“The King of Daredevil Comedy,” Harold Lloyd is best remembered today as the young man dangling desperately from a clock tower in the 1923 classic Safety Last.
W. Bro. Paul O'Brien, Master of Hellenic Lodge #104 (left); and Bro. Vito Glazers, Senior Warden of Constellation Lodge (right); posed after the ceremony with Bro. Gus Katsafaros (center) who is now a Master Mason.
It was on June 4, 1997 that Bro. Gus Katsafaros, an Entered Apprentice, was passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft at Hellenic Lodge #1084. Somehow, in the weeks, months and years that followed, Bro. Katsafaros and his lodge lost touch. Perhaps it was a career change, a move to a new residence or change in his phone number that led to communication being severed. Perhaps the fact that Hellenic Lodge moved twice during roughly that era, once to Glenview, and again to Elmhurst, that had caused Bro. Katsafaros' name to innocently fall into some crack. No blame can be placed because it was probably a combination of some of all of these things that impeded his pathway to further light.
Fast-forward to mid-2014, and we see the shroud being slowly lifted and the curtains gradually drawn aside. After having been dormant almost 18 years following the light that had been received but partially, the pathway for the continuance of Bro. Katsafaros' Masonic journey had at long last become once again illuminated and navigable.
How did this happen? It was cheerful good fellowship founded upon the principles of Masonic brotherhood, a friendship, and business alliance that was formed between with Bro. Katsafaros and Bro. Vito Glazers, Senior Warden of Constellation Lodge. Bro. Glazers had opened an office on the north side of Chicago, near the intersection of Montrose and Damen, just doors away from Marmalade Restaurant, an establishment owned by none other than Bro. Gus Katsafaros.
Bro. Glazers began to frequent the nearby restaurant. That led to conversations with its owner. The many conversations that then ensued between the two eventually led to the subject of Masonry, particularly to the years that had come and gone since Bro. Katsafaros' 2nd Degree, and his desire to now move forward along his Masonic path.
The situation was reported by Bro. Glazers to his fellow lodge members, and that led to it becoming a topic at a stated meeting of Constellation Lodge in the autumn of 2014. That's when the wheels began turning. First off, Bro. Katsafaros' was invited to attend the Open Installation of Officers at Constellation Lodge on November 5th. Meanwhile, W. Bro. Richard Rogers, Secretary of Constellation Lodge, contacted the Office of the Grand Secretary to confirm Bro. Katsafaros' record and to find out what specific protocol was needed to confer his 3rd Degree. The reply from the Grand Secretary stipulated that the first step would be for Bro. Katsafaros to take his 2nd Degree examination at Hellenic Lodge to the satisfaction of the Master of the Lodge.
Next came overtures to Hellenic Lodge. After several in-person and telephone conferences between Hellenic Lodge and Constellation Lodge, it was jointly decided the most expedient way to move Bro. Katsafaros' from the category of unfinished work, to that of being a brother entitled to all the rights and privileges, was to schedule his 2nd Degree exam, as well as his 3rd Degree ceremony, for the same night. The degree was held at Elmhurst Masonic Temple, where Hellenic Lodge meets. Shortly thereafter, the date of May 20th was selected and work began almost immediately on putting together a slate.
On the night of the degree, Hellenic Lodge was a gracious host providing a great dinner, featuring some tasty traditional Greek dishes for all those present. The event was well attended. Participants conferring the 3rd Degree represented several lodges, including Palatine Lodge #314, Green Dragon Lodge #821, Des Plaines Lodge #890, Wilmette Park Lodge #931, and of course Constellation Lodge #974 and host Hellenic Lodge #1084.
The event was made special for many reasons. Obviously, it was the end of a long wait for Bro. Katsafaros, and he now has the happiness of being entitled to all the rights and privileges. And of course, it was an occasion where brethren, many of whom had never met before, dwelled together in unity and experienced the same sense of accomplishment. But perhaps what made it most special was the inspiration and hope this ceremony could have for lodges as they contemplate their unfinished work.
Don "The Don!" Miller & George Korizis, Palatine Lodge #314
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