RWB Paul McWilliams, Past Master and current Secretary of Inman Masonic Lodge, as well as current District Deputy Grand Master of the 20th District, was invested with the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, on Friday, October 6th. This honor, informally referred to as receiving the “red cap”, is conferred to a limited number of 32° Masons by the Supreme Council for their commendable service to the Rite, to Masonry, and the world at large. Congratulations to RWB Paul for receiving this distinct honor!
The Harvest Day Barbeque Sale is Inman Masonic Lodge’s second largest fundraiser, and this year it took on the unofficial slogan, “Keeping it in the Community”. Keeping the money from its fundraisers in Inman and its surrounding communities has been the goal of Inman Masonic Lodge, and volunteers reminded its patrons as they came in for the Famous Pinker Barbeque served each year. Inman Lodge gave free water to Harvest Day attendees, and customers enjoyed the air conditioned dining hall and the tents outside. One patron said, “I come by each year because it’s for the Lodge, it’s local, and it’s just plain good.”
About ten or more servicemen came in for a complimentary meal. At the end of the day, two young men, members of Chapman’s football team, came in and were treated to a meal. As they ate, they began to ask about Masonry, and the Brothers of Inman were more than happy to answer all of their questions. A special thanks goes out to all the volunteers for their assistance, especially the Pinker family for preparing the food, and also to Bi-Lo of Inman.
Another successful golf tournament was had by Inman Masonic Lodge as the 31st Annual Charles Heatherly Memorial Golf Tournament was held at Village Greens Golf Course on August 26th. Over thirty teams competing to become the top golfers of the day. As each team closed out their round of golf, they were treated to a barbeque dinner prepared by Gary & Rick Plumley, Mike Caton and Chad Morris, and served by the members and family of Inman Lodge.
The tournament took a somber tone as Worshipful Brothers Dean Chapman and Reggie Cox were remembered. WB Dean for many years worked behind the scenes of the golf tournament raising money from sponsors, and WB Reggie, along with WB Jackie Gregory organized the event since its inception. WB Stephen Pinker, Master of the Lodge this year, had this to say about the day, “The success of this golf tournament lies with the volunteers and the sponsors. We couldn’t do this event without them. There are so many, but they are not forgotten, and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their contribution.”
The storm known as Harvey has carved a path of destruction through Southeast Texas and is creeping into Southwest Louisiana, dumping record levels of rain on the Houston area. The storm has left at least 50 dead and thousands homeless as they escape from the flood waters. One of the most vital supplies the area needs right now is drinking water, and Spartanburg School District 1 began a drive to collect donations of relief items to be shipped to Texas. To assist with the relief efforts, Inman Masonic Lodge collected donations of bottled water. WB Jeff Honeycutt spearheaded the collection, and on Friday, September 1st, delivered 272 cases of water to Chapman High School. Thanks to all the Brethren for their charity in this time of need for the people of Texas.
At the August Regular Communication of Inman Masonic Lodge, Brothers Ken and Gene Kuszmaul presented WB Stephen Pinker and the Brethren with a George Washington portrait. The inscription on the plaque at the bottom of the portrait reads, “The blessings of each day are cemented in the Brotherly Love of Inman Masonic Lodge #201 AFM. We will forever be grateful, Ken and Gene Kuszmaul, 2017.” During a trip with RWB Sam Turner III and WB Bryan Megonigal to Charleston, SC, he discovered that many of the Lodges in the low country were buying portraits, one per Lodge, for the schools in the area. Brother Gene had the idea of buying one for Inman Lodge. Ironically, Brother Ken had came up with the same idea, without any prior discussion between them. He and his Uncle Ken decided to purchase a portrait for Inman in the hopes that it, with the inspirational message inscribed on it, would serve as a beacon to the Brotherhood of Inman. But, the portrait serves a two-fold purpose.
The George Washington Portrait Project is helmed by RWB Sam Turner III of Roebuck Lodge #357 AFM, and RWB John King of Cross Hill Lodge #159 AFM. The proceeds of the portrait project go toward Juvenile Diabetes Research, which Brother Ken Kuszmaul is all too familiar with. When she was three, Ken’s daughter Bridget was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. He had to witness his daughter who, at the time, had to be stuck with needles five times a day to get her glucose readings as her own body had no way of producing it on her own. Now at the age of 43, she has suffered many hardships battling her disease. In 2014, Bridget had a brain bleed as a complication of diabetes, and during her rehabilitation contracted cerebral meningitis as well as a staph infection. Although she recovered, she now has diminished eyesight as a result of diabetes. His granddaughter, Katlyn was also diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of one. Now eighteen, she has enjoyed a normal life due to the advances in treatment that research into this disease has brought. With Ken’s brother’s and Gene's Uncle's death as a result of this dreaded disease in 2016, as well as with his daughter’s and granddaughter’s battles, it was only natural to contribute to such a noble purpose while presenting a small token to the Brotherhood.
On July 7, 2017, Worshipful Brother Dean Chapman laid down his working tools. WB Dean was a Mason for thirty-nine years. He was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on October 21, 1978, and served as the Worshipful Master of Inman Masonic Lodge in 2001. For the past thirty years, WB Dean has been a major force behind Inman Masonic Lodge’s annual golf tournament. He served his God, his family and his Lodge with dignity and with zeal. WB Dean will be truly missed. WB Dean’s obituary can be found here.
On June 24th, 1717, in London, England, four Lodges came together to form the Grand Lodge of England, the first Grand Lodge to be created, bringing together Masons under one unified body. To celebrate the 300th Anniversary of this moment, A Master Mason Degree was held on June 24th, 2017 at the Spartanburg Masonic Temple. Brethren from the 19th, 20th & 21st Districts, participated in raising Brother Michael Johnson, of Inman #201, to the Sublime Degree. After a meal served by the AFM Club Five & Under Team, the Temple was filled to capacity to attend the Degree. The ambiance of the candlelight and music during the conferral of the Degree was a perfect reminder of the past three centuries of tradition and ritual we celebrate this St. John the Baptist’s Day. Congratulations on a wonderful job by the Degree Team, and congratulations to the candidate on receiving his Master Mason Degree.
Brother Jay Strange is a life member of Inman Masonic Lodge with over 45 years of service. Few members of our fraternity reach this milestone, but Brother Strange’s story of service goes even deeper. Brother Strange, a soldier in the Army, was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii. He and a few friends decided to go into town on Sunday morning for breakfast. At around 7:48 that morning of December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor. As they were enjoying their meal, Brother Strange and his friends realized what was happening and raced back toward the barracks. Schofield Barracks sat next to Wheeler Field, at the time the largest air base on Oahu, making it also a target for the Japanese on that fateful day. Once they returned to base, Brother Strange and his comrades assisted in its defense, where they came under fire from Japanese aircraft. Brother Strange went on after the attack to serve our country in World War II. For Brother Strange’s service to our country and to Masonry, Most Worshipful Brother Michael D. Smith, Grandmaster of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina, presented Brother Strange with a Grand Lodge Certificate of Recognition on May 19, 2017 at Inman Masonic Lodge. Other members of the Grand Line present during the presentation were Most Worshipful Brother Jay Adam Pearson, Past Grand Master of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina, Right Worshipful Brother Paul McWilliams, the 20th District Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Tommy Watson, Grand Marshal, Worshipful Brother Fred Phillips, Junior Grand Deacon, and others. Brother Strange proudly received his Certificate for becoming “a member of that Greatest Generation of Americans to whom the people and future generations of the World will forever be indebted and grateful” with his wife, two children, and members of their respective families in attendance.
RWB J. Paul McWilliams was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for the 20th Masonic District at Grand Lodge 2017. A member of Inman Masonic Lodge #201 AFM, he was raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason on October 7, 2008. He served as both the Worshipful Master of Inman Lodge and the Venerable Master of the Knights of Saint Andrews of the Scottish Rite in 2014. 2015 saw RWB Paul elected as the President of the Ancient Free Masons Club of Spartanburg, a seat he held for two years. In 2016, RWB Paul served as Venerable Master of the Lodge of Perfection of the Scottish Rite, as well as being appointed to the office of Senior Grand Deacon in the Grand Line of the Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina. In 2017, RWB Paul serves as Secretary for Inman Masonic Lodge, President of the Masonic Research Society and the Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter #169, in Inman, SC.
Congratulations to RWB Paul McWilliams on his appointment. We at Inman Masonic Lodge are proud that RWB Paul McWilliams has been appointed to serve as our District Deputy Grand Master in 2017.
The Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina hosted their 280th annual communication on April 27th and 28th, at the Embassy Suites Golf Resort & Conference Center in Greenville, SC. On Wednesday, the 26th, the annual golf tournament was held, and the team of RWB Bruce Chennery placed first in their flight. Congratulatons to the Brethren of this team for their tournament win!
This year’s Grand Lodge saw MWB Michael D. Smith elected to the seat of Grand Master, RWB Cal Disher elected to the seat of Deputy Grand Master, RWB O.B. Smith elected to Senior Grand Warden, and RWB Steve Hames elected to Junior Grand Warden. Our Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer remain MWB Jerry Carver and MWB Jack Marler respectively, as well as RW Robert Nix as Grand Chaplain.
Other appointments to our Spartanburg Brothers are as follows: RWB Jerry Hill, District Deputy Grand Master of the 19th District, RWB Paul McWilliams, District Deputy Grand Master of the 20th District, & RWB Jimmy Hayes III, District Deputy Grand Master of the 21st District. WB Fred Phillips has been appointed to Junior Grand Deacon. RWB Tommy Watson has been appointed Grand Marshal. WB Judd Seay has been appointed Grand Standard Bearer. WB David Blanton has been appointed Grand Tiler. RWB Bruce Chennery has been appointed to the Masonic Education Committee, & RWB Michael Collins has been appointed to the Masonic Service Association.
Congratulations to all these Brethren to their elections and appointments for the ensuing Masonic year!