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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes December 2011


High School Masonic Bands Sponsored

 Masonic band camps have proven very popular in Kansas and Nebraska as great public relations tools for the Grand Lodges.

  • The Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band has attracted cream-of-the-crop high school musicians for 28 years.
  • The Nebraska Masonic All-Star Marching Band has become an annual drawing card for top bandsmen in the Cornhusker State for 17 years.

In both cases, the students spend several days in band camps, which involves many hours of practicing, enjoying evening activities, performing concerts, and marching in pre-game and halftime shows at a Shrine-sponsored, all-star high school football bowl game.

Last year, 167 young musicians gathered in late July at the Fort Hays State University in Kansas.  On May 31, some 265 of the state's best high school band members converged at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for band camp.

In addition to the public relations value for Kansas and Nebraska Freemasonry, the band camps are vehicles for hundreds of students from all over their states to come together, form life-long friendships, improve their musical skills, and take part in an experience they'll remember forever.  Over the years, thousands of young men and women have participated in these opportunities, provided by the Masonic Fraternity.

In Kansas, the annual event is sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Foundation, and the Grand Lodge encourages Lodges to contribute and help sponsor the participants.  Each year, one member of the All-State Band is selected as the annual Outstanding Musician, and receives a $1,000 grant for college.

In Nebraska, the long-standing high school band tradition is administered by the Grand Lodge, with Lodges and all the appendant bodies contributing "scholarships" that allow the students to attend.  Many participants come back when they are in college to be volunteer music assistants or chaperones for the teenage band members.

Remembered Quote

         "Democracy… is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

         Liberty… is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." – Benjamin Franklin

Patriotism For The Holidays

By Chad G. Reichard
DeMolay Jurisdiction Master Councilor of the Nation's Capital

Patriotism, the final candle in the symbolism of DeMolay's glorious seven precepts, is one that has greater significance as a DeMolay matures in our Order.
As a young DeMolay, the word, "patriotism," may bring to mind the thought of saluting the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each morning before school or the singing of the Star Spangled Banner before a sporting event.

However, as time passes and the young DeMolay reaches the age of 18, another reality hits: he must register for the Draft. At this point, patriotism takes on a whole new meaning; defending our country with your life. Though the chances of the Draft being re-instated are low, many of our brothers volunteer to join our Nation's armed services.

     This brings me to my point: thousands of Active and Senior DeMolays, who have learned to love the precept of patriotism, will be spending the upcoming Holiday Season away from their families (perhaps even experiencing combat or receiving medical care for wounds).
It is through this period of time that we, as brothers of these upstanding soldiers and sailors, should make special effort to ensure their time abroad or in recovery is punctuated by reminders of how grateful we are back home for their sacrifice and service.

Perhaps your chapter could prepare a holiday gift basket for a brother overseas (playing cards, ping-pong balls/paddles, books, etc.), send letters, hold a fund raiser to purchase calling cards for the troops, or visit a veterans' hospital.

All of these are just small ways that we can say "thanks" to our brothers serving our country. Remember, DeMolay is unique amongst youth organizations... we show our patriotism through our brotherhood!

(Reprinted from DeMolay International Congress e-Cordon)

Did You Know?

What are the "Old Charges?"

            The first book of Freemasonry, printed in 1723, is known as Anderson's Constitutions. In it appear six "Old Charges" which are a statement of the old laws of operative Freemasonry concerning a Mason and his conduct. These six Old Charges are titled: Of God and Religion; Of the Civil Magistrate Supreme and Subordinate; Of Lodges; Of Masters, Wardens, Fellows and Apprentices; Of the Management of the Craft in Working; Of Behavior. The last, sixth Old Charge is concerned with behavior: "in the Lodge while constituted; after Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone; when Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in a Lodge; in presence of Strangers not Masons; at Home and in the Neighborhood; towards a strange Brother.

(Source: MSA Digest, One Hundred and One Questions About Freemasonry)


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