As we are all well aware, and as is pointed out in the
North East Angle Lecture in the Canadian Rite Ritual,
it cannot be denied that we always had many members of
rank and affluence. Over the centuries many well known
men have been members of our Noble Craft. For a few
moments, please allow your imaginations to run wild
and consider what may take place at the Installation
of The Celestial Lodge, otherwise known as the Grand
Even though it was late fall, there was a warm breeze
blowing and the sun was setting behind the Lodge Hall.
Gathered in the parking lot filled with their works
were Bros Henry Ford, Ransom Olds, Walter Chrysler,
John Willys and Andre Citroen. The only vehicle
missing was Bro Hart Massey's tractor.
Greeting members in the entrance hall was Bro Cliff
Arquette of Charley Weaver fame and Bro Ed Wynn. In
the boardroom, a group of senior DeMolays were
gathered including Bros Walter Disney, Chet Huntley,
Wendell Corey, Van Johnson, Robert Cummings, John
Steinbeck, Fred McMurray and John Cameron Swayze.
King Gillette, razor in hand, passed the lodge
caretaker who was having a minor problem with his
vacuum cleaner, which was quickly cleared up with the
help of its inventor, Bro Frank Hoover, while at the
other end of the hallway Bros Emmett Kelly, Clyde
Beatty and all seven of the Ringling Bros were
discussing the Shrine Circus.
Taking a quick look into the Banquet Hall, Bros John
Molson, Frederick Pabst and Joseph Schlitz were busy
rolling in some kegs of beer for Bros Sam Bronfman,
late President of Seagram's Distillers, who was
setting up the bar for the Festive Board to follow the
Ceremony. Bro Colonel Harland Sanders was cooking up a
storm in the kitchen and it was an easy guess as to
what the evening meal would consist of.
The orchestra members for the dance to follow the
Banquet were tuning. Members of this All-Star group
included leader Bros Paul Whiteman, W.C .Hardy, Nat
King Cole, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, Cyril
Stapleton, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Count
Basie and Al Jolson. Tonight's performance would be
M.C.ed by Bros Arthur Godfrey and Danny Thomas.
Magical Bros Harry Houdini and Harry Blackstone were
setting up their props while Bros W. C. Fields, Oliver
Hardy, Bud Abbott, Harpo Marx, and Foster Brooks were
fine tuning their comedy routines for tonight's show
which was being produced by Bros Cecil B. DeMille, Flo
Ziegfeld, Louis B. Mayer, Hall Wallis and D.W.
A number of sports celebrities were gathering
together, including Bros Abe Saperstein, creator of
the Harlem Globetrotters, who was explaining his
version of the game to Bro James Naismith, the
inventor of the game. They were joined by baseballers,
Bros Charles Ebbetts, Ty Cobb, Branch Rickey and Cy
Young, the first pitcher to be inducted into the
Baseball Hall of Fame.
A little further along the hall was an array of masons
dressed in knee breeches, lace cuffs and powdered
wigs, others in tuxedos, including Bros Kit Carson,
Davy Crockett and Buffalo Bill Cody, clad in their
familiar buckskins, and Native American Chiefs Bros
Crazy Bull, Tecumseh and Joseph Brant in their native
attire. Most colorful are the military uniforms of
Lord Nelson, Lord Cornwallis, Captain James Cook, the
Duke of Wellington and John Paul Jones.
I was gazing in awe at these members of Celestial
Lodge, when the Grand Master, MW Bro Harry Truman,
appeared from the preparation room accompanied by Bros
John Jacob Astor, Luther Burbank, J. C. Penney, Adlai
Stevenson and Jennings Bryan.
Bro John Diefenbaker had just signed the Tyler's
Register with one of Bro John Schaeffer's pens. He was
accompanied by Bros Robert Borden and R. B. Bennett.
fellow Canadian Prime Ministers, and by Bro Joe
Smallwood of Newfoundland.
At this time, the Tyler, Bro J. Edgar Hoover, informed
the brethren that the meeting was about to come to
order. On entering the lodge room the brethren were
greeted by the Inner Guard, Bro Paul Revere. Seated
already were polar explorers, Robert F. Scott of
England and Bro Richard E. Bird of the United States,
together with Matthew G. Perky and Canada's Henry
Larsen. Bro Charles Lindbergh could be seen in deep
conversation with Bros Hap Arnold, Gus Grissom, Eddie
Rickenbaker and Charles Kingsford-Smith.
From the Junior Warden's station came a burst of
laughter. Bro Will Rogers had brought broad smiles to
the faces of the Royal personages gathered around him,
including Bros George 1, Frederick the Great, Gustav V
of Sweden and George VI. To the right of the Junior
Warden's chair, architect Bro Sir Christopher Wren was
joined by Statue of Liberty sculptor, Bro Frederic
Bros Norman Vincent Peale and Peter Marshall, who
would assume the Chaplain's duties this evening, were
in conversation with the Bros Du Pont, Peter and
Victor, and the Bros Rothschild, James and Nathan.
Gathered around the Secretary's desk, Bro Rudyard
Kipling was discussing the evening's proceedings with
Bro Robert Burns, who was to give one of the Charges
assisted by Bro Mark Twain. Also taking part were Bros
Arthur Conan Doyle, Walter Scott, Samuel Johnson,
Alexander Pope and Robert Service.
The Grand Organist, Bro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was
discussing last minute changes with Bros Gilbert and
Bros Clark Gable, Peter Sellers, Wallace Beery,
Douglas Fairbanks and Brian Donleavy were discussing
boxing with champions, Bros Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson
and Sugar Ray Robinson. Another small group, in the
persons of Bros John Wayne, Hoot Gibson and Tom Mix,
were listening to Bro William Thaddeus Phillips (also
known as Butch Cassidy.)
The founding members, Bros George Washington, Sir John
A. MacDonald, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Benito Jaurez, John
Hancock and Ben Franklin were seated in the East. They
have been joined by Bro Sir Stamford Raffles, founder
of Singapore. The Generals, Bros Omar Bradley, Jimmy
Doolittle, George C. Marshall, John Pershing and
Douglas McArthur, take their seats next to Bros
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. The Lodge
Treasurer, Bro Henry Knox was busy collecting dues
from Bros Thomas E Dewey and William McKinley. The
Master, MW Bro HRH The Duke of Connaught, has rapped
the gavel to call the Lodge to order, and it is now
time for us to depart. With one last look at this
brilliant assembly, one wonders what the public's
perception of Freemasonry might be if they were able
to visit such a lodge.