AUBURN — Two Lodges in the 23rd Masonic District competed in a ritual contest, billed as the first ever “Battle of the Craft” at the Auburn Masonic Hall on Oct. 3.

The event was hosted by Ashlar Masonic Lodge of Auburn and coordinated by Richard Bergeron, district deputy grand master of the 23rd Masonic District. Competing in the event were Webster Lodge 164 of Wales and Tyrian Lodge 73 of Mechanic Falls. The purpose of the competition was to promote visitation between Lodges and to encourage excellence in the performance of ritual.

The event began with Webster Lodge conducting a Master Mason Degree, followed by a meal provided by the ladies of Eastern Star and Lewiston Rainbow Assembly and then Tyrian Lodge conducted their rendition of the Master Mason Degree. Each team was judged on the quality of their work.

Judging consisted of word accuracy, floor work, pronunciation and impressiveness. Four brethren from outside the 23rd Masonic District were chosen to serve as neutral observers of the work and to judge the contest. Tyrian Lodge of Mechanic Falls was determined to be the winner of the event.

Three individuals were also recognized for excellence in ritual work. They were Steven Verrill and Tim Stevens of Tyrian Lodge, and Kirk Wood of Webster Lodge. Judging the competition were Harland Harnden, assistant grand lecturer; Steven Nichols, past grand lecturer; Gerald “Butch” Gannett; and Christian Ratliff, district representative for the 17th Masonic District.

The winning team received a handmade wooden pyramid with the square and compasses and the word “Proficient” burned in to the wood. The trophy will be kept by the winning team until another team challenges and defeats them.

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