World-Renowned Minnesota Mason Honored On 90th Birthday
Praise was lavish and heartfelt for Ill. Harold E. Stassen, 33, at a glittering 90th birthday party in St. Paul, Minnesota, a tribute to almost 70 years of public life from a County prosecutor’s office to three terms as Governor of Minnesota (at age 31, the youngest ever elected in Minnesota) and to the founding of the United Nations. He is the only surviving member of the 1945 United Nations Charter Commission.
Over 850 bi-partisan national political dignitaries, legislators, business and government leaders, and a host of friends and Masonic Brothers gathered for the celebration, cramming the ballroom from wall to wall at the Radisson St. Paul Hotel.
Speaking at the party, U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson, recently appointed permanent representative to the U.N., said, “Stassen was more than our lone survivor among the eight original signers of the U.N. Charter.” Richardson said Stassen’s most important legacy was establishing an international tradition in Minnesota, known for a long line of globally minded leaders, including former Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale. He also said, “Stassen remains a living influence on the U.N. as the organization is now studying proposals to improve the organization, including concepts that Stassen forwarded in a 1944 proposal for an amended charter.”
Former Minnesota Governor Illustrious Harold E. Stassen, 33, waves to a crowd of over 850 giving him a standing ovation after Bro. Stassen spoke at his 90th Birthday celebration in St. Paul. He holds hands with his wife, Esther. At left is the Stassens’ son, Glen, and at right is their daughter, Kathleen Stassen Berger.
Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson bestowed a first-ever “Governor’s Distinguished Service Award” on Stassen, a gold medal he placed around Stassen’s neck. U.S. Representative Jim Ramstad, read a tribute and greeting from President Clinton. U.S. Senator Rod Grams gave Bro. Stassen a plaque from Secretary of State, Madeline Albright. Retired U.S. Army General John Vessey, who served in the Minnesota National Guard under Stassen in the 1940s and who rose to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the mid-1980s, linked Stassen’s college championships as a rifleman to his far-sighted visions for international cooperation and peace.
Brother Stassen became a Master Mason in Shekinah Lodge No. 171 in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1929 and served as its Worshipful Master in 1939. In 1940, he was invested with the Scottish Rite 32 in the Valley of St. Paul, received the Rank and Decoration of K.C.C.H. in 1945, and was Coroneted a 33 Inspector General Honorary in 1987.
Brother Stassen talks earnestly and freely about his life, all the way back to his Viking roots and the immigrants who moved to the northern prairies of the United States. He figures his political impulse came from his father, William, a farmer and community leader. The elder Stassen was a member of the school board, reflecting the family’s regard for education, and perhaps influenced Brother Stassen, in his later years, to assume a post as President of the University of Pennsylvania.
As the middle boy of five Stassen children, Brother Stassen stood out as the academic prodigy, the natural leader, and moral example. He raced through high school, the University of Minnesota and its Law School, all by the age of 21. He worked on the family farm as well as a bakery pan greaser and a railroad conductor.
As a County Attorney, he made headlines with some dramatic arrests of criminal suspects and prosecutions of gangsters. Later as the Governor, he offered a middle way: respect for labor’s rights along with demands for real democracy within its ranks, and more thrift, professionalism, and integrity in state government. He cut the state payroll and taxes and then led a thorough civil service overhaul, replacing a state bureaucracy with employees chosen on the basis of objective tests.
National leaders quickly recognized Brother Stassen’s youth and success at organization as he became a voice for global awareness, free trade, and the formation of an international peacekeeping organization. After he won a third election as Governor in 1942 at age 35, he resigned from that office and enlisted in the Navy in 1943.
Because of his obvious administrative skills, Brother Stassen was assigned to be a top aide to Admiral William (Bull) Halsey. He was on hand for the surrender at Tokyo Bay and personally liberated prisoners of war from Japanese camps.
For his status as one of the eight signatories of the U.N. Charter, Bro. Stassen gives some credit to his beloved wife of almost 70 years, Esther, whom he married at age 22. Often described as a bright and talented woman, she accompanied her husband to the U.N. talks in San Francisco in 1945 where she acted as a hostess to the Soviet women and other spouses of negotiators. Stassen said, “She would learn a lot of things from the women that we didn’t know from the negotiations.”
By his outstanding lifetime of public service, few would deny that Ill. Harold E. Stassen, 33, leaves a wholesome and optimistic legacy for the world, something often lacking in today’s leaders. In 1951, with the Red Scare in full force and war underway in Korea, he predicted that “intelligent and alert policies” of peaceful containment would result in the collapse of communism from within. “Beyond this,” he said, “I believe will come the liberation and upward climb of mankind toward those better conditions that a free and democratic world can provide.”
Responding to a lengthy and emotional standing ovation
at his 90th birthday celebration, Brother Stassen made his way to the podium
and with a clear, strong voice thanked the people in the audience and the
thousands of other people that made his accomplishments possible. He asked
the crowd to turn its attention to “the new century opening before us...to
make a difference. Do not underestimate what you can do to make this world
a little better place for all of us.”
Thanks From The Salvation Army
Recently, Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, received the following letter from Major Richard L. Jones, Area Commander, Salvation Army, Charleston, West Virginia:
With heartfelt, grateful appreciation, I acknowledge
on behalf of The Salvation Army, the gift of $6,050 from the Masons in
support of our services to flood victims in West Virginia. As presented
to me by Hereld Prather, 32, K.C.C.H., Treasurer of the Scottish Rite Foundation
of West Virginia, Inc., the funds were divided between the Salvation Army
installations in Charleston, Huntington, and Parkersburg. There was and
continues to be a great deal of suffering on the part of people affected
by the flood. The Salvation Army, along with other service providers, continues
to provide relief. It is because of friends like you that the Army is able
to respond. Thank you for the confidence placed in us.
Governor Declares “Freemason Day” In Florida
On April 4, 1997, the Honorable Lawton Chiles, Governor of Florida, issued an official proclamation declaring April 9, 1997, as “FREEMASON DAY in Florida.” The complete proclamation reads as follows:
WHEREAS, Freemasonry began in medieval times and has been organized since the 18th century; and
WHEREAS, Freemasonry was transplanted to the American colonies by English and Irish Masons during the early decades of the 18th century, and as early as 1734, Benjamin Franklin was the grand master of Masons in Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting and appropriate to honor the Freemasons for their contributions to the state;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Lawton Chiles, by virtue of the
authority vested in me as Governor of the state of Florida, do hereby proclaim
April 9, 1997, as FREEMASON DAY in Florida in recognition and appreciation
of their invaluable service rendered to the state.”
Canon Raymond H. Clark, 33, Wyoming Citizen Of The Year
The Rev. Canon Raymond H. Clark, 33 (right), of Sheridan has been named “Wyoming Citizen of the Year” by the Wyoming Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). According to a statement from the Northeastern Region of the Wyoming Chapter of NASW, Clark was nominated as a “humble man of God” who “has given our region and our state better than 50 years of vigorous, unselfish commitment to the betterment of the social welfare of our citizens....It is difficult to find a social institution in Sheridan that has not been touched by Ray’s graceful presence. Life-Link, Sheridan Hospice, Red Cross, and Scouting are but a few of our organizations that he has stewarded.”
The nominating statement points our Clark’s years as rector
at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (1949--1988), with prior service as Episcopal
Chaplain of the University of Wyoming and Canon at St. Matthew’s Cathedral
in Laramie, as well as his involvement in Sheridan Volunteer Hospice, his
service as part-time Chaplain at the Sheridan Veterans Affairs Medical
Center, and his work as a Minister for various denominations in the region.
The Rev. Clark, who marked 50 years in the Episcopal priesthood in 1993,
is scheduled to receive the reward at the NASW Annual Conference in Cheyenne
in May. Ill. Bro. Clark joined Sheridan Lodge No. 8 in 1951 and the Sheridan
Scottish Rite in November 1951. He was invested with Rank and Decoration
of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour in 1975 and was coroneted an
Inspector General Honorary in 1987. He is now serving as Almoner of the
Sheridan Scottish Rite Bodies and Chaplain of Kalif Shrine Temple in Sheridan.
Bro. Clark also served on the Board of Directors of the Scottish Rite Foundation
of Wyoming for six years.
A Special Legion Of Honor in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Displaying our nation’s colors at a Shrine Circus performance is not unique, but when the members of the Legion of Honor presenting the flag are all decorated war veterans and active Nobles of the Shrine of North America as well as dynamic 32 Brethren of the Scottish Rite, the Masonic Fraternity can be especially proud. Pictured above standing in ring number three of the 45th Ballut Abyad Shrine Circus in Albuqueque, New Mexico, are (l. to r.) Brothers Chuck Lewis, Irvin Schlenker, Henry Daniels, Jack Kilmer, Doyle Hensley, Russ Bessom, Robert Hamilton, and Clyde Gioux.
Brown Scholarship Announced In Little Rock
On May 1, 1997, a special ceremony took place as part of a three-day Reunion of the Valley of Little Rock, Arkansas. Over 400 Brethren and guests met in the Albert Pike Scottish Rite Memorial Temple to witness Ill. Dwane F. Treat, 33, S.G.I.G. in Arkansas, announce the establishment by The Supreme Council of the Walter Lee Brown Scholarship in American History, Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas. The scholarship honors Ill. Walter Lee Brown, 33, longtime member of the Valley of Little Rock and Professor of American History, Emeritus, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Dr. Brown devoted his 1955 doctoral dissertation to a comprehensive biography of Albert Pike. Following his retirement from academia, Ill. Brown fully revised and updated his original study. This fall, the new book will be published by the University of Arkansas Press and is certain to be an authoritative resource not only for an understanding of Pike and his significant contributions to Scottish Rite Freemasonry but also for a better understanding of nineteenth-century American history.
Standing in front of a beautiful stained glass window
depicting Albert Pike in the Albert Pike Scottish Rite Memorial Temple
in Little Rock, Arkansas, are participants in the ceremony establishing
the Walter Lee Brown Scholarship. They are (l. to r.): Dr. Bernard Madison,
Dean, Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas; Ill.
Dwane F. Treat, 33, S.G.I.G. in Arkansas; and the scholarship’s namesake,
Dr. Walter Lee Brown, 33, Professor of American History, Emeritus, the
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Hoover Anniversary Observed
On May 2, 1997, members of the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Inc., commemorated the 25th anniversary of the death of Ill. J. Edgar Hoover, 33, G.C., by holding ceremonies at the Congressional Cemetery to honor the “Father of Modern Day American Law Enforcement.” Participants in the gravesite service were Patrick J. Mullany, the Rev. George Wesley, Dean W. Elson, and Daniel R. Brainard. Following the ceremony, members of the Society gathered at a formal luncheon at the Fort Myers Officers Club in Arlington, Virginia, where C. Benjamin Fulton introduced the event’s principal speakers, Cartha D. “Deke” DeLoach, Chairman, The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, and Louis J. Freeh, Director of the FBI. Appropriately, Ben Fulton, Past Vice President of the Society, noted in the occasion’s program: “We come with grateful hearts and firm convictions that these Commemorative Services in honor of Director Hoover are wholly justified. And we recall that Chief Justice Warren E. Burger in a eulogy to Mr. Hoover stated, “The County has lost one of the great public servants in all its history. He has justly been, and will be, an American Legend.’”
On April 23, 1997, James David Ford, Chaplain, U.S. House of Representatives, wrote to Rabbi Sidney S. Guthman, 33, member of the Long Beach, California, Scottish Rite Bodies, inviting him to be the Guest Chaplain at a session of the House of Representative. Ill. Guthman was nominated for this honor by Congressman Stephen Horn who, Chaplain Ford noted in his letter to Rabbi Guthman, “has spoken highly of your work and good influence in your community.” When the House is in Session, there is normally one Guest Chaplain each week, usually on a Tuesday or Thursday.
Rabbi Sidney S. Guthman, 33
Since he will be traveling from California to Washington, DC, for the occasion, Ill. Guthman has the option of requesting one of several upcoming dates, but, as of this printing, no specific date has been set. Rabbi Guthman is a former Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of California. A longtime Scottish Rite Mason and Chaplain of Al Malaikah Shrine Temple, Ill. Guthman was recently appointed Chaplain of the Long Beach Police Department, the first time a Rabbi has been so honored.