Paumanok-Port Washington Lodge No. 855 was very-well represented at the 2023 Nassau County Grand Lecturer’s Convention, held on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 in Rockville Centre. The Lodge had 17 Brothers in attendance and, for the second year in a row, received the Potts Award.
On the evening of Monday, March 28, Paumanok-Port Washington Lodge No. 855 before Nassau District’s Grand Lecturer’s convention began, Right Worshipful Laurence Tuck, Past Grand Sword Bearer, presented Brother William E. Kurz with his sixty-year-anniversary apron and pin. Worshipful Brandon Sax, Master of Paumanok-Port Washington Lodge escorted Brother Kurz East of the altar. Brother Kurz and his family have been a pillar in the community for generations. Congratulations Brother Kurz, looking forward to your 65 year apron.
On the evening of Monday, March 28 2022, Brother Edward G. McIlhenny was presented with his 70th anniversary apron.
During Nassau District’s Grand Lecturer’s convention, which took place at the Polish American Civic Association (PACA) building located at 5 Pulaski Place, Port Washington, R:.W:. John T. Hansen District Deputy Grand Master of the Nassau Masonic District, representing the Most Worshipful Richard J. Kessler, presented Brother Edward G. McIlhenny with a “Proclamation”, seventy-year-anniversary Masonic apron and pin. Worshipful James O. Brew DSA, a 64 year mason and past high school student of Bro. McIlhenny accompanied him. Bro. McIlhenny thanked all 150 Brothers in attendance for the accolades an added that not only was he receiving his 70 year apron, but earlier in the month he had achieved his 99 year of life on earth.
A World War II Veteran, Brother Ed McIlhenny is and has been a pillar in Port Washington for many years, not only as a Master Mason but as a special officer for the Port Washington Police force, a life-time educator and a volunteer in many organizations. You can read more about him on Port Washington News. Congratulations on another milestone to Brother McIlhenny.
On the evening of Monday March 28 Nassau District gathered at the Polish American Civic Association building in Port Washington to celebrate their annual Grand Lecturer’s Convention. The first convention since the COVID-19 pandemic was well attended by 150 Freemasons.
Right Worshipful Richard Friedman, Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York said he had not seen so many Brothers attend a Grand Lecturer’s convention in years. During the convention, two anniversary aprons were given. One to Brother Edward G. McIlhenny for his 70 years in the fraternity and one to Brother William E. Kurz for his 60 years. Four Lodges were also presented with the Pott’s Award.
Right Worshipful John T. Hansen, District Deputy Grand Master of Nassau District thanked the Lodge for hosting, also Very Worshipful Mike LaRocco, Right Worshipful Michael Shipman, Worshipful Adam Bernstein and all Brothers who assisted with setup and tear down.
On Tuesday March 8 Brothers Laurence Tuck and Arthur Mittelstaedt Jr. presented Bro. Rajinder Pal Singh Bhalla, one of our own. He became a member of Paumanok-Port Washington Lodge No.855 in 1976. He moved to Texas after a successful career in New York. Bro. Rajinder Pal Singh Bhalla is now a resident of Houston, TX where he moved to run a medical lab. Together with his wife, Bro. Ballah embodied the cultural values of India, the principles of Sikhism and foundations of Freemasonry. Together they exemplify Freemasonry at its best.
Bro. Raj Ballah, as remembered by Bro. Art and Bro. Larry, worked at a Charles River medical laboratory in Port Washington. Bro. Brian Staley, Police Commissioner and Trustee of our Lodge, remembers Charles River Laboratory well. Monkeys escaped from the laboratory and remembers getting the call at the police station.
Bro. Ballah joined the Port Washington Lodge in 1976 to 1993, serving as its Master in 1982, Joining Morton Lodge No. 72 in Richmond in 1995.
Recently, the Ballahs’ joy of giving made headlines for donating one million dollars to several nonprofits in the United States. Nonprofits like The India Culture Center, Houston Food Bank, Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation, Kennett Education Foundation, Gurudwara Sahib of Southwest Houston and Sugar Land Legacy Foundation were among the nonprofits on their list.
Read more about his successful life and what it is to be a Freemason by following the links below.