On July 23, 2011, Ubar Grotto was officially constituted as part of the Enchanted Realm. During the Installation the newly installed Monarch, Pro. Seth Anthony, delivered a speech to the members and visitors present. Several people have requested that we publish Pro. Anthony’s speech. Here it is in it’s entirety.
Support is what makes any Masonic organization function, and without the support of the members and the ladies here assembled, Ubar would not be. I want to take a moment to thank Pro. George Hindson and Pro. Tim Settlemyer for being my right and left hand throughout this process. Thanks also go out to Pro. Tom Labagh, who has continued to serve as my Masonic mentor and who helped to point the way. Thank you to the officers of this Grotto for agreeing to fill the stations and for the members for supporting them. I want to express my appreciation to Mrs. Phyllis Schaeffer, who I have dubbed Honorary First Lady of Ubar, for all her work in putting together the ladies event and the gift basket for the Grand Monarch.
Speaking of which, Ubar owes an immense debt of gratitude to Pro. Evans, our Grand Monarch. Without him, we would not exist. His leadership and trust in us is the only, and I mean only, thing that got us to this day. Prophet Evans – on behalf of Ubar Grotto, it gives me great satisfaction to inform you that you have been elected an Honorary Member of Ubar Grotto for life. It also gives me great pleasure to present you with this Ubar fez, for which you so proudly fought. It is because of you that we wear this point of pride.
W. Clement Stone said “So many fail because they don’t get started – they don’t go. They don’t overcome inertia. They don’t begin.” That was almost the case with Ubar Grotto. In the early summer of 2010 I joined Delco Grotto, in Broomall, PA. For those unfamiliar with PA geography, Broomall is about an hour and half from here – that is if you slay the beast know as the Schuykill Expressway! I joined Grotto because of the favorable opinion I had of the organization from growing up in Erie, where Erepa Grotto is a prominent member of the Masonic Community. I joined Delco almost on a whim. I wasn’t a member of any social Masonic organizations and I think everyone here knows my obsession with fezzes!
After joining Delco, I received the national Grotto magazine in the mail. The issue detailed a program whereby the Supreme Council would give $1000 to a unit that formed, existed for one year, and held events. I saw this and thought it would be great to get a Central PA Unit started at Delco. I spoke of my idea to a few others, but I was knee deep in other Masonic bodies and let it languish.
In the winter of 2010, I spoke to Pro. Richard Jones, who asked me if I was still intending to work on that Central PA Unit. I said that I was interested, but I hadn’t put a whole lot of effort into it. It was then that he told me that he had some information about starting a new Grotto and that it only took 25 members to do so. I thought to myself “25 members? That’s it? I can do that!” I was off and running. I took time and spoke to my Masonic mentors and got their opinions on what I should do when forming this new group. We talked about the Masonic community in Central PA, what it offered and what it didn’t, and set about forming a Grotto.
From the early stages it was apparent that this organization would be different. We began by attracting men from all Masonic backgrounds and all Masonic age groups. From a 19 year old, newly raised Master Mason, to prestigious floor officers of our Grand Lodge, Masons came out of the wood work to join our motley band.
When I started this journey, I thought the toughest part would be finding members! Boy was I wrong! The toughest part of the job turned out to be two inches of velvet – but that’s a story best left for around the dinner table! However, we persevered and today I am proud to stand here as the Charter Monarch of Ubar Grotto.
Ubar has already made a name for itself amongst the Supreme Council of the Realm, and I can assure all the members and visitors present that Ubar is going to continue to push the boundaries. Ubar has already challenged the thinking of the current Grotto establishment and is innovating in ways never before thought of in the Realm. We are the first to utilize internet based recruitment, gaining us two members in a single day at a cost of less than $6.00! We have proven that the Grotto program is viable and appealing to young Masons if approached with the right thinking. Knowing your local Masonic community and creating an organization tailored to the members with activities that meet their needs is key. I guarantee you, here and now, that Ubar is, and will continue to be unlike any Grotto before or since. Ubar has emerged from the sands, a majestic city, once forgotten, but one that now stands a bastion of a new age.
To those here visiting from the Supreme Council and other parts of the country, take a hard look at the men of this Grotto. They are going to be the leaders in the Realm and the Masonic fraternity for years if not decades to come. They won’t accept the status quo. They are not going to fall in line and march with the masses. They eschew the notion of conformity for conformity’s sake. They won’t accept the notion of doing things that have always been done before. And, most importantly, they won’t accept anything less than the absolute best from themselves or others. The Supreme Council and the Realm challenged me to create a Grotto in an area where one had never existed before. I accepted that challenge, recruiting my Masonic brothers to the cause. I have delivered that Grotto to you and met your challenge.
Now, we issue a challenge to the Supreme Council in return. That challenge is as simple and difficult as any could be. Trust us. It’s as easy as that. Ubar is not here to raise Cain and trample on traditions. Rather, we’re here to take up the flag of the young mason, the disinterested Brother, and the uninitiated member and guide them to a program developed to meet their needs. Take up our battle cry and come with us as we change the future of the Grotto! Join us in expanding the Realm to new heights rather than keeping the status quo in the name of history or conformity. Join us in attracting men to a program that they have previously written off as useless. Join us in providing charity, sympathy, and good fellowship to those who need it most. We have shown you the possibilities. We want you to join us in creating a new, stronger Realm. But, before you join us, you must trust us. Are you ready to take that step?