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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes August 2012

Indiana's Award For Military Service

The Grand Lodge of Indiana gives an award to Masons who have distinguished themselves in military service. Here is how the Indiana describes its award:

Throughout history, Freemasons and Freemasonry have stood the test of time . . . from the Knights Templar protecting the Church and its treasures, to Freemasons fighting for and founding this country, to the present day of Freemasons protecting this country and the freedoms we all enjoy. Freemasons have always answered the call, Freemasons have always welcomed the challenge, Freemasons have always prevailed, and Freemasons have always given it all for the good of others.

The Distinguished Military Award in Indiana was created in 2005 and named for Brother Raymond L. White, who was the first Freemason in Indiana to give his life in the Iraqi War. It is bestowed upon a Master Mason who has served or is currently serving his country with unusual valor and bravery.

The Award is presented each year to one or more individuals at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in May.

(Source: Indiana Freemason, Summer, 2012)

Grotto Assists MSA Hospital Program

Aquinas "Moe" Evans, who recently finished his term as Grand Monarch of the Grottoes of North America, and his wife, Susan, have provided much service to help the Masonic Service Association in its fundraising efforts this past year. MSA is very grateful for all their efforts.

Brother Evans wrote the feature letter used in the MSA's annual Green Envelope Appeal campaign for funding for its Hospital Visitation Program.

In addition, as "first lady" of the Grottoes, Susan supported a charity project, which has raised $3,000 for the MSA volunteer effort in VA hospitals around the nation.

"Once again," Brother Evans wrote to all Grotto Prophets, "Please remember our Veterans. We owe them so much! They are personally responsible for the freedoms we enjoy every day."

(Source: Grotto Magazine, Spring, 2012)

Brother Enrico Fermi, Nuclear Pioneer

Enrico Fermi, namesake of the nuclear power plant near Monroe, Michigan, was a leading pioneer in the development of nuclear fission and the first nuclear reactor.

Brother Fermi was born in 1901 in Rome and as a young boy, enjoyed physics and mathematics. He received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the prestigious Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. He published his first important scientific work in 1922, his year of graduation.

He became a Master Mason in 1923 in the Lodge Andriano Lemni in Rome, Italy.

He took a professorship in Rome at the age of 24 and remained there until 1938 when he won the Nobel Prize in physics.

Upon the discovery of nuclear fission, he went to the University of Chicago, and later to Los Alamos to serve as a general consultant. Brother Fermi contributed significantly to the Manhattan Project, the creation of the first U.S. atomic bomb. He became a U.S. citizen in 1944.

In his later years, he did important work in particle physics and was an inspiring teacher at the University of Chicago. He died in 1954 in Chicago at age 54 of stomach cancer.
In 2001, to commemorate his 100th birthday, both Italy and the United States issued stamps to honor Brother Fermi.

(Source: The Philatelic Freemason, July-August, 2012)

The Plumb-Line, A Test Of Values

Twenty-four centuries before Speculative Freemasonry was born, the shepherd Amos, who taught during the reign of Jereboam II of the Kingdom Israel, held aloft the plumb-line as a teaching symbol. The meaning was the same then, as it is today: the plumb-line represents the standard of rectitude, justice, uprightness, and true manhood.

As such, it is one of the most impressive symbols of Freemasonry and stands pre-eminent in the Degree of Fellow Craft.

It is the symbol by which the value of the material interest of life must be gauged and by which the use of man's intelligence must be tried. The symbolism is so plain, that it does not need any profound philosophy to unfold it, neither is it necessary to search for it along geometrical lines.

It stands clear, simple and profound. It matters not whether the Freemason toils as a day laborer in the clay grounds between Succoth and Zeredetha, or stands as the exponent of the liberal arts and sciences. There is but one standard for King or subjects, rich or poor, educated or ignorant.

The plumb-line of moral rectitude must be applied to every walk in life.

(Source: The Philalethes, October, 2000)

Difference Between "Stations" And "Places"

Only three officers of the Lodge occupy "Stations," the Master and the two Wardens. The remainder of the officers have "Places."

In the dictionary, "Station" gives the idea of being "permanent," where "Place" indicates a more temporary location. 

Permanent is more like the Master and the Wardens, who cannot resign; temporary can refer to the other officers who may resign and therefore occupy "places."


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