McAlester Temple's Great Light Of Masonry
L. R. (Jerry) Grubbs, 32, KCCH
Since 1930 when the McAlester Temple was built, one of its most distinctive features has been a copper and glass ball (six feet in diameter and, with its base, ten feet tall) mounted 45-feet above the Temple's roof. Called "The Great Light of Masonry," it has been a beacon welcoming Brethren and visitors to this magnificent Scottish Rite edifice for 65 years.
The ball was designed and paid for by Illustrious John T. Leibrand, 33, a major contributor to the Charitable Educational Foundation Scholarship Fund of McAlester Valley which, along with other funds, continues to provide financial support for worthy students, 160 last year. The ball was created by a McAlester tin shop owner, Brother Andrew J. Arendale, 32, from 138 blue, yellow, green, and red glass railroad switch lamp lenses.
In 1995, the McAlester Brethren had an idea that has made the unique light even more attractive. By attaching cords of lights to the base of the ball and stringing them to the roof, Illustrious John Proctor, 33, McAlester Temple's Building Company President, and Brother Clem Peppers, 32, KCCH, Building Superintendent, created the effect of a luminous holiday tree atop the Temple. This festive image is managed with 500 clear incandescent bulbs, 480 feet of garland, 960 feet of steel messenger wire, and 100 feet of 1/2" steel rod to form the circular shape of the "tree." It is one of the most beautiful things we have had in McAlester in a long time, and it really makes a positive impact on the public.
A Happy And Joyous Holiday to All and a Happy New Year!