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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes November 2015 

Disaster Relief Appeal Issued After South Carolina Flooding 

The Masonic Service Association has established a Disaster Relief Fund for South Carolina, following a weeklong drenching of rain, causing rivers to overflow, dams to burst, roadways to flood, and homes and businesses to be inundated with water, resulting in major damage or destruction. 

Officials said billions of dollars of destruction has occurred to roadways and bridges, in addition to building damage, in this historic flooding.

In the Columbia area, one Lodge building has been virtually destroyed. It is a Lodge whose membership is heavily composed of active military personnel.  Other Lodges, plus homes of Masonic members, have been seriously damaged, and the toll to life and property is still growing and being assessed.

Please forward to the MSA such donations that you feel are appropriate to help our devastated Brothers, their families and others in this stricken jurisdiction.  Please make checks payable to MSA Disaster Relief Fund and send them to: Masonic Service Association, 3905 National Drive, Suite 280, Burtonsville, MD 20866.

When remitting funds to MSA, please mark checks, “South Carolina Appeal.”

  Also, donations may be made on MSA’s webpage -- with the use of a credit card.  This allows funds to reach their destination faster.  MSA is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.

Another 90-Year-Old Worshipful Master Reported

Very Worshipful Brother Jim King, a 64-year Mason, presided over his Lodge in Kettle Falls, Washington, last year at age 91, “presenting his Masonic rituals flawlessly.”

He was raised in 1951 in Pioche, Nevada.  Then, after moving to Washington, served as District Deputy Grand Master in 1994-95.  He has served in the East four times, including once as Master of Spokane’s Lodge of Research.

According to the current District Deputy Grand Master Nick Pemberton, “Even today at 92, VW Brother Jim attends Kettle Falls Lodge twice each month, sitting in the Steward’s chair. . . He has set the bar for other Masons at the highest level.”

25 Consecutive Years As A Grand Lodge Officer! Can You Beat That Record Of Service?

In October, Benny L. Grisham was re-elected Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Illinois – his 25th consecutive year of elected service for the Grand Lodge.
Brother Grisham began his string of service as an elected Grand Warden in the Grand Lodge, served as Grand Master in 1997-98, and then continued as Grand Secretary, and currently Grand Treasurer.

Active in numerous Masonic organizations, Most Worshipful Brother Grisham is also the Scottish Rite Deputy for Illinois for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.

Perhaps there are others who are currently serving in elected Grand Lodge positions for more than 25 years.  If so, please let us know.

Who, Again, Was The First President Of The U.S.?

It was quite a surprise to see the headline in a Lodge newsletter, saying that John Hanson was the first president of the United States.

Hanson, not known to be a Mason, was an American patriot.  He was elected to the Provincial Legislature of Maryland in 1775, and then in 1777 became a member of Congress, where he distinguished himself as a brilliant administrator.  Then, he was elected as the first President in 1781.  What?

The new country was actually founded on March 1, 1781, with the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, and John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress, which included George Washington. 

Six other presidents followed John Hanson, with each serving a one-year term. Why don’t we hear of the first seven Presidents?  It is quite simple – the Articles of Confederation did not work well.  The individual states had too much power and nothing could be agreed upon.  A new doctrine needed to written – something we know today as the Constitution.

George Washington was the first President of the United States under the Constitution we follow today.  His term as President was from 1789 to 1797.

But John Hanson accomplished much in his one year in office.  Almost immediately, the troops who fought in the Revolutionary War demanded to be paid.  There were no funds for salaries. The soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and put George Washington on the throne as a monarch.  Hanson calmed the troops and held the country together.

Other accomplishments by President Hanson included ordering all foreign troops off American soil, removal of all foreign flags, establishing the Great Seal of the United States (still in use), created the first Treasury Department, the first Secretary of State, the first Foreign Affairs Department, and declaring the fourth Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving Day.

Hanson and the other six Presidents under the Articles of Confederation are forgotten in history.  Today, we proudly proclaim Brother George Washington as the first President and Father of our Country.

(Thanks to the “Trestleboard” of Washington Daylight Lodge #14 in the District of Columbia for the history and research for this article, February, 2014.)

What Is ‘Untempered Mortar?’

It is a symbol of faulty preparation.  Untempered mortar is mixed without sufficient amounts of any ingredients -- sand, lime, and water.  The Jews, during the captivity, who had to make bricks without straw, were working with untempered clay.  The cowan, who builds walls with sand or stones alone between the greater boulders of the wall, works with untempered mortar.  Its use insures failure.  Proper preparation does not assure success but makes success possible.

            (From “Pocket Encyclopedia of Masonic Symbols,” published by the Masonic Service of North America.)

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