Emessay Notes July 2012
July -- A Time To Celebrate Independence
In the United States, we celebrate our freedom in July. But a number of nations around the world observe their independence in July also. Here are a few examples:
Technology Helps 2 Grand Lodges Greet Each Other
During most years, the Grand Lodges of North Dakota and South Dakota hold their annual sessions on the same days. Therefore, the respective Grand Masters cannot attend each other's Annual Communication and bring greetings to their neighboring Grand Lodges.
This year, it was different.
On June 15, while the Grand Lodge of North Dakota was meeting in Grand Forks and the Grand Lodge of South Dakota was in session in Pierre, the two Grand Masters decided to overcome the obstacles of time and place.
So, at banquets that night in the two jurisdictions, a projector and large screen was set up in each dining facility. Using the technology of Skype, the Grand Master of North Dakota, Lon Kvasager, was able to bring greetings to his brethren to the south, and Grand Master Richard Decker of South Dakota was able to address Masons gathered a few hours to the north.
Masonry Continues, Even In Afghanistan
Books have been written about Masonic experiences in the Civil War in the United States, and stories are many about Masonic experiences in other war zone situations. It continues today. Here is one present-day example:
In May, an e-mail was sent to the Grand Lodge of New York from one of its members, Seth C. Burgess, who was deployed with his New York Army National Guard unit in Afghanistan. He writes:
Illinois Academic Program Has Record Year
The 29th Annual Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl, sponsored by the Masons of Illinois, had a record number of schools participating and a record number of Lodges providing support.
In February, Sectional Tournaments were held in 30 different locations around the state. Some 124 Class "AA" schools competed in 12 sectionals and 162 Class "A" schools participated at 18 sites. A total of 286 Illinois schools were part of the 2012 program, 15 more than last year.
Then, in March, 26 total teams competed in the State Tournament in Springfield. Cash prizes, ranging from $100 to $1,500 were given to those at the state event.
For the first time this year, members of the youth orders, Rainbow, Job's Daughters, and DeMolay participated, providing workers for the State Tournament.
According to Dale Thayer, chairman of the Academic Bowl, 292 Lodges financially supported the program -- 25 more Lodges than a year earlier.
(Source: Illinois Freemasonry magazine, Spring, 2012)
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