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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes August 2016


South Dakota Masons To Celebrate 75th Anniversary Of Mt. Rushmore Completion

A gala Masonic celebration at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial near Rapid City, South Dakota, will be held on Thursday, September 8, to observe the 75th anniversary of its completion.

The huge Mount Rushmore carvings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln were designed and created by Gutzon Borglum, a Mason from New York City.  Presidents Washington and Roosevelt were Masons.

The Masonic connections during the history of this Memorial are many and deep. From Charles Rushmore, the man the mountain was named for, to U.S. Senator from South Dakota Peter Norbeck and Congressman William Williamson, project champions and overseers of Congressional funding; to SD Governor Carl Gunderson, who spearheaded South Dakota's funding of the project; as well as Sculptors Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum, Assistant Sculptors Ivan Houser and Bill Tallman, and long-time Mount Rushmore Head and Rapid City Mayor, John Boland, who oversaw the finances of the project -- all were Masons.

The daylong celebration on September 8 includes bus transportation from Rapid City hotels to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial; a program at the Memorial's Amphitheater; lunch and free time at Mount Rushmore; return transportation to Rapid City; a chuck wagon dinner, and a cowboy music show.

Information on reservations for the event can be found at for those interested.


3D Printing Among The New Techniques Now Available In Freemasonry

Once thought as a futuristic manufacturing device, 3D Printing has now joined the Masonic world.

Matt Johnson, Master of Blendon Lodge #339 in Westerville, Ohio, has developed and is offering, at no cost, 3D printable template files of Masonic Working Tools for download.

3D printing is a high-tech process where computer aided designs can be made into physical objects for little cost.  "Printing" can be done in plastic, various metals, chocolate, concrete, and more, Brother Johnson explained.

The small set of working tools "make an excellent, cost effective, tangible takeaway for candidates as they proceed through their degree work," he said.

Preassembled household 3D printers can be purchased for about $300, but many commercial vendors have them and they are available in many public libraries.

More information, pictures, and the 3D downloads are available at   Other items – coins, award plaques, and even a miniature King Solomon's Temple – are also available. These latter items are considered "open source," meaning they are free to download, modify and distribute.  Blendon Lodge would appreciate a picture of anything you create.

Blendon Lodge is also offering free high-resolution graphics for use on websites, social media, and so on.  Those can be found at

In addition to all this, the U40 Committee of Ohio's 14 Masonic District is developing a printable guide with checklists to help Lodges in Internet management and content creation, according to Brother Johnson, who is also a member of Ohio's Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee.  Once published, this guide may be obtained at


'Chips From The Quarry' 

This is the title of a new feature in the Scottish Rite Journal, of the Southern Jurisdiction.

Each issue of the magazine will include this "fun facts" feature of interesting factoids about people, places, and things relating the Freemasonry.

Gregory S. Kearse, staff writer, and Ted Bastien, artist, are partners in the venture.

The initial installment in the July/August, 2016 issue featured famous fast food entrepreneurs, who were active Freemasons.  They gave some attention-grabbing facts about Bob Evans, Harland Sanders, Roy Rogers, and Dave Thomas.

50-Year Award To Grand Master In Connecticut

One day after Annual Session in April of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, Most Worshipful Grand Master Gail Nelson Smith was presented his 50-year gold membership pin in Ionic Lodge #110, his home lodge.

The immediate Past Grand Master Charles W. Yohe presented the recognition.

What is unique about the event is that this is the first time in Connecticut that a sitting Grand Master received a 50-year gold pin.   Brother Smith is only the second Grand Master in the jurisdiction to serve in two non-consecutive terms.

The Grand Master was also able to assist in the presentation of a 40-year pin to his brother, Mark Q. Smith.


'God Is Always Geometrizing'

"So said Plato twenty-three centuries ago," wrote Carl H. Claudy, former Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association, in his book Introduction to Freemasonry (1931), in a section titled, "The Letter G."

"It is merely an accident of the English language that God and Geometry begin with the same letter.  No matter what the language of the ritual, the initial of the Ineffable Name and that of the first and noblest of sciences are Masonically the same. 'But that is a secret!' cries some newly initiated brother who has examined his printed monitor and finds that the ritual concerning the further significance of the Letter 'G' is represented only by stars.

"Aye, the ritual is secret, but the (meaning of 'G') is the most gloriously public that Freemasonry may herald to the world.  One can no more keep secret the idea that God is the very warp and woof of Freemasonry than that He is the essence of all life.  Take God out of Freemasonry, and there is, literally, nothing left; it is a pricked balloon, an empty vessel, a bubble which has burst."

(Taken from the Southern California Research Lodge "Fraternal Review," May, 2016)

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