Notable Kansas Brethren Honored
On May 7, 1997, at a banquet of the Northeast Kansas Scottish Rite Bodies, two of the Sunflower State’s most outstanding Brethren were recognized by the award of special honors: Ill. Allen M. Peyton, 33, and Ill. Forrest D. Haggard, 33, Grand Cross.

Ill. Thomas C. Raum Jr., 33, S.G.I.G. of Kansas and Grand Chancellor of The Supreme Council, presented Ill. Peyton a Certificate of Honor bestowed on Ill. Peyton by Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, in recognition of Ill. Peyton’s outstanding service. He was instrumental, for example, in computerizing the entire program of the Northeast Kansas Valley and in leasing the facility called the Northeast Kansas Masonic Center for Education and Research in Mission, Kansas. The Center has a fully computerized library and is now being utilized by Symbolic Lodges and the Shrine, in particular for preparing “All the Way in One Day” Classes in Northeast Kansas.

Also, Inspector Raum presented Ill. Haggard a 50-year emblem and membership certificate. He also read a letter from Grand Commander Kleinknecht addressed to Ill. Haggard which, in part, states: “A distinguished Man of the Cloth, you have a superlative record of Masonic service, achieving Scottish Rite Freemasonry’s highest award, the Grand Cross of the Court of Honour, in 1989. Those elected by The Supreme Council to receive this award are Brethren who have labored long, faithfully, and productively in Freemasonry, attaining a national and international reputation for service. For instance, you are the author of an outstanding book The Clergy and the Craft and serve as President of the Scottish Rite Research Society. Under your expert leadership, the Society has expanded greatly, and you are now spearheading a drive to increase its membership twofold. In addition, you have been zealous in performing your duties in Kansas as an outstanding Ritualist, as the Personal Representative for the Scottish Rite Bodies of Northeast Kansas, and as a speaker on Maundy Thursday, Easter, patriotic meetings, and the like. You also perform missionary work in Jamaica and support many civic, community, and cultural endeavors. Because of your selfless giving of time and talent to Freemasons and your fellowman, I can think of no one more deserving than you for the title of Mr. Mason in Kansas.”

Congratulations, Ill. Bros. Peyton and Haggard! You have truly raised our Rite to new heights of achievement and success!

Brother Named Pilot Of The Year In Alaska
On March 6, 1997, the Alaska legislature issued a proclamation honoring Bro. James M. Wilson, 32, for being named “1996 Pilot of the Year” by the Helicopter Association International. Brother Wilson is a member of Mt. Juneau-Gastineaux Lodge No. 124 and the Juneau Scottish Rite Bodies. In part, the proclamation, reads:

Bro. Jim Wilson, 32 (l.), honored as Pilot of the Year, is the first Alaskan since 1960 to receive this honor.

“Jim was honored for the outstanding coordination and rescue of the pilot and passengers from a downed airplane on the Davidson Glacier near Haines on August 31, 1996. Fifteen minutes after receiving the call at his home, Jim was airborne and en route to the crash site, 65 miles from the Juneau airport. To save valuable time, Jim called ahead and arranged for rescuers and supplies to meet him at the Haines airport since the weather was deteriorating and darkness was fast approaching.

“At the crash site Jim found no acceptable place to land and was forced to balance one skid on an ice ridge to stabilize the helicopter, a very demanding maneuver. Jim continued the rescue effort making two trips to the crash that night, even though darkness was impending and weather was closing in. According to Juneau Federal Administration Agency officials, if Jim had not chosen to continue, the injured remaining on the glacier may not have survived.

“The members of the Twentieth Alaska State Legislature honor Jim Wilson for his competence and professionalism and wish him the best as he continues his career.”

These sentiments are certainly echoed by Brother Wilson’s Masonic Brethren who congratulate him on a job well done!

Commemorating 130 Years Of The Scottish Rite In Texas
Bro. James G. (Jim) Dougherty, 32, Austin, Texas, Scottish Rite Bodies, recently prepared a copyrighted postal cachet (right) commemorating the 130th year of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in Texas and honoring Ill. Sam E. Hilburn, 33, S.G.I.G. in Texas and Grand Treasurer of The Supreme Council, 33. Canceled at the Executive Oil Show on April 17, 1997, in Midland, Texas, Ill. Hilburn’s hometown, the cachet will be added to the philatelic collection Bro. Dougherty has already donated to the Library/Museum of The Supreme Council. In responding to Bro. Dougherty’s gift, Gr. Cmdr. Kleinknecht conveyed his congratulations to all the Scottish Rite Brethren of the Lone Star State and his personal thanks to Brother Dougherty for so honoring “Brother Hilburn who is a model Mason and special friend.”

Musicians’ Group Visits House Of The Temple
The Association of Disciples Musicians is a national organization of musicians associated with the Disciples of Christ Church. Many are organists and choir directors. They congregated from around the United States for a National Conference from June 24-29, at their National Church, the National City Christian Church in Washington, DC. Almost 400 ministers of music spent the week listening to new music, sharing educational programs, practicing new choral anthems, attending recitals, and enjoying our nation’s capital.

Members of the Association of Disciples Musicians enjoyed a demonstration of the Shantz pipe organ’s acoustics while visiting the House of the Temple in Washington, DC.

John Russell Pope, architect of The Supreme Council’s House of the Temple, was also the architect of the National City Christian Church. This 1929 neo-classical structure commands a prominent location on Scott Circle a few city blocks from the House of the Temple. It was modeled after the London Church of St. Martin’s in the Fields.

A private tour was organized for 50 of the Disciples Musicians to see and hear the House of the Temple’s magnificent Shantz pipe organ installed in 1983 in the upper chamber of the Temple Room. The organ is unusual in that, although the console is located at floor level, the pipe chamber is located almost 100 feet overhead in the Temple Room’s dome. The group was delighted with this acoustical surprise as well as the magnificence of the House of the Temple. Many felt this was the highlight of their trip to Washington, DC.

Flag Day In Alabama
On June 14, 1997, members of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, assisted by Scottish Rite Brethren from the Valley of Dothan, conducted an impressive Flag Day observance that stretched from Dothan, Alabama, to the Masonic Home in Montgomery, Alabama.

A large flag that had flown over the United States Capitol was provided by Congressman Terry Everett. It was displayed on a flatbed trailer bearing a sign declaring the parade’s participants to be “Patriotic Masons of Alabama.” Following the truck was a motorcade of 19 vehicles.

In Montgomery, a large group assembled to view the ceremonies. Dignitaries present included M.W. Grand Master of Alabama Dalton E. Harvard, 32, K.C.C.H.; P.G.M. and Grand Secretary Robert L. Jones, 33; P.G.M. and Past Grand Secretary Joseph D. Brackin, 33; and Grand Orator MacArthur Davis, 33.

Distinguished guest M.W. Stuart M. Cowan, 32, K.C.C.H., Grand Master of Hawaii, brought two special flags to be displayed. One had flown over the battleship USS Arizona and the other over the submarine USS Bowfin. These two flags will be displayed in all 50 states this year, then returned to Hawaii.

Bro. MacArthur Davis, 33, read “Ode to the Flag.” Then Bro. W. D. (Dick) Barr, 33, Secretary of the Valley of Dothan, read his original composition “I Am the Flag.” A copy was given to all those attending.

This celebration clearly demonstrated to all those viewing it from Dothan to Montgomery, the love Masons have for our great nation.

Reunion Dates
For the past several years, the Scottish Rite Journal has published Reunion dates, as reported by Valley Secretaries, in the March and September issues. The list was necessarily incomplete since some Valleys were unable to report dates by the magazine’s publication deadlines.

During the 1996 Leadership Conferences, it was suggested that a more efficient way to handle both Stated Meeting and Reunion Date listings would be to print them in The Supreme Council’s Secretaries’ Directory which is periodically updated and widely distributed. The March 1997 issue of the Directory now contains these dates. Any Brother can get the specific information needed by calling his local Valley Secretary. This procedure will provide all the Brethren with current dates and accurate information.

German Brethren Honor American WWII Veteran
On May 10, 1997, as the special guest of Ill. Gunter Münzberg, 33, then Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council for Germany, Ill. C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, attended a meeting hosted by the Grand Lodge of Germany in Fürth, Germany. The purpose of the large assemblage of Brethren and their ladies was to honor Captain Walter I. Farmer of Ohio.

Walter I. Farmer accepts the Humanitarian Prize of German Freemasonry for his service during World War II.

In a show of amity, the Brethren of the Grand Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Germany, one of five Grand Lodges under the United Grand Lodges of Germany, Brotherhood of Masonry, held a joint meeting with the Supreme Council for Germany on this historic occasion.

At the end of World War II, Captain Farmer, U.S. Army, was appointed Director of the Wiesbaden Central Collecting Point for German-owned works of art that had been discovered hidden, for safety’s sake during the war, in various mines all over Germany and Austria. He supervised the collection, identification, sorting, and storage of some 28,000 cases of paintings, sculptures, historical documents and archives, including artifacts that had been looted from Poland and Hungary.

In late 1945, a total of 202 paintings were selected for exhibition in full or part in Washington, DC, and 13 other American cities, but Capt. Farmer and others, fearing a permanent removal of these national treasures from the German people, conducted a campaign which, after two years, resulted in the return of all the artworks to the Wiesbaden Museum. His work also influenced the passage in 1954 of the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Cultural Possessions in Armed Conflicts.

For these services, the Grand Lodge of Ancient and Accepted Freemasons of Germany honored Capt. Farmer with its Humanitarian Prize, an award which is given every five years by the German Grand Lodge to an individual whose life is an example of courage and high morality. The ceremony in Fürth was also attended by Ill. Robert O. Ralston, 33, Sovereign Grand Commander, N.M.J. In commenting on the event, Grand Commander Münzberg noted that the honor conferred on Capt. Farmer is a fitting “demonstration showing that Masonry and especially the Scottish Rite are worldwide organizations working together for peace and freedom.”

“Mr. Baseball” Honored
Wednesday May 28, 1997, the Grand Annual Banquet for presenting scholarships and Anson Jones Awards was held in the Grand Ball Room of the Masonic Temple in Fort Worth, Texas.

There were 233 in attendance to watch 25 of the 35 students from around the Fort Worth Valley and two students from the Masonic Home and School receive their scholarships. This year 35 students received $1,000 each to use in the 1997-1998 school year. The two students from the Masonic Home and School each received a four-year scholarship. The scholarships are made possible through the donations to the Fort Worth Scottish Rite Foundation, Inc.

On May 28, 1997, at the Grand Annual Banquet in Fort Worth, Texas, Ill. James D. Ward, 33 (l.), presented the Anson Jones Award to “Mr. Baseball,” Bro. Bobby R. Bragan, 32, for his lifetime contributions to baseball and service to youth. Bro. Bragan was also honored at the festive occasion, where he was the main speaker, by receiving a 50-Year Scottish Rite Cap.

Ill. James D. Ward, 33, President of the Foundation and Chairman of the Fort Worth Scottish Rite Bodies, then presented the Anson Jones Award to “Mr. Baseball,” Bro. Robert (Bobby) Randall Bragan, 32. Bobby is now the Special Projects Coordinator for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. He is also founder of the “Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation” which supports scholarship programs. Bobby was then presented with his 50-year Scottish Rite cap, pin, and certificate.

Brother Bragan gave a 30-minute talk that was inspiring, exciting, interesting, funny, and too short. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, into a family of seven boys and two girl, Bobby played shortstop in high school and college before starting his career in professional baseball.

He began his professional career in 1940 with the Philadelphia Phillies as shortstop and catcher. He then went on to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943. In 1948, he moved to Fort Worth as player/manager of the Fort Worth Cats. During this time he was raised a Master Mason at Temple Lodge No. 636 in Birmingham, in 1944, and made a Scottish Rite Freemason in Brooklyn, New York, in 1945.

After five years in the Texas League, he moved on and became manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, and the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves before returning to Texas in 1967.

Bobby was president of the Texas League from 1969 through 1976 and president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues from 1977 to 1980 and became affiliated member of Fort Worth Scottish Rite Bodies in May 1979.

During his tenure with the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL), he established the organization’s permanent home in St. Petersburg, Florida, with the assistance of Dick Ring and John Dittrich. He produced and staged the first NAPBL Trade Show and Job Seekers Bureau.

In 1980 Bobby joined the Texas Rangers Baseball Club as Director of the Speakers Bureau and Public Relations Department. In 1988, he was named Special Projects Coordinator for the Texas Rangers.

Bobby was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, Fort Worth Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, and received “The Wall of Fame” award from Pony Baseball, at Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1985.

With all he has done, he has not slowed down. Bobby averages 250 speeches per year to schools, civic organizations, clubs, and businesses. In late 1991, Bobby with his family and personal business friends, founded the “Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation, Inc.” which hosts the annual Bobby Bragan Golf Classic and Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner to support a college scholarship program for youth.

His lifetime of dedication to the game and service to our youth has shown Masonry at work for over 50 years, and we proudly call him Mr. Baseball and Mr. Mason.

Thanks to Bro. Philip R. Moore, 32, K.C.C.H., Editor, Double Eagle Digest, Scottish Rite Bodies, Fort Worth, Texas, for contributing the above article.

Fifty-Year Award For Past Grand Master Of Texas
Recently, Ill. Robert O. (Bob) Schnell, 33, Past Grand Master of Texas (1993), presented Ill. John R. Collard Jr., 33 (center above), Past Grand Master of Texas (1964) with his 50-year Scottish Rite service award, assisted by Ill. Charles R. Beach, Past Grand Tiler, Grand Lodge of Texas. All three Brethren are members of the Valley of El Paso. Interestingly, both Past Grand Masters are members of the same small Lodge, Hansford Lodge No. 1040, Spearman, Texas, with a membership of 54.

Kansas Class “Superb”
On April 5, 1997, with the expert assistance of Ill. Robert L. Tomlinson Jr., 33, Executive Secretary of the Northeast Kansas Scottish Rite Bodies, an “All the Way in One Day” Class was conducted in the Valley of Northeast Kansas. By the end of the day, the Jurisdiction of Kansas had 108 new Blue Lodge Masons, 60 additional Scottish Rite Masons, and 40 more Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. All Degree work was termed “superb,” and the Brethren of Northeast Kansas can now commit to putting together such classes for as few as one or as many as 150 candidates in the Valley’s new facility--and do it with only a few weeks notice! The Valley had only 63 new members in all of 1996, but already 171 new Masters of the Royal Secret have been created in 1997. The Brethren of Northeast Kansas are excited about the future--and rightly so! Congratulations on a job well done!

Presenting The Colors
By invitation of M.W. Michael A. Padron Jr., 32, K.C.C.H., Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Florida, the Tampa Chapter No. 252 of the National Sojourners, Inc., presented the colors at the annual Grand Lodge meeting held June 16-18, 1997, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Tampa. Pictured (l. to r.) are Bros. Daniel W. Hall Jr., 32, K.C.C.H.; Harry W. Cumber, 32; Jim R. Armitage, 32, and Glen G. Handschy.

Bremerton Valley Awards $29,000 In Scholarships
For many years, the Brethren of the Scottish Rite Bodies of Bremerton, Washington, have demonstrated a commitment to public schools through an annual scholarship program funded by the Valley of Bremerton. Scholarships of $1,000 each are given to graduating high school students, one award to each school in the Bremerton Valley, with four schools receiving two awards because of their large student populations. Also, in 1997 there were two scholarships awarded to sophomores at Olympic College and Peninsula College and three special scholarships to graduating seniors who are members of Job’s Daughters, Rainbow for Girls, or DeMolay for Boys.

Ambassadors Initiated In Washington, DC
For the sixth consecutive year, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, held a Grand Master’s Class. On June 14, 1997, in a the Scottish Rite Temple of the Valley of Washington, the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Degrees were conferred in full form upon those eligible candidates who were elected and certified by their respective Lodges. The Master Mason’s Degree is scheduled to be conferred in the same location on September 12, 1997.

The work was impressively performed by some of the best ritualists in our nation’s capital. In particular, the lectures and charges were outstanding, delivered fluently and demonstratively by younger, articulate Brethren. Using the latest audio equipment, the Scottish Rite auditorium lends itself well to this type of presentation.

The Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia had the distinction, under the leadership of Ill. Jerold J. Samet, 33 (now Personal Representative to the S.G.I.G. in the District of Columbia), to hold in 1992 the first Grand Master’s Class in the United States. The average age of the members of these classes in Washington, DC, has been in the 40s, and the Master Masons raised in them have contributed greatly to the welfare of the Fraternity. The degree of participation by these Brethren in their Lodges and Appendant Bodies has been equal to that of Brethren who are raised in their respective Lodges in the conventional manner.

Pictured: Sir Arlington Butler, Ambassador of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas (above), and His Excellency Lucien Tonoukouin, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin (below)

Enrolled in the Grand Master’s Classes are professionals and officials who do not have the time and freedom to devote to the usual requirements for advancement imposed by Lodges on their candidates. This was true in regard to the latest class in which, by way of interest, two ambassadors to the United States were initiated and passed, namely, H. E. Sir Arlington Butler, K.C.M.G.,* Ambassador of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and H. E. Hon. Lucien Tonoukouin, Ambassador of Benin. Among the visiting Brethren were two justices of the Supreme Court of the Bahamas, Justice Joseph D. Alfred, Past Deputy Grand Senior Warden of the District Grand Lodge of the Bahamas and Turks, and Justice Emmanuel E. Osadehay, Past Master of Lodge of Unity No. 8760 of the Grand Lodge of England. Both men are good friends of Ambassador Butler and flew up to Washington for the occasion.

*K.C.M.G. stands for Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. The title is a special honor conferred by the British Diplomatic Service on diplomats noted for excellence in administration. H.E. stands for His Excellency.

Do You Play Chess?
Since 1975, the Masonic Postal Chess Club, manned entirely by volunteers, has had only one purpose, the enjoyment of fellowship by the Brethren. Master Masons, whether beginners or experienced players, of recognized Lodges are eligible to join. For the same low annual dues of $20, members play as often and with as many opponents as desired. There are no additional charges. A member sends his move on a postal card to his opponent who then puts the move on his board, decides what his move will be, and sends his move back. Some members prefer to play with only one opponent while others play multiple games simultaneously. For more information, write to the club secretary: Dennis Plymette, 17 Grinnel Drive, Camp Hill, PA 17011-7716.