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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes December 2015 

William G. Roberts, PGM, MSA Chairman, Passes To Celestial Lodge 

William G. Roberts, Chairman of the Masonic Service Association of North America, died on November 21, in Reno, Nevada, following a brief illness.

Most Worshipful Brother Roberts was an Executive Commissioner for MSA, representing the western U.S., for 16 years, and subsequently was elected Chairman for an additional 9 years.  He presided over many annual and semi-annual meetings and provided outstanding guidance for MSA during his tenure.

He was a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Nevada and a Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of Nevada.

Brother Roberts was born in Tonopah and spent most of his life in this community.  For many years, and until his death, he worked in nearly all areas for the Tonopah Times-Bonanza newspaper, and specifically served in positions as editor, reporter, and columnist.

He was also active in many Tonopah civic organizations, including being a director of the Tonopah Chamber of Commerce and of the Tonopah Convention Center.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Jean (B.J.), and son, Matthew W., and two grandchildren.

The Grand Lodge of Nevada conducted Masonic Funeral Services on Nov. 29.

George Washington Annual Birthday Gala Set For Saturday, February 27, In Alexandria, VA

Each year, Freemasons, their friends, and families gather at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial to honor the life of Brother Washington with an educational program, and a gala dinner and entertainment. The Memorial has extended a special invitation to all.

Events for the 2016 Washington’s Birthday Celebration will take place on Saturday, February 27. Activities begin at 10 .m. with an unveiling ceremony for a new plaque designating the Memorial as a National Historic Landmark, with special tours following.

At 1 p.m., the annual George Washington Symposium will begin. This year’s theme will be “From Relics to Repositories: Preserving George Washington’s Legacy Yesterday and Today.” This free educational event features three presentations by notable speakers, followed by a panel discussion.

The Memorial's annual Washington’s Birthday Gala begins. This is a black tie event, and tickets are required. The general reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by special entertainment. The Gala Banquet will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets and hotel reservations are available on its website at

‘Ooops’ – Headline From A Grand Master’s Message

Numerous Grand Masters around the country are communicating with their members with periodic email messages.

Franklyn J. Struble, Grand Master of Wisconsin, in one of his weekly issues of “Masonic Update for the Badger State,” turns a bad experience into a good Masonic message:

Last night, Wendy and I decided to have some bratwurst for dinner.  Well, I cut up the Vidalia onions, put them and the brats in my special brat pan, 2 cans of beer, seasonings and Worcestershire sauce.

Put them on the hot grill in the pan.  Came out after 15 minutes, put the brats on the grill to finish went in the house, got sidetracked and ruined the meal.  Talk about a burnt offering!  Wow, I felt like I should apologize to the butcher.

I've seen similar things happen with lodge meetings.  Everything is in place for a dynamite meeting then someone gets distracted and Brothers don't get notified.  Or maybe, the Brother scheduled to make tonight's presentation lost track of what day it is...a senior moment.  Perhaps the lodge is coming out of darkness and we didn't practice an opening before that night and we are all rusty and stumble through things we would normally handle.  

Please, give some thought to staying on task better than I did with the brats.  I was able to start over and cook some more and we just ate a little later.  A poorly executed lodge meeting can turn your Brothers off on coming to meetings.  We cannot afford that.  We need every Brother in the Lodge we can get.

Better not schedule me as the cook.

90-Year Old Lodge Leaders Continue To Be Acknowledged 

EMESSAY NOTES has been paying tribute to Masons – 90 years old and up -- who are presiding over their Lodges.  This “90-Year Club” has no dues, nor certificates, but just gives attention to those veteran Worshipful Masters who still preside.

This month, honor is extended to Merlyn E. Meredith, who, as the Worshipful Master of the new East Gate Masonic Lodge in Lyndhurst, Ohio, accepted the Charter from Grand Master Steven E. Cokonougher at the Grand Lodge Annual Communication in October.

Brother Meredith is 92 years old and a 70-year Mason.

Leadership in the Fraternity has been constant during his entire membership.

He began as a DeMolay, later serving as Master Councilor, District Governor, Executive Officer, and DeMolay Supreme Council Member.  In Scottish Rite, he has presided over two Bodies, received his 33rd Degree, was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and has served as Dramatic Director since 1977.

In York Rite, he is a Knight of the York Grand Cross of Honour, Past Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Ohio, and for 25 years was Grand Secretary of the Grand Council.

He is a Past Master of Heights Lodge and Past District Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, in addition to many other presiding titles of related organizations and other honors.

Now, Brother Merlyn is back in the Master’s Chair of a new Lodge at age 92.

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