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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes July 2015 

Freemasonry Continues To Be At Work In Our World Today

 The efforts of Freemasonry are alive and well in 2015, as this story reported by the Grand Lodge of Ohio shows:

Recently a young couple began a new chapter in their lives.  Having secured new jobs, they loaded up a moving van, hitched their car to the back, and left northwest Ohio for Tucson, Arizona.

Things went well until they reached Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they stopped overnight. They awoke the next morning to discover that their moving van and car had disappeared.

They called the local police to report the theft and then the young man’s mother and stepfather back in Ohio. Everything they had was in that van and car, but they had insurance.  They needed to get to Tucson for work, so they rented a car and headed on down the highway.

The police found their car and van.  The car’s rear window was smashed in and both were empty of their belongings.  The couple was at a loss as to what they were going to do once they got to Tucson.  They had neither friends nor family there, neither did they know how long it would take for the insurance company to respond.

The young man’s stepfather is a Freemason – Master of his Lodge, in fact.  So he called the Grand Lodge office late on Friday afternoon, asking for help.  In turn, a call was placed to Arizona’s Grand Secretary and then to the Junior Grand Deacon, who resides in Tucson.

Within an hour of the young couple arriving at their new apartment that same day, the Freemasons of Tucson arrived with an air mattress, sheets, towels, pots, pans, dishes, kitchen table with chairs and a TV.

Freemasonry is very much an extended family.

(The Ohio Beacon, Spring 2015, publication of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.)

Florida Honors Masters Who Were DeMolay

At the May, 2015, Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Florida, Russell B. Glendinning introduced 12 men currently serving as Worshipful Masters of their Lodges, who are also Senior DeMolay.

This is an annual recognition given by Florida’s Grand Lodge. Brother Glendinning, an Active Member of the DeMolay Supreme Council, believes the practice is unique to the Sunshine State.

Do any other Grand Lodges recognize active Masters who are Senior DeMolay?  If not, perhaps this would be a good year to begin.

Mason Honored With North Dakota’s Highest Award

Brother Herman Stern, a prominent citizen of Valley City, ND, has been posthumously presented North Dakota’s highest honor – the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.  His portrait now hangs in the State Capitol and includes the Masonic emblem.

Governor Jack Dalrymple recognized Brother Stern as a businessman, a visionary leader, and a humanitarian, who quietly saved many from the Holocaust.

Speaking at the induction ceremony, North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Dale Sandstrom said, “He didn’t do it all alone.  He worked with people. But when Herman Stern got involved, things happened, goals were achieved.”  (Brother Sandstrom is also Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota.)

Born in Germany, Stern came to America at the age of 16 and became active with the Straus Clothing Store, a family enterprise.  He was a founder of the North Dakota Chamber, the Valley City Winter Show, and Boy Scout Camp Wilderness.

When World War II approached, Brother Stern, working with state and federal leaders, made it possible for between 175 and 200 German Jews to escape the Holocaust and come to America.

A book, which chronicles his life, You Have Been Kind Enough to Assist Me: Herman Stern and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, by Terry Shopbaugh, is available at books stores and from

Brother Stern joined Casselton Lodge, later transferred to Valley City Lodge in 1913, and was active in the Fargo Scottish Rite.  He died in 1980 at the age of 92.

The new honor he has received was named for President Theodore Roosevelt, a Master Mason from New York.

(North Dakota News, May, 2015)

90-Year-Olds Continue To Be Masonic Leaders 

This publication established a “90-year-old Masters Club” a few months ago to honor Masons who served in the East while over 90 years of age.

One new nominee doesn’t quite qualify for our “Club,” but certainly deserves recognition anyway.

Elmer Bradbury, at age 95, serves as Treasurer of Perry Lodge #95 in Perry, Illinois.  Two years ago, he stepped down as Secretary after 15 years in that position.  He served as Worshipful Master four times, once during the 100th Anniversary of the Lodge and then for its 125th Anniversary.  He is a 70-year Mason.

In 1932, during the Great Depression, Perry Lodge lost its building.  It was owned by a man who was not a Mason and the building fell into complete disrepair.  Brother Bradbury bought the building for $1,000 and sold it to the Lodge for $500, with the promise that he would work on the building until it was ready again for use.  With the assistance of other Masons and his family, he restored the building for the Lodge, which still uses it today.

He is part of a large Masonic family.  His father, eight uncles and a dozen cousins were Masons.  Both of his sons are Masons, and Brother Elmer presided numerous times with his wife in the Order of Eastern Star. His sons say that Brother Elmer “has inspired many young men to become a part of our Fraternity and does so even now.”

New Book: Masonic Aprons Through History 

A new book, The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, has been published by the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, and is now available.

The hardcover book has 248 pages and full-color photos of more than 80 aprons from its collection. Written by Dr. Aimee E. Newell, Director of Collections, the aprons are arranged chronologically from the 1700s to the 1900s. 

For more information and ordering go to

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