First Ubar – then the world! (With stops for plenty of hospitality suites in between!)
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!
The original Cyrus jewel, depicted at left, compared to the reproduction jewel, at right.
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!
We’re pleased to annouce that Ubar Grotto has been recognized with three awards following the Supreme Council Sessions, held in Mobile, Alabama, earlier this month.
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.
We’d like to congratulate the following members who were elected to receive the DeMolay Legion of Honor.
- 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!
Last week, we told you about how Ubarians respond to a call for assistance (with ribald humor and bad puns, mostly.) Well, we’ve done it again, as several Ubarians heard a second call and responded in like kind.
On Monday, June 23, 2014, Pro. Jeff “Il Duce” Fulton, Marshal of Ubar Grotto, had the pleasure of seeing his father raised to the degree of a Master Mason in Riverside Lodge No. 503, in Wrightsville, PA. Pro. Jeff asked Ubarians to attend the event and several came out to support him, including Pro. Tim “The Tyrant” Settlemyer, Potent Monarch; Pro. George “Thinks He’s a Big Deal” Hindson, PM; Pro. Abe “The Lebanon County Bologna King” Shaffner; and Pro. Ed “The Grand Tyler” Stumm.
From all accounts it was a fanastic evening of good fellowship, creating memories that won’t soon be forgotten. A toast – to Il Duce and Big Jeff!
When a member of Ubar puts out the call for assistance, the Prophets of the Grotto are quick to respond. This was the case when Pro. Chris Gibson put out the call for assistance at his Royal Arch Chapter, where he is serving as Most Excellent High Priest. His Chapter needed some help with the conferral of the Degrees and Ubar didn’t fail to respond!
On Thursday, June 19, 2014, several members of Ubar Grotto attended Chapter No. 43, Royal Arch Masons, meeting in Lancaster, PA. The group assisted in the conferral of the Mark Master Mason Degree and the Most Excellent Master Mason Degree upon three candidates (of which one is a member of Ubar and the other is a candidate.) Assistance was provided by Pro. George Hindson, PM, as Senior Overseer; Pro. Seth Anthony, PM, as Senior Master of Ceremonies; and Pro. Pete Ruggieri, Master of Ceremonies, as Pursuivant. Of course, Pro. Gibson was in attendance with his officers, which also included Pro. Mike Riggi, who acted as Junior Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Congratulations are also due to Pro. Jack Harley and (soon to be Pro.) John Morris, who received the degrees.
As the meeting finished, Pro. Anthony remarked to the members present just how unique this occasion was. It was 128 years ago, when after a meeting of Cyrus Chapter No. 50, Royal Arch Masons, seventeen members planned for conferring the Royal Arch Degree. This evolved into monthly meetings. These monthly meetings would turn into the Grotto, the organization we love today.
Thank you to the Companions of Chapter No. 43 for their warm welcome and Ubar looks forward to returning this Fall for the Royal Arch Degree.