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’s June meeting is always reserved as our second Ceremonial of the year and Ubar was glad to indoctrinate 10 brothers into the world that we all know and love. Heck, we even have proof for Supreme, as our Supreme Council District Deputy, Honorary Ubarian, and all around nice guy Pro. Victor Mann, PM, was willing to make the trip from New York to partake in the special Ubar shenanigans.
Prior to the meeting’s start, we had quite a delicious meal prepared by the team at Commonwealth Caterers. Chicken Cordon Bleu and baked ziti with meatballs were the main dishes; word has it that there weren’t any leftovers. The team even concocted a special beverage that the Prophets well enjoyed.
Before conducting business, Pro. and Shiek Jay “Laser” handed out even more Enchanted Lanterns, as the Prophets feel that we haven’t given enough to the Fairchild Society. Thanks to Pro. Dave Steffie we were able to auction off even more items for the benefit of getting kids with disabilities some dental work. All said and done, a total of more than $150 was raised. Well done, Prophets!
Ubar’s business portion was a quick meeting, and the only officer missing was our Chaplain, due to a family vacation (we at Ubar strive to the ideals that family is first, and wish to convey that to every member of the Fraternity). In his stead, Pro. Dan Loughin had to step in (seriously, who keeps giving that guy jobs?) After a quick meeting, we moved to the Ceremonial, where even more hipsters were brought into the fold (editors note: we at Ubar have nothing against hipsters. We welcome all into our group, so long as you enjoy our shenanigans.) Afterwards, pipes and papers where unofficially smoked.
We are off for the summer, with some possible updates coming over the next two months, so please stay tuned. Otherwise, we will see you all at our September meeting on the 27th! Grotto on, Prophets!
By Prophet Dan Loughin
On May 16th, a small delegation of Ubarians decided that hitting kids with high speed balls would be a great idea. Well, it’s not as awful as it sounds. First, the balls were soft, plushy, and squishy. And second, it was for charity! Plus, the kids were asking for it – no, really – they invited us!
A dodgeball tournament was put together by Elizabethtown Chapter, Order of DeMolay, to raise money for the Scottish Rite Dyslexic Learning Centers. The Centers, which are the charity of Pennsylvania DeMolay, help children with dyslexia to read at an equivalent grade level.
While Elizabethtown DeMolay did secure quality fundraising, only 4 teams registered to play, and Ubar was one of them. The facility was also rented for 4 hours, which led to the a full 4 hours of gaming, decided by the healthy, active, multi-sport playing youths. To your out of shape Prophets (i.e.: Blaisedell, Kline, and Loughin), and the Monarch that decided a triathlon that morning was a great idea, we were tired by the end of the day. All said and done, Ubar played 8 matches of dodgeball, at 3 games a piece (that’s 24 total games for those not mathematically inclined.) Out of breath, nearly dead, and defeated in the championship game, Ubar thanked Elizabethtown DeMolay for the opportunity to compete, and the present Prophets did what we do best: pooled all of the cash on hand, and made another donation. Well done, Prophets!
We have been assured that this will be a continued program, and our Monarch has promised future support. Let us put together another quality team, but take home the golden dodgeball next year!
Editor’s Note: you’ll notice that Prophet Loughin is wearing his fez during competition. He did this at the direction of the Monarch, which Prophet Loughin found later to be a tongue-in-cheek comment. He did not notice this. And we wonder how Prophet Loughin is our fundraising chair.
Ubar Grotto has members from nine different counties, but one has a love hate relationship unlike any other – York County. We love to rib our York County Prophets, but they are truly Grotto members, through and through. This was recently proven with some excellent events in York County.
The May stated meeting of Ubar Grotto was held on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at the Field House in Goldsboro, PA. This was the first “travelling meeting” for the organization. Eighteen Prophets descended on the unknowing restaurant for an excellent meal of wings, mac & cheese, and meatballs. Salad was also present, but the Prophets left it nearly untouched. After a great hour of socializing, the Monarch called the meeting to order and transacted the normal business. The Field House was generous in providing 3 gift certificates, two of which were auctioned off, while the last was used as a prize for a punching bag competition.
You see, the room in which the meeting occurred was outfitted with an electronic punching bag game. Of course, the Prophets had to take their shots at it. Pro. Jeff “El Duce” Fulton was the early favorite. But, a dark horse contender knocked him out – Jack “Pappy” Harley, throws a wicked right hook, as everyone learned!
The other big news of the night involved Enchanted Lanterns. With 55 certificates in hand, Prophets marveled at the generosity of the Grotto and laughed when they learned that Ubar had purchased so many Lanterns that the Supreme Council didn’t have enough pins to fulfill the order! This is how one Grottos, for sure!
Following the meeting, many retired to the veranda for cigars and discussion, capping off an excellent night. Thanks to Pro. Scott Smeltzer and Pro. Jeff Fulton for their assistance in organizing this event.
On the following evening, Monday, May 18, the York Prophets were back at it again with a Master Mason Night at First Capital Dispensing Company. More than a dozen Ubarians showed up to woo prospective members, several of which expressed interest in joining.
As of the date of writing, Ubar has 13 candidates for its June Ceremonial, with up to five more in the works. Great job everyone!
On April 26th, Ubar Grotto gathered at the usual spot to partake in its bi-annual feast of an entire cow. That’s right, it was our famous prime rib night! Twice each year, the members gather for Convivial feasts, which happen to be some of the best prime rib around. The meat is so succulent, so fresh, so fall-off-the-bone good, that you don’t even need a knife to cut it. Paired with the horseradish that Pro. Clarence creates for this magical beast, you’ll leave stuffed and able to breathe. And if you don’t, well that’s your fault.
During the meeting, our Secretary extrodinaire reminded the delegation that if a Prophet misses the Convivial, the money he had prepaid for it is available for use by the Grotto. Crunching those numbers, it was noticed that if that money was used to acquire Lanterns specifically for those who did not attend, then we would not only achieve 100% participation in the Enchanted Lantern program. A big thank you to the Prophets who were unable to make it to the meeting this month. Your efforts in laziness have help more kids get dental care!
It was also announced that Pro. Spooner was having major surgery. The turtle master and all around good guy, Pro. Harley, was organizing several visits to see him in the Ephrata Memorial Hospital (God help him), along with dropping off a care package filled with delicious goodies to bribe the nurses.
Lastly, it was moved that we make the May meeting a travelling meeting to York. Pro. Fulton “The Younger” has promised that because of the location of the meeting, you will not be at risk of being shot, so you can leave your Kevlar at home.
We hope to see you in York!
On Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Pro. Seth Anthony, PM, and Pro. Jay Laser, Sheik of Ubar, made a trip to Ubar’s Mother Grotto, Delco in Broomall, PA, for a visit. As always, the Prophets of Delco were welcoming and good nature, especially as the Ubarians ribbed them relentlessly. Math was certainly not the strong suit of Delco that evening and many questioned their ability to read as well, blaming the Philadelphia school system. However, it was quickly noticed that the members could get their points across using some very ingenious sign language that left no room for interpretation as to its meaning.
Thanks to the Prophets for a great visit and we look forward to continued inter-visitation within the Grottoes in Southeastern Pennsylvania!
On Saturday, April 11, 2015, six Prophets and one son of a Prophet did their civic duty by cleaing a stretch of Route 283, beginning at the Rheems exit and extending to the Snyder Road overpass – a bridge which always seemed a little too far away.
The Prophets met for breakfast prior to the ordeal. With full bellies, they began working off their meals at 8:30 AM, trudging the two miles of highway (on each side) collecting trash. All told, the group filled 53 trash bags. This is trash that has accumulated since last September, when the Grotto last did a highway cleanup. Special finds include a womens pocketbook (which Pro. Shaffner is attempting to return to its owner), a half a dozen license plates, one dear caracass, lots of styrofoam, plenty of bottles and cans. We estimate that, to date, Ubar Grotto has picked up more than 250 bags of trash along this section of 283 in the last three years!
The highway cleanup is a thankless job, but we very much appreciate Pro. Abe Shaffner continuing to head this group. We’d also like to thank Prophets Allen Moyer, George Grove, Harry Smith, Seth Anthony, Tom Dice, and Pro. Dice’s son for assisting today. The Commonwealth is a little bit prettier because of these men.
March 22nd, 2014 marked a great start to the membership year for Ubar. On it’s first Ceremonial of 3 this year, half of our membership goal was attained! Marking a feat just as impressive, over 50 non-neophytes joined in the fellowship that evening — no easy task for Sunday night.
Before the meeting, Prophet Spooner decided to bribe the delegation with $5 cigars. The bribe was successful, as all heckling was directed at Prophet Il Duche. Prophet (and soon to be Fryar) Richards provided a tobacco locker to be auctioned for charity that Prophet Loughin couldn’t figure out how to operate. All told, the Grotto collected $286 for children to receive dental work. Awesome job prophets!
Our Pants-fearing Monarch then called the meeting to order. Discussed was the possibility of a “floating” meeting, one where the Grotto could meet closer to a group of Prophets that could not always make the meetings due to the long drive. The Prophet that made this suggestion did not provide a location, and he was heckled mercilessly.
After another long-winded report from the Fund Raising chair (who promoted that guy?), along with much shorter reports from the Sheiks, Prophet Tim “The Tyrant” Settlemeyer, PM, donated the flag of the Whiskey Rebellion to the Grotto, which we shall fly with pride.
After the meeting, 11 new prophets were brought into the Realm. As a final treat before he leaves on his Friary Journey, Prophet Richards provided one last performance as His Majesty. We shall miss him dearly.
As the Ceremonial drew to a close, Prophet Anthony, PM, promptly kicked everyone out, the fuddy-duddy that he is.
Our next meeting is on April 26th. We hope to see all of you there!