Senior DeMolays Form “Family Lodge”
On Friday June 13, 1997, a new Masonic Lodge was formed in the state of Washington, and was suitably named after the founder of DeMolay, Frank S. Land Lodge No. 313.
Three of the newest Frank L. Land Lodge members as of May 1997 are (l. to r.) Brothers Doug K. Haughton, Jim V. Mendoza, and Wayne K. Peterson.
Approximately a year and a half ago, three Senior DeMolays, who shared a vision of a Masonic Lodge concerned about keeping families involved with Lodge activities, discussed their ideas. From these beginnings has now come a chartered Lodge that thinks first of families and family-oriented activities and entertainment.
These three men, who met specifically to talk about Masonry and what it means to them, were not significantly active members in a Lodge. One of these men had not even started taking the Degrees, and they knew each other by their involvement in DeMolay. Yet each knew that the Masonic Lodge had good solid lessons and principles that are very valid in today’s society. These men felt that the Masonic meeting schedules, activities, and time commitments were not generally suited for family involvement. They saw that after a long day at the office, the head of the household comes home to a rushed dinner and then leaves his family for a Masonic meeting. It was felt this was not conducive to nurturing a modern family.
The lifestyle of many young families today is vastly different from even just a few years ago. While the Masonic values are still valid, the message is not reaching the young families who are not becoming involved in Masonry due to their commitment to family-oriented activities.
With these thoughts in mind, a mission statement was written by those three Senior DeMolays. It encompassed creating a Lodge that thinks first about family involvement based on Masonic values. As the Lodge gained momentum and a larger steering committee started working on these principles, the family activities started to occur. These activities included: bowling after a meeting, visiting the Boeing Museum of Flight, a picnic with softball, a day playing paintball, and attendance at a Mariners baseball game.
These activities were all based around Stated Meetings of the Lodge. The Stated Meetings occur on a Saturday afternoon, and activities can be put either before or after these meetings. On meeting day, activities for the wives and children are planned for while the formal meeting takes place. Then it is dinner and fun for the families. Since the regular meetings have begun, new ideas have been discussed including traveling and increasing the variety of local activities. Wives and friends have contributed good ideas for things they would like to do with the Lodge. All ideas are welcomed. With this involvement in the planning of activities, it is much easier to get whole families excited about the things Masons can do, and wives and children are looking forward to Masonic meetings.
In the Lodge’s first months under dispensation, Degree work has been performed, three Senior DeMolays have been raised, and there are other prospective members just waiting for Degree work.
While Frank S. Land Lodge targets Senior DeMolays with
mailings and activities geared for them, it is not the intention of this
Lodge to take members from other Lodges in the area. Rather the Lodge’s
purpose is to get younger men involved in Freemasonry, get the fire burning
in them, and then for them to take some excitement and ideas to their local
Lodges for implementation.
Child ID Program
The Paso Robles, California, Shrine Club, San Obispo York Rite Bodies, San Luis Obispo County Scottish Rite Club, San Jose Scottish Rite Temple, Paso Robles Masonic Lodge No. 286, Atascadero Lodge No. 493, and Bethlehem Chapter No. 95, Order of Eastern Star, recently held their Second Annual Open House and Child ID Program at the Paso Robles Shrine Club. Approximately 400 visitors, Lodge Brethren, family members, and children visited the Masonic Lodge and spoke with various representatives of the Concordant Bodies. The public was invited to visit each Masonic Group and learn about its main purpose and charitable contributions. Tours were conducted through the Blue Lodge, and children were able to participate in the Child ID Program sponsored by the Paso Robles Police Department Volunteers. Approximately, 150 children had an identification packet made up and given to their parents. These packets consisted of the child’s photograph, fingerprints, height, weight, and any other information which would be useful to a Law Enforcement Agency in case of a lost or abducted child.
Bro. Jim Weaver (center) of Paso Robles Masonic Lodge No. 286 and a member of the Paso Robles Police Department Volunteers has just fingerprinted Taylor Jarvis, granddaughter of Connie Jarvis, S.W. of Paso Robles Masonic Lodge.
The Masonic groups provided refreshments, musical entertainment,
pony rides, and face painting for children. Everybody involved felt that
this worthwhile event should be held annually. If your Masonic Lodge or
Shrine Club would like more information about hosting an “Open House” or
Child ID Program, please contact Noble Doug Davis, Region One, Membership
Director, at 805-434-0290.
Disbursement Of Funds
On August 29, 1997, Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Klein-knecht, 33, announced the disbursement of $5,000 to 36 Orients to be used in support of clinics, centers, and programs for Childhood Language Disorders.
Funding for this $180,000 disbursement comes from the Scottish Rite Foundation, S.J., USA, and includes income from the bequests of Ill. William M. Hollis, 33, Past S.G.I.G. in Florida; Ill. Harold F. Stoll, 33, faithful member in the Valley of Washington, D.C., and Brother Paul Chaucer, 32, faithful member in the Valley of Ft. Worth, Texas. Additional funding for this disbursement comes from The Supreme Council’s Language Disorders Special Fund (proceeds from the Scottish Rite Visa Credit Card Program and other fund-raising activities).
Grand Commander Kleinknecht thanks all Scottish Rite Brethren
for their continued good work in helping America’s children!
Tampa Invites Families
The members of the Tampa Scottish Rite Bodies have always provided programs that include the families of members. Traditionally, invitations are extended to families to attend the Maundy Thursday Ceremony, Easter Sunrise Ceremony, and the Feast of Tishri. These events provide an opportunity for families to see a part of what the Scottish Rite stands for. Also, ladies are included during regular monthly meetings by inviting them to the dinner served prior to the meeting and then providing an entertaining program for them while Brethren participate in the business meeting.
Typical recent family occasions in the Valley of Tampa, Florida, were a dance highlighting music from the 1950s and a Bar-B-Que featuring a hayride and lively country music.
To provide more opportunities for the members and their families to socialize and become acquainted with each other, the Tampa Scottish Rite Bodies regularly hold several annual events for the whole family. Typical recent family occasions were a dance highlighting music from the 1950s and a Bar-B-Que featuring a hayride and country music. Some members bring their children, others their grandchildren, and still others their neighbors. This broad cross section creates the atmosphere of a family picnic or reunion.
Several more of these family-oriented occasions, featuring different themes, are planned for the coming year. But the Valley of Tampa, Florida, covers a large geographical area, and it has not always been convenient for some members to travel to the Tampa Scottish Rite Temple for these social events. Given the popularity of past get-togethers, consideration is being given to having some Scottish Rite Clubs host future events so that members and their families can share Masonic fellowship and fun in their own locales.
Chuck Wagon Feed In El Paso, Texas
For 60 years, one of the most popular family activities of the El Paso, Texas, Scottish Rite Bodies is an annual “Chuck Wagon Feed” held every March. The meal--consisting of roast beef sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw, sliced peaches, donuts, potato chips, and beverages--is held in the banquet hall of the El Paso Temple and is followed by a country program keyed to families. Children up to age 12 are encouraged to dress in western garb, and each child receives a gift. Attendance for the “Feed” is usually four to five hundred. A second popular family program in El Paso is held quarterly prior to the March, June, and September Stated Meetings. The Stewards prepare the meat, bread and beverage, and families are asked to bring a covered dish, salad, vegetable, or dessert. An entertaining program follows the dinner which, in turn, is followed by a short Stated Meeting in the Lodge room for the members and a time of conversation and friendship for the ladies. Attendance has been from 115 to 125 at each meeting.
As the printed announcements of these fellowship dinners
say “Ya’ll Come!” And they do!
Alabama Freemasonry A Family Affair
There is a focus on family throughout Freemasonry in Alabama. Rising Sun Lodge No. 29, in Decatur, Alabama, for instance, has an annual family night dinner and open Lodge program which specifically invites family members, including widows. Often a highlight is a musical segment where members join their families to sing medleys of popular songs. Similarly, several Blue Lodges, the Shrine, the Scottish and York Rites, and other Masonic Bodies join for a summer weekend family fish fry on the banks of the Tennessee River. The next Reunion’s Candidates and their families are extended a special invitation to participate in the fine food and warm fellowship.
Similarly, the Huntsville Scottish Rite Bodies have a
family tradition of the women gathering for their own programs while the
Brothers meet in the Lodge for their regular Stated Meeting. At times,
as during award or installation ceremonies, ladies attend open meeting
with their husbands. In any case, to promote family exchange and fellowship,
refreshments are shared by all attending both before and after each meeting.
In addition, in some Temples the families of Scottish Rite members join
together to visit the sick in each family, the ladies of the Eastern Star
prepare lunch at Reunions, and Rainbow Girls prepare Saturday baked potatoes
sales as fundraisers. In these and many there ways, Freemasonry is a family
affair in Alabama.
Des Moines Valley Hosts Bands
The Des Moines Scottish Rite Bodies were host to two outstanding military bands in late 1996 and early 1997. The Air Force Band and Singing Sergeants from Washington performed at the Des Moines Temple in October of 1996 before a crowd of more than 600. The concert was open to the public and provided an excellent opportunity for non-Masons to see the beautiful building and learn a little about the Scottish Rite. A sizable contingent of local musicians attended the concert. One part of the program involved both vocal and musical excerpts from opera. The audience was pleasantly surprised and very receptive .
In April of 1997, the Heartland of America Band from Offutt
Air Force Base in Nebraska performed. It, too, attracted a large crowd
of over 500 as it was held in conjunction with the annual Symbolic Lodge
Reception. A large group of Freemasons and their wives was augmented by
visitors from the general public, many of whom had attended the earlier
concert. The quality of the two military bands was outstanding. Brother
Karl H. Killinger, 32, K.C.C.H., the Director of the Des Moines Consistory
Band, was guest conductor for one number. Both bands were lavish in their
praise of the Temple and its facilities, including the acoustics in the
auditorium. The two concerts attracted families and friends. The success
of the concerts has encouraged planning for similar family and public events
in the future.
Masonic Family Picnic Fair In Tucson, Arizona
During the past six years, the Valley of Tucson, Arizona, and other Masonic organizations in Tucson (Blue Lodges, Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile, Ladies Oriental Shrine, Shrine, DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, and Job Daughters) have sponsored a Masonic Family Picnic and Fair Day for all Masons, their families, guests, and the general public. The purpose of this event is to acquaint the Masons’ families and non-Masons generally with the charitable work performed by Freemasonry.
Each organization sets up booths for the exhibition and sale of crafts made by the members of that group. There is an informational booth with pamphlets explaining the philosophy of Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorder Program, Shrine Hospitals and Burns Institutes, York Rite Eye Program, and other Masonic philanthropies.
The Tucson Scottish Rite sponsors a Youth Soccer Tournament for girls and boys 12 years and under. The final six teams are awarded certificates, and each team receives a new soccer ball.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and many other picnic
items are prepared by Tucson’s Scottish Rite members and their families.
The food is served to everyone at no cost. The exposure given Masonry by
this event always results in inquiries from the general public and, subsequently,
several petitions to Blue Lodges.
Family Values Week In Florida
Commenting on the outstanding work of the Sunshine State’s Brethren, Ill. Robert L. Goldsmith, 33, S.G. I.G. in Florida, recently declared, “Family life is a strong focus of Masonry throughout the year, but I am especially proud of the Scottish Rite Brethren of Pensacola, Florida, who have worked with their community to create a special time, Family Values Week (June 1-7, 1997), to celebrate and enhance the American family.”
Using the theme of “Family Life, Build It With Care,” Ill. James H. Kirkland, 33, Secretary, Valley of Pensacola, led the efforts of local Brethren in support of the City of Pensacola’s Core Values Program which promotes the values of “non-violence, community pride, faith, hope, integrity, justice, and respect.” The program began with a large ad in the Sunday, June 1, 1997, Pensacola News Journal. Aside from announcing the Rite’s “Family Values Week” program, the ad suggested a number of independent family activities and offered discount admission coupons for family outings to the Gulf Breeze Zoo and Naval Aviation Museum.
Then, on Monday, June 2, 1997, A. Rick Dye, Vice President, AMSOUTH Bank, keynoted the week-long Masonic program at a breakfast meeting held in the Pensacola Scottish Rite Masonic Center. He spoke on the subject of “Success at Six,” a national program which focuses on reaching children before they are six years old, and noted, “If we look back in history and how the great civilizations deteriorated, it was always from within because certain values were no longer promoted. The Masons’ efforts to declare a week focused on family values is a wonderful response to making sure that the importance of the family to the continued success of America is discussed and elevated in the community’s agenda.”
On June 4, 5 and 6, three more well-attended events, two
luncheons and a reception, at the Center featured distinguished ministers
from several churches and synagogues, civic and state officials, and outstanding
business or community leaders. Each event was covered by the Pensacola
press and brought positive community recognition to Masonry. Congratulations
to the Valley of Pensacola for a fine Scottish Rite Family Life Program!
A Family Place
Illustrious Victor T. Newman, 33, Valley of Waco, Texas, and his wife, Lillian Bowles Newman, are pictured right at the recent opening of a family waiting area at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas, donated in their honor by their daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Fred Logan. Through the years, the Newmans have been noted for their generous support of church, community, and higher education. In recognition of the latter, Illustrious Newman and his wife were honored by Baylor University in Waco, Texas, with the University Founders Medal on February 26, 1997.
Family Emphasis In The Volunteer State
For many years, the Brethren of Knoxville have focused on service to families in a variety of ways. 1. Since 1952, a Wheel Chair Club has loaned collapsible wheelchairs and, recently, hospital beds for home use. The program now includes 800 wheelchairs, 400 hospital beds, crutches, and many sick-room items. 2. Started in 1960, the Shoe Program annually provides about 7,500 pairs of socks and shoes to needy children. 3. Several Scottish Rite Clubs host a Christmas Dinner Party. Each child receives a toy and an item of clothing. 4. Each year 20 $1,000 scholarships are given to Knoxville area students to complete college. 5. Annually, the Scottish Rite awards expense money for two high school students to attend the 4-H National Congress. 6. Treatment for children is provided through the Orient’s five Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinics, Centers, and Programs. 7. The Almoner’s fund supports the emergencies of needy persons. 8. Twice each year, Master Masons and their families are invited to a dinner to learn about membership in the Scottish Rite. 9. Widows of Valley members are invited to Class Reunions. 10. Also, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, in the past several years, has placed special emphasis upon community and family life by the sponsorship of scholarships, ball teams, 4-H activities, picnics, holiday parties, and open meetings.