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.
“Picking up the trash here Potent Monarch.”
“Picking up the trash there Prophet.”
These were the words echoing along Rte. 283, between Snyder Road and the Elizabethtown / Rheems exit, on the morning of September 13, 2014. Ten Prophets of Ubar Grotto, united by Sympathy and Good Fellowship (and also by a delicious breakfast) met to perform the bi-annual cleanup of the highway, which was adopted by the Grotto. It’s hard to write an article about picking up other people’s trash on the side of the road, so we decided to let the Prophets speak for themslves regarding their experience.
“We have to go how far? I don’t even see that bridge yet!” – Pro. Jack Harley
“Don’t pick up the pee bottles.” – Pro. Galen Klienfelter
“This section of guardrail must be sponsored by the Eagles!” – Pro. Allen Moyer
“I found six hubcaps, do I win a prize?” – Pro. Steve Park
“Just what chain of events leads to one throwing a bra out of the window?” – Pro. Mike Riggi
“These vests are quite stylish.” – Pro. Matt Stolnis
“Aren’t these signs supposed to be break-away?” – Pro. Abe Shaffner
“Why does everything smell like skunk?” – Pro. Seth Anthony, PM
“If you ever want to be reminded of how disgusting the average person is, just come clean up the highway.” – Pro. David Labagh, Chief Justice
“Hey look at this disgusting old piece of trash. I heard it was a big deal once.” – Pro. Tim “the Tyrant” Settlemyer
Until next time, enjoy your clean highways, Pennsylvania!
Since its inception, Ubar Grotto has worked to recreate the Grotto of yesterday combined with the flair of today. Earlier this year, another part of that mission was envisioned when Pro. Seth Anthony happened upon an old Past Monarch’s jewel with the thoughts of having it recreated for use by Grottoes today. Purchased at auction, and rendered in 10k gold, the piece was marvelous to behold and begged to be given a second chance at life.
The jewel belonged to Pro. Ben Peterson of Cyrus Grotto in Hutchinson, Kansas. Pro. Ben was a farmer by trade and an active member of Cyrus Grotto’s Patrol Unit from the very early days of the Grotto. He later served as Monarch, earning the distinction of being a Past Monarch. Cyrus Grotto was chartered in 1922, meaning Ben would have served as the 7th Monarch of Cyrus in 1928. The Grotto closed in 1966, surrendering its charter to the Supreme Council.
After receiving the jewel, Pro. Anthony contacted the fine folks at Wilkins Brothers, a well known jeweler that supplies regalia to several Masonic bodies. Dozens of pictures of the jewel were sent to the firm, along with specific measurements. After more than 3 months of work, the first prototype model was created. The prototype remains very close to the original jewel, only containing some minor cosmetic changes.
At this time, Ubar, Azim, and Abaca Grottoes have all signed on to purchase jewels from the initial striking (set right now at 65 pieces.) Each piece will come with a leather pocket holder and be provided in a padded jewel case imprinted with the words “Past Monarch.” The best part is that the jeweler was able to keep costs down, meaning each jewel should cost less than $25 a piece!
This is a marvelous part of Grotto history, now made available for a new generation. We think Pro. Peterson would be justly proud to know that his jewel has inspired a whole new group of Prophets to strive for sympathy and good fellowship!
For the second year in a row, Ubar has been awarded First Place in its Division for its website, http://www.ubargrotto.com. The Prophets of Ubar work hard and the information that goes out on the website really helps members and visitors alike to understand the pride that each of us has in being a Prophet at Ubar. We look forward to continuing to publish articles and information of interest to all.
Also for the second year in a row, Ubar has won First Place in its Division for its newsletter, The Pillar. Started at the beginning of 2013, The Pillar has quickly grown to be a key method of communciation for our Prophets. It is e-published nine times a year and continues to grow in readership. Each month, we get compliments about the quality and content of this publication and we thank those who take time out of their busy schedule to peruse it.
Lastly, Ubar was recognized with an Honorable Mention for the number of new members that we initiated. While we did lose out to our mortal chimp-enemies, the Azimians, the Prophets of Ubar remain proud of the Grotto and organization they have built.
Thank you to the Supreme Council and the Contest Committee for this recognition. It is much appreciated!
A toast, to a fantastic year with many more to come!
The members of Ubar Grotto have a long history of involvement with the DeMolay program. Many of our Prophets were members of DeMolay when they were younger, while several more serve on Adivsory Councils and in other other capacities with the DeMolay program today. Either way, the Prophets of Ubar have continuously given unflinching support of Masonic Youth in the Commonwealth. Recently, at their annual meeting, the members of DeMolay International recognized several Ubarians for these contributions.
- Pro. Timothy Settlemyer, Monarch of Ubar Grotto
- Pro. Brian Shaffer
- Pro. Jay Laser
- Pro. Edward Stumm
The Legion of Honor is the highest honor conferred by DeMolay International. It’s conferred on a Senior DeMolay for outstanding leadership in some field of endeavor or for success in fraternal life, including adult service to DeMolay. No one may apply for this distinction, and a nominee, or the membership of a Chapter, must have no knowledge of the recommendation by the Advisory Council.
Also being honored was Pro. Thomas R. Labagh, Sheik of Ubar, who was made an Honorary International Master Councilor by Bro. Bob Laing, of Ohio, then International Master Councilor. Pro. Labagh provided much support and mentoring to Bro. Laing throughout his year and his efforts did not go unnoticed.
Two other Ubarians were elected to membership in the Supreme Council of DeMolay International. Pro. Russ Baker, Sheik of Ubar, was made an Honorary Member, while Pro. Seth Anthony, Past Monarch, was elected a Deputy Member.
Congratulations to all and thank you for supporting our Masonic Youth!