Supreme Council For Greece Celebrates 125th Anniversary
On November 16, 1997, responding to the invitation of Ill. Georgio Halikiotis, 33, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council for Greece, Brethren from throughout the world gathered in Athens to participate in the 125th Anniversary of that Supreme Council. Sov. Gr. Cmdr. C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, was pleased to attend the anniversary celebration and to address the assemblage of distinguished Brethren which included all the officers of the Grand Lodge of Greece.

Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, is formally presented to the Supreme Council for Greece at its 125th anniversary ceremony held in Athens, Greece, on November 16, 1997.

In addition, Ill. Halikiotis made a special point of inviting representatives of the emerging Supreme Councils of Eastern European, offering complimentary travel and lodging in order to facilitate their attendance at this outstanding Masonic event. Everyone was invited to speak during the ceremonies, and the representatives of the Eastern European Supreme Councils expressed their appreciation for the opportunity provided them to attend and learn vital information concerning Masonic activities being conducted in other countries.

In addressing the assemblage, Ill. Kleinknecht said, in part: “Greek culture has been the foundation of Western civilization for two millennia. Similarly, philosophical ideas that originated in Greece--especially respect for the dignity of man--are at the heart of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Albert Pike, in writing Morals and Dogma, evidenced his love of Greek mythology and thought by 124 references to Greece in nine Degrees: 15, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, and 32. Thus, philosophically every Scottish Rite Mason is a son of Greece, and, speaking for all the Brethren of the Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., I thank you for this wonderful heritage and congratulate you, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for Greece, on 125 years of service and inspiration to all humankind.”

Following the formal observance of the anniversary, an impressive banquet was hosted by the Supreme Council for Greece at the Masonic Temple in Athens, and a beautiful album commemorating the event was distributed to guests.

First DeMolay Chapter Established In Peru
On November 15, 1997, the initiatory and DeMolay Degrees were presented to 49 young Peruvian men, creating Concordia Universal Chapter in Callao, the first DeMolay Chapter in Peru. The ceremony, performed perfectly by a DeMolay Degree Team from Colombia, was attended by members of the Grand Lodge of Peru, the Scottish Rite and York Rite Bodies, and the parents of the candidates. Bro. Donald P. Garrido, 33, (Capt. USNR Ret.), dual member of the Valleys of Panama Canal and San Antonio, Texas, was also present. He is a Past Executive Officer of Panama, an Active Member of the Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay, and was appointed Personal Representative of Peru by Bro. Tony R. Krall, 32, Grand Master, Order of DeMolay International. The San Antonio, Texas, Chapter of DeMolay, Brother Chapter to Concordia Universal Chapter, and Albert Pike Chapter of DeMolay in San Antonio donated chapter robes and DeMolay Degree materials while Bro. Garrido and his wife, Lydia, provided translations from English to Spanish. Training sessions assured that quality ritual and floor work will continue Peru. Following the ceremony, Bro. Garrido and his wife journeyed to the city of Cusco to discuss the possibility of founding other DeMolay Chapters as well as establishing or advancing other Masonic groups such as the Order of Rainbow for Girls and the Eastern Star in Peru. As Bro. Garrido notes, “The hard work has been completed. All we have to do now is follow through.” Congratulations to all!

Masonic Visitations In Budapest, Hungary
Several notable leaders of the Scottish Rite in Europe met in Budapest, Hungary, in November 1997 to discuss the growth of our Order in Eastern Europe. Among them (pictured above l. to r.) were: Ill. Jean Sicinski, 33, S.G.C., Poland; Dr. Georgy Gatai, 33, S.G.C., Hungary; Dr. Jiri Sonka, 33, S.G.C., the Czech Republic; Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33, Deputy of The Supreme Council, Scottish Rite Bodies, NATO Bases, and Representative of Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33; and Ill. Gunter Münzberg, 33, Past S.G.C., Germany.

On Thursday, November 20, 1997, Ill. Robert W. Woodward, 33, Deputy of The Supreme Council, Scottish Rite Bodies, NATO Bases, and Representative of Sov. Gr. Cmdr. C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, travelled to Budapest, Hungary, for an important Masonic Visitation. He was greeted at the airport by Ill. Frank Makovenyi, 33, Grand Secretary General, Supreme Council for Hungary, and driven to the Budapest Marriott Hotel where he met with Ill. James Botkos, 33, Grand Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Grand Lodge for Hungary, to discuss strategies for regaining ownership of the Grand Lodge Building.

On Friday, November 21, Deputy Woodward observed the first work done in the Consistory of the Supreme Council of Hungary since it was reconstituted in 1995. Four Brethren received the Thirty-third Degree in an impressive Conferral ceremony. At this occasion, Emeritus Member certificates were presented to Ill. Gunter Münzberg, 33, Past Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for Germany, and to Ill. Udo Schrittwieser, 33, of Austria. These certificates were presented by Ill. Georgy Gatai, 33, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council for Hungary. The recipients were honored in this way for their outstanding support of the Supreme Council of Hungary since its reconstitution. After the ceremony, Deputy Woodward met with M.W. Gyorgi Jobbagyi, 33, Grand Master; Ill. Istvan Ballo, 33, Honorary Past Deputy Grand Master; and several other members of the Grand Lodge of Hungary.

On Saturday, November 22, Ill. Woodward attended a Scottish Rite Leadership Conference hosted by Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, countries that had just received invitations to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The November 22 Conference was attended by 20 Thirty-third Degree Masons from six Supreme Councils (Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the United States, S.J.). Chaired by Lieutenant Grand Commander Attila Pok, 33, Supreme Council for Hungary, the Conference was well planned and touched on many important subjects.

That evening, Conference attendees travelled to the home of Sovereign Grand Commander Gatai for a special reception. Later, a farewell dinner was held at a restaurant for the Conference attendees and their ladies. On the following day, November 23, Deputy Woodward was invited to brunch at the Marriott Hotel with Brother James Botkos and his lady, Christina. Later, Grand Secretary General Frank Makovenyi drove Ill. Woodward to the airport for the return trip to Brussels.

Clearly, these several meetings were very beneficial to the future growth of Scottish Rite Supreme Councils in Eastern Europe.

A Very Special Day At Richard M. Campbell VA Nursing Home
November 15, 1997, was a very special day at Richard M. Campbell VA Nursing Home in Anderson, South Carolina. Wor. Bro. Garnet L. Hanley, 32, K.C.C.H., Masonic Service Association Field Representative for the home, had asked Wor. Bro. Wendal Auston to obtain permission from M.W. D. Samuel Tennyson, 33, Grand Master, Grand Lodge of South Carolina, for Center Lodge No. 37 to conduct a Fellowcraft Degree at the home. Permission was granted, and after a delicious breakfast, the Degree work started about 8:00 am. There are 25 Masons in residence at the home, and since they are unable to attend Lodge, the Lodge came to them. There were 5 candidates for the Fellowcraft Degree, 3 of them blood brothers, with 59 Brethren attending from 26 Lodges. It was a most enjoyable event that will be long remembered by all who participated in it.

Jewish Service Honors Freemasonry In Charlotte, N.C.
On December 12, 1997, an audience of over 600 packed the sanctuary of Temple Beth El, Charlotte, North Carolina, to participate in a special “Service in Honor of Freemasonry and in Recognition of the Common Bonds Shared by Freemasons and the Jewish People.” Half of those attending were Freemasons, half were Jewish members of the congregation, 43 were both. The keynote speaker for this historic occasion was Illustrious James G. Martin, 33, former North Carolina Governor and United States Congressman and current Vice President of Research, Carolinas Medical Center. In an eloquent address, he noted that nine founders of Temple Beth El in 1943 were Masons as was the Temple’s founding rabbi, Philip Frankel. Today, Temple Beth El is the largest synagogue in the two Carolinas and has strong Masonic representation among the congregation’s leaders and members.

Over 600 congregation members attended a special “Service in Honor of Freemasonry and in Recognition of the Common Bonds Shared by Freemasons and the Jewish People” at Temple Beth El, Charlotte, North Carolina, on December 12, 1997.

Illustrious Brother Martin also noted that the first Master and co-founder of North Carolina’s largest Lodge, Excelsior No. 261, was a Charlotte Jew, Samuel Wittkowsky, 1835-1911. A community leader for half a century, Brother Wittkowsky was a close friend of Governor Zebulon B. Vance who brought his lecture “The Scattered Nation,” about the Jewish people’s gifts to the world, to audiences all over America.

Among other distinguished guests attending the special service were: M.W. Gerry T. Smith, 33, Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina; Illustrious Thomas W. Gregory, 33, Deputy Grand Master, and Past Grand Masters Illustrious Brothers Walter F. McCall, 33, and Bunn T. Phillips, Jr., 33. Other Scottish Rite leaders honored at the Sabbath Service were Illustrious Brothers Alex H. Binnick, 33, Treasurer, S. R. Bodies of Charlotte; Judge David B. Sentelle, 33, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit; C. James Weisel, Jr., 33, Personal Representative of the S.G.I.G. in Charlotte; and Donald L. Williams, 33, Secretary, S. R. Bodies of Charlotte. Free copies of the event’s elegant parchment program are available from: Walter Klein, 5009 Gamton Court, Charlotte, NC 28226-7920.

Czech Brethren Progressing At Their Own Pace
Nearly seven years ago, on June 8, 1991, Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, and a Degree Team from the Orient of American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, NATO Bases, conferred the Scottish Rite Degrees in Prague, on Brethren from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Yugoslavia. More recently, on November 10, 1997, Illustrious Brother Jiri Sonka, 33, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for the Czech Republic, convened the Council of Kadosh. A Thirtieth Degree ritual dating from 1923 was conferred on seven Brethren. Illustrious Alister Boyd, 33, Orient Personal Representative, representing Illustrious Robert W. Woodward, 33, Deputy of The Supreme Council, S.J., was present for this significant Masonic event. There are plans to convene the Consistory in 1998.

On November 10, 1997, Ill. Alister Boyd, 33, Personal Representative of the Deputy, Orient of American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, NATO Bases (center above), participated in the convening of a Council of Kadosh in Prague, Czech Republic, where the 30 was conferred on seven Brethren. Ill. Jiri Sonka, 33, Sov. Gr. Cmdr., the Supreme Council for the Czech Republic, led the Degree and is pictured above at the far right.

The evening prior to the Degree, Illustrious Sonka and his lady, Libuse, hosted a dinner for Illustrious Boyd and his lady, Hanna. Also present at the dinner were M.W. Brother Robert von Jerabek, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the Czech Republic; Illustrious Christian Weger, Deputy Sovereign Grand Commander; Illustrious Jan Kvasnicka, Grand Treasurer General, and their ladies.

Ill. Ernest J. Higgins, 33, 1904-1998
For the past half-century, it has been difficult to find any Mason who did not know--and like--Ill. Ernest J. Higgins, 33. His sudden passing on January 17, 1998, has left a gap in nearly every Masonic meeting held in Washington, D.C., since the “Old Goat,” as he was affectionately known, was sure to be there. He was, for instance, the Tiler of the Valley of the District of Columbia for 45 consecutive years and rarely missed the weekly Tuesday evening meeting or any special event. In addition, he was a member of Theodore Roosevelt Lodge No. 44 for 73 years, serving three times as Master (1934, 1984, 1994). DeMolay, however, was his first love in Masonry, and he served as Master Councillor and a Senior DeMolay of Robert Le Bruce Chapter in D.C. since 1922. An avid collector of ancient coins (he always had prime examples in his pocket), he was ever ready with a warm greeting, lighthearted joke, humorous story, sports anecdote of his favorite team, the Washington Redskins, and a friendly poke in the ribs. Predeceased in 1994 by his beloved wife, Pat, of 67 years, Ill. Bro. Higgins remained very active in Masonry and especially the Scottish Rite to the day of his passing. Seldom has there been a finer man or Mason.

Marker Commemorates Historic Jewish Temple
Recently, history repeated itself when the Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jewish community invited Temple Lodge No. 6 of Albuquerque to assist with the dedication of a Centennial Marker at the site of the first Jewish Temple, Congregation Albert, built in the Rio Grand Valley. Responding to the invitation, officers and members of Temple Lodge No. 6, all active Scottish Rite Brethren (pictured above), performed a Masonic cornerstone ceremony for the marker. A century ago, in 1897 when New Mexico was a territory, the members of Temple Lodge No. 6 performed the same cornerstone ceremony at the same site.

Frankfurt Reunion
The Orient of American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, NATO Bases, held their Annual Communication on November 15, 1997, in Frankfurt, Germany. Prior to the meeting, Ill. Alister Boyd, 33, Personal Representative, presided at the 33 Conferral and was ably assisted by Ill. Bros. Harold L. Chaney, Elmer C. George, Louis E. Kent, Johnny C. Ledford, Richard F. Rigby, and Donald L. Saint. The title of Honorary Inspector General was conferred on Ill. Bro. Arthur J. Hermanson, Scottish Rite Club, Livorno, Italy. The annual election of officers for 1998 followed at a general membership meeting. The following Brethren were elected and installed to lead the American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, NATO Bases, for 1998: Bro. Juan Goytia-Diaz, 32, K.C. C.H., Venerable Master; Bro. John A. Williams, 32, K.C.C.H., Wise Master; Bro. Allan J. Moses, Commander of Kadosh; and Bro. Kenneth W. Matheney, 32, K.C.C.H., Master of Kadosh. Ill. Charles E. Glidewell, 33, General Secretary, presented past jewels of office to the Brethren who served so well during 1997. Ill. Robert W. Woodward, Deputy of The Supreme Council, invested with the Rank and Decoration of K.C. C.H. Bro. Owen J. Quell Jr., 32, K.C.C.H., Deputy Grand Master of the American Canadian Grand Lodge; Bro. Jarl-Alfred Van Santen, 32, K.C.C.H., of Holland; and Bro. Wilhelm Hitzmann, 32, K.C.C.H., of Germany.

During the November 1997 meeting of the American Military Scottish Rite Bodies, NATO Bases, held in Frankfurt, Germany, Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33, (center) posed with Brethren from Benjamin Franklin Lodge 591, an English-speaking Lodge, which uses the American ritual, in Pisa, Italy. They are (l. to r.): Bros. Allan J. Moses, 32, K.C.C.H.; Richard C. Frank, 32; Arthur M. Pascoe, 32, K.C.C.H.; Johnny C. Ledford, 33; Deputy Robert W. Woodward, 33; Arthur J. Hermanson, 33; Melton Schiffer, 32, K.C.C.H.; and Patrick J. Dorsey, 32, K.C.C.H.

During the Ladies Banquet, Ill. Woodward spoke about the many accomplishment of the Orient, particularly how over the past seven years these Bodies have been very active in promoting Scottish Rite Masonry in Europe and Africa.