MSA Logo

Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes June 2015 

Quarry Project To Offer Instruction On Social Media, Masonic Research/Writing, Library/Museum Work

Are you a Masonic writer or researcher?

Are you interested in Freemasonry being more effective in using social media?

Are you concerned for the preservation and display of Masonic archives?

If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” you may be interested in attending The Quarry Project, a symposium being planned by three Masonic organizations for September 18-20, 2015, in Indianapolis.

Organizers are the Masonic Society, the Masonic Library and Museum Association, and the Masonic Information Center, which is an arm of the Masonic Service Association.

The Quarry Project is a continuing effort to promote Masonic research and preservation by providing instruction to Masonic writers and editors, and to Masonic librarians and museum curators on the display, preservation, and cataloging of Masonic archives.

New this year is a set of presentations on public relations and advertising, with a focus on the use of social media.  This portion of the Quarry Project might be particularly helpful to Grand Lodge officers or staff members, or Masonic Lodge and district officers.
The conference is open to anyone with an interest in these topics.

Each day of the conference will begin with a general session, featuring a keynote speaker.  Attendees then break into instructional sessions of their choice on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the final day, the program will end with a round table discussion following Sunday’s keynote address. 

Specific programs are currently being developed and will be made available as soon as they are complete.  Please visit The Quarry Project website at for more information, registration and accommodations.  The conference will be held in the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites.


Audio Book Of MSA Short Talks Now Available

Michael A. Smith was serving as Tyler of Freeport Lodge #23 in Freeport, Maine, when he noticed a copy of the book, Short Talks on Masonry, by Joseph Fort Newton, originally published by the Masonic Service Association in 1928.  As he read the pages (while guarding the door, of course), an idea formulated:  Short Talks should become an audio book, useful to the visually impaired and others who prefer to listen to “talks.” The fact that Brother Smith is the owner of Anaba Publishing, which produces audio books, undoubtedly helped the idea.

MSA granted copyright permission to Brother Smith to produce the new audio book, with a portion of the sales being donated to MSA.

The book contains 33 talks about the allegories, symbols, and lore of Freemasonry – about 10 to 15 minutes each -- written by Brother Newton, and now narrated by Brother Smith.

Short Talks on Masonry, the audio book, is available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

Connecticut Masonic Scouters Association

In many parts of the country, Freemasonry and the Scouting movement have been closely associated, with joint programs acknowledging some of the common goals of both organizations.

In fact, the Daniel Carter Beard Award is given to Masons, who have been very active in Scouting.  Beard was a Mason and one of the founders of the Boy Scouts. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania created the award in 2001 and offers it to Grand Lodges nationally.

Another excellent program is the Connecticut Masonic Scouters Association (CMSA), founded in 2009, “to promote and build upon the long standing positive relationship between Freemasonry and the Boy Scouts of America.”

Since its creation, CMSA members have participated in more than 200 Eagle Scout Courts of Honor.  Each new Eagle receives a personalized Commendation Award and letter from the Grand Lodge of Connecticut.

In addition, the CMSA conducts an Entered Apprentice Degree at a different Boy Scout Reservation annually, open to any Master Mason.  The group is also active in numerous other events each year in Connecticut.

‘Most Powerful Man In Baseball’ Was Mason

Byron Bancroft “Ban” Johnson, around the start of the 20th Century, was known as “the most powerful man in baseball” – not because of his home run ability, but for his influence as the national game developed.

Brother Johnson was born in Norwalk, Ohio in 1864, and was a member of Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, #2, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He went to college to become a minister, and then began to study law, before becoming a newspaper sports writer.  In that role, he met Charles Comiskey and formed the Western Baseball League, with Johnson as president.

In 1900, the league was renamed the America League, and Johnson enticed leading National League players to join the new league.  Brother Johnson is credited with cleaning up the sport by doing away with gambling, rioting, brawling, and crookedness.
He helped establish the World Series between the American and National League Champions.

After his retirement, Brother Johnson helped to organize the Little League, which for many years was called the Ban Johnson Little League.

(Excerpted from articles in the Indiana Freemason, Spring, 2014, and the Fraternal Review of the Southern California Research Lodge, October, 2014.)

Volume III Orders Arriving Daily

Volume III of the Complete Collection of Short Talk Bulletins is producing a steady flow of orders, both in the mail and from MSA’s online sales.  By ordering now, a purchaser qualifies for special “pre-publication” prices, which will last until September 1, 2015.  Full details are at MSA’s online store,

Both Volume I and Volume II have been hailed by readers as outstanding.  Volume III covers Short Talk Bulletins that were printed between 1953 and 1967.  It will be more than 700 pages, re-edited, re-typeset, and indexed.  (Please note that there is a special price for Lodges.)

For those who may have missed Volume II, there is a supply of available at the post-publication price.


FacebookMasonic Service Association      •     Tel: (319) 206-5411      •        Fax: (319) 365-1439       •           Toll-free: (855) 476-4010
813 1st Ave SE, Cedar Rapids IA 52402-5001        •             Email: [email protected]

  Privacy Policy