The Official Publication of the Audubon Park Lodge #272

March 2016
Volume 18, Number 1

From the East ... 


Greetings Brethren

It is hard to believe that the Masonic year is more than half over.  Our lodge has been very busy initiating new members, conducting degree work, growing as Masons, and taking care of our Masonic home.  Winter is over, and it will be Grand Lodge time before you know it.

The second week of March is a busy one with the annual Corned Beef dinner and the Grand Master’s visit.  We also have degree work for several folks coming up this month.  The Lodge continues to grow and there is a lot of excitement with all of the new members.

Work continues to improve the Lodge building.  We have recently installed new countertops and vinyl flooring in the kitchen.  The current project involves replacing the old stove with a gas range.  With a little more paint and polish you won’t recognize it and neither will our renters.

Our newest Master Mason, Michael Staley, is a good example of our new brothers becoming involved.  He stepped up and has been installed as our junior deacon.  He also is working on the temple board. 

Speaking of the temple board, if you have wanted to find a place to get either involved or back involved with the lodge we need additional folk on the board.  WB Richard Hentz has been our temple board chair for 3 years and needs to step down.  This is your opportunity to help steer the direction of the building. 

It has been great seeing so many brothers at our Stated meetings each month. See Masons on the side lines in addition to just the officers at the meeting is wonderful.  If you need a ride to the meetings please let someone know.  We currently offer a meal before the meeting starting at 6:30 and would love to see you there as well.

I hope all will continue to benefit from the educational presentations at the meeting.  If you would like to take on a month and make the presentation let me know.  There is more to a Stated meeting that just paying the bills.

Those of you who are keeping score might note that the December edition of the Pillars was missing.  The windstorm and following power outage interfered with getting it out in a timely manner.  Additional there were several medical issues that caused the missed edition.

I value any input to help our lodge improve and grow.  If there is anything you would like to see happening at your lodge let me or one of the other officers know.  I hope to see you at an upcoming Stated meeting or family night.


WB Barry Rettkowski

Worshipful Master

From the West...  

Which and What Part of the Ashlar is Our Lodge Building?

How often to do you gauge your time and then knock away superfluous features or items of a given thing? I think upon this question often, for a variety of reasons, more especially because I have begun to ask myself, are physical masonic lodges superfluous?  I believe they are. I believe they are because over my ten short years as a Mason I have witnessed them skew our priorities, shift us gradually away from our Great Tenets and because I have seen others excel through a different way.

Buildings are important for a variety of reasons.  Their foundations, walls and furnishings typically exceed the lifetime of any given Mason and provide continuity.  I enjoy looking up our lodge walls and seeing who our past masters were and periodically seeing small memorials associated with deceased brethren. However, I can’t help but ask at some point, does the building exist to serve us or do we exist to serve the building? I ask this because I often observe many brothers, from many lodges and many jurisdictions spending the majority of their masonic time worrying about parking lot signage or leaky pipes at the expense of other things. Measuring their work upon a 24-inch gauge, I fear they may be spending too much time on the labor of property, and too little on fraternity and charity.

Brotherly love, relief, truth, fortitude, prudence, temperance and justice.  If a physical building can facilitate these things, effectively and often, it has a masonic purpose. What happens though when the building becomes an end in itself and its maintenance exceeds the applications of our tenants? Let us examine a couple.

Does our building promote friendship? I think in a sense it does but consider that America’s earliest Freemasons found ways to accomplish the same in tents and taverns. In this respect I would ask you to consider if there’s a more economical or practical way to accomplish the same.  If I needed transportation to work a couple of miles away from my home, bought a car to facilitate that goal but spent more time maintaining my car than working, I might have an issue.

Does the building provide relief? I can’t help but notice that we spend more on fixing toilets and mowing our lawn than on charitable contributions to our community.  Is it possible that the building impedes our ability to effectively provide relief? I think it does. Ask yourself the same for each of our other tenants.

I travel often for work and pleasure, and I enjoy visiting other lodges and taking note of what they do differently or similarly. One of the biggest differences I’ve seen over the years and throughout the world has been from those lodges which have abandoned the practice of being amateur property managers. They have sold their properties, invested income from those sales and become tenants in a substantially smaller facility.

As long as we have the privacy and capacity to conduct our degrees in a common and convenient place, does anything else in a meeting place really matter? I ask this because of a previous question that I also asked.  Do we exist to serve the building or does the building exist to serve us? I think in the past our numbers and demographics afforded us with the luxury of having beautiful buildings that served us well. However, today our significantly smaller numbers and lack of required talent often seem to put us in a position where our building had gradually become our end and not the means to a greater end. Do we really need it?

Senior Warden
B John Rivera


From the South...


We are moving along at a good clip, the kitchen is re-assembled, the stove is going to be replaced with a newer gas fueled model, and the coffee maker will be either upgraded or replaced by a smaller version (the original manufacturer hasn't made this model in over 10 years!) because special parts are no longer available! The WC's (sorry, toilets!) are all working, a lot of painting has been done, as has a bit of carpentry and plumbing, and we now have another candidate for the first degree!

The snows are fast becoming a thing of memory, soon we'll have to open up the sprinkler lines again, maybe even float the idea to have a "picnic" on our lovely front lawn!  The Warden's conference is coming up and I and my wife Heidi are going to attend it. I hope to bring back ideas and information that could possible help the Lodge.

I have changed jobs, expanded my masonic repertoire and managed to actually get out on my own to several other lodges' meetings to get better acquainted, to see and be seen!  I look forward to the rest of this year, as well as to what the next promises, both in my Masonic and professional interests. 

Yours in Masonry

B Rob Stevenson

Junior Warden


In Other News...

From the Secretary's Desk     

My Fellow Traveling Men:

Last week I received a check on behalf of the lodge from the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington in the amount of $2,376.07 – representing our annual interest payment on Life Memberships registered to our lodge. This is an important element of lodge funding. Once a Master Mason purchases a Life Dues membership, while the principal of that payment stays with Grand Lodge, interest on the principal is paid to the lodge annually, even after that Mason has passed on and entered the Great Celestial Lodge. Interestingly, a Mason who is a Life Dues member need not even belong to the lodge he assigns his Life Dues principal to, and any Mason can designate that the interest on his Life Dues payment be dedicated to any lodge in the State of Washington.

With the sale of the downtown Masonic Temple and the North Hill Temple, our Audubon Park Lodge has one of the only two original temple buildings remaining within the city limits of Spokane. That is my Masonic reason for asking the brothers of our lodge and of other lodges in the Greater Spokane Area to respectfully consider assigning interest of their Life Dues memberships to Audubon Park Lodge #272 (in the event they have not already done so) to help us with the daunting task of preserving our original temple building. All it takes is a hand written, dated & signed note of an intent to transfer, which I will gladly pass on to Grand Lodge for you.

Right now, four blue lodges share our building, not including the appendant youth bodies.  We are quickly becoming an important historic lodge building treasure in the area – and any extra or creative ideas to assist us in the funding of that mission is always appreciated.



B Chet Caskey

Lodge Secretary

(509) 863-2519


Audubon Park Masonic Building Association    


I am happy to report that we installed a new kitchen floor and it looks great with the new counter tops. A big THANK YOU goes out to the following brothers for removing  everything out of the kitchen and putting it back; WM Barry Rettkowski, VWB Chuck Young, WB Bill Wilson, JW Rob Stevenson, WB Rich Hentz, B Eric Behlke,  B Michael Staley and Ann & WB Eric Berman.

WB Bill Wilson offered to buy a new commercial gas stove for the lodge, if the lodge would pay for the gas line. At the Audubon Park Building Association meeting it was approved to accept WB Bill Wilson generous offer. HOOYAH! We also approved buying a new coffee maker.

Our lodge building has been really put to use this year and I would like to encourage everyone who has access to the Internet to bookmark the Audubon Park Masonic Building Calendar, found at this link:   You can also get to the Lodge calendar by going to our web site at:


WB Rich Hentz, Chairman


Happenings at the Lodge 

Audubon Park Masonic Foundation


Good news and, even more good news.

The Clam Chowder feed was held in January and the good news is it cleared $700.00 for the Foundation. Over the past four months APMF has raised several thousand dollars in donations for our Temple Building and Lodge.  We have provided funding to replace the kitchen counter tops and they really look great.  This past week we completed the replacement of the kitchen flooring.  A number of areas of the walls and cabinets were washed and repainted by our members.  There is more to do and always looking for volunteers willing to roll up their sleeves and wear the apron of a laborer.

We are in the process of replacing that hunk of metal called electric stove with a modern natural gas unit.  Hurrah!!  W.B. Bill Wilson announced during our February Stated meeting he is willing to purchase and donate a new gas stove to the Temple Building. The Temple Board will cover the expense of providing the natural gas line to the stove, and has sought bids.

The Foundation over the years has received donations allocated to the special Program: Honorarium, Memorial and Bequest.  The income can only be used by the Temple Building and is available upon request.  Thus the Foundation will provide a grant to the Temple for these expenses.

Corned Beef Dinner will be held on March 8 with a social hour hosted by Eric and Anne at 5:30 and Dinner at 6:30.  Grand Master Donald Munks will be our special guest.  Our donors will be presented with Certificate of Appreciation.  Grants will be presented to the various charities we support: Lodge, Temple, Jobs Daughters, Rainbow, and Demolay.  We would appreciate your attending our dinner.

As required by Grand Lodge and the bylaws of our Foundation, an audit was completed and found to be in good order.  100% of your donations are allocated as requested or as directed by you.  I am unaware of any other charity that can make this claim.  I am very much aware some of our members are sensitive to the issue of raising funds.  My response has always been: "let our Members know what is wanted, why it is wanted, let them vote by donating or not donating and thank them for considering voting."  If you care to join a number of us in donating to our Foundation your contribution to our continuing success will be most appreciated.  

If you have comments or questions please contact me:  Cell:  509-590-9001  Email:


Fraternally yours in service.

WB Eric E. Berman

Audubon Park #272 Temple Board

 Rainbow Girls    


Rainbow Girls are meeting at Audubon Park Masonic Building the 1st and 3rd Mondays each month at 7 pm, all Masons are invited to attend their meetings. 

Call 710-1879 to find out what is happening at their meetings.

Job’s Daughters

            Job’s Daughters, Bethel #3, are meeting at Audubon Park Masonic Building the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at 7 pm.  The young ladies would love to see Masons attend the meetings.  Please come and support these young ladies.


Masonic Fact

“We represent a fraternity which believes in justice and truth and honorable action in your community…men who are endeavoring to be better citizens… and to make a great country greater.  This is the only institution in the world where we can meet on the level all sorts of people who want to live rightly.”  Harry Truman President of the United States – source: Center for Masonic Information

Who do I talk to?

Contact the Worshipful Master, Lodge Secretary, or WB Eric Berman if you know someone that is interested in renting the building. 

If you want something put into the Pillars contact the Lodge secretary:

Audubon Park Masonic Lodge #272

POB 9575    Spokane WA 99209-9575

Or call or e-mail

Secretary: B. Chet Caskey, Lodge Secretary (509) 863-2519

Pillars Editor: WB. Barry Rettkowski 509-928-0075 email:

Calendar of Events 

March 2016

3/1       APML Foundation Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

3/7       Lodge Officers practice – 7:00 p.m.

3/8       Corned Beef Dinner 5:30 p.m.

3/9       March Audubon Park Lodge Stated Meeting – 7:30 p.m.

Dinner before the Meeting 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

3/18     Family Night Pot Luck – 6:30 p.m.

3/21     Temple Board Meeting – 6:00 p.m.


April 2016

4/13     April Audubon Park Lodge Stated Meeting – 7:30 p.m.

Dinner before the Meeting 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

4/15     Family Night Pot Luck – 6:30 p.m.

4/18     Temple Board Meeting – 6:00 p.m.


May 2016

5/11     May Audubon Park Lodge Stated Meeting – 7:30 p.m.

Dinner before the Meeting 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

5/16     Temple Board Meeting – 6:00 p.m.

5/20     Family Night Pot Luck – 6:30 p.m.

Officers 2015-2016

Worshipful Master                  WB Barry Rettkowski

Senior Warden                        B John Rivera

Junior Warden                         B Robert Stevenson

Secretary                                 B Chet Caskey

Treasure                                   B Bret Anderson

Chaplain                                  B Rob Humbird

Marshal                                   B Eric Behlke

Senior Deacon                         B Justin Haldeman

Junior Deacon                         B Michael Staley

Senior Steward                       WB Richard Hentz

Junior Steward                        TBD

Tyler                                        WB Richard Hentz

MWB Harold Tucker past Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Washington

MWB Douglas Tucker past Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Washington