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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes October 2010

Iowa Cornerstone Laying Ceremony

         MSA has been hearing that it is sometimes very difficult to have a cornerstone laying ceremony at public or government buildings. So it was with pleasure that we read the following story in the Sept. 2010 issue of The Grand Lodge Bulletin.

Cornerstone Laying Ceremony
Social Security Administration Office
Burlington, Iowa

There is no record that a Cornerstone Laying Ceremony has ever been held in Burlington. That streak ended on July 10, 2010 when Grand Master Craig C. Hummel and the Grand Lodge Officers went there to conduct a Cornerstone Laying Ceremony at the new Social Security Administration Office on the west side of town.

Tom Mix

         In a recent issue of Emessay Notes an article on Tom Mix was printed containing very inaccurate information. One of our readers – Richard H. Geyer, a member of Pollock Lodge #502 in Tarentum, PA sent us the following email:

As a resident of Pennsylvania, and with a personal interest in TOM MIX (movie actor/star) because I frequent the Mix Run area of Cameron County, please allow me to point out that Pennsylvania history records Tom Mix as being born at Mix Run, Pennsylvania January 1880. Tom Mix has been a local (Mix Run) hero for the past 130-years and his “life story” is well known throughout this region.

Further, Tom Mix’s military history, as reported in the NOTES is very much in question.

         This email set in motion more intensive research into the history of Tom Mix. The history used in the original article was taken directly from “Denslow’s 10,000 Famous Freemasons” which, apparently, was quoting an earlier source. MSA would like to thank Bro. Geyer for calling this error to our attention and allowing us to make this correction.Editor

George Washington Masonic Memorial

            In an excellent article titled Ohio’s William H. Taft Instrumental in Founding of George Washington Masonic Memorial, George Braatz, PGM/PGS (OH) told the story of President Taft’s contribution to the founding of this Memorial dedicated to the memory of George Washington. The article spoke eloquently of the words used by President Taft to explain why George Washington uniquely inspires Freemasons. MSA would like to share with our readers a portion of this article which appeared in The Beacon, Sept/Oct. 2010.

Approximately 100 years ago, an Ohio Mason – serving as President of the United States – was very influential in launching the movement that led to the building of the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, VA. President and Brother Taft attended the second meeting of the George Washington National Memorial Association in 1911.

In speaking at that meeting, he said, “Brethren, every President of the United States feels heavy upon him the burden of following George Washington and being in his place and making himself in some slight way worthy of the First President, the Father of his Country.

“No honor can be greater than to have a direct association with that great man, who in every sense, was the founder of this Republic and who exhibited, as President, as man and as Mason, all the principles of morality, of patriotism and of religion that we like to think is our highest ideal.”

He also discussed why George Washington uniquely inspires Freemasons:

We speak with enthusiasm of the profound philosophy and patriotism of Jefferson, of the wonderful genius of Hamilton, and we can follow through all that long line of giants of intellect who stood for this country in its country’s need, at the time of the Revolution.

Bu why is it, my friends, that above them all, not with so much genius as Hamilton, not with so much intellect as Jefferson, not with so much brilliancy as many others, and yet above them all, head and shoulders, stands Washington?

Because of his character.

He united with that character that level-headedness, that pure, disinterested patriotism and that patience which enabled him to unite all these men together in one common purpose, and notwithstanding the jealousies that sometimes interfered with their general movement toward their common purpose, he kept them together, and by that sanity, that judgment, and the influence of his personality and character, he made possible the creation of this republic.

And so it is that it gives me the greatest pleasure as President of the United States, proud to succeed that long line of great men with the greatest at the first, George Washington, to be here and to testify, both in my character as an individual and as temporary President of the United States, to the profound respect that we all feel for him as a fellow Mason, as a citizen, as a patriot and as our Father.


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