Masonic Week 2017 officially kicks off today at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, adjacent to Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia (just across the river from Washington DC). The official program can be seen HERE.
Masonic Week is the official yearly gathering of numerous annual meetings and degree conferrals, elections, speeches, presentations, banquets, and other assorted sundry activities of lesser known, mostly York Rite-related organizations. The Allied Masonic Degrees is the primary body meeting, but there is a whole world of others many Masons know little or nothing about, gathered in one place.
It is also the location of the annual induction of the newest Blue Friar, a select society of Masonic authors, and his presentation of an original paper. (I’ve heard a rumor of who it might be this year, and it is well deserved and long overdue, if true.)
And of course, it is the site of the 9th Annual Meeting and Banquet of the Masonic Society, and Friday evening’s speaker will be our new-ish Editor of the Journal of the Masonic Society, Michael Poll. TMS is also once again hosting a hospitality suite (in Room 1811), so if you are attending this year, please stop by the room, enjoy a wee dram, and enjoy the company. You never know who you will find there.
Unfortunately, I am not going again this year – not in the Hodapphäus budget I’m afraid – but it’s always an outstanding function of the year. It is a very international gathering, and you never know who you’ll find there from around the world. Most events required earlier reservations, so it’s not the best situation to arrive without having done that before. It’s not really well suited to walk-ins. But that said, there are plenty of folks who don’t bother with any of the official events, they just show up, see old friends, make new ones, and just hang out for the weekend. And there’s always a decent lineup of vendors, there, too, in case you don’t own enough Masonic books, magazines, jewelry, and other ephemera.
(And yes, I’m sure by now everyone and his mother has told Dan that he misspelled “Reagan” in the graphic on the event’s pages.)
UPDATE 2/9/17: Michael Poll just posted online that his flights from New Orleans have unfortunately been cancelled due to inclement East Coast weather, and that he is unable to reschedule to get to Washington DC in time for this event. However, he is recording the speeches he was supposed to give and they will be projected at Masonic Week.
(Why do the organizers of Masonic Week stubbornly cling to the combination of the DC area location in February, despite decades of experiencing weather cancellations that scream to change it? The SRICF finally gave up on it two years ago and moved to Louisville in November. Yes, I know, it’s been 75° on this weekend before too. But snowstorms or ice are the more likely scenarios. The event used to coincide with the annual meeting of the Conference of Grand Masters which always took place the following week in Washington, so it made sense then. And that started in the days when people took trains everywhere. But the GMs finally abandoned the area, in part out of exasperation with the weather. So, what’s keeping Masonic Week there now, especially at that time of year?)