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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes April 2016

The Value Of Masonic Education Revealed In A 'Parable'

R.W. Brother Samuel H. Bennett, a District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Florida, wrote the following:

Somewhere at sometime an Investigation Committee was examining a candidate for the three degrees of Freemasonry.  One of the questions asked was, "What part of Freemasonry interests you the best?"  To which the candidate replied, "I like the concept of the moral compass best."  The inquiry continued, "What part of the moral compass?"  "Well, I guess the parables."  The committeemen raised their eyebrows, but persisted, "Would you relate one to us?" 

The candidate really didn't know what to say, so he ran a bluff.

"Once upon a time a Mason was traveling and fell among thieves, and his cable-tow slid up and was choking him during the struggle.  He broke free and jumped into his convertible car and drove away furiously.  As he was driving his hair got caught in a low branch of a sycamore tree and pulled him from the car and left him hanging there.  He hung there many days and nights, and ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink.  Then one night, while he was hanging there, his wife came along and cut off his hair, and he fell to the ground.  Then it began to rain 40 days and 40 nights, so they hid in the cleft of a nearby cave for protection.  The next morning they met a wayfaring man who said, 'Come in and take supper with me.'  The Mason answered, 'I can't at this time for a man is chasing me.'" 

The candidate eventually concluded his long drawn-out story.  The members of the committee looked at one another with definite bewilderment.  No one felt qualified to question the candidate further, for each member had a deep suspicion about his own knowledge of Freemasonry.  So the candidate's petition was approved without further discussion. 

We have always been known as "Men of Honor and Distinction."  And yet I feel that sometimes we spend more time talking about Freemasonry than we do studying Freemasonry.  Even the education of a 50-year member of the Craft does not preclude the need for an on-going program of Masonic Education.  I encourage each of you to stretch your cable-tow and attend whenever you're able the "Schools of Instruction,"  "Masonic Leadership Training,"  "Open Books," other educational opportunities, and, of course, your Blue Lodge. 

Sample Of Dedication Of MSA'S Volunteer Program For Military Veterans

For nearly a century, the Masonic Service Association has administered a program of volunteer service for our Military Veterans.  One report, recently received from an MSA Hospital Representative in New Jersey, helps communicate the dedication and service this program provides:

 "I should explain a bit about this Veterans Home.  This is a full nursing, dementia, and hospice care facility.  No resident is here to be cured. Stability and support is the best that can be expect for these residents. In 2015, we saw roughly 50% of the Home's patients not survive the year.  This is not easy for our team of Masonic volunteers, but I cannot overstate the importance of the friendships, of having familiar faces there regularly. 

"The Masons are on a first-name basis with many residents, and we always have time to hear a story and share some smiles with any resident that is seeking an attentive or sympathetic ear."

These MSA volunteers are just one example of the type of work being accomplished by Masons for our Military Vets across the country.

Another 90-Year Old Master Identified

The Grand Lodge of Vermont has a current Worshipful Master who is 92 years old.  He is Donald A. Brown, of Red Mountain Lodge #63 in Arlington, VT.

On November 25, 2016, he will have been a Mason for 70 years.

His first time as Master was in 1959 – that's 57 years ago.  He served as District Deputy Grand Master in 1992-93 for the Grand Lodge of Vermont.

(Information provided by Robert J. "Butch" Donnelly, Jr., Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Vermont.)

Pictures Of Baseball Player (And Mason) Prove To Be Very Valuable Discovery

Ty Cobb was an extraordinary baseball player.  He compiled 4,189 hits, 897 steals, and a .367 batting average in his 24-year career, and was one of the first to be elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame.

He was also a Masonic Brother. Tyrus R. Cobb was a member of Royston Lodge #426 (now #52) in Royston, Georgia, joining in 1907 at the age of 21.  He joined the Scottish Rite in Detroit in 1912, was elected an honorary member of City of Straights Lodge in Detroit, and was a Shriner in Moslem Shrine Temple in Detroit. 

The problem for baseball fans is that he played from 1905 until 1928, and any photos or baseball cards of Ty Cobb, known as the Georgia Peach, are difficult to find.

That is, until a family recently found seven rare Ty Cobb cards in an old crumpled paper bag in the house of their deceased great-grandfather.  The cards likely came from the printing period of 1909-1911.

According to ESPN, a professional sports authenticator rated the century-old cards in good condition at a total value which could exceed $1 million.

Another Long-Time Grand Lodge Officer Recognized For Service

Many active U.S. Masons over the years have met Jess Minton, who was a frequent visitor at the annual Conference of Grand Masters of North America.

R.W. Brother Minton served for nearly 50 consecutive years as a Grand Lodge Officer of the American Canadian Grand Lodge within the United Grand Lodges of Germany.  Beginning in 1965 as Grand Junior Warden, he served subsequently as Grand Senior Warden in 1966 and Grand Master in 1969. 

Brother Minton then was elected Grand Secretary, a position he maintained for 43 consecutive years.  He was great Masonic servant!

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