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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes February 2004

Historic Building Lost by Fire

On January 15, 2004 the Bangor Masonic Temple Association's 136 year old building was destroyed by fire. This historic building was home to two Masonic Lodges, the York Rite Bodies, the Scottish Rite Bodies, Tuscan Chapter OES, DeMolay, the Scottish Rite Learning Center and two private businesses, a shoe repair and an art gallery. All paraphernalia, jewels and aprons, furniture, files and records, artifacts, costumes and garments were lost. Firemen stated that they saw file cabinets and safes falling from the fifth floor to the cellar. Fortunately no one was hurt. Should anyone wish to assist in the recovery please send your gift to: 

Harold E. McKenney, Jr., 
Grand Treasurer Grand Lodge of Maine 
415 Congress Street 
Portland, ME 04104

The Rich Flannigan Story

When Theresa Masterson's son Nick Flannigan was born, his feet were turned in at the ankles, resembling the handles of little umbrellas. That's how she described her son's clubfeet condition in 1980. Today, Theresa doesn't look at her son as having a disability at all, thanks to Shriners Hospitals for Children. Nick was born with "congenital clubfoot," a condition where a child's feet point downward and inward, making normal walking and development difficult. Doctors in the family's hometown of Springfield, MO, told Theresa and her husband that little Nick would probably never walk. They said his condition was so severe that surgery shouldn't even be attempted until Nick was as least a year old. Abou Ben Adhem Shriners in Springfield contacted the Flannigans and introduced them to the hospital that would eventually change Nick's life. Nick's first surgery to correct his clubfeet was at the St. Louis Shriners Hospital in February 1981, when he was only six months old. Three months and two surgeries later, the family had new hope, and a new love for Shriners Hospitals. He started playing football and basketball in elementary school, and ran track throughout high school. Nick even remembers spending most of his time playing sports during his stays at Shriners Hospitals. Today, he plays football for the Springfield Rifles, Missouri's semi-pro team. 

(Source: Shrine News Release) 

Roosevelt Arch Rededicated

When Yellowstone was established in 1872 as the world's first national park, it was remote and nearly inaccessible. Few tourists had the time or the financial means to travel to Yellowstone. The railroad companies of the time played a large role in promoting the park and providing access from the major cities of the east and west coasts. By 1903, the Northern Pacific Railroad line had been extended to Gardiner, Montana, and the north entrance to Yellowstone was turned into a bustling tourist destination. From the crowded Gardiner train depot visitors would board stagecoaches and begin their "grand tour" of Yellowstone's wonders.

Captain Hiram M. Chittenden of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and director of road construction in Yellowstone, decided that the park's primary entrance deserved a formal gateway to improve and dramatize the appearance of the train depot's dusty staging area. Working from notes provided by Chittenden, architect Robert Reamer, designer of the Old Faithful Inn and Canyon Hotel (no longer in existence), designed and assisted in the planning of the project. Chittenden and Reamer called for extensive landscaping in the depot area and erected a large imposing arch built of local columnar basalt. The arch they designed and built rises 50-feet high in stark contrast to the surrounding area. On both sides of the arch, 12-foot high walls originally curved around a landscaped pond and garden. The arch, inscribed with the words: "For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People," faced the Gardiner train depot welcoming visitors to Yellowstone.

President Theodore Roosevelt, a Freemason, vacationing here in the spring of 1903, agreed to lay the cornerstone of the new arch at the North Entrance. Several thousand people attended the ceremony marking this event. The cornerstone ceremony was presided over by the Grand Master of Montana. When they came to the point of being ready to lay the cornerstone, the Grand Master handed the trowel to President Roosevelt, who spread the mortar on the stone that was to be the resting place of the cornerstone. The cornerstone was then lowered into place. Today, the Roosevelt Arch still stands, and the words engraved across its face still welcome visitors to Yellowstone. The arch has become one of the great symbols of the "National Park Idea."

On Monday, August 25, 2003, with a crowd estimated to be 15,000, the Grand Master and Masonic Officers performed the ceremony of rededication. 

(Source: Montana Masonic News, Dec. 2003)

South Dakota Governors

Eighteen of the thirty Governors of South Dakota from 1893-2003 were Master Masons! Don Rasmussen of St. John's Lodge #1, Yankton, SD, while looking at some pictures and papers in possession of the lodge thought "it would be neat to see how many of our Governors belonged to the Masons."

As a result of his research Bro. Rasmussen designed a poster listing the Governors in order of time served as Governor and their Masonic history. With the help of St. John's Lodge #1 the poster was printed and a copy sent to all of South Dakota's lodges.

(Source: South Dakota Masonic Messenger, Dec. 2003)

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