Talk of the Times: Masons to open lodge to public

Courtesy photoThe lodge room at the Tyrian-Ashler-Acacia Lodge in Gloucester at 27 Eastern Ave. Members of the Masonic lodge are hosting an open house Saturday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Once again, Gloucester’s Masonic lodge is hosting an open house, known also as “Square and Compasses Day.” If you’ve ever wondered who the Freemasons are, whether they are the descendants of the Knights Templars, or what the inside of their building looks like, here’s your chance to find out.

The semi-annual event will take place next Saturday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tyrian-Ashler-Acacia Lodge, reflecting the former names of three lodges which are now one, at 27 Eastern Ave. To help the public gain a better understanding of what Freemasonry is, members will provide tours of the building, talk about Freemasonry’s history, discuss its rituals, signs, and symbols, and explain what they do.

Officers and members of the lodge will welcome visitors and prospective members alike. They’ll also display items not previously seen by the public, pulled from the dusty safe deposit box, such as Paul Revere’s silver work, antiquities from the 1770s and 1800s, and gavels made from the wood of the USS Constitution and from King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.

“Gloucester’s lodge has the distinction of being one of the oldest Masonic lodges in North America and will be displaying many of these items for our open house,” said Gordon Gravelese, master of The Tyrian-Ashler-Acacia Lodge. “For men looking for ways to give back to their community and world, while enjoying the benefits of a first-rate fraternal organization, Masonry is a great place to look.”

Cape Anners are invited to visit the lodge on Oct. 19 for more information, refreshments and a tour, or visit

Absentee ballots for November election

Absentee ballots for the Nov. 5 municipal election are available in the city clerk’s office during regular business hours.

Voters may vote by absentee ballot if they are unable to vote at the polls on Election Day because of the following reasons:

Absence from the city during the hours the polls are open.

Physical disability.

Observing religious beliefs.

Deadline to vote by absentee ballot in person or to apply for an absentee ballot is Monday, Nov. 4, at noon.

Chamber auction live

The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce has officially launched the online edition of its annual auction.

The auction will run through Oct. 27 at 10 p.m. On the block are hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates, services, entertainment tickets, experiences and more.

Auction proceeds will be used to support the chamber’s mission of:

Regional promotion, supporting and enhancing the quality of life for Cape Ann as a desirable place to live, work, recreate and vacation.

Economic development, projects, startups and initiatives that expand employment opportunities and enhance economic vitality.

Training and education, projects that support the current and future workforce and 21st century economy.

Registration and bidding may be done by visiting

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