Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
A “Current Interest” article entitled “Masonic Peace Prize” (Dec. 1997) may have left some readers with the impression that “over eight million dollars” was donated to charity since the inception of the Tokyo Masonic Association (TMA) in 1950. Actually, this amount, which makes it possible for TMA to carry out a large charity program annually, covers the period since 1982. For 1997, the amount earmarked for charity is the yen equivalent of approximately $770,000.00.
It is true that TMA was recognized as a charity foundation by the Japanese government in 1950 when the Association purchased, with monetary donations from individual Masons, a valuable piece of Tokyo real estate formerly owned by the Japanese Navy. However, the Navy Officers’ Club atop the property was so poorly maintained during World War II that expenses for its upkeep left Masonic organizations with very little to carry out any appreciable degree of charity work.
In the late 1970s and early ’80s, a group of Masons on the then TMA Board of Trustees formulated plans to raze the old Officers’ Club and reconstruct new office buildings that would realize sufficient income to finance charity projects, thus giving credence to the Masonic movement in Japan. Thanks to the efforts of these Brethren, two large buildings were constructed in addition to a beautiful Lodge where five different Blue Lodges, Scottish Rite, York Rite, etc. hold their meetings. The “over eight million dollars” distributed since 1982 came from rental income from the office buildings.
The purpose of my writing is to give full credit to those Masons who worked long, tedious hours to finalize the construction project that makes our current charity work possible. Ill. Joe A. Diele, 33, Deputy in Japan and Korea, currently the Chairman of the TMA Board of Trustees, has been the backbone of TMA for over 25 years and should be properly recognized for all his efforts that made it possible for TMA to receive such a prestigious award as the 1997 “Masonic Peace Prize” from the Supreme Council, Republic of Argentina.
Ill. Robert A. Imai, 33, Secretary, TMA Board of Trustees
Disinformation About York Rite
Regarding the article “The Scottish and York Rites Compared” (Sep. 1997), it should be noted that the purpose and goals of York Rite Masonry are almost identical to those of the Scottish Rite, and that the first two Bodies of the York Rite are open to ALL MASONS OF ANY RELIGIOUS FAITH. Indeed, the Royal Arch Chapter Degree is considered by many Masons to be the capstone Degree of all Master Masons. The Commandery of Knights Templar is the only Masonic Body in York Rite Masonry which requires that the member express a belief in and commitment to the Christian religion. In our Palo Alto, California, Chapter, No. 93, where I am Captain of the Host, we have several non-Christian Masons who are very active in our York Rite Degrees. The York Rite Chapter and Council Bodies offer many opportunities to all Masons of any religious faith.
Dr. Patrick G. Bailey, Ph.D., 32, San Jose, California,
Scottish Rite Bodies
New Book On Masonry Gives The Facts
My heart was elated to read Ill. Jim Tresner’s book review of Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? The Methods of Anti-Masons by Dr. S. Brent Morris, 33, and Art deHoyos, 32, K.C.C.H., in the July 1997 issue of the Journal. This book has renewed by commitment to Masonry. Bros. Morris and deHoyos are to be commended for bringing out the truth. Often Masonry is characterized as a “cult,” and it is hard to fight this allegation without the facts. This book gives the facts needed to fight back.
Bro. Leon T. Swilley, 32, Tampa, Florida, Scottish
Lodge of the Double-Headed Eagle Terrific!
Just received by copy of Lodge of the Double-Headed Eagle, Two Centuries of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in America’s Southern Jurisdiction. It’s absolutely terrific! It is especially meaningful to me since I am 80 years old and, as a former Secretary-Registrar here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, I’ve had a chance to live much of the history and story of that book.
Elmer H. Beneke, 33, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Scottish
Masonic Pen Pal In Brazil
I am a member of Faith and Equilibrium Lodge and the Scottish Rite for the Federal Republic of Brazil. Using e-mail, I would like to exchange information, in Portuguese or Spanish, with Brothers about Masonry.
Emilio Henrique Vieira, Sao Paulo, firstname.lastname@example.org
One Of The Most Valuable Journal Articles Ever
As a Sigma Chi and Scottish Rite Freemason of long standing, I congratulate Illustrious William A. Hill, 33, for his outstanding article on “Masonry and the College Fraternity” (July 1997). Everything in this article squares with my personal experience, and I know of no reason why the program Illustrious Brother Hill suggests would not be effective throughout the Southern Jurisdiction. It is one of the most valuable Journal articles I have ever read, and it could go a long way toward solving the membership problems we face today.
Bro. Michael D. Brownell, 32, Seattle, Washington,
Scottish Rite Bodies
Acacia Chapter House Renovation In Wyoming
Alumni of the Wyoming Acacia Chapter are in the process of reorganizing the Chapter and renovating the Wyoming Chapter House which is in great need of repair. Interested persons may contact the Chapter Advisor: Samuel R. Dunnuck, 2313 Hillside Drive, Laramie, WY 82070–4839 or e-mail Acacia alumnus John Dafney at Viszlas@aol.com.
Compass Versus Compasses
The article “G.A.O.T.U.” (Aug. 1997) contains a common but glaring error in fact and in Masonic symbolism. The instrument of Freemasonry is NOT the compass, as stated in the article, but the compasses. A compass (singular) is an instrument for determining direction, consisting essentially of a freely moving magnetized needle or bar which points to the magnetic north and south, especially a form of this instrument, a mariners’ compass, used for the guidance of vessels at sea. A compasses (plural) is an instrument for describing circles, measuring distances, etc. consisting generally of two movable legs hinged at one end. It is the latter instrument which is used symbolically in Freemasonry.
Bro. Richard O. Crystal, 32, New Bern, North Carolina,
Scottish Rite Bodies
Working With Young People
I was glad to see the Masonic youth essays in the July 1997 Journal. I have found that working with Rainbow Girls, Job’s Daughters, and DeMolays can encourage them to petition our Fraternity. We do not have to preach to these young people, just be there informing and encouraging them. The Grand Lodge of Louisiana has supported these groups for a number of years.
Bro. Alfred L. Pedneau, Sr., 32, Shreveport, Louisiana, Scottish Rite Bodies