Country Entertainer Mel Tillis And Secretary Of Interior
Receive 33 In Special Conferral
Though elected to the rank of Inspector General Honorary during the October 1997 Biennial Session, neither Bro. Mel Tillis, noted country music entertainer, nor Bro. Daniel Glickman, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, could, because of prior commitments, attend the conferral of the Degree in Washington, D.C., or when it was performed in their respective Valleys, Joplin, Missouri, and Wichita, Kansas. Thus Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, arranged a special conferral on December 15, 1997, in the Executive Chamber of the House of the Temple.
Attending a special conferral of the Thirty-third Degree for Ill. Bros. Mel Tillis, country music entertainer, and the Honorable Dan Glickman, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the Executive Chamber of the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C., on December 15, 1997, were (front row, l. to r.) Ill. Bros.: Charles S. Iversen, 33, S.G.I.G. in the District of Columbia; Matthew N. Mezzanotte, 33, member, Scottish Rite Bodies in the District of Columbia, D.C.; Lonnie Melvin Tillis, 33, member, Scottish Rite Bodies in Joplin, Missouri; Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33; Daniel Robert Glickman, 33, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Walter S. Downs, 33, G.C., Personal Representative and Secretary, Alexandria, Virginia; Martin D. Carlin, 33, G.C., Past Personal Representative and Secretary, District of Columbia; William G. Sizemore, 33, G.C., Grand Executive Director; (back row, l. to r.) Russell M. Stogsdill, 33, Grand Steward of The Supreme Council; William L. Fox, 33, Grand Historian and Grand Archivist; Jerry W. Cole, 33, Past Master of Albert Pike Lodge No. 303, Wichita, Kansas; John W. Boettjer, 33, G.C., Managing Editor, Scottish Rite Journal; and Bernard E. Rothman, 33, S.G.I.G. in Maryland.
Ill. Walter S. Downs, 33, G.C., Personal Representative and Secretary, Valley of Alexandria, Virginia, performed the role of Sovereign Grand Commander in the Degree with his usual expertise, perfectly rendering many passages from the Degree while supplying outlines of the Degree’s symbolic theme, setting, and presentation. He was assisted by several Illustrious Brethren (pictured on previous page) who filled various other roles in the Degree.
Ill. Lonnie Melvin Tillis was raised a Master Mason in 1984 in Branson Lodge No. 587, Branson, Missouri, and was raised a 32 Scottish Rite Mason in the Valley of Joplin, Missouri, in 1993. As recommended by Ill. Kleinknecht and passed enthusiastically by the Brethren of the Valley of Joplin, Bro. Tillis was invested with the Rank and Decoration of Knight Commander Court of Honour in 1996. Bro. Tillis regularly performs at the Mel Tillis Theater in Branson. Visitors often toss coins into the theater’s fountains, and these contributions are divided equally between the Scottish Rite’s Childhood Language Disorders Program of the Southern Jurisdiction and the Shrine’s children’s hospitals and burn institutes. The theater was built in partnership with Ill. Melvin Guy Hall, 33, G.C., of Branson and St. Louis. Ill. Hall is a former Director of the Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri.
Shortly after a performance on December 14th, Bro. Tillis flew to Washington where he was greeted at the airport by Ill. William L. Fox, 33, Grand Historian and Grand Archivist, who escorted Bro. Tillis to the House of the Temple.
There he met with Bro. Daniel Robert Glickman, former United States Congressman from the 4th Congressional District of Kansas and present Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture. Bro. Glickman is a member of Albert Pike Lodge No. 303, Wichita, Kansas. He was made a Master of the Royal Secret in the Valley of Wichita in 1986 where he was elected the Class Representative in his Scottish Rite Class.
Ill. Glickman holds the Active Legionnaire Honor in the DeMolay Legion of Honor, and in recognition of his distinguished service on key Congressional Committees, he was invested with the Rank and Decoration of Knight Commander Court of Honour in 1991 in the Valley of Wichita. At the time, Ill. Thomas C. Raum, Jr., 33, S.G.I.G. in Kansas, noted, “In these times when we witness decreased representation of Masons in government, it is good to see such fine public servants as Brother Dan Glickman who exemplify the best Masonic teachings.”
Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, with Ill. Bros. Mel Tillis (l.) and Dan Glickman (r.), at the special Thirty-third Degree Conferral for these two outstanding Brethren.
Ill. Jerry W. Cole, 33, was a special participant in the Degree Conferral. Ill. Cole became a close friend of Bro. Glickman when, as Master of Albert Pike Lodge No. 303, he raised Bro. Glickman to the Degree of Master Mason. Ill. Cole took an early flight into the nation’s capital especially to attend the conferral, and returned to Wichita the same day.
After an excellent performance of the conferral, Ill. Tillis reminisced with the Brethren about his life in Freemasonry. He first heard of Freemasonry from a boyhood friend in his hometown of Pahokee, Florida. Bro. Mel had noticed that his friend often said he had to “go to DeMolay” rather than play ball, ride bikes, or go fishing, etc. Bro. Mel wondered what was going on and asked if he could “go to DeMolay, too.” “No,” his friend answered, “your father’s not a Mason.” Mel responded, “But he’s a baker!”
Much later in life, when Bro. Tillis told his Branson
business partner, Ill. Melvin Guy Hall, 33, G.C., of his regret at not
becoming a member of DeMolay when he was a young man, Ill. Hall said, “But
now you can be a Mason!” Bro. Tillis gladly petitioned the Craft and has
been as active as his busy entertainment schedule permits in his Blue Lodge,
Scottish Rite Valley, and Midian Shrine Temple. Bro. Mel confided that
it did not take him long to memorize his Blue Lodge proficiencies, but,
because of his stutter, it took a mighty long time to give them!
Eastern Star Portrait Unveiled
October 11, 1997, was a banner day at the Eastern Star Home of Virginia located at 3000 Chamberlayne Avenue in Richmond. An oil painting of Henrietta M. Barbour, Worthy Grand Matron of Virginia, 1909–10, Grand Secretary from 1913 until her death in 1932 and the founder of the Eastern Star Home of Virginia, was unveiled during the annual Membership Day.
On October 11, 1997, an oil painting of Henrietta M. Babour, founder of the Easter Star Home of Virginia in Richmond, was unveiled at the Home. Present (l. to r.) were: Mrs. Anne J. Moore, President of the Home’s Board of Governors; Mrs. Diane H. Kitchin, Grand Conductress; Ill. John D. Melius, 33, who painted the Babour portrait; Mrs. Shirley M. France, Past Matron of Jessica Callahan Chapter No. 91, Alexandria, Virginia; and Ray L. Bunnell, 33, Past Patron of Callahan Chapter.
Members from throughout Virginia joined Mrs. Donna J. McIlwee, Worthy Grand Matron, and Bro. George W. Ganter, 32, Worthy Grand Patron, at the Home for this occasion. The original painting, presented to the Grand Chapter in 1926, had been lost or misplaced, and Mrs. Diane H. Kitchin, Grand Conductress, and Bro. Ray L. Bunnell, 33, Past Patron, Jessica Callahan Chapter No. 91, Alexandria, were instrumental in securing the renowned artist, Ill. John D. Melius, 33, Valley of Washington, D.C., to recreate this beautiful painting from an old photograph which was published in the 1926 proceedings of the Grand Chapter. The painting was a most generous gift of Mrs. Shirley M. France, Past Matron of Jessica Callahan Chapter and a former member of the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors and the Eastern Star Home were honored to have Illustrious Melius participate in this historic occasion. Mrs. Kitchin and Mrs. Anne J. Moore, President of the Board of Governors, officially unveiled the portrait and presented it to the Home to be placed in the newly named Founder’s Room.
Following the dedication, the Eastern Star Home Ambassadors hosted the annual Membership Day with tours, refreshments, and fellowship.
Bro. Robert L. Baker, Past Most Worthy Grand Patron, Order of the Eastern
Star, 32, K.C. C.H. (left in photo to right), recently visited Sovereign
Grand Commander, C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, to give a report on the Eastern
Star charity project for the past three years, the Scottish Rite’s Childhood
Language Disorder Program. Bro. Baker reported a great success and advised
his goal was to raise $100,000 for the Scottish Rite before his term ended
in November 1997.
December 8, 1997, Grand Commander Kleinknecht welcomed two outstanding
leaders of international Scottish Rite Masonry to the House of the Temple.
Pictured (l. to r.) are: Ill. Mário Martin Guia, 33, Grand Secretary
General, Supreme Council for Portugal, and Ill. Laurent Ottro, 33, Sovereign
Grand Commander, Supreme Council for the Ivory Coast.
Ill. Downs, as noted in the citation accompanying the award, served as Worshipful Master of Henry Knox Field Lodge in Alexandria in 1964. His service on Grand Lodge committees and offices began in 1962 and has been continuous ever since.
Congratulating Ill. Walter S. Downs, 33, G.C., (center) upon his receipt of the George Washington Distinguished Service Award from the Grand Lodge of Virginia are Bro. Alan W. Adkins, 32, K.C.C.H., then Grand Master of Virginia, and Ill. David Kruger, 33, S.G.I.G. in Virginia.
He has served as Secretary of the Alexandria Scottish Rite Bodies since 1983 and as Personal Representative of the S.G.I.G. in Virginia. He is also well known for his outstanding portrayal of the Sovereign Grand Commander in the 33rd Degree conferral during Supreme Council Biennial Sessions. The award citation notes his successful efforts over the years to “help shape the relations between the subordinate Lodges and the Scottish Rite.”
At the presentation ceremony, Illustrious David Kruger,
33, S.G. I.G., in Virginia, was proud to have the opportunity of pinning
this prestigious medal on his distinguished Brother and friend.
Reception Honors Author
On November 23, 1997, a special reception at the House of the Temple honored a new Scottish Rite publication and its author. Over 100 Brethren and guests joined Illustrious William L. Fox, 33, Grand Historian and Grand Archivist of The Supreme Council, and his wife, Lynn, for a Sunday afternoon gathering in the Robert Burns Room. There guests enjoyed delicious refreshments while Dr. Fox signed copies of his milestone work Lodge of the Double Headed Eagle: Two Centuries of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in America’s Southern Jurisdiction. Among those present were family friends, members of The Supreme Council staff, local members of the Scottish Rite, parishioners of the Universalist National Memorial church where Dr. Fox is Senior Minister and Co-pastor. Also attending were colleague historians from the academic community, including Professors Thomas Walker, Montgomery College; Kurt Borkman, Montgomery College; Dewey Wallace, The George Washington University; and Dean Henry Ferry, Howard University School of Divinity, where Dr. Fox also teaches as an Adjunct Professor. Copies of Lodge of the Double-Headed Eagle may be obtained by sending checks payable to the Scottish Rite Research Society to: Ray Bunnell, Scottish Rite Research Society, 1733 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009–3103. $28.00 per book to Research Society members; $35.00 to non-members, shipping/handling is included. Add $20.00 for Research Society Membership (making the total $48.00). See page 48 for membership information.
“Family Day” Reunion
On November 1, 1997, the Valley of Covington, Orient of Kentucky, held a one-day Reunion at McKee Lodge No. 144, in London, Kentucky. A total of 30 Brethren became Masters of the Royal Secret. Of these new members, one family had three generations taking the Degrees. These were L. Douglas Morgan, the son of Bro. Donald J. Morgan, 32, and Doug’s sons, James D. and Michael S. All these Brethren are members of McKee Lodge No. 144. The French family was also well represented. Nathan and Ethan French, the sons of Arvil D. French, 32, all members of C. D. Ward Lodge No. 961, East Bernstadt, Kentucky, were members of the “Family Day” Reunion Class. The members of the Valley of Covington wish to express their special appreciation to these two fine families and to all the Brethren in this Reunion who came seeking more Masonic Light.
Kelli Quick, Miss Virginia 1997
Bro. Richard Tyler McGrath, 32, K.C.C.H., President of the Center’s Board of Directors, greeted the assemblage and introduced Robin K. Oliver, Director of Clinical Services, who welcomed Miss Virginia and made brief comments about the Scottish Rite’s flagship philanthropy in service to America’s children. Ms. Quick expressed her pleasure over being at the Center and explained her intentions as Miss Virginia to advance community volunteerism and promote leadership skills among the youth of the Old Dominion State.
Ill. McGrath then introduced Linda Brown whose son, Lance, has a profound speech impairment but is improving significantly due to therapy at the Richmond Center. Then, assisted by Miss Virginia, Ill. McGrath recognized new members of the President’s Club, Futures Club and Weekly Volunteers, those individuals and organizations that have contributed greatly to the Center through donations, estate planning, or direct involvement.
Following these ceremonies, everyone was invited to tour
the Childhood Language Center, which is im- mediately adjacent to the Richmond
Scottish Rite Temple, and to meet with Page Hardage, Administrator of the
Center, the Center’s staff, and some of the present clients of the Center
which has assisted over 1,500 children and their parents during its five
years of service.
Aleph Lodge of Perfection Celebrates Centennial
On Saturday night, December 6, 1997, Aleph Lodge of Perfection in Columbia, South Carolina, observed the completion of its first century in a state that is approaching three centuries of Masonry. Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, spoke to a full banquet hall of Masonic dignitaries, local members, and guests. His remarks touched on the contrast between then and now, and concluded with a call to future service, particularly to the success of the Childhood Language Learning Disorders Center in Columbia, South Carolina.
Ill. Kleinknecht issued a challenge on the spot, seeding the bread basket in front of him with the first contribution to the center. The basket was passed and $1,500 gathered instantly. Ill. H. Wallace Reid, 33, S.G.I.G. in South Carolina, then pledged that before year’s end another $3,500 would be committed.
The happy celebration, however, was marked by a note of deep sadness. Earlier in the week, Bro. James B. Brooks, 32, K.C.C.H., Venerable Master of Aleph Lodge of Perfection, had been killed in an attempted robbery. Bro. Brooks lost his life while performing his duty as a guard with an armored car service in South Carolina. He was remembered during the evening’s program in the prayers led by Ill. Reid.
Also attending from The Supreme Council staff were Ill. Bros. W. Gene Sizemore, G.C., Grand Executive Director, and William L. Fox, Grand Historian and Grand Archivist. Ill. Bros. Francis G. Lee, Secretary, Valley of Columbia, Basil Manly IV, Personal Representative, Valley of Greenville, and Donald L. Smith, Personal Representative, Valley of Spartanburg, were among the centennial celebration’s participants.
To honor Aleph Lodge of Perfection and Ill. Reid, a limited
edition silver coin was struck with Reid’s likeness on one side and Aleph
Lodge’s symbolic working tools on the other. Grand Commander Kleinknecht
was presented coin number 33.
Royal Arch Clip Art
Anyone who has tried to locate Royal Arch clip art knows
that it is hard to find. The District of Columbia Royal Arch Chapter has
collected some good examples and made them available for downloading, free,
from the web site of the Masonic Leadership Center, Alexandria, Virginia.
To access it, use: www.geocities.com/ Athens/1799/dcra.html
The Children’s Hour
Joan Sansbury, Librarian of The Supreme Council, recently began a new community outreach program which brings local children, ages three to five, and their teachers into the Scottish Rite’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. “The Children’s Hour” program varies according to the interests of the teacher bringing his or her class, but generally the children visit for about an hour, take a brief tour of the building, participate in a story time in the Library, and enjoy light refreshments in the George Washington Memorial Banquet Hall.
During their tours, the children, like most visitors, are usually very impressed by the Temple Room in the House of the Temple. On one occasion, for instance, a four-year-old child who has had difficulty learning to read, stooped down, felt the raised letters surrounding the altar, and then began reading some of them aloud. His teacher said this was a breakthrough for the child.
Joan Sansbury, Librarian of The Supreme Council, 33, welcomes children to the Scottish Rite’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., for one of the new “Children’s Hour” community outreach programs started by Mrs. Sansbury in 1997.
Four District of Columbia schools participated in the
program in 1997, and Mrs. Sansbury intends to expand the program in 1998
since it not only opens the Scottish Rite to the local community but also
combines the expertise of her two degrees, Early Childhood Education and
Research Society Announcement Corrections
Inadvertently, the volume numbers of Heredom, the transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society (SRRS), were incorrect on pages 63 and 27 of the October and December 1997 issues, respectively, of the Scottish Rite Journal. In both announcements, Vol V should have read Vol. VI, and Vol. VI should have read Vol. VII. The SRRS announcement in the January 1998 issue, page 39, is correct regarding the volume numbers for Heredom.
Internet Lodge Established In England
In January 1998, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) established a new Craft Lodge, Internet Lodge No. 9659, that is founded on an interesting concept. Its members will be Freemasons active on the Internet. A requirement to join will be having an e-mail address. The Lodge and its members will use this form of instant worldwide communication as a learning tool and for the benefit of the Craft in general.
The establishment of this electronic Lodge stems from the growth in the Internet communications area and its associated potential for virtually instant worldwide dissemination of Masonic knowledge and the ability to maintain global fraternal relations. Membership of this new Craft Lodge will be open to English Freemasons and others around the world who are members of Lodges working under Grand Lodges that are in accord with the United Grand Lodge of England.
The Lodge will meet three times a year, initially in England on a Saturday afternoon time, and eventually it is hoped that arrangements can be made to meet under other Constitutions. Notice of meetings will be posted to members via e-mail, and two of the meetings each year will be given over to papers on both historical and contemporary aspects of Freemasonry. These papers will be available for members via the Lodge’s Internet site: internet.lodge.org.uk.
All potential members will have to meet the initial requirements to join UGLE. The first requirement is a “Clearance Certificate” or letter of good standing from the potential member’s own Lodge. Overseas Brethren will need to send a copy of their Grand Lodge Certificate. When the letters of good standing have been received, the potential joiner will be required to fill in a simple form provided by the Internet Lodge to cover other necessary information.
If you are active on the Internet and have an interest in joining this new Lodge, for complete details please contact W. Bro. Don Hyde at email@example.com or by direct mail to: Don Hyde, 8 Headlands Road, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire, SK7 3AN, United Kingdom. The Secretary of the Lodge will be W. Bro. Charles Arnold, who can be contacted via the Internet at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: Charles Arnold, 27 Edward II Avenue, Byfleet, Surrey, KT14 7TF, United Kingdom.