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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes January 2012

Illinois High School Academic Bowl

         The 29th annual Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl will take place in 2012, as a Grand Lodge program for getting local Lodges more involved in their communities.

         Sectional Tournaments will be held at 26 sites across Illinois on February 18, and the State Tournament will occur in Springfield on March 3.  Last year, 271 local high schools participated in the tournament.
         Local Lodges are encouraged to sponsor area high schools.  Representatives of the Lodges are urged to attend tournaments.  And this year, for the first time, young men and women from DeMolay, Jobs Daughters, and Rainbow Girls are providing assistance as part of their service projects for the Grand Lodge.

         Monetary scholastic awards are given to winning schools at the different levels of competition.

         According to Dale Thayer, chairman, the Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl, has become known statewide as being very competitive and well operated, and "the Masons of Illinois can be very proud that they have had a part . .  . to help with the scholastic achievements of many of our high school students."

Palliate -- Aggravate

         "You are not to palliate nor aggravate the offenses of your brethren, but in the decision of every trespass against our rules . . ."

         At first glance, the meaning of the word "palliate" is a no brainer, i.e. "don't beat up on your brethren."  Most Masons know what these words mean (or think they do), but then when the dictionary (American Heritage Dictionary) is consulted, there is a twist:

         1. To make (an offense or crime) seem less serious; extenuate.
         2. To make less severe or intense; mitigate.

         Then there are the synonyms: extenuate, gloss over, white wash.

When one thinks about it, the words seem to say: treat the acts of your brethren equally -- don't whitewash his deeds, but don't persecute him either.

(Source: Southern California Research Lodge, April, 2007.)

New Quote From John Paul Jones Should Be Famous

            "I have not yet begun to fight."

            "I wish to have no connection with a ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way."

            These are two famous quotations from naval hero and Freemason John Paul Jones, but Jesse Villarreal, immediate Past Grand Master of the District of Columbia, believes a third is more impressive.

            "Sign on, young man, and sail with me.  The stature of our homeland is no more than the measure of ourselves. Our job is to keep her free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free.  Heed my call, come to the sea. Come sail with me."

            According to M.W. Brother Villarreal, "the references to sailing and the sea touch those with naval connections, but I return to that second sentence about how the stature of our country is determined by the measure of ourselves -- not by news media commentary, opinion polls, the size of bank accounts, or political clout, but rather by the simple measure of ourselves.

            "It is likewise in Masonry, where the stature of our fraternity in general and our Grand Lodge in particular, is determined by the measure of our members.  It is our good fortune that we have walked and continue to walk among giants," he added.

            (Source: The Voice of Freemasonry, published by Grand Lodge of District of Columbia, December, 2011.)

Who Are The 'Sideliners?'

            "On the sidelines" is defined by Webster's New World Dictionary as (1) in the area along the sidelines; (2) outside the main sphere of action; (3) not actively participating. The noun, sideliner, describes the person who is on the sideline.  The sideliner helps comprise the largest single group at most any function or activity.

            The Sideliner in a Masonic Lodge is that person who holds no office, is not taking part in the ritual or has no committee responsibility.  As such, it would appear that the Sideliner serves no useful purpose in the Lodge.  Nothing can be farther from the truth.

            To be a Sideliner, one must first of all attend Lodge.  Then, if he is loyal, cooperative, enthusiastic, cordial, sympathetic and courageous, he is befitting his Lodge and the Fraternity.  It is the Sideliner who keeps the Lodge viable.  It is the Sideliner who makes the Lodge work.  It is the Sideliner who is the Lodge.

            You, too, can be a Sideliner.

(Source: Written by Donald E. Todd, of Hamilton Lodge, No. 664.
Reprinted from Iowa's
Grand Lodge Bulletin, December 2000.)



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