Norm & Dottie FInd a Treasure

Date Line: August 31, 2012

We are traveling in the Canadian Maritime Provinces and in Gander, Newfoundland we found a most significant Memorial.  I feel I must share its story with you.  

Silent Witness Memorial at Gander, NL

On December 11, 1985, a Douglas DC-8 departed Cairo, Egypt on an international charter flight to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, USA, via Cologne, Germany, and Gander, Newfoundland. On board were eight crew members and 248 passengers. The flight was the return portion of the Multinational Force Observers from peace keeping duties in the Sinai Desert.  All 248 passengers who departed Cairo on the 11th December 1985 were members of the 101st Airborne Division, United States Army, based at Fort Campbell.

The flight departed Gander at 6:45 am. December 13th. The aircraft gained little altitude after rotation and began to descend until it crashed on the sloping terrain approximately 3000 ft beyond the departure end of the runway. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and severe fuel-fed fire. All 256 occupants on board sustained fatal injuries.  The Air Crash is the worst air disaster ever on Canadian soil.

This memorial depicts an unarmed soldier standing atop a massive rock holding the hands of two civilian children. The children, a boy and a girl, each hold an olive branch, indicative of the peace keeping mission of the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles" on the Sinai Peninsula. Behind them rise three tall staff flag poles each bearing a flag, Canadian, American, and Newfoundland. As the trio stands looking into the future; they are surrounded by trees, hills, and rocks of the actual Air Crash site, overlooking Gander Lake in the direction of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. These natural surroundings are the "Silent Witnesses" of the precise moment when 256 dreams ended, and the hearts and imaginations of an entire world were captured. This site is a honored place in Gander. This Monument was erected by the Masons of Newfoundland and Labrador in honor of those who served in the cause of humanity.

The Masonic tribute honored this reverent place with serene dignity. It is not often that we see at a National Shrine in public display recognized by the Masonic Fraternity.

Is this not a silent reminder to All Masons of the Blue Lodge, the Rites, and the Shrine  “Little Eyes are Watching Us”!


Masonic Tribute Newfoundlnad Masons

Memorial to 101 Airborne


This was a powerful Masonic moment for us, and I had to share its significance with you.  It symbolizes the good within our Fraternity.  When Masonry stands Tall we all are at Attention.

Yours in the Faith,

Norm Ribble




History of the Lodge


Bethesda Lodge # 64 History

The town now known as Truth or Consequences, probably as early as 1874, was called Palomas or Las Palomas for the doves that lived in the Cottonwood trees along the Rio Grande River.  Later, the name of Ojo Caliente was applied as the name of the Community and this became Hot Springs, because of the hot sulphur springs that abounded in the area. 

Ralph Edwards, a national known radio man and early Television personality, talked the people of Hot Springs into changing the name of their town to Truth or Consequences after his show of which he was the Master of Ceremonies. In return for holding an Annual Fiesta there, he promised the event would receive national publicity. Added note to this story.  Ralph Edwards did return each year for some 25 years for "Ralph Edwards Day Fiesta in honor of this commitment.  The name of Truth or Consequences for general usage is now referred to as T or C.  However the T or C High School is still know as the Hot Springs High School, home of the fighting Tigers. 

The mining boom which hit other towns in Sierra County missed Hot Springs.  Until the start of Elephant Butte Dam in 1911[i] there were not many people who lived here.  The people of Hot Springs began efforts to get the County seat moved to their town from Hillsboro in 1937, after the mines played out at Hillsboro and other county towns. Hot Springs became the county Seat of Sierra County in 1938[1]

Masonic activities in Hot Springs date back to the Town’s early days.  Many Masons came to the town when it was known as Palomas Springs, seeking a restoration of health from the hot sulphur baths.  Many of these needed help, so a Masonic relief association was formed to assist them.  Records of this Masonic relief work date back to 1914.

A meeting attended by 36 Masons was held on April 27, 1938and at its conclusion the group applied for a dispensation to form a Masonic Lodge in Hot Springs.  The Dispensation was granted December 3, 1938 by Grand Master William M Bickel.  There were 38 names on the application for dispensation; the largest, at that time, ever to apply to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico.  The charter Masons came from a dozen states, and 20 of them were from New Mexico.  They first met in Apodaca Hall, after the Charter was issued the Lodge was set to work by Grand Master Louis C,, Rockett.  The Lodge was constituted and the Hall dedicated on November 14, 1939.  Grand Lecturer George L Machen delivered the address at the close of the Corner Stone Dedication Ceremony. Otto H El Goetz was the first Master.

A disastrous hail storm damagedApodaca Hall in 1947 and caused the Lodge to move its meetings to the Odd Fellows Hall.  The members weren’t satisfied holding there meetings in the Odd Fellows Hall, so funds and materials were solicited of the purpose of building a Msonic Lodge of the own.  Dr. T. B. Williams donated the land and a new Lodge building was built and dedicated on March 12, 1949. 

The Grand Lodge of NM was opened that afternoon with visiting Masons from far and wide present for the cornerstone laying ceremony.  Main Street in front of the building was roped off, and closed for the occasion.  Grand Master Walter F Edwards conducted the ceremony.

A barbecue dinner was served to 380 Masons and guest on this occausion.  The dedication was open to the public with 175 Masons registered from 22 states.  Many Grand Lodge Officers and other Masonic dignitaries were present.  Every member of Bethesda Lodge has a part in the construction.  The building was 90’ by 32’ and cost the brethren approximately $14,000.00, half of which had already been paid at the time of the dedication. 

Bethesda Lodge had a membership of 110 members in 1977 at the Centennial Celebration of the Grand Lodge of Masons in New Mexico. [2]





l[i] The majority of this article is taken from “A history of Masonry in New Mexico 1877 ~ 1977 by LaMoine Langston, PGM


WM Ron Mannon

Brethren, our regular communication is this Thursday, 03-22-2012.  We will be confiring the Entered Apprentice Degree on our newly elected candidate.

*** Please note that on Monday March 26th @ 6:00pm we will have a Practice on the F. C. Degree ***



Regular Meeting March 22: EA Degree

Practice Monday, March 26: FC Degree

Special Meeting Thursday, March 29: EA Proficiency and FC Degree Conferral. 

Also, I would like to take this time to thank the members that have been showing up for our practice nights. I have seen a lot of improvement in our opening and closing of the Lodge in the degrees and also in the Ritual work we have been doing. Sooner or later we will have a Fellowcraft degree and will also need to start our work towards the Master Mason degree.

Hope to see you all there , Ron


History of T or C

The relationship of the Lodge to T or C will be placed here