St. John’s Day 2016 at the MCC in Utica, NY
An older mason once asked me if have I ever been to the Masonic Campus in Utica, New York. My answer has always been, “Why drive four hours to visit an old age home when I can visit one right here [in Brooklyn, in my backyard].” I have never been so wrong in my life. I was in Utica for St. John’s Day on Friday and Saturday, June 24th and 25th, and any brother who does not visit the Masonic Campus in Utica is doing himself a disservice. The Utica campus is part old age home, part medical research facility, part meeting place and part museum. A person could spend an entire week there and still not see everything there is to see.
The chapel on campus is a priceless landmark that could be compared to the Sistine Chapel. Tiffany stained glass adorns every window, each one its own masterpiece. At the right time of day, the sun’s glow through these windows is nothing more than a miracle of art and science.
The library and museum had Masonic artifacts, both new and old. There were aprons worn by past presidents, masonic furniture, paintings and statues.
The time spent with the brothers of the 10th Manhattan District was fraternity at it finest. Eating and drinking together over many meals brought me much closer to many brothers and introduced me to many more in the District that I had not met before.
The Grand Lodge also put on many great events, including a cowboy themed barbecue; and a flea market filled with all types of vendors and food trucks with all different types of cuisines. The Grand Master was a true leader by raising $6,000 by getting in the dunk tank and getting wet more than a few times for his charity.
It was a great weekend and I hope next year we can all share my experience together.
Bro. Michael Matsas
Master, Abravanel Lodge No. 1116 F&AM