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Emessay Notes October 2008

Roderick (Robert) Samuel McLaughlin

            Born in Enniskillen, Ontario, Canada on September 8, 1871 Roderick Samuel “Sam” McLaughlin began apprenticing as an upholsterer in his family’s carriage factory at the age of 16 earning a mere $3 a week ($2.50 of which went to his father for room and board).

At 21 he became an official partner in the McLaughlin Carriage Works and was put in charge of designing carriages. (Somewhere along the line he adapted the English version of Robert rather than the Old High Germanic.) When automobiles first hit American roads, Sam modernized his family company to join the “horseless-carriage” industry and the McLaughlin Motor Car Company was incorporated in 1907. He transformed the family carriage business into a multi-million dollar empire and when the company was sold to General Motors, he became the president of General Motors of Canada in 1918. Under his leadership, GM became Canada’s leading exporter and a key force in one of the world’s largest industries.

He also established the R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation which donated nearly $200 million to organizations, charities and individuals across the country. For his involvement with the Ontario Regiment he was named an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel – leading to the nickname “Colonel Sam”. He died on January 6, 1972 and his former home in Oshawa was declared a National Historic Site in 1989; it is now known as Parkwood.

            Bro. McLaughlin was a member of Cedar Grove Lodge No. 270, G.R.C. of Oshawa, Ontario. He served as Master of his lodge in 1899-1900 and in 1945 was Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. At the time of his death he was a 75 year member of the Craft, a 75 year Royal Arch Mason, a 60 year Knight Templar and a long time Shriner.

(Source: The Philatelic Freemason, Sept/Oct 2008)

Still Available

            Further Light – Helpful Information for New Master Masons is still available. This new digest, by Jim Tresner, is filled with useful information for all Masons, but especially, new Brothers. Its cost is $5.00 + s/h. Quantity discounts are available. Order from MSA (See left margin for address info.)

Eulogy to Mother

Jim Tresner, well known Masonic author and scholar, has shared with MSA a part of the Oklahoma work titled Eulogy to Mother. A similar version would be the DeMolay Flower Talk.

      After the Almighty Creator had thus made man and provided for his wants, He saw that it was not good for man to be alone, so as his last and best gift to him, He created woman. She was so lovely and so winsome that what before had seemed to him most fair now seemed to him but mean; in ministry so soft and tender, in loyalty so kind and true, she has ever fulfilled her mission and helped to mend his faults and mould him into virtue. My brother, Masonry teaches many beautiful lessons, but none of more importance than true respect for womanhood.

      As we stand here, were I to draw for you a picture of love divine, it would not be that of a stately angel with a form that is full of grace, but a bent and toilworn woman with a grave and tender face; no golden rings would enfold her, nor rosy her cheeks nor fair, but the face of an angel of pity framed in snow white hair; her hands are not white and slender, but roughened with work and woe, by bearing other’s burdens and soothing the tears that flow; no halo of light surrounds her, no wondrous power she hath, but many and many a blessing is spoken along her path; others may paint their angels with white-robed forms of grace, but my sweet angel of pity has my mother’s careworn face.

      But why endeavor to convey to you an ideal which is already enshrined within your heart, for deep down, safely locked within that secret chamber, you keep that cherished ideal, sacred and holy; it is your mother. It was she alone, all alone, who went down into the valley of the shadow of death to receive your trembling soul at the gates of life; it was she who pillowed your baby head within the elbow of her bended arm; it was from her tender breast you drew with life giving fluid that sustained you in your helpless years.

      It was she who first taught your lisping tongue to frame that God-given prayer, “Our Father who art in heaven,” in which all races, sects and kind may join. There is no man so vile, so base, so low, but who in his sin-stained soul, keeps pure and apart a little place for his mother’s memory. And when, in the silent watches of the night his mind turns back to pure and happy childhood hours, he remembers that mother and is drawn closer to God.


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