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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes August 2010

Ernest Henry Shackleton

            In the June 2010 issue of Emessay Notes there was an article on the Royal Society and several members who were known to be Freemasons. Ernest Henry Shackleton was one of those mentioned. Bro. Leon Zeldis, a well known Masonic author who wrote Masonic Symbols and Signposts, sent MSA the following story:

The note on Ernest Henry Shackleton (Emessay Notes - June 2010) failed to mention the role played in the rescue of Shackleton’s stranded men by another Mason, Bro. Luis Pardo, the Chilean commander of the tugboat Yelcho (a small vessel totally unfitted for sailing to icebound Antarctica). Pardo deftly guided his small ship to save the British crewmen who already were on the brink of starvation.

Pardo had been initiated in Independencia Lodge Nº. 38 in Valparaiso, later joined Aurora Lodge Nº. 6, also in Valparaiso, one of the oldest lodges under the Grand Lodge of Chile. Upon the return of Shackleton, Pardo and the Yelcho to Valparaiso, a special festive meeting of welcome was organized by the Lodge of Harmony #1411, English Constitution, on September 30, 1916.

Tom Mix

            Tom Mix was born on January 6, 1880 in El Paso County, Texas. In his early life he was a cowboy in Texas, Arizona, Wyoming and Montana. He served in the Army in the Spanish-American War in the Philippines and with the British in the Boer War. Returning to America he served as Sheriff in Kansas and Oklahoma, as a deputy U.S. Marshall and a Texas Ranger, as a livestock foreman in Oklahoma and as a member of the Sells-Floto Circus. He began his motion picture career in 1910 but did not become famous until he joined Fox in 1917. In 1933 he organized his own Circus and Wild West Show making appearances in the US and Europe. He was killed in an auto accident in Florence, Arizona on October 16, 1940.

            Tom Mix was raised in Utopia Lodge No. 527, Los Angeles, CA on February 21, 1925 and was an active member of the “203 Club” taking part in degrees. He was buried with Masonic honors.

(Source: The Philatelic Freemason – May/June 2010)

Home Of The Grange

            Richard Bateman, Assistant Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of New York sent MSA a copy of a most interesting article about the formation of the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry. The article titled Home of the Grange was written by Michelle Henry and published in the Summer 2010 issue of New York Archives. An excerpt from this article relating to Freemasonry follows:

            At the close of the Civil War, 47% of America’s working public worked in agriculture. Oliver Kelley, a farmer from Minnesota who was employed as a part-time clerk in the Commissioner of Agriculture’s office in Washington, DC, was sent on a tour of southern states to assess the damage to their resources and economies that had resulted from the war. Kelley documented the destruction of plantations and farms, the barren condition of fields, and the devastation of the South’s economic base. He knew that farmers in the West and North were struggling, too. High freight charges by the railroads made it difficult for farmers to find a market for their products. Between the war, mortgage payments, and the price of agricultural implements, most farmers were barely getting by.

            As a northerner, Kelley was viewed with suspicion and distrust by the southern farmers whom he visited. Only when he identified himself as a Mason did fellow Masons open their homes and freely discuss their concerns and dire situations. Kelly believed that by promoting mutual tolerance, forgiveness and cooperation, the country’s farmers could revive agriculture, restore fields to fertility, and create a food supply for the nation. He envisioned a fraternal organization like the Masons for farmers and rural residents that could heal the great rupture between the North and the South.

            Kelley and several prominent members of the Masonic fraternity met in Washington to create a secret society for this purpose. The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry was born in the fall of 1867 and agreed to call all local branches granges, since “grange” means farm or home.

Did You Know?

Is there a distinction between Masonic oath and Masonic obligation?

            The “oath” is the “So help me, God” at the end of any solemn promise made with hand upon the Book of the Law. The “obligation” is the substance of the preceding promises. “Oath” is thus symbolical of man’s fear of God; “obligation” signifies the promises and agreements made preceding the oath.


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