From the East: Greetings, Brethren!

It is with honor and pleasure that I am writing to you as the Worshipful Master of Wilmette Park Lodge No. 931. As a brief introduction for those who do not yet know us, Wilmette Park Lodge No. 931 meets at 7:30pm on the first and third Thursday of each month in Wilmette, a Northern Chicagoland area community located between Evanston and Kenilworth along the western shore of Lake Michigan. Wilmette Park Lodge No. 931 meets in the Wilmette Masonic Temple located at 1010 Central Ave., Wilmette, IL 60091, where there is generous parking both in our off-street parking and also along Central Ave and the surrounding streets. Meals are available on Stated Meeting nights, the first Thursday of the month, at the Wilmette Masonic Temple. Meals on Special Meeting nights, the third Thursday of the month, are frequently eaten together at area restaurants in time to make the 7:30pm opening gavel at the Wilmette Masonic Temple.

My first three months as Worshipful Master of Wilmette Park Lodge No. 931 have been exciting and rewarding! Throughout his year in the East, my immediate predecessor in office, Worshipful Brother Mark Donnell, provided thoughtful and insightful leadership that advanced Wilmette Park Lodge well along a trajectory of growth. I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead the continuation of that growth! Wilmette Park Lodge is very fortunate to benefit from the continued energetic involvement of our very active nine (or more!) Past Masters, including Worshipful Brother Mark Donnell. Wilmette Park Lodge also includes very active brethren who have been Master Masons for only a few years. Wilmette Park Lodge is truly an exciting melding of experience, of energy from all of the brethren, of creativity, and of committed Masons!

Each of the brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge are inspirational as leaders by example, whether it’s learning our ritualistic work, reaching out to the local civic community, or directly confronting our challenges. It is exciting to look back three months and view, with utter delight, how far Wilmette Park Lodge has progressed in our efforts! We are meeting our challenges thoughtfully and with zeal!

For example, upon learning of the request for assistance from another area lodge for a courtesy 3rd Degree, the newly elected and appointed Officers and the brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge learned new roles and refreshed the mastery of roles in a 3 week process of numerous practices and individual study that culminated in a great 3rd Degree conferral only 2 weeks after our Installation of Officers. That great courtesy 3rd Degree was only possible because of the commitment by the Officers and brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge and the assistance of our gifted visiting brethren, Worshipful Brother Ben Zwick, Brother Steve Borse, Brother David Sandoval and Brother Irineo Bolusan! Another example of the thoughtfulness and zeal that the brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge continue to apply is that of having identified past negative budget trends and, in the short span of 3 months, of completely reversing that trend for at least the next 12 months, possibly for the next 15 months or more! As a Past Master and a Mason for over 8 years, I am astounded at the continuing commitments being made by the brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge to make this continually improving course adjustment in such a short time!

The brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge are certainly creative, as evidenced by the several new events that we are planning! These planned new events range from that of putting on a Masonic Organ Music Recital to that of turning a Past Masters Dinner into an Open House Past Masters Day. One new event that will already have occurred by the time that this article is published is the holding of our first Table Lodge in recent memory. Participation in other established events is also being expanded, including participation in the upcoming Wilmette Street Fair and in the Wilmette Police Department Open House.

The brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge are a close-knit group, committed to each other and to the role of Masonry in each of our lives, whether it’s communicating with and visiting a brother who’s recovering from a severe health event or getting together to work on a parade float or a holiday party. We invite you to join us at our next meeting or event!

To learn what the brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge have been up to and to see what is coming up next for Wilmette Park Lodge, please visit us on the web at, on Facebook by searching for “Wilmette Park Lodge 931”, in our articles in the Wilmette Patch, and in our subsequent Temple Topics articles.

The Officers and brethren of Wilmette Park Lodge No. 931 look forward to seeing you in lodge!


Gary Wayne Hardesty II, P.M.
Worshipful Master – Wilmette Park Lodge No. 931