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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes October 2000 

Masonry and the Shrine

As a result of the action taken at the recent Shrine Imperial Council Session, whereby Master Masons may now go directly into the Shrine, Imperial Potentate Robert Turnipseed has issued the following guidelines:

Each Shriner must remember that he is a Mason as well as a Shriner, and he should govern himself accordingly. Each Shriner should remain (or become) active in his Masonic Lodge and all Masonic activities. Each Shriner should redouble his efforts to see that more qualified individuals become Masons. By doing this, he will be exemplifying one of the cardinal tenets of Freemasonry, that is, to make good men better. Those Shriners who are Scottish Rite or York Rite members should retain their membership - do not react negatively, always react positively. Those who are not Scottish Rite or York Rite members should seriously consider becoming Scottish Rite and York Rite members. The Rites do provide "more light in Masonry." Remember that as we succeed in our efforts to bring more men into Masonry, this creates a larger pool of Brothers who will become eligible to join the Scottish and York Rites, as well as the Shrine.

Working together, we can make a difference in society.

History Channel

The Grand Lodge of New York and St. John's Lodge #1 of New York City have cooperated with the History Channel in producing a 20 min. segment for a new program. This segment will be on the St. John's Lodge Bible or the Bible on which George Washington took his oath of office. The program aired on Sept. 22, 2000. If anyone would like to purchase a copy of the video of the entire show they are available for $19.95, by calling 1-888-423-1212 and requesting Histories Lost and Found, Program #29.

"Reading" the Walls

When North Carolina civic leader Hezekiah Alexander's stone house was completed in 1774, its front wall displayed a series of mysterious inscriptions. Now an interpretation of them suggests that the house, part of the Charlotte Museum of History, was used as a Masonic meeting place. Modern Freemasonry, a fraternal society, originated in the 18th century. Walter J. Klein, a Mason and museum board member believes the Alexander house markings show that Masonic functions were held there. Not all Masonic scholars agree with Klein's reading of the symbols. He interprets a reversed S as a rope used to guide Masonic candidates during initiation rituals, three dots within a heart as "the three great lights of Masonry," and a rectangle with three lines as symbolic of a Masonic Master's hat.

(From the National Geographic, Sept. 2000 issue)

Branson by Starlite

This theater is featuring a show being promoted as Branson's Youngest Cast Leads Campaign "Kids Helping Kids." Because of their support of various Masonic Charitable Programs within Missouri we thought our readers should be aware of how the program will work. The Starlite Kids Revue "Kids Helping Kids" program benefits Missouri children through Starlite's donations to various Masonic charitable programs. Members of the Masons, Scottish Rite and the Shrine will see the Starlite make a $3 Donation from each ticket purchased to the Starlite Kids Revue if they present their Masonic membership identification. The donation will be made to the Masonic organizations for distribution statewide through the Masonic Children's Foundation, the Scottish Rite Foundation - which supports clinics for Childhood Speech and Language Disorders - and the Shrine Hospitals. For more information visit:

(Info Source: Starlite Promotional Brochure)

Joseph Warren "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell

Bro. Stillwell was born March 19, 1883, in Palatka, Florida. He was graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1904. He was assigned to the Infantry and was sent to the Philippines. From 1906 to 1910 and 1913 to 1917 he was an instructor in modern languages at West Point, the in-between years were spent in the Philippines. He married Winfred Smith while at West Point and in 1918 was promoted to the rank of Major and sent to France as an Intelligence Officer. In 1920 he was transferred to Peking as a Language Officer remaining there until 1929. Following an assignment as Instructor in Tactics at Fort Benning, GA, he returned to Peking in 1934 as military attache´. In 1939, Gen. George Marshall was appointed Acting Chief of Staff and he, in turn, promoted Stillwell to the rank of Brigadier General. In March, 1942 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and put in command of US Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater of War. Forced out of Burma, he and his staff had to walk 140 miles through the jungle to safety in Imphal, India. As commander of all the Allied Forces, he recaptured Myitkyina in 1944 but was unable to solve the conflict with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. Recalled to the US, he was named Commander of the Tenth Army and died in Carmel, CA on May 9, 1946. Bro. Joseph Warren Stillwell was raised in West Point Lodge No. 877 on June 1, 1917.

(Info provided by Bro. Norman Lincoln, The Philatelic Freemason Sept/Oct 2000

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