Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33

The ideals symbolized by the Working Tools of Freemasonry are integral to our lives as Masons and to the mission of the Scottish Rite Foundation, S.J., USA.

There’s an old saying, “You can tell the quality of the workman by the quality of his tools.” I think that’s especially true in Masonry. The symbolism of the Working Tools is fundamental to the Blue Lodge, and the Scottish Rite builds on the lessons conveyed by these symbols throughout the Degrees of our Order.

Bro. Robert H. White, 32, has captured the essence of Masonry’s symbolic instruments in his painting “Tools of the Craft” which was commissioned by The Supreme Council, 33, to commemorate the 1997 Biennial Session. (See related essay.) Note the honesty and integrity of the tools themselves but also consider the painting’s play of light and shadow which reflects some of the most significant symbolism of Freemasonry. Thus, in so far as donations from this print’s distribution benefit the Scottish Rite Foundation, Southern Jurisdiction, USA, the painting itself is a working tool in the service of Freemasonry and a major accomplishment of our Order today.

Just as there are several symbolic Working Tools in Freemasonry and in Brother White’s painting, the Scottish Rite Foundation works in several ways to benefit individuals, Scottish Rite Brethren, our Craft, and Country. The Scottish Rite Foundation, for example, provides:

-Scholarship funds for doctoral work in the field of Public School Administration and other disciplines, thus assisting our American public school system by providing efficient, dedicated teachers and administrators;

-Summer teachers’ seminars at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania;

-The distribution of special issues of the Scottish Rite Journal, such as the July 1996 issue celebrating the American flag, to our nation’s schoolchildren;

-The publication and distribution of such Americanism texts as Dynamic Freedoms, Anchor of Liberty, Cornerstones of Freedom, Let’s Celebrate America, Famous Americans and, this summer, the second, greatly expanded edition of Masonic Philanthropies, A Tradition of Caring.

-Research support for such publications as A Bridge to Light, The Bible in “Morals and Dogma,” A Glossary of “Morals and Dogma,” Heredom, Albert Pike: The Man Beyond the Monument and, most recently, Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? The Methods of Anti-Masons and Lodge of the Double-Headed Eagle, a one-volume history of The Supreme Council, 33.

-Relief and charitable activities such as, for example, disaster relief for the victims of wildfires, hurricanes, floods throughout the United States.

With the able assistance of Ill. Bros. Thomas M. Boles, 33, G.C., as Director of Development, and William L. Fox, 33, Grand Historian/Grand Archivist, the Scottish Rite Foundation has grown in recent years, and these two dedicated Brethren, with many helping hands locally, continue to generate contributions, gifts, and bequests from those who wish to support the manifold good works of the Scottish Rite Foundation. In the finest tradition of Freemasonry, Ill. Bro. Boles donates all his services to this endeavor, and The Supreme Council defrays admin-istration expenses of the Foundation so that every dollar donated goes to meet the diverse objectives of the Foundation which continue to evolve and develop as new needs demand new remedies.

Relevant to this, to me the most powerful image in “The Tools of the Craft” painting is the Corinthian capitol emerging from the ashlar on the workman’s bench. It is so much like the growing work of our Scottish Rite Foundation. Michelangelo is reported to have said that the statue was already in the stone--all he did was to free it. Similarly, our growing Foundation serves to free public school teachers financially so they can pursue their academic dreams, free students and Brethren intellectually by providing them the finest books possible, and free the victims of natural disasters from the overwhelming losses of home and occupation.

“Tools of the Craft,” the 1997 Biennial Session’s commemorative print, is part of this great work since funds donated as a result of individuals obtaining this print will go directly to The Scottish Rite Foundation, Southern Jurisdiction, USA.

You can tell the quality of the workman by the quality of his tools. You can tell the quality of the Mason by the way he makes use of the symbolic Working Tools of the Fraternity. You can tell the excellence of the Scottish Rite Foundation by the many services it provides to assist those in need and to build a better, brighter America.

The 1997 Biennial Session Commemorative Medallion (pictured right) will be available in August 1997. The obverse depicts the central image, a stonemason’s compasses, from “Tools of the Craft,” the 1997 Biennial Session Commemorative Print. The reverse celebrates the 100th anniversary in 1997 of Brother John Philip Sousa’s great march, “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Medallion $11.00; Medallion mounted in Lucite $22.00. Please send checks payable to The Supreme Council to: The Supreme Council, 1733 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009-3103.

Visitors Welcome
It is always a pleasure to welcome visitors to the House of the Temple, 1733 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009-3103. Located on Sixteenth Street between R and S Streets, seven blocks NE of the Dupont Circle Metro stop, Red Line, the Temple is open to Brothers, guests, and the general public for tours from 8 am to 2 pm on weekdays. The Temple is also open on weekends and holidays for groups of 25 or more provided special arrangements are made in advance with the Grand Executive Director's office (202)232-3579. Visitors are requested to register at the door.