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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes February 2007

Masons to the Rescue

      Because of extraordinary generosity from the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, hundreds of needy senior citizens will get help with basic needs such as home repairs and prescription drugs. The Masons have given nearly $600,000 to Oklahoma’s 11 regional area aging agencies. Gary A. Davis, President, Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, presented the check to John Shea, chairman of the Oklahoma Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Needy seniors turn to the regional agencies, but sometimes find that no funds are available for such things as hearing aids, eyeglasses and utility bills. The Masons’ money will make more than a dent in filling unmet needs. We salute Davis and his fellow Masons as well as the agencies and their staff, who make scarce resources go a long way toward making life a little easier for older Oklahomans.

(Source: The Oklahoman, 1-7-07)

Burn Awareness Week

      Every day, 300 young children with burn injuries are taken to emergency rooms. They weren't even near a flame. The children are victims of scalds.

      Clearly, this is a real danger. Scald burns (caused by hot liquids, steam or foods) are the most common burn injury among children age 4 and younger. In 2003, U.S. hospitals treated an estimated 16,000 children under 5 for scalds, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. And, mortality rates from scalds are highest for children under age 4. While the injuries and the numbers are distressing, even more disturbing is the fact that many of these burns could have been prevented.

      Consequently, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Shriners of North America will emphasize Heat; It Doesn’t Take Flames to Burn during Burn Awareness Week 2007 (Feb. 4-10). The campaign highlights the importance of learning more about scald injuries and keeping children safe.

      Shriners Hospitals for Children is a network of 22 hospitals dedicated to providing specialized pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to age 18 with burn injuries of all degrees, orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive all care at no charge—regardless of financial need or relationship to a Shriner.

      For further information please visit www.shrinershq.org

(Source: Shrine News Release)

Installation at Moosup

         As installing officer Stanley Sheldon, PGM, said as he began the work of the evening, it would be “a unique ceremony” – the simultaneous installation of three lodges in District 9A. In one evening, some three dozen officers of Moriah Lodge No. 15, (Brooklyn, CT), Moosup Lodge No. 113, (Moosup, CT) and Corner Stone-Quinebaug Lodge No. 122, (Thompson, CT) would be installed.

         Not “unique” enough? The three incoming Masters were a father and two sons!

         Frank E. Maxim, III, a Past District Deputy of District 9A, returned to the East in Moriah Lodge. He is serving his nineteenth term as Master. Son Gregory assumed the East in Corner Stone-Quinebaug Lodge, while son Christopher ascended to the Oriental Chair in host Moosup Lodge.

(Source: Connecticut Freemasons – Feb. 2007)

MMRL Scientists Make New Discovery

         Scientists at the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory (MMRL) in Utica, NY have uncovered a new genetic basis for abnormal rhythms of the heart responsible for sudden cardiac arrest.

         The landmark discovery is reported in the current issue of Circulation, the leading Cardiology journal published by the American Heart Association (AHA). Dr. Charles Antzelevitch and a team of investigators and collaborators from Canada, Germany, France and Italy describe a new clinical entity characterized by distinctive changes in the electrocardiogram (ECG) in three families with a history of sudden cardiac death. Affected family members were all found to have mutations in the genes that encode the cardiac calcium channels. These channels permit the flow of calcium ion in and out of cells in the heart. The defective genes called CACNA1C and CACNB2b were found to generate a smaller than normal electrical current and thus to be responsible for creating an electrical imbalance that results in potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms, known as cardiac arrhythmias.

         Dr. Antzelevitch said, “The impressive progress that we have made in this field of medicine in recent years is encouraging and with appropriate commitment of resources, we can look forward to dramatic advances in the months and years ahead.”

         Founded in 1958 by the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of New York, the MMRL is an internationally renowned medical research and educational institute dedicated to studies of the electrical activity of the heart and the mechanisms responsible for abnormal rhythms of the heart.

(Source: MMRL News Release)

Did You Know?
Why is the Masonry of today called “speculative”?

         The word is used in the sense that the Masonry of today is theoretical, not practical, building; that it is a pursuit of knowledge, not of the construction of edifices.

         Speculative Masonry began with the practice of admitting to membership in operative lodges men who were not practical builders, stonecutters, architects, etc., but who were interested in the moral, ethical and philosophical teachings of the Fraternity.

(Source: MSA Digest – 101 Questions About Freemasonry)

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