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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes March 2016

A Training Course, ‘Gentlemen 101’ -- Who Better To Teach It Than Masons?

In early 2015, the Lodges of Appleton and Neenah, Wisconsin, undertook a pilot program aimed at giving something of value to the community.

The Lodge decided to give away, to young men of good character and financial need: a sit-down meal, tuxedo rentals, corsages, and haircuts, enabling them to attend their school prom.  Local restaurants were contacted, who provided discounted meals for the same purpose.

In exchange for these gifts, the Brothers of the Lodge asked only one thing – an opportunity to share a bit of their wisdom on how to treat women like ladies, during the big event.

A spokesman for the Lodges explained:  “We did this for only one real reason.  The need existed and we were able to help.

“There is no other organization on the planet that is better equipped to make good young men better men.  We did not undertake the event with the desire of getting something in return.”

Here are few comments from those attending:

  • Just wanted to say thanks for putting on such an awesome event! Thanks to you guys, I’m able to treat my girlfriend as a princess.
  • Thank you for teaching us how to escort our dates properly.
  • I found this event extremely helpful in more than just the tux.  You taught us how to properly have a date plan.
  • And from one mother: I was so moved by the outpouring of love and unselfish sharing of oneself.  Thank you for taking such a special high school moment and making it a life lesson on so many things . . . especially on how real men reach out to change the world one boy at a time.”

(From “The Wisconsin Masonic Journal,” February 2016, publication of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin.)


Illinois Lodge Gives Custom-Built Bicycles To Special Needs Children In Its Area

Three-year-old Genevieve “GiGi” Hanck of Spring Valley, IL, is the latest recipient of a custom-built bicycle presented by Marseilles Lodge #417 to area youths with special needs.

The bike is a first for GiGi, who has Down syndrome, a genetic condition.  Approximately 400,000 Americans have the syndrome.  Nationwide, about 6,000 babies are born annually with it.

This bike is the 16th given at no cost by Marseilles Lodge to special-needs children in the LaSalle County area.  Worshipful Master Charles Wood III said the four-year-old Lodge bike giveaway program continues the Masonic tradition of caring for children, including the challenged.

The bikes are individually produced by Ambucs, a national charitable organization founded in 1922 to promote mobility and independence for those with disabilities.  The bicycle prices range from $300 to $1,200.  Grant Crockett, owner of Gay’s Body Shop in Ottawa, IL, and his wife, Becky, donated the cost of GiGi’s bike to the Lodge.

The continual support of funds generated throughout the community make the program a success, Worshipful Master Wood said.  He noted that this program creates an “overwhelming and heartfelt feeling of pride and sense of accomplishment for all of us.”

(From “Illinois Freemasonry,” Winter, 2016, publication of the Grand Lodge of Illinois.)


Transportation Golf Cart Donated To VA By Grand Lodge Of Rhode Island

Military Veterans who visit the VA Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island, often must walk a good distance from the parking lot to the entrance.  For those with walking disabilities, the VA has a shuttle service of a couple of golf carts.  However, these vehicles have aged and needed to be replaced, so the VA put out a call for help.

Russell Kawa, the Masonic Service Association’s Representative at the Providence VA facility, approached the Grand Master of Rhode Island, the Grand Lodge Charity Committee and the Grand Lodge Investment Committee and worked out a plan to purchase a new golf cart right away.

The presentation of the new shuttle vehicle included Grand Master Raymond E. Hassell; Grand Secretary Wyman P. Hallstrom (PGM), Brother Kawa, and VA officials from the Medical Center.

This is an example of the type of programs which dedicated Hospital Representatives, working as volunteers for the Masonic Service Association can accomplish to enhance their service to our Military Vets.

(From “Rhode Island Freemason,” February/March, 2016, publication of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island.)


A Couple Of Explanations About The Origin Of “Tiler” Or “Tyler”

The outer guard of a Masonic Lodge room is called a “tiler.”  In some jurisdictions, the word is “tyler.”  According to Gary A Littlefield, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, there are at least two theories of the origin of the word.

He said that famed Masonic author Albert Mackey believes that, since tilers were workmen who installed materials to cover the buildings where Freemasons met and shut it off from the outside world, the symbolic name of tiler was given to the Brother who guards the outer door.

Another theory is that in England around 1700, men’s hats were sometimes called “tiles” and the doorkeeper of clubs, fraternities, and societies was called a “tiler” because he took care of the tiles.  This theory has a flaw, Brother Littlefield says, since some clubs called their “doorkeeper” a beadle.

(From “Connecticut Freemasons,” January, 2016, publication of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut.)

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