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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Note November 2006

Please Support the Green Envelope Appeal!

          America’s support of our forces goes well beyond the tangibles of defense that are sent to the theaters of operations, however, for in conflict there are always sad consequences that demand the attention of the nation and its institutions, public and private. Our response to such challenges, in turn, reflects recognition or the urgent need for support of our military and veterans’ hospitals in the wake of conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else, and for the necessity to provide therein care and rehabilitation for the fallen.

         In support of this effort I write to solicit your participation in the 2006 Green Envelope Appeal. This annual appeal collects funds to sustain the Hospital Visitation Program of the Masonic Service Association of North America (MSA). MSA has created, supervised, and supported this program for many decades, using a hard-working corps of Volunteers, whose principal duties are to comfort and provide care for patients in the Veterans Administration and military hospitals of this country. It does so on the basis of contributions received, on a voluntary basis, from the Masons of America.

         You may ask, “Why are you, Brother Miner, concerned about this drive?” To that question there are many answers, but let me share just a few. I am concerned, in part, because I am a veteran; in part because I am a Mason; in part because I have participated in the Hospital Visitation Program and have seen the need, first hand; and in part, because a member of my own family, my father, a disabled World War I veteran, was once a beneficiary of Veterans Administration Hospital care. It is for these reasons that I urge you to make a generous contribution to MSA’s 2006 Green Envelope Appeal.

                                    Stewart W. Miner
                                    Past Grand Master (Virginia)
                                    Grand Secretary Emeritus (District of Columbia)

A Voice for the Kiowa

   On November 15, 1897, San-Tau-Koy was born in a tipi at a Kiowa camp, near Rainy Mountain just south of what is now Mountain View, Oklahoma. Nearly 102 years later, on March 5, 1999, Dr. Parker Paul McKenzie, as San-Tau-Koy was known to most of the world, died in Lawton, Oklahoma.

   As a child, he spoke only Kiowa, learning English when his parents enrolled him in 1904 in Rainy Mountain Kiowa Boarding School. His education included Phoenix Indian Boarding School, Lamson Business College, and Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), but nothing in his academic background prepared him for what would become his life’s work as a linguist—in that he was entirely self-taught.

   In 1920 he began writing for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Agency in Anadarko, Oklahoma, where he would work for 39 years until his retirement. Shortly after starting at the Agency he met the world-famous linguist John Peabody Harrington who had been sent to the area by the Smithsonian to do a survey of Indian languages. The two men became good friends and McKenzie began his life work: studying and transcribing the Kiowa language.

   As is true of many Native American languages, there was no written form of Kiowa. Dr. McKenzie performed for the Kiowa the same service that Sequoyah did for the Cherokee, creating an alphabet and recording the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of the language. He also transcribed part of the oral literature of the Kiowa people, translating some into English as well, and translated English works, especially hymns, into Kiowa.

   Our brother was a quiet and modest man. Few people in Anadarko knew that he had a world-wide reputation, or that he served as a consultant to the Smithsonian, and to numerous state historical societies. His linguistic studies were so carefully done and of such a high degree of accuracy that they have become standard reference works around the world. His best-known books were Vocabulary of the Kiowa Language (1928), Popular Account of the Kiowa Indian Language (1948), and, in cooperation with Laurel Watkins, A Grammar of Kiowa (1984). In 1991, the University of Colorado recognized the importance of his life and work by granting him a Doctorate of Humane Letters, citing him as “citizen-scholar, tribal elder, historian, and respected authority on the language of the Kiowa.”

   Brother McKenzie was Initiated at Anadarko Lodge #21, Anadarko, Oklahoma, on January 20, 1925; Passed on February 20, and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on March 26 of that year. He died only a few months before he would have received the award for 75 years of Masonic service.

   Brother San-Tau-Koy—Dr. Parker Paul McKenzie—lived a life of service of which any Mason could be proud. And it is a source of pride for us to be able to claim him as a Brother.

(Source: Bro. James Tresner, GL of Oklahoma)

Did You Know?

Where is Joppa?

Mediterranean seaport thirty-five miles northwest of Jerusalem.

(Source: MSA Digest - Masonic Dictionary)


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