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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes February 2016

Baseball, Helping Veterans Good Mix For Snowbound Northerners

With baseball’s Spring Training on deck this month in warmer climates, there is a natural tendency to dream about winners and losers, statistics and accomplishments. Or course, at the Masonic Service Association, service to Military Veterans has always been its cornerstone program.  But when baseball and service to Vets come together, it seems to deserve a standing ovation.

In January, baseball pitcher Justin Verlander visited the VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony.  It was inside a newly renovated wing, now called “The Fastball Lounge,” which was made possible in part because of Verlander’s personal donation – his most recent one – to help Veterans.  A crowd of baseball fans, VA patients and employees, were there to thank him.

“Standing here, a lot of people have said thank you to me.  That’s not what this is about.  This is my way to say ‘thank you’ to you, and this is something that I’m passionate about.”

Verlander’s passion became evident in 2013, when he committed $1 million to start the “Wins for Warriors” program, which provides support to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans in the Detroit, Michigan, and Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia areas.  He also makes hundreds of free tickets available for Veterans to watch in Detroit, where he pitches for the Detroit Tigers.

Many Masonic volunteers provide services to the Veterans at VA facilities in Detroit and Ann Arbor, and at four VA facilities in Virginia.  Verlander is a native of Virginia and attended college there.

Verlander, who has won the prestigious Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Awards in baseball, commented, “I feel honored to play this game because of our men and women veterans.  I wouldn’t be able to play this game in this great country if it weren’t for them, and I want to give back, so I do.”

Scottish Rite Day Across The Nation Scheduled For Saturday, November 12 

Valleys from both the Northern and Southern Scottish Rite Jurisdictions will unite on Saturday, November 12, to celebrate the Scottish Rite.

It is the first time the fraternity has held such a nationwide day of honor.

All Valleys in the country are being asked to plan fun, memorable occasions that reach out to, and connect with, members old and new. 

Several states are planning statewide 32nd Degree conferrals.  Other events may include banquets, presentations of rings, caps and jewels, and noted speakers.
“Scottish Rite Day” is intended to be an enjoyable, inspirational, and meaningful experience for members.  It seeks to accord the 32nd Degree with special recognition and prestige.

More information can be found on the web pages of each Jurisdiction, and each Valley will be promoting its individual activities.

List Of 90-Year Old Worshipful Masters Grows Again This Month

For a number of months, EMESSAY NOTES has been paying tribute to Masons – 90 years old and up -- who are presiding over their Lodges. We never thought the list would grow as it has. This “90-Year Club” has no dues, no certificates, but just gives recognition to those veteran Worshipful Masters who still preside. Two more receive due attention this month.

Frederick W. Palmer is 90-years-old, a 67-year Mason, and the longest surviving Past District Deputy Grand Master in the 19th Masonic District of Ohio. He is currently Worshipful Master of Center Star Lodge in Heath, Ohio.  He first served as Master in 1956 – 60 years ago – and presided again in 1992.  Grand Master of Ohio Robert C. Rill made a special visitation in January to watch Brother Palmer preside at the Lodge’s annual inspection.

Right Worshipful Brother Palmer has been active in numerous Masonic groups and has received several prestigious awards for his service.  Outside the Lodge, he has been active in many community and church positions, is a U.S. Army Veteran, and served two terms each on the Granville and Licking County Joint Vocational School Boards.

Keith Baldwin is currently serving as Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Instruction at the Wales Home in Cleveland, Quebec, Canada, and is 93 years old. This Lodge meets monthly, but does not confer degrees.  He has been a member of Ascot Lodge in Lennoxville, Quebec, for 52 years and served there as Master in 1990 and 2000.

Very Worshipful Brother Baldwin served as Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Quebec in 1995. 

Subscriptions Come To MSA From All Over The World

MSA’s Short Talk Bulletin has subscribers all over the world, who look forward to the monthly issues.

Recently, MSA received a note from an ardent reader, Nikolaus Schwaerzler, who happens to be a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Austria, living in Haag, a town in the district of Amstetten in Lower Austria.  Haag is known as the “geographical center of Europe.”

While renewing his subscription this year, M.W. Brother Schwaerzler wrote: “The Short Talk Bulletin is very interesting -- in some aspects a little bit strange for a European Freemason, but nevertheless of great value and really of outstanding high interest.  (There are) other traditions of Freemasonry all over the world, but also partly different centers of gravity.  Thank you for the differences.”

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