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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes June 2014

Many Early Baseball Greats Were Masons

The inaugural induction ceremony of the Baseball Hall of Fame took place in Cooperstown, NY, on June 12, 1939 – 75 years ago this month.

Of the 10 Hall of Famers in attendance at that first induction, 6 were Masons:

  • Ty Cobb
  • Cy Young
  • Tris Speaker
  • Honus Wagner
  • Eddie Collins
  • Grover Cleveland Alexander

The four "Hall" members who were not Brother Masons included Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Napoleon Lajoie, and George Sisler.

Ty Cobb was a member of Royston Lodge in Georgia, where his father had served as Worshipful Master; Cobb became a Mason in 1907 and was later a Shriner in Michigan.  Denton True "Cy" Young was a member of Mystic Tie Lodge in Uhrichsville, Ohio, and was active in Lodge activities until his death; he was also a member of York Rite, Scottish Rite and Shrine.

Tris Speaker was a member of Hubbard City Lodge in Hubbard, Texas.  John Honus Wagner was a Life Member of Centennial Lodge in Carniege, Pennsylvania, which he joined in 1919.  Eddie Collins was a member of Solomons Lodge in Tarrytown, New York, which he joined in 1911; he demitted in 1921.  Grover Cleveland Alexander, became a Master Mason in 1923 in St. Paul Lodge in St. Paul, Nebraska; he was expelled for unMasonic conduct in 1930.

The first class of Hall of Fame members – Cobb, Ruth, Wagner, and Johnson – was elected in 1936.  Young, Speaker, and Lajoie were chosen in 1937; Alexander was added in 1938. Collins and Sisler joined the list in 1939 at the time when the National Hall of Fame and Museum building was opened and the first 10 members were formally inducted.

Many other great baseball players were Masons.  A few of the well known names include:  Mickey Cochrane, Bob Feller, Jimmy Foxx, Frankie Frisch, Rogers Hornsby, Carl Hubbell, Christy Mathewson, Willie Mays, and Pie Traynor.

Keeping With Sports – Olympic Curling

Brad Jacobs was the skip of the team that at Sochi 2014 won Canada's third straight Olympic gold medal in men's curling. (In curling, the "skip," or "skipper," is the captain of the team, responsible for determining strategy, and holds the "broom" in the target area.)

Brother Jacobs is a member of Keystone Lodge in the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, according to Terence Shand, Past Grand Master and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge.  Brother Jacobs, when he is not involved in curling, serves as Inner Guard for Keystone Lodge in Sault Ste. Marie.

The 'Art' Of Masonic Education

The tools, symbols, and aesthetics that have shaped Freemasonry's commitment to its members' education throughout history will be featured in a Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum display during the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of California in San Francisco on October 10-12.

The Masonic Art of Education exhibit will include the best examples of Masonic education art, from fine art, to photography, to the latest web-based technology.

According to Adam Kendall, collections manager for the Coil Library and Museum, the exhibit will be complimented by a video presentation about Masonic education, demonstrating how the same lessons communicated by past brethren are being conveyed in the 21st Century.

The display will include artistically rendered floor cloths, tracing boards, degree charts, and lantern projectors, as well as the use of web-based applications and their important role in Masonic education today.

For more information go the www.freemason.org or contact Brother Kendall.

Kindles For Kids In Montana

Since 2005, the Montana Masonic Foundation has been promoting a Bikes for Books program to encourage elementary school children to learn the enjoyment of reading.

For every book they read, they receive a chance to earn a new bike at the end of the school year.  The more books read, the better chance to get a bike.

In 2013, the Foundation began switching the program reward from bikes to Kindles and the program has been working successfully. (The Kindle is an electronic book, allowing users to download and read e-books and magazines, etc.) Soon the Bikes for Books will be phased out in favor of just Kindles for Books.

The Montana Masonic Foundation, a public charity, which promotes public education, works with local lodges to promote reading for grade-school age pupils.  In turn, the lodges work with the local school districts to implement the program.

During the past year, one particular presentation of Kindles to students had a unique and close relationship between the Grand Lodge and the school.

Members of Ponemah Lodge in Plains, Montana, presented Kindles to a group of youngsters in the Plains School District.  Among those present were Michael Murray, Grand Chaplain, and Tom Tompkins, Lodge Secretary.  Also participating were Ron Warren, who serves as Master of Ponemah Lodge AND Chairman of the School Board, and Thom Chisholm, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, who is also Superintendent of the Plains Schools.

Remembered Quote:

In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do.  The worst thing you can do is nothing.
Brother Theodore Roosevelt

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