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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes May 2013

St. John's Day Has Long Tradition In New Hampshire

 St. John's Day observances – in June and December -- are perhaps the oldest celebrated occasions in the Masonic Fraternity worldwide.
The observance in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is an example of this history.

On June 24, 1755, the members of St. John's Lodge #1 formed a procession from the Lodge to Queen's Chapel (later to be renamed St. John's Church).  After the service, the Masons returned to the lodge room to feast and enjoy one another in social conversation.

During the last 257 years, there have been years when the Lodge did not march to the church, but for the last 96 years, the string of processions has been unbroken.
Last year was no different.  The Grand Lodge, under the direction of Grand Master Paul M. Leary, along with many other constituent Lodges, marched to the church to celebrate St. John's Sunday.  In total, 102 Masons, members of the Police Honor Guard, band members and Rainbow Girls, continued this long tradition.


July 4 Masonic Gala On Island In Lake Erie

Masonic officials from nine Grand Lodges will participate in a "Salute to America" on Independence Day at Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) in Lake Erie.

The event will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Masonic Cornerstone Laying at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, with a reenactment of that ceremony, led by Grand Master James F. Easterling of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.

The day's events will include:

  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Salute to America's Armed Forces, a public display by each branch of our Armed Forces, showing their service to the our country. 
  • 11 a.m. – Citizen Naturalization and Armed Forces Entry.  Federal judges will administer the Oath of American Citizenship to qualified candidates, and an estimated 200 young Americans will take their Oath of Enlistment in the Armed Services before heading to basic training.  This will take place in the Perry's Memorial.
  • 2 p.m. – Parade through downtown Put-in-Bay to Perry's Memorial.  Parade will include U.S. military units, 122nd Army Parade Band, Masonic dignitaries, and Shrine units.
  • 3 p.m. – Masonic Centennial Reenactment of the Perry Memorial Cornerstone Ceremony.
  • 7:30 p.m. – Free Patriotic band concert.
  • Dusk – Fireworks display.

The Perry Memorial, named for General Oliver Hazard Perry, commemorates the alliance made between the United States, Canada, and England, as a result of the War of 1812.
In 1913, more than 5,000 Masons from nine states and Canada formed a procession and marched to the site of the Memorial to witness the original Cornerstone Ceremony by the Grand Lodge of Ohio.

More information is on the Ohio Grand Lodge webpage:


Can 'Clowning Around' Help Lodges?

Brother Chuck Lord, better known in some areas of Pennsylvania and among those active in the Tall Cedars of Lebanon as Chuckles the Clown, sees "clowning around" as a tool for Lodges.

In full clown attire, Brother Lord has participated over the years in parades with members of W.K. Bray Lodge in Hatboro, PA, and Doylestown Lodge, in Doylestown.  With special dispensations from the Grand Lodge, he wears a Masonic apron over his costume.

"This has allowed the community to associate Masonry with more than just a bunch of guys in tuxedos," he said.

 Increasingly, he added, some Lodges are inviting neighboring Lodges to march with them in parades and asking Grand Lodge Officers to participate as well.

After one recent parade, Brother Lord remarked, "A high point for me was watching our Grand Lodge Officers learn how to make balloon swords to pass out along the parade route."
Brother Lord is a Past Master of Brotherhood Lodge in Philadelphia.

200 Years Of Tennessee Masonry Being Celebrated

The year, 2013, is the Bicentennial Year for the Grand Lodge of Tennessee.  It was granted its own charter on December 27, 1813, by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.          
During the year, numerous special events are planned to honor some famous Tennessee Masons and historic events.  A website with full information on the various events has been created at .  Some of the featured highlights include:

  • June 8 – Andrew Jackson Celebration at The Hermitage, President Jackson's Home in Nashville.
  • June 28-29 – Sam Houston Celebration at the Sam Houston Schoolhouse in Maryville.
  • Date Pending – Masonic "Great Charter" Monument Dedication in Knoxville.
  • December 28 – Grand Lodge Bicentennial Capstone Event in Knoxville.

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