On November 26, 2018, a crew of dedicated brothers finally unveiled the final touches to the “elevator” project which commenced over 20 years ago.
The last chapter of this story goes back over a year, when WBro. Corsalini approached WBro. Agnew (then SW) with the idea to design an ornament for the outside of the building to fit into the space originally designed for such decoration. WBro. Agnew floated some designs to WBros. Corsalini and Ruggiano, and received an indication of interest, with suggestions.
WBro. Agnew then solicited the aid of Bro. Yurkiw to create a more defined design. This was then presented to the trustees who heartily embraced the design, and a preliminary budget was devised.
The design was then submitted to a sculptor who was an old friend and associate of Bro. Yurkiw, who built a to-scale model. WBro. Agnew drove to Long Island in February to pick up the sculpture, so as to prevent any possible damage in transit. We then submitted the design to eight foundries in New England and New York, and received a good bid from a well-known, small foundry near Boston. WBro. Agnew delivered the sculpture to the foundry in April.
The foundry used the lost-wax method to change the foam sculpture into a beautiful bronze casting. This was finished in August, and WBro. Agnew returned to the foundry to pick it up. But unfortunately, as the owner was out of town, they could not locate the work! This added some delay, but in late September, the sculpture was delivered to Westport and displayed in the lodge room.
The final phase of this saga occurred recently, as you can see from the pictorial essay below. It all began with Bro. Yurkiw creating a template for the mounting rods on a large piece of foam core board, and then mounting the roof together with Bro. Duff, while WBro Agnew heroically documented these momentous events. Before the foam board could be positioned, the center of the box had to be determined:
Then, the foam core template was applied to the building, and the drill points were marked:
Now that we had the drill points, Bro. Yurkiw began to drill the holes.
But the building was not giving up so easily. In the middle of the fourth hole, the drill bit was bent, and we had to wrap it up for the day. We all enjoyed a restful and happy Thanks=Giving, and then reconvened on Sunday, November 25 to try again.
We are very fortunate to have in our midst a highly experienced and talented artist in the form of Bro. Yurkiw, who has worked in all different kinds of media, but is now enjoying the exploration of light sculptures, and launched this one on the bridge in downtown Westport:
So in addition to all his other expertise, Bro. Yurkiw devised a system to light the sculpture from the front and the behind. This system he incorporated into the back of the sculpture before we carried it up to the porch.
This time, we had to sketch out a method on the trestleboard for getting this 75lb beast up into the air. Using a rope and pulley system ingeniously devised by the WM Bro. Agnew, we were able to haul the sculpture up to the porch, while the WM again heroically documented these momentous events:
But we still needed to drill that fourth hole, and also widen the other holes:
Using the ingenious pulley system once again, we hauled the sculpture for a trial run into its final resting place:
After some back and forth, it fit like a glove, so we were ready for the final stage. Bro. Yurkiw filled the holes with epoxy specially chosen for the brisk 45 degree weather and for a fast curing period:
And now we are ready for the final placement:
We let it cure in place overnight, and then returned on Monday to remove the ladder. Voila! Hiram Abif would be pleased to see how we have beautified and adorned our temple in Westport. And now may the new chapter begin, wherein this symbol of fraternity can provoke and inspire all beings for generations upon generations.