The Masons of Iowa were invited to attend the Iowa Conference of Masonic Education at the Iowa Masonic Library, 813 First Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on February 10 and 11, 2012.
This was a very special event for me. I have to admit that I had never dreamed that the Masons of Iowa have such a valuable resource of information and education as we beheld in Cedar Rapids last Friday and Saturday.
I have included a few pictures of some of the treasures that are secured here in Iowa. The book section of the library was massive and contained books and articles that are being sought from all over the world.
The services of the library are free to everyone and most of the books can be requested by mail and sent free. The only cost is the return postage for the books.
There are some very rare and delicate resources that cannot be sent and must remain at the library, but they, nonetheless, can be utilized on premises also at no cost. Costs of coping is also nominal.
A tour through the entire facility would require a considerable amount of time and we only had the afternoon devoted to the trip. Many artifacts, pictures and historical items, some which date back as far as 2500 years B.C., are on display for the public to view and again, there is no cost.
This is all made possible by the generosity of Masons in Iowa.
Friday night included a wonderful meal at the Scottish Rite building just a short distance away from the library. Following the meal, Brother Cliff Porter, Enlightenment Lodge #198, Colorado Springs, Colorado, spoke about possibilities in Masonry regarding membership, activities, ritual and the possible future of Masonry.
I am not sure that the speech was intended as a motivation event, but I was excited and uplifted to the thoughts of improving myself as a mason and motivation my brother masons to want to educate themselves about masonry and it's history and current significance.
Saturday's event was equally exciting. It included several speakers who were very knowledgeable in their fields and who provided us with information and the desire to increase our knowledge in each of the subjects touched upon.
The areas included:
Brother Cliff Porter – “The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry: The hidden psychological system within the rituals and forms of a lodge that creates a system of self-development and allows for improved interpersonal communication.”Brother Chad Simpson - Symbolism of the 3rd Degree
Brother George Harrison – Masonic Symbolism Course and Iowa Academy of Masonic Knowledge
Brother Jons Olsson – Square and Compass Beats Rifles and Cannon
Brother Ryan Brodersen – The Temple of Solomon
My only disappointment was that more of my Brothers were not able to attend and share in my excitement.
I have included a number of pictures of documents that have been obtained and stored at the Library. You will notice that the greatest care is provided each one and that the curator is handling each one with gloves on to preserve the delicate papers.
A special thanks to WGM Terry Levay and the staff of the Grand Lodge of Iowa for providing this special event.
A copy of Brother Porter's book, "The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry" was presented to each of us and Brother Porter graciously autographed our copy if we desired. It is located at the bottom of the page. Thank you Brother Porter!