Sunday, July 01, 2007

Letter to the Grand Master of Masons in New York

Here is a letter that I sent to the Grand Master of Masons in New York:

Dear Brothers, I am delighed to answer your questions. I request that you include the Worshipful Master and Secretary in all correspondence of this nature.I want to state for the record: I am NOT a member of Land, Sea, and Air lodge #1, and certainly not an officer in this lodge. I am NOT a member or officer in ANY New York lodge at this time. Once the lodge project gets officially underway, I can adjust my lodge membership(s) accordingly. Please keep in mind that any information I provide in this email, any postal correspondence, or telephonically is as an OUTSIDER who is not a New York Mason, and not under the control of any New York lodge or Grand Lodge of New York regulation. To get the "official" answers to your questions, I suggest that you go directly to the Worshipful Master, and/or Secretary. With this stipulation in mind, let us proceed:

1. Here is the email directing the lodge website be suspended until futher notice:=========> Subject: Lodge project suspended. Please put the webpage on a "hold"> > Land, Sea, and Air lodge #1, is on a "hold" right now, because the > GrandLodge is considering a new charter. Therefore, please remove > the website,> for the time being, and put it on hold as well.> > We are very grateful for your sponsorship, and the kindness of > hosting this> webpage. Please accept our gratitude.> > Once the new dispensation is issued, we will see about getting the > page back> on the web.> > Masonically,> > > > Charles E. Martin================

2. This is the only question, that I cannot answer fully. Over the past 18 months, I have sent out hundreds of emails, postal letters, and made many international phone calls. I cannot remember the addressees, nor the contents of these correspondences. Most have been deleted long ago. The lodge website received over 12,000 hits. There is no way to determine all of the individuals who visited the website. I have posted news about the Lodge on several different Masonic bulletin boards, and these messages were read by thousands of individuals. I have written up the lodge activities in my blog, and it has been read all over the world. I have sought advice on military traveling lodges from many different individuals, and I cannot remember them all. For the official list of contacts, I suggest that you get it from the WM/Secretary.

3. Easy Question. NONE - NADA - ZERO - NO MONEY - NOTHING - $0.00 - ABSOLUTELY NO FUNDS - BUBKES!!!!I have NEVER received any cash or monetary donations of any kind. I want to make this absolutely clear and have no misunderstandings. I have NO MONEY collected for this lodge. There is no bank account, no collection, no "cookie jar" , no funds. NO Dollars, no yen, no rubles, no Euros, no South African Rand. NOTHING. NO one has even offered to make any monetary donations. NO commercial firm ever contacted me about any financial donations. NO funds or royalties were ever offered or received from any advertisements. Please keep in mind, that this lodge has existed since 1917. I cannot speak for what occured prior to November 2005, when I was first asked to help in this project. If the lodge has some money squirreled away in some account back in New York, or if the lodge "passed the hat" back at FOB Speicher, I have no knowledge of this. Once again, for the exact financial report of the lodge, you should check with the WM/Secretary.

4. In November 2005, three (3) crates of lodge equipment was sent to me. These three (3) crates are sitting in a secured storage locker, on base. This equipment has never been used (here). I was sent a charter/dispensation, but I returned it, as directed, by certified mail in December 2005. I have no exact knowledge of the whereabouts of the charter/dispensation at this time. There may be some additional equipment or administrative records at some other location. Various correspondence and records may in the possession of lodge officers.For a full accounting of the lodge equipment, please check with the WM/Secretary.

5. The lodge website (inactive) was donated by an individual. NO charge was made for the website, and no money paid. The individual who runs the website, cleared it with the 2005 NY Grand Lodge webmaster, and was provided with a set of rules. To the best of my knowledge the lodge website was in conformance with all the guidelines. If the webmaster had any banners, or announcements, no fees or royalties were ever paid. Check with the WM/Secretary to see if any fees were paid.

6. NO advertising or announcements of any kind were ever made on any other medium, and NO FEES were ever paid to the lodge.Check with the WM/Secretary to see if any fees were paid.7. NO commemorative coin was ever struck nor sold nor given away. Once in 2006, an individual approached me, about the possibility of designing a coin for the lodge. I referred him to the WM, and informed the potential designer, that it was best to get any potential design approved by the Grand Lodge, before he went into production. The WM and the designer exchanged a couple of emails, but the coin project never got past the "talking phase". Check with the WM, to get a complete record.

7.At least one firm, WITHOUT my knowledge or consent, has produced a number of items with "Land sea and Air lodge #1" designs. I discovered this activity quite by accident, and I informed the Worshipful Master. This activity is a "pirate" activity, and to the best of my knowledge, no fees or royalties were ever paid to anyone. Check with the WM to get a complete record.

8. (see paragraph 3). You understand quite WRONG. I have never attempted to open a bank account in New Jersey, New York, or anywhere in the name of this lodge. I am not a member of LSA#1, and not an officer of this lodge, and thusly not authorized to act in the name of this lodge. There are NO FUNDS present in this lodge, and therefore NO NEED for any bank account.I did consult with a brother Mason in New Jersey, who is a CPA, about some administrative matters, and made some inquries about how to get a bank account (should the need ever arise), and how to get articles of incorporation, and power of attorney, and so forth. I just asked this individual for some advice and guidance. I took no action, I opened no account, I signed no documents. This was just a brother-to-brother conversation. I have also spoken with individual Masons (and non-masons) in Kentucky and Virginia, and other locations, about administrative matters, and articles of incorporation, and power of attorney, etc. Please keep in mind, that this is "undiscovered country" for me. I had never even heard of a traveling military lodge, until I arrived in Iraq. I have sought advice and counsel from Brother Masons and non-Masons all over the USA, and in foreign countries. I have attempted to answer all of your questions to the best of my ability. I will be glad to help you clear up any misunderstandings. Please, though, go directly to the Worshipful Master, when you need such information. He can speak officially "for the lodge", because he sits in the master's chair. I am not even a New York mason.Now that we have these items cleared up, let's all work together on getting a dispensation, and getting masonic labor underway in Iraq.Masonically Thine, Charles E. Martin

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