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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes March 2002

The Balls Bridge Square

The Balls Bridge Square is one of the oldest known Masonic relics. At present it is in the custody of Antient Union Lodge No. 13 Limerick. This relic was discovered in 1830 when excavating the foundations of Balls Bridge which leads to the medieval Limerick City. The square carries the following inscription:

    I will striue to liue with loue and care, upon the leuel by the square, 1507

It's existence shows that "Freemasonry was established in Ireland in the early part of the Sixteenth Century…" (The Pocket History of Freemasonry, by Fred L. Pick and Norman Knight)

A limited edition of 500 replicas in "distressed" silver, hall marked and numbered, will be made from a mould taken from the original. It will come in a presentation box accompanied by a certificate of provenance together with a history of the artifact. The cost of the Square is U.S. $180 (PPD) and may be ordered from: Provincial Grand Lodge of North Munster, PO Box 64, 97 O'Connell St., Limerick, Ireland.

Master Mason Degree - The Legend


Solemn strike of foot on rock,
A line of workers stretching out of sight
Over a hill, toward a hill moving.
The hope is gone, died with a word, "Yes, that was his jewel."
Died for a word as well.

The declining sun throws great rock-twisted shadows
    of the workers across the land as they carry him.
It would be easier to mourn if the footing were more
      steady-if the smell of death were less pronounced.

But there was nothing ever easy about the man-
Not in life, not in work, not in death.
He drove himself, or was driven, maybe, by something
      bigger than himself.
There is little rest for a man who builds a house for God.

                         (Recovery by James Tresner)

Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America

The origin of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon goes back to 1843 when some energetic and imaginative Master Masons came up with the idea of the Tall Cedar Degree. It was some time around 1846, after the meetings of some Blue Lodges in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that the Tall Cedar Degree was performed. Glassboro, NJ seemed to be the focal point for this performance. Finally, on March 18, 1902, in Trenton, NJ, the Tall Cedars of Lebanon was officially constituted and became an appendant body of Freemasons. Individual lodges are called Forests, and the official headgear is a tri-cornered hat called a "Pyramid" which is tied in with our ritualistic work. In 1971, the 70th year of our existence, a Forest was instituted in Canada, and since then the Fraternity has been known as the Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America. The only requirement for membership in the Tall Cedars is that an applicant must be a member in good standing in a lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. Our objectives are basically to provide social entertainment and clean, wholesome recreation, and to promote wider acquaintances and friendships among Master Masons and their families. Our theme, therefore, is "Fun, Frolic and Friendship" with a purpose. That purpose is to help combat muscular dystrophy, which basically afflicts young people. Tall Cedar involvement with the Muscular Dystrophy Association began in 1951, when we became the first national organization to adopt the Muscular Dystrophy Program as a charity. Since 1952, the Tall Cedars have given over $14 million to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, making annual presentations to Jerry Lewis at the Labor Day Telethon. This money is raised through donations received from our Rose Program, hoagie sales, garage sales, pancake breakfasts, dances, etc., with entire families participating in these events. Our Youth Programs are an integral part of our Tall Cedar agenda. Two $1,000 Scholarships are awarded annually to Masonic affiliated youth. Also, we are proud to underwrite the entire financial cost of the DeMolay Past Master Counselor's Meritorious Service Award every year. Our leaders continually stress to all of our members that their first allegiance is to their Blue lodges, the life blood of our Fraternity. 

(Source: Albert H. Hensinger, PSTC, Tall Cedars of Lebanon)

Skin Can be Donated

Skin is the body's largest organ. It gives us individual shape, protects us from bacterial invaders, cools us down and heats us up, holds in fluid and, under normal conditions, can mend itself. But if skin is too badly burned, it is unable to repair itself without help. One way to promote healing is by covering a wound with allografts --- skin from an organ donor. A patient's own skin used for grafting is called an autograft. Many people do not realize that skin can be donated in the same manner as other organs. Techniques developed by Conrad Bondoc, M.D., and John Burke, M.D., at the Boston Shriners burn hospital in the late 1960's allow viable donor skin to be effectively frozen and stored for long periods. Their work resulted in the Boston Shriners Hospital establishing the first skin bank. In addition, the two doctors' techniques are now being used in skin banks worldwide. According to Phil Walters, there is always a critical need for donor skin. "It is our hope that more organ donors will consider donating skin. Most states provide the opportunity to become an organ donor at the time drivers' licenses are renewed. If your state does not offer this opportunity, there are many sources providing donor information and donor cards," Walters said. "There is no charge to either the donor's estate or the next of kin for donating skin, it should cause no delay in funeral arrangements, and, like any other organ or blood donation, someone's life could be saved by your thoughtfulness." More information about skin and organ donation is available from a tissue bank in your area, from your local hospital, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ask for the brochure Donate Life, Organ & Tissue Donation), and on the internet. Some suggested sites for information and sample donor cards are: or 

(Source: Shrine News Release)


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