Current Interest

October 1998


Mel Tillis Benefit Concert To Honor Burl Ives
Sesquicentennial Washington Monument Cornerstone Ceremony
Ill. Robert L. Foley, 33°, 1927–1998 Past Grand Organist Of The Supreme Council
Ill. John Philip Sousa Portrait
National Sojourners, Inc., Meet In Seattle,Washington
Imperial Session News
32° Jewel Available
Ill. Trachtenberg, G.C., Addresses Hi-Twelve In Washington, D.C.
Capitol Cornerstone Painting Decorates Historic Decanter
Ill. William Nash, 33°, 1907–1998 Past S.G.I.G. In Arkansas 

Mel Tillis Benefit Concert To Honor Burl Ives

On October 26, 1998, at 8:00 pm, the Mel Tillis Theater in Branson, Missouri, will be filled with Brethren and others paying tribute to one of Freemasonry’s most loved and honored entertainers, Ill. Burl Icle Ives, 33°, Grand Cross. Ill. Bro. Tillis (pictured right) was a lifelong friend of Bro. Burl. He is pleased to star with his daughter, Pam, in a benefit concert honoring this great American and Mason. Sov. Gr. Cmdr. C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33°, will deliver greetings, and Mrs. Dorothy Ives, widow of Ill. Ives, will make a guest appearance.

Proceeds from this special concert are for the benefit of the House of the Temple Historic Preservation Foundation, Inc., to provide funding for the maintenance of the Burl Ives Collection which is displayed in the Museum/Library of the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C. Due to many generous donations from Bro. Burl’s wife, Dorothy Ives, and her daughter, Barbara Vaughan, the Burl Ives Collection, complete with audio and visual effects, is among the most popular points in a tour of the headquarters building.

Though tickets are generally available up to performance time, to sit as a Scottish Rite group, please call prior to October 15. Tickets are $30.00 each, tax-deductible. Please mention "The Supreme Council"when calling 417–335–MMEL (6635) or writing: Mel Tillis Theater, P.O. Box 1630, Branson, MO 65615. For special room rates, ranging from $45 to $69 per night, mention the Burl Ives Benefit at the Mel Tillis Theater when calling the following hotels (use area code 417): The Barrington (334–8866), Branson Towers (336–4500), Foxborough Inn (335–4369), Guest House (336–3132), or Tara Inn (334–8272). 

Sesquicentennial Washington Monument Cornerstone Ceremony

On July 18, 1998, a balmy Saturday morning in our nation’s capital, a large number of Master Masons, their families and guests, gathered at the Washington Monument to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the laying of the Monument’s cornerstone in Masonic ceremonies on July 4, 1848. Among those present were many of the Masonic dignitaries already in Washington to attend the Northeast Conference of Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries.

The Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, under the leadership of M.W. Eldon J. Brown, 33°, as Grand Master, created an inspiring and memorable occasion which included shaping the ceremony to reflect the original occasion when M.W. Benjamin B. French, 33°, Grand Master of Masons, D.C., presided over the Masonic cornerstone ceremony at ground level. In addition, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia created a colorful announcement brochure, a historical program for the celebration, and an elegant 78-page souvenir Sesquicentennial Celebration book. Under the guidance of Ill. George R. Adams, 33°, P.G.M., of the District of Columbia, as Master of Ceremonies, the morning program, including musical selections by the United States Marine Band, began with the reading of a letter from the Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House of Representatives. In his letter, Congressman Gingrich saluted the assembled Masons for commemorating "this monument which stands today as a symbol that the United States is the world’s finest example of peace, hope, opportunity, equality and freedom."Among the distinguished speakers present were James W. Symington, Vice President of the Washington Monument Society, and Terry Carlstrom, Director of the National Park Service, who thanked Freemasons for having already contributed over $42,000 to the current restoration of the Monument. Following a reenactment of the original cornerstone ceremony, Grand Master Brown commented on the significance of this "historic day demonstrating the pageantry of Masonry at its best,"and R.W. Stewart W. Miner, 32°, K.C.C.H., Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Washington, D.C., gave the event’s principal address, which is reprinted in the Grand Lodge’s sesquicentennial book. Ill. Miner paid tribute to Bro. George Washington as an "early American futurist"and praised "the legacy he bequeathed to us as citizens of this great country."The memorable event concluded with a benediction and the U.S. Marine Band playing a rousing rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever"by Ill. John Philip Sousa, 33°. That evening, the festivities continued with about 450 Brethren and guests attending a gala banquet presided over by M.W. Brown. After various announcements and two presentations, Grand Master Brown called on Ill. Charles S. Iversen, 33°, S.G.I.G. in the District of Columbia, representing Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht at the occasion, to introduce Ill. Stephen J. Trachtenberg, 33°, G.C., President of The George Washington University. Speaking eloquently about the life and accomplishments of Brother George Washington, Ill. Trachtenberg compared America’s first President to the heroes of the Roman Republic, men who, like Cincinnatus, responded to the call of patriotic duty, led their country into battle, and then returned to private life.
Officers of the Grand Lodge of Washington, D.C., participating in the 150th anniversary cornerstone celebration at the Washington Monument on July 18, 1998, were (l. to r.) Bro. Grant R. Berning, 32°, K.C.C.H., Junior Grand Warden, Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia; Ill. Mansour Hatefi, 33°, Senior Grand Warden; M.W. Eldon J. Brown, 33°, Grand Master; and Bro. Dan L. Frederick, 32°, K.C.C.H., Deputy Grand Master.

Washington, however, when called to the Presidency, left his rural retreat at Mount Vernon and served his country in so exemplary a manner that he is, to this day, among the most respected of our nation’s Chief Executives. Ill. Trachtenberg compared Washington’s actions to Masonry’s principle of volunteerism and concluded saying: "So many years of service as a national icon have not eliminated George Washington’s meaning for the country he helped so significantly to found. Washington is us. We are Washington. And we are most of all Washington when we look around us."

Submitted by Ill. Charles S. Iversen, 33°
S.G.I.G. in the District of Columbia
Robert L. Foley, 33°, 1927–98

As a Wichita, Kansas, Eagle-Beacon "Lively Arts"review once noted, "Music is the most important thing in Robert Foley’s life—it is the core, the center, of his world."For 14 years, The Supreme Council was privileged to have Ill. Robert Lambert Foley, 33°, share his dedication to music with Scottish Rite Freemasonry. From 1979 to 1993, Ill. Foley, accompanied by his lifetime associate in music, Bro. David E. Dillon, 32°, K.C.C.H., would travel from Wichita, Kansas, to Washington, D.C., to participate as Grand Organist at each Biennial Session. Ill. Foley’s talented use of the Temple Room’s exquisite Schantz organ added a special elegance and inspiration to each Session. Due to continuing health problems, however, Ill. Foley had to relinquish this service in 1993. At that time, Sovereign Grand Commander Kleinknecht wrote Ill. Foley saying: "You are an eminently qualified organist, Bob, and The Supreme Council has been fortunate to have had the benefit of your fine musicianship for the past 14 years. For all your good work, I’m pleased to grant you the use of the title of Past Grand Organist of The Supreme Council."

Born in Dodge City, Kansas, on November 3, 1927, Ill. Foley realized his musical talent early, and, upon moving to Wichita, Kansas, he taught piano and organ to thousands of students over the years. He also performed on the piano and organ at a number of clubs, theaters, service organizations, and churches in Wichita and throughout Kansas. Regarding Ill. Foley’s performance as organist for the Wichita Consistory, Ill. William E. Montgomery, S.G.I.G. in Kansas, wrote: "Bob is by far the best musician this Temple has ever seen. His ability to put the right music with the right Degree and always to be ready to serve in any capacity has strengthened the music in this Temple immensely. Bob is active in civic, community, and church affairs and is always ready to lend his talents to any worthy organization."

Typically, as a member of the Wichita Rotary Club, Illustrious Foley was regularly called upon to play for the singing of one verse of "America."He also served as Music Director of the Wichita Bar Association and was an active member of the Mid-American Chapter of the American Theater Organ Society.

A member of Albert Pike Lodge No. 303 in Wichita, Ill. Foley was invested a 32° Mason in 1974, honored as a K.C.C.H. in 1977, and conferred a 33° Inspector General Honorary in 1979. The passing of Ill. Robert Lambert Foley, 33°, in Wichita, Kansas, on March 17, 1998, leaves a silence once filled by the beautiful music of his service to the Fraternity. 

Ill. John Philip Sousa Portrait

Responding to the June 1998 Scottish Rite Journal’s several articles on Ill. John Philip Sousa, 33°, many Brethren, via donations, have supported honoring Ill. Sousa by installing his portrait (right) in the Scottish Rite Hall of Honor in the House of the Temple.

The portrait by Jean Pilk, a noted Washington artist, is now complete, and the Brethren have already donated $40,000. Only $10,000 is still needed to achieve the necessary funding goal for a Hall of Honor portrait. All tax-deductible donations designated for the Sousa portrait are dedicated to maintaining and improving this great building. Please salute America’s "March King"and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry by sending a check, payable to the House of the Temple Historic Preservation Foundation, Inc., to: The Supreme Council, 1733 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009–3103. Your help is greatly appreciated! 

National Sojourners, Inc., Meet In Seattle, Washington

The annual convention of National Sojourners, Inc., met this year in Seattle, Washington, June 22–27. Pictured at left (l. to r.) at the convention are: Ill. William R. Miller, 33°, S.G.I.G. in Washington; Capt. Clarence M. Nelson, 32°, USMC (Ret.), outgoing National Commander of the Heroes of ’76; Brig. Gen. Benjamin T. Sutherlin, 33°, California State Reserve (Ret.), outgoing National President, National Sojourners, Inc.; and Ill. William G. Sizemore, 33°, G.C., Grand Executive Director, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, S.J., USA. On June 25, Ill. Miller was the honored guest and principal speaker at the convention’s Bennington Banquet and installation of national officers of the Heroes of ’76. Focusing on Brother and President George Washington as an exemplary American hero, Ill. Miller concluded his address saying: "Things don’t just happen by chance. I believe it was God’s plan to put George in our midst at this time of crisis, the American Revolution, and to provide him with Freemasonry to strengthen his character and principles. So I say we should thank God for George Washington and ask God to continue to bless America and the thousands of men and women who have answered her call to arms, each a true successor to the Heroes of ’76."On June 26, M.W. Carl B. Smith, 32°, Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Washington, spoke at the meeting’s concluding banquet, ending the convention on a high note of patriotic and Masonic service to country. 

Imperial Session News

Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht was pleased to join with fellow Nobles at the 124th Imperial Council Session of the Shrine of North America held June 28–July 2, 1998, in Orlando, Florida. Ill. John C. Nobles, 33°, Valley of El Paso, Texas, was elected Imperial Potentate, and Ill. John D. VerMaas, 33°, Valley of Lincoln, Nebraska, was re-elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Shriner Hospitals.
Grand Commander Kleinknecht was pleased to attend the 1998 Imperial Session held in Orlando, Florida, June 28–July 2, 1998. Pictured above (l. to r.) are: Ill. John C. Nobles, 33°, who was elected Imperial Potentate at the Session; Bro. Christopher Price, 32°, son-in-law of Imperial Sir Nobles, Valley of San Antonio; Grand Commander Kleinknecht; and Ill. Ralph W. Semb, 33°, Valley of Greenfield, Massachusetts, the newly elected Deputy Imperial Potentate. 

On June 28, Grand Commander addressed the assembled Nobles saying: "Dear Brother Nobles, I salute you and join with you in celebrating this 124th Imperial Council Session as the stepping stone to yet brighter and better tomorrows. The Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction has a network of 128 children’s language and learning clinics, centers, and programs across America. Thus, we share with the Shrine in Masonry’s great work by bringing relief to the nation’s most vulnerable and helpless, our children. United in these charitable endeavors, the Shrine and the Scottish Rite are also united in fraternal spirit and in seeking new ways to vitalize our Craft. Together, the Shrine of North America and the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction stand firm, strong, and as one in fulfilling Masonry’s mission to our members and to the world. Our two great Masonic organizations have the same outstanding ‘heritage of helping’ and, united, we will bring Freemasonry into the next century as America’s most dynamic and beneficial fraternity.”

Highlights of the Imperial Council Session included the following:

32° Jewel Available

The idea of a 32° Jewel was born during the recent centennial celebration of the Columbia, South Carolina, Scottish Rite Bodies. Bro. Thad D. Wilkins, 32°, K.C.C.H., Valley of Lake Worth, Florida, was there and pleased to see so many of the distinguished Brethren proudly displaying the 33° and K.C.C.H. Jewels they had obtained from his company, Wilkins Brothers Inc. For nearly four decades, Brothers Thad and Fred B. Wilkins, 32°, K.C.C.H., Valley of Charleston, South Carolina, have been supplying Scottish Rite Temples with 14°, 32°, and 33° rings as well as Masonic Jewels and specially designed lapel pins, medallions, pyramids, and the like, often on a next-day delivery basis.

Why didn’t Masters of the Royal Secret have a 32° Jewel to wear? The Statutes of The Supreme Council provide a description of such a Jewel, but no actual Jewel had ever been authorized, made, and distributed.

Thus, Bro. Thad proposed preparing a 32° Jewel for consideration. The prototype was subsequently approved by The Supreme Council’s Ritual Committee. The 32° Jewel, along with a new K.C.C.H. Jewel, is now available. See the 32° Jewel illustration on the back cover of this issue. Actual size is 5 ¼" X 1 ¾". Prices are as follows: quantities of 100 or more, $25.00 ea.; 50–99, $27.50 ea.; 25–49, $29.50 ea.; 5–24, $32.50 ea.; 1–4, $34.50 ea.

For individual accounts, prepayment is required. Please add $5.60 for S/H to your total order. No credit card charges or engraving orders can be accepted. Add state tax when applicable. Orders are shipped Second Day Federal Express. Bulk orders from Secretaries or S.G.I.G.s should be forwarded either by fax or letter. Contact information: Wilkins Brothers, Inc., 505 Beachland Blvd., Vero Beach, FL 32963; Tel. 561–231–1488; Fax. 561–231–6453. Note of these Jewels is provided by the Scottish Rite Journal as a service to the Brethren. No proceeds from sales benefit the Scottish Rite. 

Ill. Trachtenberg, G.C., Addresses Hi-Twelve In D.C.

On June 21, 1998, Ill. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, 33°, G.C., President of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., was the principal speaker at The Walcott Foundation’s High Twelve International Convention Dinner held at the University. Titled "We’ve Lived to See the Wall Go Down,"his address focused on the global nature of today’s world where nearly all the walls separating nations have disappeared. After tracing America’s gradual abandonment of isolationism following World War I through to the end of World War II, President Trachtenberg outlined the many ways "America has become the heaviest actor in what is now a truly global economy."In education, for instance, studying abroad, learning fluency in foreign languages, and entering the international job market have become commonplace.

Such Masonic groups as High Twelve, he noted, contribute importantly to "a high degree of international awareness"and work "to see to it that every American is ‘connected’ to the interlocking world culture."We are "working together in ways that are quite new to assure that our present age of economic triumph continues and is maintained for our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren.

"I thank the members of Hi-12 International for all the good work they have done in the past. I thank you for joining with our schools and businesses in the process of determining nothing less than our national future at a time when the national future will also be, in such important ways, international!” 
Capitol Cornerstone Painting Decorates Historic Decanter

Recently in Bristol, England, T. J. Iles, the Treasurer of Whitson Lodge No. 2943, together with Bristol Blue Crystal Supplies, created a unique Masonic decanter. It is decorated with a silver leaf infilled etching using a photographic mask to give a minutely detailed reproduction of the painting "George Washington Laying of the Cornerstone of the Capitol"by Ill. John D. Melius, 33°. The painting was developed by The Supreme Council in 1993 to celebrate the bicentennial of this great event in the history of our nation and Masonry.

The handmade cobalt blue crystal decanter (12" tall, 4" in diameter) comes in an elegant satin-lined presentation box with a certificate of authenticity and includes a history of Bristol Blue and the decanter makers, going back to the 17th century. The historic decanter has been developed as a fund-raiser for charitable Masonic causes in England. For more information, please write to:

T. J. Iles
119 Monks Park Avenue
Horfield, Bristol, BS7 OUA
Tel. 011–44–117–969–6040.

Postal orders+check, or Fax+Visa/MasterCard/American Express card number and expiration date to:

Bristol Blue Crystal Supplies
20 Gloucester Road North
Filton, Bristol, BS7 OSF, England
Fax 011–44–117–969–6040

Payment in £ Sterling: £98 including postage (approx. $160.00 U.S. Dollars, July 1998 exchange rate).

Ill. William Nash, 33°, 1907–98, Emeritus Member Of The Supreme Council

With deep regret and sorrow, we take note of the passing on July 12, 1998, in Little Rock, Arkansas, of Ill. William Nash, 33°, Past Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Arkansas. Ill. Nash was born on June 17, 1907 in Liberal, Kansas, and his death at age 91 is a great loss to our beloved Fraternity. Educated in the Little Rock Public Schools system, Ill. Nash attended the University of Chicago, 1926–28, and received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, England, where he excelled in academics and fencing. He declined an invitation to join the British Olympic fencing team in 1932 because he did not wish to compete against his own country. Returning to Little Rock, he joined the Rose Law Firm and served that firm with distinction for 40 years. He was very active as a leader in many areas of civic life including: Little League, YMCA, Community Council, Pulaski County Ration Board, Little Rock School Board, Elder of the Second Presbyterian Church, Permanent Judicial Commission of the Presbyterian Church U.S., Philander Smith College Board of Trustees, Arkansas Council of the U.S. Navy League (having served in the U.S. Navy in WW II as a Lieutenant), and, most dear to his heart, the Boy Scouts of America. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living Eagle Scout in Arkansas.

Raised a Master Mason in 1933 in Western Star Lodge No. 2, Little Rock, he served for several years as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Grand Lodge of Arkansas. In 1937, he took the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of Little Rock, was elected a K.C.C.H. in 1941, and in 1945, he was conferred a 33° Mason. He served as S.G.I.G. in Arkansas from 1973 to June 1987 when he stepped down while serving as Second Grand Equerry. In 1997, Ill. Nash was predeceased by his beloved wife of 60 years, Mary Burt Nash.

The Brethren of the Southern Jurisdiction and all who had the privilege of knowing this great and good man mourn his passing.