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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes July 2013

Masonic Explorers Who Left Their Marks

Many world-renowned explorers have traveled to new and distant places throughout history, and many of them were Masons.  A few took their allegiance even further, leaving Masonic markers in some of the most remote areas of Earth – and beyond.  A few examples:

  • Polar explorer and pioneer aviator Richard Byrd and his pilot, Bernt Balchen are said to have dropped Masonic flags on both Poles. During a 1930s flight over the South Pole, Balchen allegedly added his Shrine fez.
  • When astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr., famously orbited the Earth 22 times, he carried a blue Masonic flag and a Masonic coin with him.  He later presented the flag to his lodge in Colorado.
  • Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin supposedly brought a Masonic flag to the moon in 1969.  Aldrin, a member of Clear Lake Lodge in Texas, is even rumored to have carried a special deputation from the Texas Grand Master, claiming the moon as a territorial jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
  • And, according to an article in Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Meriwether Lewis left evidence of his Masonic affiliation in Montana's waterways.  The state's modern-day Big Hole River, Ruby River, and Willow Creek were originally named Wisdom, Philanthropy, and Philosophy – names bestowed by Lewis, "in all likelihood the first Mason to set foot in the region."

(Source: California Freemason, October-November, 2011)

'Emessay Notes' Available For Lodge Use

            MSA encourages Lodges to make use of any information in this Emessay Notes publication, such as reprinting articles in their own newsletters.

            Emessay Notes dates back at least to March, 1978.  In recent years, the publication was sent to about 3,000 addresses each month.  Now, realizing the value of some of the information, MSA has widened the mailing list of Emessay Notes to the more than 20,000 recipients of the Short Talk Bulletin.

Call For Papers: Freemasonry And Frateralism

            The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library announces a "call for papers" for its symposium, "Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism," to be held on April 11, 2014, at the Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts.

            Possessing one of the largest collections of American Masonic and fraternal objects, books and manuscripts in the U.S., the Museum hopes to inspire new research on American fraternalism and to encourage the use of its scholarly resources.

            The Museum is seeking proposals for 30-minute research papers, which would be presented at the symposium.

            More details on this "call for papers" can be found at the Museum website,


Bunker Hill Commemoration Features Grand Master

            The annual ceremony to remember the Battle of Bunker Hill was held at the memorial in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on June 17.

            The keynote speaker this year was Richard J. Stewart, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.  His topic was patriot Joseph Warren -- doctor, general and Past Grand Master -- who died in the battle there 238 years ago.  Most Worshipful Brother Stewart examined the sacrifices Brother Warren made and the impact of his efforts on the early years of our country and our Fraternity.

            General Warren was killed in the battle at Bunker Hill (actually Breed's Hill) along with 500 American Continental soldiers.  Many of the bodies, including Warren's, were thrown into a ditch and buried.  Months later, Paul Revere, also a Past Grand Master, identified Warren's body when Revere recognized a false tooth he had made for Warren.


Eye Glasses Replaced Free For Tornado Victims

            Prevent Blindness Oklahoma announced that, with the assistance of several optical partners, it will replace, without charge, broken or lost eye glasses for children or adults who were victims of the May tornadoes in the state.

            The Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, its charitable foundation, and Prevent Blindness Oklahoma have been partners for nearly two decades.  The Grand Lodge provides both financial support and volunteer workers to aid vision screening in public schools.  During this relationship, nearly 2 million school children have been screened.

Remembered quote:  'Work . . . Today.'

            "Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow. 
One today is worth two tomorrows; never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today."
-- Benjamin Franklin, PGM, Pennsylvania

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