event was the nomination of officers to serve our motley crew for the next year. These include the following:
Pro. David “Rough Road Ahead” Labagh – Monarch
Pro. Pete “Evil Pete” Ruggieri – Chief Justice
Pro. Mark “Do I really have to clean up after Pete?” Mattern – Master of Ceremonies
Pro. Teddy “Yes, I’ll still be a Trustee” Sizemore – Trustee
Pro. Doug “Greasy Fingers” Harms – Treasurer
Pro. Seth “Doesn’t Know How to Say No” Anthony – Secretary
and the following for the office of Venerable Prophet:
Pro. Shaun “Spooner” Sponagle
Pro. Jeff “Il Duce” Fulton
Pro. Jack “The Chief Turtle” Harley
Pro. Jay “Sure, I’ll Run” Laser
During our November meeting, we will hold elections and see who makes the cut!
Thanks again to everyone for a great weekend and we look forward to next year!
On Sunday, October 19, 2014, several Ubarians were honored by being created members of the Legion of Honor of the Order of DeMolay.
For those who don’t know, DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. It opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. The Legion of Honor is given to Senior DeMolays and Master Masons in recognition of their achievements in some field of endeavor, whether civic, fraternal, or philanthropic.
In a ceremony at the Masonic Villages at Elizabethtown, four Ubarians were eleveated to this distinction – Pro. Tim Settlemyer, Potent Monarch, Pro. Chris Fry, Pro. Brian Shaffer, and Pro. Jay M. Laser. Participating in the conferral were several Ubarians as well, including Pro. Russ Baker, Sheik of Ubar; Pro. Tom Labagh, Sheik of Ubar; Pro. Seth Anthony, Past Monarch; Pro. Mike Larkin; and Pro. Ed Stumm. Many more Prophets were in the audience as well.
Congratulations to these men for this well deserved honor!
The Prophets of Ubar Grotto would like to extend a warm welcome to our newly appointed Supreme Council District Deputy, Pro. Victor Mann, PM, of Azim Grotto in New York, NY.
Pro. Mann is no stranger to the members of Ubar Grotto, having visited and Grottoed with the Prophets on many, many occasions. Pro. Mann is a standup, well, man, and we look forward to working with him the future to better the our Grotto and the Realm.
Plus, we can now say that we’re being kept down by the Mann. That’s worth its weight in gold right there!
Ubar Grotto has only been in existence about 3 years. In that time, we’ve been witness to the rule of three Monarchs – Pro. Seth Anthony (styled “The Portly”), Pro. George Hindson (styled “The Disheveled), and our current ruler Pro. Tim Settlemyer (known as “The Tyrant.”) Two of these rulers have now gone to further leadership positions outside of Ubar. Earlier this year, Pro. Hindson was installed as the second Honorable President of the Colonial Grotto Association. Then, on Saturday, October 4, 2014, Pro. Seth Anthony was installed as the 41st President of the Pennsylvania Grotto Association at its annual meeting held in Meadville, PA.
Yes, that’s right – Ubar Grotto is home to Presidents of two separate Grotto Associations at the same time (which is quite the rare occurrence in the Realm!) Pro. Anthony was also pleased to announce that two Ubar Prophets will join him as officers; Pro. Jay Laser is appointed Marshal and the Rev. Dr. and Pro. Chris Rodkey is appointed as Chaplain for the Association for the ensuing year.
On April 17-19, 2015, Ubar Grotto will host a joint meeting of the Colonial Grotto Association and the Pennsylvania Grotto Association in Gettysburg, PA, to celebrate this unique occurrence. Registration information can be found by clicking here. Mark your calendars now and join us in celebration!
For the fourth year in a row, Ubar Grotto participated in the annual Autumn Day festival held at the Masonic Village in Elizabethtown on Saturday, September 20, 2014. This year’s event was bigger than ever, thanks to the dedication of the Eternal Flame monument in honor of veterans. Ubar Grotto purchased a paving stone to assist with the construction and we are always proud to support our veterans, especially those that enjoy sympathy and good fellowship with us today.
Well over a dozen Prophets spent some time at the Grotto booth throughout the event, with the beautiful weather helping to draw a record breaking crowd. If you had passed by the booth, you’d have noticed at least four Prophets who were there most of the day – Pro. Russ Kratzer, Fraternal Relations Coordinator; Pro. Jay Laser, Kazoo Instructor Extraordinaire; Pro. Chris Young, Chief Cowbell Ringer; and Pro. Tim “The Tyrant” Settlemyer, everyone’s most hated Monarch.
The Ubar stand was especially popular with kids (and kids at heart) as the Grotto distributed kazoos, noise makers, whistles, and more. These were used by the Prophets to conduct impromptu concerts for passers by, to the entertainment of most (but not all!)
If you missed out on Autumn Day, we send our condolences, as this event was one that the Freemasons of Pennsylvania will look back on with pride for years to come!
On Thursday, September 18, 2014, Royal Arch Chapter No. 43, located in Lancaster, PA, conferred the Royal Arch Degree on five candidates. Three of those five candidates are members of Ubar Grotto – Prophets “John” Jack Harley, Shaun “Spologle” Sponagle, and John Morris. In a show of support for these men, five additional Prophets attended the event and assisted in the conferral by filling in chairs and doing parts. Many of the Royal Arch Masons present asked why the turn out was so much higher than usual. The Most Excellent High Priest, Pro. Chris Gibson, was proud to tell them it was because Ubar Grotto wanted to be at there to support their soon to be Companion Prophets. It was an excellent conferral that truly showed Sympathy and Good Fellowship!