Tyre, Lebanon -- Speaking from the newly discovered tomb of King Hiram, spokespersons from GEKT - the head of the various Grand Chapter, Council, and Commandery bodies in North America - announced this week that they will begin work on a new temple project that will be similar in scope to the Scottish Rite Temple in Washington, DC.
“The fractured nature of the York Rite bodies has, in the past, kept us from creating anything in the same range as our Scottish Rite brothers,” said project coordinator Mario van Pebbles. “We’ve managed to come to some agreement now, and our intention is to build a temple that will act as a repository for the various writings and research of our respective bodies.”
The as yet unnamed temple is in the planning stages at the moment, and will be located in the central United States. “We are considering three or four different locations. Our plan is to build a temple, at which there will be a re-creation of Hiram’s tomb, plus several other copies of historical interest. We expect to be offering bus tours, sponsored by the Grand Lodges of the surrounding states to help generate interest.”
|The Tomb of King Hiram of Tyre, which will be|
re-created at the proposed York Rite Temple
When asked about funding, Pebbles said that several members have donated up-front money to help get the project started, although they expect that the majority of the funding will come from craft lodges, chapters, and councils, as well as from many individual members.
“We came up with the funding idea when we saw several baseball stadiums at which the fans bought engraved bricks to be placed in the building and walkways. We think that this would be an excellent way to raise the capital needed for this project, and would be an easy selling point to get people to come visit so they can see their brick actually in place.”
Noting that Freemasons will buy anything with a Square & Compasses on it, the temple project will sell personalized bricks with a stylized S&C, and a name and personalized message.
"We are gearing up for a massive informational campaign to get the news to the lodges around North America. With over two million Masons, and who know how many thousands of craft lodges, chapters, etc., we figure that buying our bricks, which will cost $50 to $100, will fund almost the entire project in a couple of years.”
Still in the preliminary stages are a library and research center, a hotel and restaurant area, and a waterpark.
-- Conte Calvino Gliostro