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  • Grand Standard Bearer, 1956
  • Deputy Grand Master, 1964
  • Grand Master, 1975-1977
  • Grand Treasurer, 1989-1990
  • Grand High Priest, 1961-1963


1975 1976 1977




From TROWEL, August 1984, Page 6:


Sovereign Grand Commander
Stanley Fielding Maxwell, 33°

The son of James M. and Alice (Chadwick) Maxwell, is a native of Reading, MA. Educated in the Reading public schools and Burdett College, Boston, he was elected Executive Secretary at Supreme Council headquarters in 1965. He was elected to preside over the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite in 1975. As principal administrative officer at Lexington he has played a leading role in the planning, construction, and opening of the Museum of Our National Heritage. In addition to serving as Sovereign Grand Commander, III.-. Bro. Maxwell is President of the Trustees of the Supreme Council.

Raised a Master Mason in Good Samaritan Lodge, A. F. and A. M., of Reading, December, 1931, he served as the chairman of the Service Committee of his Lodge for several years, was appointed to line, and became Worshipful Master in 1944-45. He has served as a Trustee of Lodge funds since 1948.

He was appointed Senior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts in 1952; D. D. G. M. of the Malden 7th, 1954-55; Grand Standard Bearer, 1956; Deputy Grand Master to M.W. A. Neill Osgood in 1964, and was Grand Master 1975-77. He had held the post of Chairman of the Grand Lodge Service Committee for eight years.

Bro. Maxwell has been the recipient of the Henry Price medal from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the Philip C. Tucker Award from the Grand Lodge of Vermont, the Christopher Champlin Award from the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, the Benjamin Franklin Medal from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and the Daniel Coxe Medal from the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. He is an Honorary Member of the Grand Lodge of Guanabara (Brazil) and the Grand Lodge of Chile, which has appointed him its Grand Representative near Massachusetts.

In Capitular Masonry, Ill. Brother Maxwell was Exalted in Reading Royal Arch Chapter in 1946 and served as High Priest in 1955 and as Secretary 1956-66. He was Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts 1961-63 and General Grand Master of the Second Veil of the General Grand Chapter, International, 1966-69. He has received the Benjamin Hurd and Paul Revere Medals from his Grand Chapter. Greeted in Melrose Council, Royal and Select Masters, in 1957, he was Knighted in Reading Commandery No. 50, in 1951. He is also a member of St. Bernard Commandery No. 12.

In the Scottish Rite he received his degrees in the Valley of Boston in 1959 and served Massachusetts Consistory as Commander-in-Chief 1969-72. He was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33 °, and made an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council in Cleveland on September 29, 1965, and was crowned an Active Member-at-Large of the Supreme Council at Detroit on September 27, 1973. He is the recipient of the Supreme Council's Gourgas Medal, the Killian H. Van Rensselaer Medal of the Valley of Cincinnati, the Barton Smith Medal of Toledo, and is an Emeritus Member of Honor of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. He holds Honorary Membership in the Supreme Councils for the Dominican Republic, Peru, Canada, England, Chile, Panama, Venezuela, France, Mexico, the Philippines, Colombia, Central America (Guatemala), Bolivia, Turkey, Brazil, Belgium, Greece, Finland, Scotland, and Germany.

Other memberships include Bay State Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, of which he is a Past Sovereign, and during 1977-78 he was Grand Sovereign of the United Grand Imperial Council of the Red Cross of Constantine. He is an Honorary Member of Canada's Grand Imperial Conclave. He is a former Secretary-General of the High Council, Societas Rosicruciana, and Chief Adept, Massachusetts College. Ill. Bro. Maxwell holds membership in the IX Grade/Great Priory of America, C.B.C.S.; Royal Order of Scotland; Taleb Grotto, M. O. V. P. E. R.; he is an Honorary Member-at-Large, National Sojourners, Inc.; an Honorary Member, High Twelve International, and of Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of which he was Potentate in 1969. He was formerly a member of the Board of Governors of the Shrine Burns Institute in Boston and an Honorary Trustee of the Illinois Masonic Medical Center. He is the immediate Past President of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association at Alexandria, VA.

In DeMolay he has been a member of the Advisory Board and for several years was Chairman of the Trustees of the DeMolay Foundation in Massachusetts, and is a recipient of the Honorary Legion of Honor Degree. He was elected to Active Membership in the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay, in 1975. He received the Cross of Honor from the Supreme Council for Germany in 1983.

In civic affairs, Ill. Bro. Maxwell served Reading as a Trustee of Cemeteries, a member of the Capital Expenditures Planning Committee, and was a member of the Reading Rationing Board during World War II.

Ill. Bro. Maxwell was married in 1933 to Dorothy Allen Russ and they reside in Lexington. They are parents of Stanley F., Jr., and Allen Russ Maxwell, and have four grandchildren.


From TROWEL, Winter 1987, Page 6:

The son of James M. and Alice (Chadwick) Maxwell, is a native of Reading, MA. Educated in the Reading public schools and Burdett College, Boston, he was elected Executive Secretary at Supreme Council headquarters in 1965. He was elected to preside over the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite in 1975.

As principal administrative officer at Lexington he has played a leading role in the planning, construction, and opening of the Museum of Our National Heritage. In addition to serving as Sovereign Grand Commander, Ill. Bro. Maxwell is President of the Trustees of the Supreme Council.

Raised a Master Mason in Good Samaritan Lodge, A. F. and A. M., of Reading, December, 1931, he served as the chairman of the Service Committee of his Lodge for several years, was appointed to line, and became Worshipful Master in 1944-45. He has served as a Trustee of Lodge funds since 1948.

He was appointed Senior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts in 1952; D. D. G. M. of the Maiden 7th, 1954-55; Grand Standard Bearer, 1956; Deputy Grand Master to M. W. A. Neill Osgood in 1964, and was Grand Master 1975-77. He had held the post of Chairman of the Grand Lodge Service Committee for eight years.

Bro. Maxwell has been the recipient of the Henry Price medal from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the Philip C. Tucker Award from the Grand Lodge of Vermont, the Christopher Champlin Award from the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, the Benjamin Franklin Medal from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and the Daniel Coxe Medal from the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. He is an Honorary Member of the Grand Lodge of Guanabara (Brazil) and the Grand Lodge of Chile, which has appointed him its Grand Representative near Massachusetts.

In Capitular Masonry, Ill. Brother Maxwell was Exalted in Reading Royal Arch Chapter in 1946 and served as High Priest in 1955 and as Secretary 1956-66. He was Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts 1961-63 and General Grand Master of the Second Veil of the General Grand Chapter, International, 1966-69. He has received the Benjamin Hurd and Paul Revere Medals from his Grand Chapter. Greeted in Melrose Council, Royal and Select Masters, in 1957, he was Knighted in Reading Commandery No. 50, in 1951. He is also a member of St. Bernard Commandery No. 12.

In the Scottish Rite he received his degrees in the Valley of Boston in 1959 and served Massachusetts Consistory as Commander-in-Chief 1969-72. He was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33 °, and made an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council in Cleveland on September 29, 1965, and was crowned an Active Member-at-Large of the Supreme Council at Detroit on September 27, 1973. He is the recipient of the Supreme Council's Gourgas Medal, the Killian H. Van Rensselaer Medal of the Valley of Cincinnati, the Barton Smith Medal of Toledo, and is an Emeritus Member of Honor of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. He holds Honorary Membership in the Supreme Council for the Dominican Republic, Peru, Canada, England, Chile, Panama, Venezuela, France, Mexico, the Philippines, Colombia, Central America (Guatemala), Bolivia, Turkey, Brazil, Belgium, Greece, Finland, Scotland, and Germany.

Other memberships include Bay State Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, of which he is a Past Sovereign, and during 1977-78 he was Grand Sovereign of the United Grand Imperial Council of the Red Cross of Constantine. He is an Honorary Member of Canada's Grand Imperial Conclave. He is a former Secretary-General of the High Council, Societas Rosicruciana, and Chief Adept, Massachusetts College. Ill. Bro. Maxwell holds membership in the IX Grade/Great Priory of America, C. B. C. S.; Royal Order of Scotland; Taleb Grotto, M. O. V. P. E. R.; he is an Honorary Member-at-Large, National Sojourners, Inc.; an Honorary Member, High Twelve International, and of Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of which he was Potentate in 1969. He was formerly a member of the Board of Governors of the Shrine I Burns Institute in Boston and an Honorary Trustee of the Illinois Masonic Medical Center. He is the immediate Past President of I the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association at Alexandria, VA.

In DeMolay he has been a member of the Advisory Board and for several years was Chairman of the Trustees of the DeMolay Foundation in Massachusetts, and is a recipient of the Honorary Legion of Honor Degree. He was elected to Active Membership in the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay, in 1975. He received the Cross of Honor from the Supreme Council for Germany in 1983.

In civic affairs, IIl. Bro. Maxwell served Reading as a I Trustee of Cemeteries, a member of the Capital Expenditures Planning Committee, and was a member of the Reading Rationing Board during World War II.

Ill. Bro. Maxwell was married in 1933 to Dorothy Allen Russ and they reside in Lexington. They are parents of Stanley F., Jr., and Allen Russ Maxwell, and have four grandchildren.



From Proceedings, Page 1997-189:

Born in Reading, Massachusetts, on April 27, 1910
Died in Woburn, Massachusetts, on October 8, 1997

On Wednesday, October 8, 1997, one of the most dynamic leaders of modem Freemasonry passed away, Most Worshipful Stanley Fielding Maxwell, Past Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.

Brother Maxwell was born in Reading, Massachusetts on April 27,1910, the son of James M. and Alice (Chadwick) Maxwell. He attended the public schools of Reading and earned a business diploma at Burdett College, Boston, in 1929. He went to work for the Quincy Market Cold Storage and Warehouse Company of Boston in the office of the Assistant Treasurer. In 1945, he joined the staff of United Farmers of New England, Inc., (a cooperative dairy products marketing company) as Office Manager, a position he held for nearly 20 years before accepting appointment in 1965 as the first Executive Secretary of the Supreme Council for the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. During his tenure as Executive Secretary, the offices of the Supreme Council moved from the Statler Offrce Building in Boston to Marrett Road in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the construction of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage was completed.

On May 13, 1933, Brother Maxwell was married in Wakefield, Massachusetts, to Dorothy Allen Russ, who survives him, along with their two sons, Stanley F. Maxwell, Jr., Associate Dean of Students at Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, and Allen R. Maxwell, President of DAKA International, Inc., Danvers, Massachusetts, and four grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

Brother Maxwell was actively involved in the affairs of his community, having served the Town of Reading as a Trustee of Cemeteries, the Capital Expenditures Planning Committee, and on the Rationing Board during World War II.

Most Worshipful Brother Maxwell's Masonic record is one of superlative achievements. He was raised in Good Samaritan Lodge, A.F. & A.M., in Reading, Massachusetts, on December 2,1931, and served as its Worshipful Master in 1944-I945. He was appointed Senior Grand Steward in 1952, District Deputy Grand Master of the Malden Seventh District in 1955-1956, Grand Standard Bearer in 1956, and Deputy Grand Master in 1964. He was elected Grand Master, December 11, 1974, and served in that capacity for three years. He was a Director of the Grand Lodge from 1978 to 1993. He was Grand Treasurer in 1989 and 1990. He was Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Virginia near the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts from 1965 to 1979, Grand Representative for the Grand Lodge of Chile from 1979 until the time of his death. He was awarded the Henry Price Medal in 1964. He received the Philip C. Tucker Award (VT); the Christopher Champlin Medal (RI); the Benjamin Franklin Medal (PA); the Daniel Coxe Medal (NJ); the Charles H. Johnson Medal (NY); the Josiah H. Drummond Medal (ME); from the Grand Lodges of those states. He was affiliated with Simon W. Robinson Lodge and Washington Lodge of Lexington. He was the Charter Master of The Masters Lodge of Newtonville.

In Capitular Masonry, Companion Maxwell was exalted in Reading Royal Arch Chapter in June, 1946, and served as High Priest in 1955 and as Secretary from 1956 to 1966. He was a Grand Lecturer of the Grand Chapter from 1955 to 1965, was elected as Grand King in 1960, and was elected as Grand High Priest for the years 1961-1963. He served as Grand Master of the Second Veil for the General Grand Chapter, International from 1966 to 1969. He was honored with the Benjamin Hurd and Paul Revere Medals from the Grand Chapter.

Companion Maxwell was greeted in Melrose Council, Royal and Select Masters in May 1957.

In Chivalric Masonry, he was knighted in Reading Commandery No. 50 in April 1951, and affiliated with St. Bernard Commandery No. 12 in 1965.

He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of Boston in 1959 and served Massachusetts Consistory as Engineer and Seneschal in 1960, Orator 1961-1963, and Master of Ceremonies in 1964-1967. He was elected First Lieutenant Commander in 1967-1970, and Commander-in-Chief in 1970-1973. He was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33rd degree, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the United States of America, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction on September 29, 1965 at Cleveland, Ohio, and crowned an Active Member At Large at Detroit, Michigan, on September 27, 1973. At the annual meeting held in Boston in 1975, he was elected Sovereign Grand Commander for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, and was installed into that office by his predecessor, Ill. George A. Newbury, 33'd degree. In addition, he was elected President of the Trustees of the Supreme Council and President of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, Inc.

At the Supreme Council meeting held at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1978, he became the 18th recipient of the Gourgas Medal, the highest award given by the Supreme Council for distinguished service to Masonry, to country, or to humanity. He was also the recipient of the Killian H. Van Rensselaer Medal from the Valley of Cincinnati and the Barton Smith Medal from the Valley of Toledo. He was the Grand Representative near the Northern Jurisdiction for the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A.; the Supreme Council for Canada; the Supreme Council for Chile; and the Supreme Council of England and Wales.

His tenure as Sovereign Grand Commander ended on September 26, 1985, at which time he was granted the title of Sovereign Grand Commander Emeritus.

Most Worshipful Brother Maxwell was a member of Aleppo Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., of Wilmington, Massachusetts, where he was Potentate in 1969. He was also a member of the Masonic Relations Committee of the Imperial Council, A.A.O.N.M.S.; Boston Court No. 103, Royal Order of Jesters; a past Puissant Sovereign of Bay State Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine in 1966-1967; Past Grand Sovereign and Knight Grand Cross of the United Grand Imperial Council of Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine; Great Priory of America, C.B.C.S.; a past Chief Adept of Massachusetts College, S.R.I.C.F.; a past Secretary General of the High Council, S.R.I.C.F.; a recipient of the purple Cross of York Rite Sovereign College ofNorth America; and the Royal Order of Scotland. He also served for several years on the Board of Governors of the Shriners Burns Institute in Boston. For the Order of DeMolay, he was a member of the Advisory Board for Middlesex Chapter, Reading, and for a number of years was Chairman of the Trustees of the DeMolay Foundation of Massachusetts. He was recognized by the DeMolay Supreme Council with the Honorary Legion of Honor. He was elected to Active Membership in the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay, in April 1975, and was later designated an Honorary Past Grand Master of the DeMolay Supreme Council.

Most Worshipful Brother Maxwell was also a director and member of the Executive Committee of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association of Alexandria, Virginia, for a number of years and became its president.

Most Worshipful Stanley Fielding Maxwell was memorialized at a private ceremony at the First Baptist Church in Lexington, Massachusetts, on Saturday, October 25, 1997. His ashes are interred at the Forest Glen Cemetery in his hometown of Reading, Massachusetts.

May the Grand Masters of all the ages form a suite to welcome him into the Celestial Grand Lodge above where the Grand Architect of the Universe presides.

M.W. Donald W. Vose
M.W. J. Philip Berquist
M.W. David B. Richardson
M.W. Albert T. Ames
M.W. Edgar W. Darling
M.W. David W. Lovering


Leader Extraordinaire


Stanley Maxwell left his mark on Masonry. There have been few Masons who have accomplished so much for the fraternity as the late I11. Stanley Fielding Maxwell, 33°. Freemasonry was his life.

When he passed away on Oct. 8 at the age of 87, Sovereign Grand Commander Robert O. Ralston, 33°, declared a 40-day period of mourning.

I11. Brother Maxwell made a lasting contribution to Freemasonry through his leadership. The position of Grand Master is demanding. Equally demanding is the role of Sovereign Grand Commander. Very few would attempt to handle both positions at the same time, yet Stan was elected to the latter post while he was completing the first of three years as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts. And both were handled efficiently. His Masonic record shows that he frequently tackled many projects simultaneously.

Stan received his degrees at Good Samaritan Lodge in Reading, Mass., in 1931. When he was elected Master of the lodge during World War II, it was to be the first of many Masonic bodies over which he would preside. Over the years, he continued to serve as a trustee of lodge funds and as a lodge proxy to the Grand Lodge.

While his sons, Stan, Jr., and Allen, were actively involved in the Order of DeMolay, he assisted on the local chapter's DeMolay advisory board. His interest and support of DeMolay continued. In later years he would become chairman of the trustees for the DeMolay Foundation of Massachusetts and a member of the DeMolay International Supreme Council.

During his service on the local advisory board, he was also a District Deputy Grand Master for the Grand Lodge. He later was appointed for one year as the Deputy Grand Master in 1964. Ten years later he was elected Grand Master. In that capacity he took some bold steps to move Masonry forward.

As a member of Reading Royal Arch Chapter, he was elected High Priest in 1955, and at the same time continued to fulfill his duties with DeMolay and the Grand Lodge. Following his year as High Priest, he agreed to serve as secretary of the chapter and held that position for ten years. At the same time he also held the post of Grand High Priest in Massachusetts, 1961-63.

Following his graduation from high school and a business program at Burdett College, he pursued a business career that led him to United Farmers of New England, Inc. For this cooperative dairy products marketing company, he served as office manager for 20 years.

When Ill. Frank S. Merrill, 33°, was forced to retire for medical reasons from his full-time position as Grand Secretary General of the Supreme Council at the end of 1964, there was no other Active Member at the time who was able to devote full time to the position. It was agreed that Ill. Herbert N. Faulkner, 33°, would assume the position of Grand Secretary General with the understanding that a full-time assistant would be brought on board.

I11. Brother Faulkner was the Deputy for Massachusetts and was well aware of Brother Maxwell's capabilities in office management and Masonic leadership. So Stan moved into a newly created position of Executive Secretary in January 1965.

That was the beginning of a great period of growth for the Supreme Council. For the next ten years he worked side by side with Sovereign Grand Commander George A. Newbury, 33°. Stan became far more than an office manager. He became a confidant of the Grand Commander. Together they worked on a project of locating a permanent home for the Supreme Council headquarters. The rented office space in Boston was inadequate. By 1968, the Supreme Council had purchased property in suburban Lexington, Mass., and moved its headquarters into an existing building on the grounds.

There were other changes in the works at the same time. I11. Brother Newbury was anxious to see a jurisdictional magazine that could be distributed to all Scottish Rite members. The Supreme Council membership records did not include addresses. To incorporate member addresses in the file would require a major effort. Working with all Valley Secretaries, the Executive Secretary developed an address file over the course of a year and engaged the services of a management information systems firm to computerize the file.

During the past year, the Supreme Council has suffered the loss of two Past Sovereign Grand Commanders, III. Francis G. Paul (left) and III. Brother Maxwell.

The first issue of The Northern Light was distributed on schedule, and the computer file began to grow. Within a few years, the Supreme Council developed its own data processing department and eventually purchased its own mainframe computer that would store records and produce reports and labels.

It was Grand Commander Newbury's dream to build a museum, but the task of supervising the plans and construction was left in the hands of the Executive Secretary. Today the 400-seat auditorium bears the name of I11. Brother Maxwell to honor his devotion to the project.1

I11. Brother Newbury was ready to retire in 1975, he strongly urged the nominating committee to consider Stan as his successor. As Sovereign Grand Commander, I11. Brother Maxwell was an ideal choice. He knew the role well, and he was able to carry on without missing a beat.

Through his efforts, the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage developed a strong endowment that is helping to sustain the structure today.

It amazed so many that he could assume the position of Sovereign Grand Commander without relinquishing his post as Grand Master in Massachusetts. Yet he was able to handle both titles well, and accomplished great things for both organizations.

Carrying more than one position at a time was quite common for Stan. He seemed to have a way of balancing his time so that all duties were fulfilled. During his 20 years of Supreme Council service, he also presided over Bay State Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, and the Imperial Council of the Red Cross of Constantine. He led the Massachusetts College, S. R. I. C. F., and served as Secretary General of the High Council, S. R. I. C. F. He became Potentate of Aleppo Shrine Temple and gave service as a member of the board of governors for the Shrine Bums Institute in Boston. He served as president of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

His messages in The Northern Light, Allocutions at Supreme Council sessions, and addresses around the jurisdiction were recognized by his being named a Blue Friar in 1987.

During his years as Sovereign Grand Commander, he grew in stature as he gained the admiration of Masonic leaders throughout the world. He hosted several international conferences during his administration, and he was a frequent participant at other conferences held in North America, South America and Europe. One of his last official tours of duty was participation at Masonic conferences in Spain and Scotland in 1996.

One of his strongest supporters was his quiet but always hospitable wife, Dorothy. She was a source of strength for him.

Although it would seem that much of his time was devoted to Freemasonry, he also found time to be of service to his church and community. For the town of Reading, he was a member of the Rationing Board during World War II, the Capital Expenditures Planning Committee, and the Board of Cemetery Trustees.

For his church, Stan also took charge by serving as superintendent of the Sunday School and church treasurer.

In his retirement, he and Dot relocated to an independent living development in Lexington. Following his usual style, he once again took charge and agreed to serve as president of the residents' association.

Participation was the name of the game, and he practiced it throughout his life. Having a title was not good enough for him. He had to make things happen, and he expected those around him to do the same.


From TROWEL, Spring 1998, Page 9:


Most Worshipful STANLEY FIELDING MAXWELL 1910-1997

On October 8, 1997, Freemasonry in Massachusetts and truly throughout the world lost one of its most devoted, prominent and productive Masons of this century in the passing of Most Worshipful Stanley Fielding Maxwell. A leader in almost every facet of our great Fraternity, Brother Maxwell made a lasting impression with his thoughtful influence and his dedication to the basic principles under which we practice fraternalism.

Our Past Grand Master was born in Reading, MA on April 27, 1910, son of James M. and Alice Chadwick Maxwell. He was educated in the Reading Public Schools and graduated from Burden College in 1929. He was first employed as Assistant Treasurer of the Quincy Market Cold Storage and Warehouse Company and subsequently by the United Fanners of New England, Inc. as Office Manager, a position he held for over 20 years. In 1965 he became the first Executive Secretary of the Scottish Rite Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction then located in the Statler Office Building in Boston. The headquarters later moved to its present location in Lexington and the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage was completed during Brother Maxwell's tenure.

His Masonic career began in Good Samaritan Lodge, Reading in 1931; he served as its Worshipful Master in 1944-45. He was appointed Senior Grand Steward in 1952, District Deputy Grand Master of the Malden Seventh Masonic District in 1954-55, Grand Standard Bearer in 1956 and Deputy Grand Master in 1964. On December 11, 1974, he was elected Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and served in that capacity for the years 1975, 1976 and 1977. He was a Director of the Grand Lodge from 1978 to 1993, Grand Treasurer in 1989 and 1990 and Grand Representative from the Grand Lodge of Virginia from 1965 to 1979 and from Chile from 1979 until his death. He was honored by the presentation of the Henry Price Medal, the highest honor given by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the Philip C. Tucker Award by Vermont, the Christopher Champlin Medal by Rhode Island, the Benjamin Franklin Medal by Pennsylvania, the Daniel Coxe Medal by New Jersey, the Charles H. Johnson Medal by New York the Josiah H. Drummond Medal from Maine from the Grand Lodges of those states. He was an affiliated member of Simon W. Robinson Lodge, Lexington, the Charter Worshipful Master of The Masters Lodge, Newtonville, and held numerous Honorary Memberships throughout the Jurisdiction of Massachusetts and in other states and countries.

In Capitular Masonry, Companion Maxwell was exalted in Reading Royal Arch Chapter in 1946, served as High Priest in 1955 and as Secretary for ten years. He was a Grand Lecturer of the Grand Chapter of Massachusetts, was elected Grand King in 1960 and was Grand High Priest for the years 1961, 1962 and 1963. He served the General Grand Chapter, International as Grand Master of the Second Veil from 1966 to 1969 and was the recipient of both the Paul Revere and the Benjamin Hurd Medals from the Grand Chapter. He was greeted in Melrose Council, Royal and Select Masters, in 1957 and was Knighted in Reading Commandery No. 50 in 1951, affiliating with St. Bernard Commandery No. 12 in 1965.

Brother Maxwell received the degrees in the Scottish Rite in the Valley of Boston in 1959 and served Massachusetts Consistory as Commander-in-Chief in 1970- 1973. He was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, Thirty-third Degree, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council in 1965 at the Session in Cleveland, OH and crowned an Active Member At Large in Detroit in 1973. In Boston two years later he was elected Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, an office he held until 1985. He received many awards and medals throughout the world during his tenure and the auditorium at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage is named in his honor. Brother Maxwell was the 18th recipient of the Gourgas Medal from the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.

His affiliation with numerous other Masonically-oriented organizations included Aleppo Temple in which he served as Potentate in 1969; Boston Court No. 103, Royal Order of Jesters; Bay State Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine in which he served as Puissant Sovereign in 1966-67; Past Grand Sovereign and Knight Grand Cross of the United Grand Imperial Council of Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine; Great Priory of America, C.B.C.S.; and the Masonic Rosicrucian Society of America, which he served as Chief Adept of Massachusetts College and Secretary General of the High Council. Brother Maxwell was the recipient of the Purple Cross from the York Rite Sovereign College of North America and was a member of the Royal Order of Scotland. He was a director of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association and served as its President. Active in the Order of DeMolay as an Advisor for Middlesex Chapter, Treasurer of the DeMolay Foundation of Massachusetts, he was an Honorary Legionnaire of Honor, an Active Member of the International Supreme Council and was elected an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Order.

Brother Maxwell was married to Dorothy Allen Russ, who survives him, in Wakefield, MA on May 13, 1933. Into this union of over 64 years were born Stanley F. Maxwell, Jr., Associate Dean of Students at Baldwin-Wallace College, and the late Allen R Maxwell, former President of DAKA International Inc., in addition to four grandchildren and two great granddaughters.

He was memorialized at a private ceremony in the First Baptist Church in Lexington, MA on October 25, 1997, and his ashes were interred at the Forest Glen Cemetery, Reading, MA. The memories he leaves with those who knew him and the contributions he made to his beloved Freemasonry will insure his immortality.



From Proceedings, Page 1963-335:

Remarks by Grand Master Osgood:

Today and for the second time you have installed me as your Grand Master. Once again I express to you my sincere appreciation of the great honor that you have given me. Today, however, there is a difference in my feelings, a depth of recognition which could not be there heretofore. The experiences of a year are fresh in mind and I understand more thoroughly than was possible a year ago just how great the honor is. I am also more keenly aware that the honor brings with it a commensurate responsibility.

So far as the duties of the office are concerned I have tried to execute them in a fitting manner. In attempting to do so I have availed myself of many generous offers of assistance. The elected and appointed officers of the past year have endeared themselves to me by their willingness to serve and their dependability in whatever tasks they have undertaken.

The Past Grand Masters individually and as a group have been a source of great strength and comfort. The scope of their combined knowledge is astounding. Yet it might surprise you to hear that I have often found them reluctant to volunteer an opinion on any problem before the Grand Master until he has assured them that he wants them to express their thoughts. This is not an unwillingness to speak out, rather it is a generous attitude of consideration and courtesy, a desire to preserve for the Grand Master every opportunity to arrive at his own decision without the pressure of their influence upon him. This frame of mind can be a most thoughtful gift but I tell them now not to overdo it. (Laughter)

It is our custom in Massachusetts to install a new Deputy Grand Master each year. Those who were present this afternoon saw R.W. Stanley Fielding Maxwell inducted into that office. Parts of his Masonic record are known to many of you. Briefly, he was raised in Good Samaritan Lodge in Reading thirty-two years ago. He was Master in 1945, Senior Grand Steward in 1953, District Deputy Grand Master in 1955 and 1956, Grand Standard Bearer in 1957, Zone Committeeman in the Service Department from 1959 to the present date.

He is a member of the Scottish Rite Bodies of the Valley of Boston. He now holds minor offices in two of them. He is a member of Reading Royal Arch Chapter of which he was High Priest in 1955, Reading Commandery No. 50 Knights Templar, Aleppo Temple, where he is Second Ceremonial Master.

The sphere of his greatest activity has been the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts in which he was Grand Lecturer from 1956 to date, Grand King in 1960, and Grand High Priest for the three years of 1961, 1962 and 1963.

He is the recipient of medals for distinguished service and holds several honorary memberships.

This year I have called Brother Maxwell back into the Grand Lodge Line to this position of trust and responsibility. I shall much enjoy his company on the frequent occasions when we are together. I shall be proud when he represents me in an official capacity. Whenever necessary I shall leave the Grand Lodge in his hands with the fullest confidence in his demonstrated abilities.Brethren, I present to you Right Worshipful Stan�ley F. Maxwell, Deputy Grand Master. (Standing applause)

Most Worshipful Grand Master, Distinguished Guests, and my Brethren :

As I stand here tonight, I do so with humbleness and a question in my mind as to how I can measure up to the responsibilities of this appointment. I have reviewed the list of my illustrious predecessors in this office and view with some anxiety the precedence of quality which has been set.

I am reminded of the prayer that was offered some time ago by the minister of the Arlington Street Church when he said: “In a world resounding with strident, angry, and alarming voices, we would listen more intently and gratefully to the many other voices speaking of things patient, conciliatory, and of good report. We would not close our eyes to grave and grim matters, nor to the warnings of worse storms to come. Neither would we be deafened to the voices of that quieter world, the world of calm responsibility, reason and principle. In our prayers may there be a measure of the kindness and love which binds people everywhere in efforts for peace and righteousness.”

I now speak, Most Worshipful Sir, for all of your appointed Officers when I express our sincere thanks to you for the opportunity to further serve Masonry, our Grand Lodge and you personally in the year ahead. We pledge ourselves to promote that kindness and service which our Fraternity can render, to the end that responsibility, reason, principle and Brotherly Love may prevail throughout our Order. Those of us who have known you over the years have great respect and admiration for your abilities as a leader. We are most happy to be a part of your team this year and hope that our efforts will prove sufficient to the need.


From Proceedings, Page 1975-128, at the dedication of Juniper Hall, Charlton:

"How many pleasing considerations, my Brethren, attend the present interview. While in almost every other part of the world political animosities, contentions, and wars interrupt the progress of humanity and the cause of benevolence, it is our distinguished privilege, in this happy region of liberty and peace, to engage in the plans and to perfect the designs of individual and social happiness. While in other nations our Order is viewed by politicians with suspicion and by the ignorant with apprehension, in this country its members are too much respected, and its principles too well known, to make it the object of jealousy or mistrust. Our private assemblies are unmolested, and our public celebrations attract a more general approbation of the Fraternity, indeed, its importance, its credit, and, we trust, its usefulness, are advancing to a height unknown in any former age. The present occasion gives fresh evidence of the increasing affection of its friends; and this noble building, fitted up in a style of elegance and convenience, does honor to Masonry, at whose expense it is erected.

"We commend the zeal of our members and hope it will meet with the most ample recompense. May this edifice be the happy resort of piety, virtue, and benevolence; may it be protected from accident and long remain a monument of their attachment to Masonry; may the Fraternity continue to flourish and strengthen, with happiness to abound; and when we all shall be removed from the labors of the earthly Lodge, may we be admitted to the brotherhood of the perfect, in the building of God, the building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."



From Proceedings, Page 1976-173, at the rededication of the Monument, Provincetown:

"On August 5, 1910, the monument was dedicated with the President of the United States, William H.Taft, present as well as Governor Eben S. Draper, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, President Charles W. Eliot of Harvard University and a host of visiting dignitaries, including the Provincetown Board of Selectmen and the Members of the Pilgrim Monument Association. In all, more than 3,000 witnessed the ceremonies. On this special occasion, a prayer was given by the Reverend James DeNormandie of Boston.

"As no great or important undertaking should ever be taken without the blessing of Deity, I have asked the Chaplain of King Hiram's Lodge, Brother Dominick DeMuro to read the prayer used at the original ceremony."

Brother DeMuro read the following:

"O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, in whose hands are the destinies of nations and the afiairs of men, and the issues of life, as we gather to dedicate this monument to those who hereabout helped to lay the foundations of this country, and laid them in Thy fear, and covenanted to walk together in helpfulness - we crave a blessing at Thy hands, Thou who are so full of blessings.

"We thank Thee that Thou hast put it into the hearts of their children to build this memorial to the labors and sufierings, the hopes and promises and the virtues of their fathers, and for those who see the earnest purpose of years this day fulfilled.

"Now that we have grown to be a nation so great and powerful, and prosperous and free, may we dedicate ourselves anew to those things which are the true greatness and glory of a land, not its size, nor its strength, nor its merchandise, nor the munitions of war, but its justice, its truth, its honor, its peace, its righteousness.

"May we, too, covenant to walk together in helpfulness.

"Bend with Thy gracious and protecting Providence over all these Thy servants who have been called by this people to places of trust, from the highest to the humblest officials, and make them faithful to their duties, without regard to the favor or the fear of man. Give them wisdom and guidance from Thyself. May there not be one to shrink from truth and honor or to stand indifferent to the higher things - the things that abide and are eternal. 'We thank Thee that we live at the end of so many years with their revelations of Thy will, and with all human experiences, and the memories of all the noble men and women who have walked in Thy ways, and that we live at the beginning of so many years with all their obligations and opportunities. Help us to pay the debt we owe to the past by the added inheritances of truth and virtue we bequeath to the future.

"As long as the heavens bend over the earth, and the hills stand firm, and the rivers rup 'into the sea, and the tides come and go may Thy Spirit rest graciously upon this land, and may there be more and more to follow the good examples of the departed and to labor for Thy Kingdom.

"We thank Thee that since the world began it has been growing better, and may one evil after another be removed from our midst, and unto Thee will we all pray together, as He who is to us the way, the truth, .the life, taught us to pray --

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen."

The Grand Master continued his address as follows:

"Today we are gathered to commemorate the memory of those 233 hardy souls who had reached these shores by 1623i 102 on the Mayflower; 35 on the Fortune; and about 96 on the Ann and Her Consort. Men, women and children who came to this land to obtain freedom; freedom of thought, freedom of the press, freedom of education and of worship. The love and great desire for these freedoms was not automatically won by landing on these shores. They too, had their dissenters and before landing in 1620, they formulated and signecl The Compact, setting up a government which did not derive its power from a sovereign or parent state, but rested on the consent of those to be governed and on manhood suffrage.

"Listen to the essential clauses:

"We, whose names are underwritten . . . having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and country, to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

"This represents responsibility from well thinking people.

"It is said of Columbus, that he set out not knowing where he was going, and when he got there, he didn't know where he was, and when he returned, he didn't know where he had been.

"The Pilgrims who came here from England and Holland probably did not know just where they were going, but it is certain that they very soon discovered where they were and were satisfied to stay here. The Pilgrims had many long days and long nights to struggle through before they could really establish homesites, but they had determination and a great faith in the everlasting God of their Fathers so that they could, through many sacrifices, establish themselves in a new land and have a sense of freedom. Freedom of worship, freedom of life and a freedom from tyranny.

"This monument, erected in 1907-1910 to commemorate the faith, the sufferings and the determination of a noble group of People will stand as a memorial to their courage for generations to come. But this freedom, which the Pilgrims sought, did not come to them without great responsibilities. They were responsible to each other for protection and security in a new land. They established what we today would call the American work ethic, that is, He who won't work won't eat. And how true that was in the 1620's, because if they didn't produce, they sure couldn't eat.

"In the mid 1700's, we faced in this nation another time when people were called upon to demonstrate their desire for freedom in several areas. Unfortunately, the rulers of England at the time felt that they would have to keep the new Americans under control by way of taxes. In spite of appeals that were made to King George the Third, and in spite of 'The Olive Branch Petition', which was transmitted to the King, appealing for an opportunity to reconcile the differences prevailing, the British endeavored to control the rebellion by the use of force.

"Men like Adams, Revere, Warren, Hancock, Washington and a host of other stalwarts had other ideas and here great responsibility again had to be shown. We have just about completed our celebration of the 'Declaration of Independence' but we have many other Bicentennial events yet to be celebrated, even as far distant as 1789 when George Washington was inaugurated as our First President.

"The freedom, resulting from the sacrifices of the founders of their Republic, came with a tremendous amount of responsibility. Following the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1782, a five-year depression, a period of disagreement, uncertainty and unbelievable economic problems truly shook the new Republic to its very roots and still our devoted servants, who had already sacrificed so much, were able to bring us together again as a loyal unit of government dedicated to serving the People.

"Since that time, many of us can remember World War I, the Great Depression of the 30's, World War II, several undeclared wars and several periods of economic and political difficulties. Today we stand on hallowed ground, testifying to the responsibilities shouldered by those who have gone on before. Today we should all rededicate ourselves to the fact that if we are to remain free, we must assume the responsibilities that will keep us free. Those responsibilities call for our involvement, as citizens, in decent and honest government. It calls for a greater awareness and concern for the welfare of our people, not for a handout, but for the tender care of those who need such care. It calls for honesty and respect for good laws that are made for our protection.

"The Masonic Fraternity, under whose auspices these ceremonies are held here today, is dedicated to works of charity and benevolence, as well as endeavoring to make good men better. It is not a religion, although it could certainly be classed as 'religious'. As an organization, we are not interested in politics, but as individuals we are much concerned, and as we approach November Znd, we urge each and every citizen to vote as their conscience may dictate, but accept the responsibility that is ours and vote.

"Freemasonry challenges no man's political creed, leaving that to his country and to himself! It does not interfere with any man's religious opinions, leaving that a matter between his God and his conscience, and yet, it does seek to impress by the most sublime and beautiful lessons, enforced by the most profound reasoning, the almighty power of truth, appealing to the highest and purest sentiments of the human soul for the enforcedrent of its principles. fgnorance, tyranny and fanaticism are the foes of Freemasonry. Liberty, equality and fraternity are its watch-words. Yes, freedom means responsibility. Will you assume your fair share in this and the coming years of our Bicentennial celebrations?

"We now pour this mixture of the traditional corn of nourishment, the wine of concord and refreshment and oil, a symbol of union, harmony and love, at the foot of this monument. May corn, wine and oil, and all of the necessaries of life abound among men throughout the world. Muy the blessings of Almighty God be upon this people, and may the structure here erected remain a monument of beauty and strength and be preserved to the latest ages, a symbol of the liberality, the patriotism and the loyalty of the people for whose service it was erected and may we remember with respect and admiration the band of hardy and loyal men and women who had great courage and faith to establish what we now accept. May this monument long continue to be a beacon of light to all mankind for generations yet to be borne. A beacon of freedom with responsibility."


"It is especially fitting, as we join here to celebrate the one hundred seventy-fifth anniversary of Merrimack Lodge, that we think about the great heritage that we have received from those dedicated men who formed this Lodge.

"Masonry is fond of reviewing its history and recounting its antiquity, and it has been said that we cannot know where we are going until we understand where we have been.

"During the celebration of the Bicentennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we heard, again and again, that phrase, pride in our past and faith in our future, in fact, that slogan is permanently affixed in the art glass window in the Scottish Rite Museum and Library at Lexington.

"The words flow so easily, that I sometimes wonder whether or not we truly appreciate their significance and_their meaning. Let us examine them more closely.

"We are all very familiar with the stories relating to Paul Revere and his famous ride; John Hancock and his famous signature; George Washington and his great leadership as the commanding general of a truly 'make-shift' army, but there are others who should be honored and remembered with great pride for their contribution to our past.

"I think of Colonel and Major General Henry Knox who left Boston on November 16, 1775, traveling to New York City and then on to Fort Ticonderoga which had been caprured by Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, and brought the captured cannons and ammunition overland into Boston by ox-team, traveling through woods and swamps in the cold of winter and arriving in Boston in time to have the cannons placed on Dorchester Heights, a formidable force against the British who were forced to flee the city and the harbor on March 17, 1776.

"We are all familiar with the Battle of Trenton and the familiar picture of Washington crossing the Delaware. What we may not have known is the fact that the boats for that famous crossing were manned by the amphibious regiment of General John Glover, a Charter Member of Philanthropic Lodge of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Washington was also supported at the Trenton battle by cannon under the leadership of Major General Henry Knox. Dr. Joseph Warren, the then Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and an eminent physician in Boston, l,ed the troops at the Battle of Breeds Hill, commonly known as Bunker Hill.

"Many more Masons might be named as great patriots and contributors to our cause for independence, including a number of additional men from Saint Andrew's Lodge. All of this gives us the opportunity to share in the great pride we have in the Masons and Nllasonry of the Revolutionary days.

"Our greatest task at the moment, it seems to me, is to instill in our sons and grandsons the faith that we should show toward the future. True, this is a difficult task in these days of dissension, demonstrations, crime, political turmoil and promises that are quite surely to be readily broken, and yet, we, as Masons, must lead and show the way to peace, tolerance, and brotherly love.

"In the past two years, Masons have fostered many programs to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Independence of this great country, and not for pure entertainment alone. But to endeavor to show to our members and their families that we have much to be proud about and much in which to hold a true faith for the future. Our future lies in what we make it. Too many people tell us of all the things that cannot be done. Listen as I relate a few examples.

  • In 1801, William Wilberforce, an English philanthropist, said, 'I dare not marry; the future is too unsettled.'
  • In 1806, William Pitt said, 'There is scarcely anything around us but ruin and despair.'
  • In 1849, Disraeli, the English stateman, said, ,"In industry, commerce and agriculture, there is no hope.'
  • In 1852, the Duke of Wellington said, 'I thank God I shall be spared f rom seeing the consummation of the ruin that is gathering around us.'
  • In 1865, during the Civil War, the records show that the draft riots in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore make pale, by comparison, any draft problem that we had during the last conscription or on our campuses.
  • In 1873, a Boston newspaper, six years before Bell perfected the telephone, reported that 'well informed

people know that it is impossible to transmit the human voice over wires as may be done with dots and dashes or the Morse Code, and were it possible to do, the thing would have no practical value.'

  • And in 1899, the Literary Digest predicted the failure of the the Horseless Carriage.

"I am certain we could continue for many more years to find such recorded ridiculous statements probably even up to yesterday and today.

"When we think of our membership statistics' several states continue to show steady growth and we have many states that either stand still or slide backwards. Our future lies in what we make it. Let us face our civic responsibilities squarely and honestly. Let us establish closer communications between ourselves and our Lodges and endeavor to bring Grand Lodge closer to the individual Lodges. Let us review our education programs and endeavor to learn more about them, so that each Mason, however new in the Craft, may know the Masonic heritage that is his. Let us solve the inertia that is sapping the lifeblood of our Lodges. Let us ponder the question of motivation that each Mason may find the zeal, the enthusiasm and the dedication that is currently found in so few, but is so necessary in our Craft.

"Let us, therefore rededicate ourselves to the cause of Freemasonry so that many of our present members may be imbued with the spirit of Brotherhood and Fellowship which we can offer to them. Let us remember the past with great pride, and let us move on into the future with great faith in our country, its people and Freemasonry in all of its divisions.


"I would like to spend a few minutes with you on the subject of Responsibility.

"There is much we can learn from incidents out of the past. As far as the history of mankind is concerned, what took place on a windy winter day in 1827 is not very important. Yet, what happened when a young German by the name of Siegfried Von Arnim arrived in the snowbound city of Weimar has a significance for all of us.

"The young man had made the difficult journey from faraway Berlin for one reason; to obtain the autograph of Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Europe's great poet, novelist and philosopher. Autograph collectors of 150 years ago were quite difierent from 'autograph hounds' of today. They were eager to get more than a scrawled signature on a scrap of paper. What they were after was some brilliant forecast or profound advice, a thrilling quote. Dusting his clothes and shining his shoes, yottng Von Arnim presented himself at Goethe's home and sent in his calling card. He was welcomed at once, and after a few minutes of general conversation, the great philosopher reached for the autograph album. He closed his eyes, opened them again, sized up his young visitor, and then wrote in a clear firm hand these words: 'Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.' He signed his name and handed the album back to Von Arnim. The audience was over.

"The years went by. One hundred and fifty often difficult, even tragic, years have passed. Wars and revolutiotrs have been fought. Grandiose plans proclaimed. But fear and distrust are still with us. Once in a while, an obscure scholar would come across Goethe's homespun bit of philosophy and shake his head sadly. It seems incredible that the man whom Napoleon hailed as the greatest human being of his generation could have been so trite. But that's just the point. To some people, even the golden rule seems trite. It takes a wise man to recognize that after we have tried every conceivable shortcut, after we have been given all the instant answers, after we have been presented all the profound plans, we come back to basic principles. That is what the philosopher Goethe wanted to convey that cold day in 1827, when he wrote the simple words: 'Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.'

"As Masons, we know he was right. The most important issue of all is personal responsibility. Things have not changed very much in 150 years. We are still trying everything other than basic principles. It is much more exciting and much more thrilling to talk about rights; for example, 'demanding your rights' is popular today. For some reason, far too manv people seem to think that life will be better if in some magical way they are given what they call 'their rights.' They are waiting for someone, maybe the government, to 'sleep' for them. It is time to make it verl'clear that hunran happiness, as well as the very welfare of our nation, depends on accepting personal responsibility. We have tried everything else and now it is time for us to try the 'tried and true'.

"You and I know how easy it is to nrake demands on others. But the truth of life is that improvement and progress conre only when individuals make more and more demands on themselves. That is what it means to be responsible. As IIasons, we have an obligation to keep alive the enduring value of responsibility. Even though many people choose to push other people around rather than push themselves forward, the responsible person believes in achievement.

"It is distressing to realize that pride in accomplishment is seen as almost a negative idea today. Reaching for the heights is looked down upon. Anyone who excels, anyone who tries to do his best, anyone who stands out, is viewed as a bit strange.

"Our young people have a phrase which describes the situation. You have heard them say, 'Get lost'. That is exactly what too many Americans seem to be doing. They work at getting lost in the crowd. They refuse to do anything that will cause attention to be drawn to them. For the most part, they simply do not want to do anything at all. Ask someone to work on a committee and see what happens. The excuses pour out, one after another. Why is it that we are so afraid to accept responsibility, even for things that will benefit our community and our country? We would rather remain faceless. Evidently, being mediocre is of greater value than aiming for the stars. If that is true, then we are setting a standard that will bring us only tragedy.

"The newspaper columnist, Sydney J. Harris, said it very well: 'A loser believes in Fate; a winner believes that we make our fate by what we do or fail to do.' That is what we believe as Masons. We have the basic responsibility to keep alive the idea that each of us has the inner capability of achieving greatness. It may sound trite to say that the fate of the world depends on each man sweeping his own doorstep, but it happens to be true. Achievement and, then, accountability. This is another very unpopular idea. As one comedian says, 'The devil made me do it'. Too many are willing and ready to blame everything and everyone for why they are the way they are. Children blame their parents. Parents blame the schools. Employees blame the boss. And everybody blames the government.

"The responsible person is accountable for his actions. He recognizes that there should be a relationship between productivity and pay. Putting in time on the job is not the same as being a productive worker. Sitting in a classroom is not the same as being a student. Wearing a Masonic emblem is not what makes a man a Mason. No-fault automobile insurance is a good example of what happens when we're not held accountable for our actions. Insurance claims skyrocket, and so do insurance rates.

"After we have tried just about everything else, we come to the realization that society can only operate effectively if people are held accountable for what they do. Actions still speak louder than anything else. Responsibility means achieving the best that is in us. It means being accountable for what we do and how we act. And, finally, responsibility involves a sense of urgency. Historian Arnold Toynbee once wrote, 'A life which does not go into action is a failure.' If this is true, then there are a growing number o{ failures in our world.

"Speaking to a national sales executives meeting some years ago, Charles Brower, an advertising executive, said, 'This is the great era of the goof-off, the age of the half-done job', Too many of us opt for the easy rather than the difficult; too many are satisfied with just 'getting by.'

"There was a time when people took pride in being on time. That may not seem very important, but today time seems to mean very little. Few ever apologize for being late and a growing number of people do not even bother to call if they are unable to keep an appointment.

"Such attitudes are not good enough! Thank goodness Daniel Webster thought differently. In his famed Bunker Hill address, he set the record straight: 'Let our age be an age of improvement. In a day of peace, let us advance the arts of peace; let us develop the resources of our land; call forth its powers; build up its institutions; and see whether we also may not perform something worthy to be remembered.'

"Daniel Webster felt a burning sense of urgency. And so did Winston Churchill. During the Battle of Britain, the headmaster of the school Churchill had attended as a youngster asked the great prime minister to address the student body. Churchill obliged and this is what he said: 'Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never, never give in.' Then he sat down, that was his speech.

"But unlike Winston Churchill, too many sit down before they even begin. Only with an overwhelming sense of urgency will we ever accomplish anything worthy to be remembered.

"Achievement, Accountability and Urgency. These three are the marks of responsibility. The man who lives by these basic principles is not worried about his rights. He is too busy building a solid life; he is too busy constructing his community; and he is too busy working for his country. He has discovered a great truth: If I sweep in front of my own door, the whole world is a better place.

"Let us, then, rededicate ourselves to the ideals of Masonry, and remember well the efiorts of members of this great fraternity who gave more than 13,000 pints of blood for the benefit of others. Let us remember our 154 guests at the Masonic Home who are so well cared for as a result of our contributions of man power, love and financial support. Let us remember all who work so diligently and loyally for the betterment of a living as a Master Mason.

"We have a cause in Freemasonry. Let us all continue to work for the brotherhood of mankind, even in our day."


The Masonic Altar

"The history of the Altar in the life of man is a story more fascinating than any fiction. The earliest Altar was probably a rough unhewn stone in its crude and natural state. Later, as the concept of faith grew, and the idea of sacrifice developed, the Altar was replaced with a hewn stone-cubical in form, or carved and often beautifully wrought, on which men lavished jewels and priceless gifts, deeming nothing too costly or precious to adorn the place of prayer. It is stated that Abraham, by divine command and as a test of his faith, even offered his own son on a sacrificial Altar. His willingness to comply with this extreme command, the release, victory and blessings that followed, form one of the familiar stories of the Old Testament.

"As far back as we can go the Altar was the center of human society, and an object of peculiar sanctity by virtue of that law of association by which places and things are consecrated. ft was a place of refuge for the hunted or tormented, criminals or slaves, and to drag them away from it by violence was held to be an act of sacrilege, since they were under the protection of God. At the Altar marriage rites were solemnized, treaties made or vows taken in its presence were more holy and binding than if made elsewhere, because there man invoked God as witness. In all the religions of antiquity, and especially among the peoples who worshipped the Light it was the custom of both priests and people to pass around the Altar on special occasions following the course of the Sun - from East, by way of the South, to the West, singing hymns of praise as part of their thanksgiving or worship.

"From the facts and hints such as these, the meaning of the Altar in Masonry, and its position in the Lodge, become apparent. The position of the Altar in Masonry is not accidental, but profoundly significant. For while Masonry is not a religion, it is religious in its faith and basic principles, no less than in its spirit and purpose. Nor does it attempt to do what the Church is trying to do. If it were a Church, its Altar would be in the East and its ritual would be altered accordingly. The Masonic Altar supports no creeds, nor embraces any particular sect. It is first of all, an Altar of Faith - the deep eternal faith which underlies all creeds and overarches all sects - faith in God, in the moral law, and in life everlasting. Secondly, it symbolizes recognition, - recognition of that most inspiring and wonderful of all facts - the Brotherhood of Man. Hear one fact more and the meaning of the Masonic Altar will be plain. Often one enters a great Church or Cathedral and finds it empty or only a few people in the pews, sitting quietly praying or in deep thought. They are seeking an opportunity for the soul to be alone. But no one ever goes to a Masonic Altar alone. No one bows before it except when the Lodge is open and in the presence of his Brethren. Thus the Masonic Altar is an Altar of Faith, of Fellowship, and of acceptance and recognition of the Brotherhood of Man."


The Light of Patriotism

"It was late in the summer of 1775 and John Adams had returned home to Massachusetts from the meetings of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Perhaps more than the other Founding Fathers, John Adams agonized over the American people. He questioned the strength of their commitment to liberty. Over and over again, he asked himself, Will the people love freedom or will they abuse it? Then, one day, an incident took place which caused him great distress.

"While riding his horse, John Adams came upon a man whom he had both defended and prosecuted in the local courts. In his Autobiography, John Adams describes this man as a common horse jockey. He greeted John Adams with a gallant salute. 'Oh, Mr. Adams,' he exclaimed, 'What great things you and your colleagues have done for us! We can never be grateful enough to you. There are no courts of Justice now in this province and I hope there will never be another.' John Adams reports that he said nothing to the man at the time. But later, back at his desk, he wrote rather sadly, 'Is this the object for which I have been contending?. . . Are these the sentiments of such people? . . . And how many are there in the country?'

"John Adams realized that for many of his countrymen the American Revolution meant little more than throwing off all restraint. It was an opportunity to be selfish and irresponsible. The passion for freedom and self-government which burned in the hearts of our Founding Fathers never caught fire in the lives of many other citizens.

"The questions John Adams wrote in his diary were indeed prophetic. Today, we continue to ask, 'How many are there in the country?' Even though the times have changed, the important issues remain the same. A deep, personal devotion to our country by each and every citizen is the backbone of American freedom and independence.

"Cynicism about patriotism is nothing new. John Adams' neighbor was only interested in escaping from the clutches of the law. There have always been those who seek to run away from personal responsibility to their country.

"It was Samuel Johnson who wrote that Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. While Oscar Wilde commented, sarcastically, that Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. Tragically, we live in a time when far too many Americans are willingly and actively separating themselves from a belief in loyalty and devotion to our country.

"We have allowed the idea of patriotism to fall into disrepute. We have not stepped forward to challenge those who eagerly castigate pride in our Nation. We have failed to speak up when others decry a love of country.

"But even more important, we have forgotten that patriotism is a normal human feeling. There is nothing strange or odd about a love for one's land. The poet was right when he said, Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself has said, 'This is my own, my native land.'

"The American people have every reason to be proud of their country. And that pride can give us an abiding basis for living. It can help us overcome that sense of emptiness that attacks the human heart and leads to hopelessness and hate. If we want to become stronger, happier and more productive, we must reaffirm a pride in our past, a persistence of purpose and make our personal pledge to the future. That is every American's patriotic opportunity.

"Pride in our Past. From individuals to ethnic groups, there is a search for 'Roots'. We all want to know who we are and where we came from. Actually, the answers are not as difficult as we may think. Our heritage as a people holds great insights into our national character. We can look back to our Puritan forefathers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is popular today to criticize their strange and seemingly high-handed ways. The Puritans are said to have been narrow-minded and intolerant. But a closer look at their lives should lead us to quite a different conclusion.

"Yes, they were strict. Yes, they were single-minded and determined. Indeed, they never waivered in their beliefs. They possessed a deep and abiding commitment to survive amid the perils of their new land. They were totally dedicated to building a community in which each person had a role to play so.that the entire population could survive and flourish.

"We can take pride in the strong faith and dedication of our Puritan ancestors. The home, the workbench, and the Church were the foundations for their survival. These three institutions were so important that nothing could be allowed to weaken or destroy them. More than most, the Puritans understood that their community came first because an individual's hope for survival rested upon what happened to each relative, friend and neighbor. Loyalty was not a topic for discussion among the Puritans; it was a fact of life. Hard work was a virtue because there was no other way of life.

'When we are looking for our 'roots', we can look with respect upon our Puritan fathers and mothers whose practical ways continue to give sound instruction today. It was two hundred years Iater, as our people moved westward, that our American 'roots' went even deeper into the soil of our land. Thousands upon thousands knew the meaning of danger, hardship, tragedy and heartbreak. But they persisted and succeeded! They crossed the prairies and mountains. They made it to California and Oregon. According to historian Bruce Catton, the pioneers had a saying which summed up what their terrible and often terrifying trip had taught them. Looking back, they would say, 'The cowards never started, and the weak died along the way.'

"Perhaps these words seem a little callous to our twentieth century ears. Nevertheless, our Nation was built by those who dared to overcome the worst possible obstacles; by those who risked everything they had, including their lives, for the opportunity to build a new life; by those who never turned back, even though returning to the past would have been far easier and safer.

"These are our 'roots' as a people, and they are real' We can be stronger than we ever imagined. We can be more determined than we ever believed possible. And we carl overcome obstacles that others consider insurmountable. That is our heritage as Americans.

"A Persistence of Purpose. Pride in our past and then a persistence of purpose. It is said that many of our people, particularly the young, have lost faith in America. There may be a reason for their disenchantment. How can you believe in something you do not understand? This is why the teaching of history in our schools must never be allowed to die.

"The immense contribution made by our Founding Fathers was not the most perfect system of government ever devised by the minds of men. What they created was a unique system of government which would never knowingly accept or tolerate imperfection. We have injustice, but we are always seeking to find ways to end it. We have corruption, but we are committed to eliminating it from public life. There are those who are irresponsible in their use of power, but we do not justify their actions. This is the genius of our American system.

"Let no young person ever think that 'The American Dream' means perfection. 'The American Dream' is of a society that continues to improve over the years, a society which never forgets its dedication to the ideals of brotherhood and justice. Thirty years before the Declaration of Independence was signed, George Washington wrote, 'Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience'.

"Without that 'spark of conscience,' there would have been no American Revolution. And without that same "spark of conscience', there can be no persistence of purpose for us as a Nation. George Washington understood so well that we must work to keep conscience alive. The heart and soul of patriotism is an unyielding commitment to the belief that we can be better. Let our consciences guide us to an improved society and a stronger nation. Let us ever be persistent in our purpose as a people.

"A Pledge to the Future. With pride in our past and persistent dedication to improvement, we can make our pledge to the future. The future of our country is so important, we should take a lesson from the past.

"In 1730, a group of honorable, concerned Englishmen pledged their wealth to establish a new colony in America. They believed in the project and they dreamed of building a perfect community. The colony was to be established in what is now the State of Georgia. In order to make it as ideal as possible, the men laid down strict rules. Sitting in London, these trustees of Georgia held that no man could own more than five hundred acres. In this way they wanted to control land sale and speculation. Rigid guidelines were drawn up for inheriting land, houses were to be located only so far apart so the colony could be properly protected. In order to serve in the representative assembly, it was necessary to have planted at least one hundred mulberry trees because the trustees had a strong interest in silk production.

"As history records, the perfect community failed. Sitting in London was no way to understand the real world of the colony in Georgia. Daniel Boorstin, the historian, has offered this observation about the trustees. 'Had they been more willing to learn the lessons of the new world, their enterprise might have had a different ending.'

"Our patriotic pledge to the future must be our unending dedication to learn more about our country, to listen to the dreams of our people, and to put our minds to work in the never ending enterprise of creating a more perfect America. Six years after his discharge from the United States Army, one veteran of the Vietnam War looked back over his life as a soldier and what had happened to him after leaving military service. Even with all the difficulties, he considered himself to be more than fortunate. As Dwight Forbes Wolszak says so eloquently, 'America is still the Land of Opportunity. If nothing else, having been overseas to see firsthand other people's living conditions has really made me appreciate the opportunities and lifestyles we have in this country.'

"It is this appreciation that builds a sound patriotism. Author Thomas Wolfe would have agreed with this Vietnam Veteran. When asked what he thought about the United States of America, he said, 'It is a fabulous country, the only fabulous country; it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.' Miracles will continue to happen as long as we let the light of patriotism burn brightly, but we must show pride in our past, maintain a persistence of purpose, and make our personal pledge to the future.

"Let us take our stand with our Nation and then we will be able to say with Carl Sandburg, 'If I have added to their pride in America, I am happy.' If you and I add to the pride of our country and Freemasonry, then we have every right to be both proud and happy, for we will have fulfilled our responsibility as citizens of these United States, and members of this great Fraternity."


M. W. Brother Maxwell was Sovereign Grand Commander for the A. A. S. R., Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. His Allocutions, or annual addresses to the Supreme Council 33°, were excerpted in the Scottish Rite magazine Northern Light and are presented here.


From Northern Light, November 1976, Page 8:

What Of the Future?

This past year, our fraternity and our nation has gloriously celebrated the 200th birthday of this great nation. We have all paid a great tribute to the Founding Fathers and to their deeds of valor and trust.

But even now, as we still have much more to celebrate, we must turn our attention and our thoughts to the future. The records show, for example, that blue lodge Freemasonry has lost much ground in the past decade, and while Scottish Rite has, for the most part, had nominal gains, there has to come, in the perhaps not-too-distant future, a day of reckoning, for if we do not attract men to our symbolic lodges, we too, must suffer losses in the future.

This need not be a dismal picture, however, for our records indicate that we still have plenty of potential members among those of our symbolic brothers who have not yet entered the arena of Scottish Rite brotherhood. The point is that if we do not give our attention to blue lodges, we will not maintain the advantage that we now possess.

We have stressed, in the past, visits to our own and other blue lodges, but we need to do much more. We must make ourselves available to support those of our loyal brethren who are, in many cases, struggling to keep their lodges active and even alive. We need to have volunteers who will assume stations in the lodges; who will assume some areas of leadership and perhaps, above all, take a real interest in educating our younger and newer members in the true meaning of Masonry. This is a long-time educational program, but one that needs attention.

If we can renew the interest in the programs of Freemasonry, we will not need to be concerned for the future. The voice of Freemasonry should be heard in the world today more than at any other time since the founding of our great country. Freemasonry has something to say to humanity, and, hopefully, what we say may answer those whose voices rise from every corner of this troubled world.

Mankind is ever seeking a better way of life, even those who speak in hate and anger.

The teachings of Freemasonry, and particularly Scottish Rite Freemasonry, proclaim a better way of life. We claim no originality or superiority of intellect, but the teachings and precepts have come from the noblest thinkers and the greatest teachers.

Freemasonry proclaims no particular creed but teaches a firm belief in God. and we look hopefully to the day when we can all come together in a genuine brotherhood under the Fatherhood of God.

Freemasonry teaches men to love one another according to the great commandment. Never has the world needed the strong Masonic voice to proclaim these attributes and virtues as it does today.

From where will this strong voice come? It can come from membership in the great Masonic fraternity, whose members will attend their lodges and Scottish Rite meetings, learn more about its teachings, and live a life worthy of the name, squaring their actions by the square of virtue, endeavoring to do unto others as they would that they should do unto them.

When the individual Mason will stand up for what is right, just, and true, and create within others the desire to seek these same tenets, then shall Masonic membership increase and the community, city, state, or nation will listen to the voice of such members who ask only for the right and just administration of the affairs of the people.

What has been said here applies not only to growth in symbolic Freemasonry. We as Scottish Rite Masons have much work to do as well. If we can become encouraged by our own growth, then we should concentrate on leadership at all levels. Positive leadership is dynamic, exemplary, dedicated, purposeful, unswerving, with one end in view; the growth of Scottish Rite.

This leadership must be applied to all our objectives. We must find new and better ways in which to assimilate and employ new initiates in our work. We must be most careful in selecting new officer material. In this area we are often prone to be more concerned with popularity than with ability to achieve objectives. Election to office should be looked upon not as an honor for services rendered in the past, but more for services to be rendered in the future.

Freemasonry has played a major role in many ways in the growth and expansion of our country. It proved itself in the colonial days. It proved itself worthy, though tried, during the dark days of the 1828-1840 antiMasonic period. It proved itself during the Civil War and has continued to prove itself many times since.We are now going through a period when morality among our public servants seems to be at a low ebb. and yet I believe that as Masons we can again bring order out of chaos if we live as Masons and demonstrate to the world that we truly believe in the timeless message of this Fraternity. The greatest problem we face is apathy among our members.

As we go into this new Scottish Rite year, let us resolve to improve our image. Let us impress again and again upon our members the relevancy of the moral philosophy which the Fraternity teaches us as individuals.Let us go forward with courage and with enthusiasm for even greater accomplishments for the betterment of our own lives and for humanity, remembering: “The past was given us to make the future great. May all that was fine and noble in the lives of our revered leaders of the past live in us again and become our heritage to generations yet unborn.”

In my humble opinion, the question, “What of the future?” may be answered in the positive: The future is what we make it!


From Northern Light, November 1977, Page 12:

I Believe . . .

Ill. Robert A. Manchester II, 33°, has completed a year of great service to the Rotary International organization. We are proud that an Honorary Member of our organization was chosen to head this great group of men who are dedicated to “the highest of moral and ethical standards in his own vocation or profession.” These are high and lofty goals that each of us as Freemasons and members of the Scottish Rite can well emulate.

When our Ill. Brother Manchester started his year, he stated, “I believe in Rotary.” What a challenging statement! Each one of us needs to have the same attitude toward our organization. Even at the risk of copying, let me unequivocally state that, “I believe in Freemasonry and the Rite!” and I sincerely hope that each of the more than 3,500,000 Masons in the United States can feel the same way.One of our own members, Ill. John A. Lloyd, 33°, Deputy for Ohio, had an actuarial study made a few years ago to show the trend in Masonic membership.

The total loss of members in all Grand Lodges within our United States for the years 1970 through 1975 was 309,850. The total membership was 3,763,213 at the end of 1975. The actuarial study goes on to report that unless these trends are reversed, by the year 2000, there will be 2,124,223 Masons. Thereafter, the shrinkage will accelerate so rapidly that by the year 2037, there will be only 102,802 members in our country.

These figures are tragic, and certainly give us reason to pause and reflect on what we are doing. As Scottish Rite Masons, we certainly must not be lulled into complacency because our membership has held steady and even shown some gains, because if the actuarial study should be accurate, we, in the Scottish Rite, are in for some hard times.

Personally, I find it very difficult to accept the study even though I am well aware of the actual losses in symbolic Freemasonry, and the facts that I recited should stir us to action to prevent such an outcome.

I believe in Freemasonry and I believe that the future of our organization can be “what we make it!”

Ill. and Rev. Norman Vincent Peale said in one of his messages, “Find a need and fill it.” In the Scottish Rite there are many needs and there are many opportunities. We need to seek out the men who will also believe in our organization and inspire them to find their niche in the program and encourage them to fill that niche.

We say much about the greatness of our Fraternity, and it is great! We have the fine and lofty moral and ethical standards as taught us in the ritual and portrayal of our degrees. But are we putting into daily practice these lessons and principles? Are we telling others — our associates in our church, school, factory or office — what we stand for? Are we demonstrating, by the examples of our own lives, these tenets?

The world needs Masonry today — probably as much or even more than at any other time in our history. We need men to join our Order who have vision; men who will look with us into the future; men who have imagination and new ideas that can help us to see the needs of our communities, the state, and the nation. The Great Light of Freemasonry tells us that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The members of the Scottish Rite need that vision to reach the level of attainment that we want our lives and our organization to reach.

We also need men with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm in what we are doing will go a long way toward encouraging others to inquire about our organization. Everyone appreciates enthusiasm in another person. It is a trait that can become contagious. My personal experiences in getting into conversations with people whom I have met for the first time on planes and while traveling, convinces me of the need for enthusiasm. I see the ready response from strangers when I go “that first mile” to introduce myself and endeavor to display some enthusiasm for our fraternity.We should be enthusiastic enough and proud enough to always wear the emblem of our symbolic lodge — the square and compasses. I have and I am sure all of you have in your possession all kinds of Masonic emblems — Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shrine, and undoubtedly many others — but isn’t the square and compasses the most important? If we promote the symbolic lodge with enthusiasm and pride, the other bodies will all gain. But if we promote only the appendant bodies, it will be like a tree or a bush, with beautiful foliage and blossoms, that will soon die from the lack of nourishment for proper root growth. Yes, we need men — many men with vision and enthusiasm. Then, too, we need men and Masons of endurance.

The really good golfer is the man who plays consistently, practices frequently, and plays to win. The really good pitcher on a ball team is the man who can endure and pitch good ball for nine innings. Too many can only endure through a limited number of innings. The really good Mason is one who attends his lodge regularly as his situation will permit. The early pioneers of our great country would not have been successful in developing our land if they had not had endurance to withstand great hardships along the way. We need men who are Masons and those who should be Masons who will stand up for truth and justice today. I am confident that there are many men in the byways of our communities who are just waiting to be inspired by our enthusiasm to ask the all-important question. We cannot ask them, but we can point the way and lead the prospective candidate.

Ill. Harold Blake Walker, 33°, another Honorary Member of our Jurisdiction and a respected minister in the Chicago area, wrote in a recent article, “Our times are in need of men and women who are seeking — not to be comfortable, but to grow in mind and spirit so that they may be adequate to serve the common good.” We, as Masons, need to be a little less comfortable and to work at practicing the tenets of the Order for the good of mankind.

Our purpose in all of Masonry has been to make the organization one of charily for all mankind, to practice the “Golden Rule”, to love our country, to serve God with reverence, to be humble, to adhere to the cardinal virtues, and to greet everyone on the same level of human understanding.

To preserve the future of our great fraternity means to grasp the present. Only he who gives of himself can create the future. Each one of us must share in the responsibility of preserving the future of this great fellowship of Masonry and especially the Scottish Rite.We have for too long, in my opinion, been a “silent majority.” It is certainly time that we proclaim ourselves before our families, our friends, and associates, and let them know what Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite is and what it stands for.

I found this quotation, and regret that I do not know the author to give credit, but I feel it appropriate. It is entitled, “Masonry’s Opportunity.”

“It is perhaps not necessary to review the tragic conditions which prevail and which seem to dominate our lives. What arc we witnessing? It seems that the world which we knew as a world of beauty has reverted to a world of savagery, brutality, and depravity.

“However one may interpret the situation, it is time for Masonry. It is not a time for retreat. It is not a time to surrender or despair. It is time for Masons to show by word and deed the reality of the principles of morality by which man must live if he is to survive.

“While Masonry stands in an enviable position, it is also a position of grave responsibility. Ours is an institution in which men arc trained in mind and heart to elevate the spiritual over the material. It is an institution which has never sought selfish advantages or arbitrary power. It is an institution which has never capitulated to the demands of tyranny, turned its back on history, or modified its moral demands. Because it is such an institution, there is a heavy responsibility placed on each Mason to do his part by making Masonic teachings visible to the world through his thoughts, acts, and deeds.“The character which Freemasonry builds, adorned by Masonic attributes, has contributed to its growth and development and is destined to live on and on, ever becoming broader, stronger, finer, and deeper with the passing years.”

The future of Freemasonry, in spite of actuarial figures, is what you and I make it! I believe in Freemasonry, and I hope you do!

Edmund Burke, the English philosopher, said, “All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win the world is for enough good men to do nothing!”

As Masons, we should do three things

  1. Become aware of Masonry’s goals and problems,
  2. Become involved with our symbolic lodge and the Rite as well as with the community,
  3. Recognize Masonry’s great opportunity to make the world a better place in which to live.


From Northern Light, November 1978, Page 8:

Taking Hold of the Rope

Many years ago, an inspired poet wrote these immortal lines:

Heaven is not reached at a single bound;
But we build the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies.
And we mount to its summit round by round.

Quite often, we arc asked about Freemasonry and why our great fraternity is important. There are times when someone will want to know about the future of the Masonic movement. The answers to all these questions rest in the words of the poet — “we build the ladder of life and mount to the pinnacle round by round.”

There was never a time in history when Freemasonry was more important than it is today. Freemasonry has demonstrated its power to improve our world. Never has there been a greater need for men of quality and character than there is right now. You and I know that the best of earth is attained through building that ladder of life which reaches ever upward.

We are deeply committed to strengthening the moral fiber of our society. To some, morality may be old-fashioned, but we have dedicated ourselves, as Masons, to keep alive those eternal moral principles that make for justice and happiness.

Over one hundred years ago, James Gordon Bennett wrote an editorial for the New York Morning Herald. He said:

“I may be attacked, 1 may be assailed, I may be murdered,— but I will never succumb. 1 never will abandon the cause of truth, morals and virtue.”

Not only is that what we believe as Masons, but that is what we stand for every day of our lives. While others flounder, while others openly abandon the truths of the past, we proudly affirm our faith in honesty and honor.

Moral weakness is the sickness of our society. People, particularly the young, need examples of strong moral leadership. That is our Masonic task.

Some time ago, the famed actress Katharine Hepburn was being interviewed by a reporter from People magazine. During the interview, Miss Hepburn expressed her distaste for the increasing permissiveness in a society where character and moral strength are no longer honored. Finally, the journalist asked, “Miss Hepburn, do you think that this era will pass?” “Yes,” she replied. “The pendulum will begin to swing back, but someone has to begin by giving it a push.”

As members of the Masonic fraternity and as Scottish Rite Masons in particular, it is our responsibility to give the pendulum a push. It is then, and only then, that we fulfill our role as Masons.When we think about it for a moment, we realize that we arc engaged in the moral and spiritual improvement of our society.

How many young men’s lives have been helped — and changed for the better — because of DeMolay? How many have followed a nobler course because Masons in your community and mine have taken the time to guide and counsel the members of DeMolay? The answer, of course, is that thousands of men can look back on their DeMolay experience and realize that the Masons made a difference in their lives. But we must never forget that the great challenge of youth is still with us. We have a great responsibility to future generations to support DeMolay now — not by dollars alone, but with our personal efforts in guiding and counseling.

Nowhere is our moral leadership more evident than it is in our many Masonic Homes. Caring for older people who are alone and in need is not something new to us as Masons. We have been doing it for a great many years! Our commitment to our elder citizens runs deep. Our Masonic Homes are splendid examples of our Masonic belief in the sacredness of human life.

Long before others became deeply involved in granting scholarships to aspiring youth, Masons across our land were lending a helping hand. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring together the accomplishments of all those who have benefited from Masonic scholarships? Wouldn’t it be a thrill to see not only what those scholarships have meant to the countless individuals who received them, but what those recipients have done to improve this country and the world?

As Scottish Rite Masons, we have helped to change the world of the mentally ill over a period of nearly 45 years. Think about it for a moment. Just four decades ago, most persons suffering from schizophrenia were destined to remain in a mental institution the rest of their lives. There was little or no hope for recovery. We still do not know either the causes or the cure for this dreaded disease, but today there is hope! Many of the medical advances supported by our Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Program have contributed to this immense advancement. And because we were there at the right moment, others have followed in our path so that one day the answers will be found.

Our great Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage is a bold experiment. Twenty-five years from now, when the Museum and Library reach their full potential, Scottish Rite Masons will be commended for their foresight and vision because we dared to dream a dream. We dared to create a new and different institution committed to telling and preserving the story of America.We practice our precepts. We not only believe; we act forthrightly. That is why we should talk more freely about Freemasonry. Too many of our members think that we are a secret organization. That is not true. Masons contribute so much to the improvement of life, others should know about what it means to be a Mason.Recently, a number of stories have appeared in the public press about the Museum of Our National Heritage and the endowment fund campaign. Our Scottish Rite is being recognized for its important patriotic contributions. Because of the press coverage, more and more people are hearing about Masons who are leaders in our Rite and their communities. We are strengthening our fraternity, building pride among our members, and letting people know what we believe in.

If we let our light shine, if we make known our concerns for moral leadership and openly express our devotion to our nation, Masonic membership will grow. If we continue practicing our principles and seek ways to expand our charitable programs, men will be attracted to Freemasonry. There are hundreds of thousands of men who are looking for opportunities to align themselves with a movement which teaches loyalty and integrity; there are men who want to climb that ladder round by round. They are waiting for us. Our task is to let the light of Masonry shine ever so brightly.

When it comes to our own members, our goal should not be just to get them to more meetings. Blue lodge attendance is, of course, very important because that is how we reaffirm our principles.

But our first goal should always be to get our members more deeply involved. This is the real meaning of leadership. Creating meaningful opportunities for service is essential to our Masonic strength. The more we do, then the more opportunities we open to our members and the greater will be their commitment.

At the same time, we must always be looking to the future. What are we doing as members of the Scottish Rite? We are passing on a great heritage of truth and honor, and we are building upon that legacy for future generations. May the Freemasonry of tomorrow be as strong and vital as it is in our power to make it.On his deathbed, Governor James Stephen Hogg of Texas requested that no monument be placed on his grave. Rather, he asked that there be planted “at my head a pecan tree, and at my feet an old-fashioned walnut, and when these trees shall bear, let the pecans and walnuts be given out among the Plains people of Texas, so that they may plant them and make Texas a land of trees.”

Today, we are planting the seeds of Freemasonry’s future. That is our opportunity. That is our task.When the news reached Richmond that the statue of General Robert E. Lee was at the train depot, someone said, “It will take a lot of horses to pull all those tons of metal uptown.” At that moment another person replied, “Horses! Never! We shall pull General Lee ourselves.” The idea caught like wildfire and swept through Richmond. The day was set. It was a holiday as everyone poured into the city.In the middle of the street were three large wagons tied together. In front of the first wagon was a rope cable a full block long. Quickly, everyone took hold of the rope. An ex-governor and several millionaires. Rich men and poor men. Whites and blacks. Children with chewing gum. Housewives and society ladies. As soon as the statue was in place, out came hundreds of pocketknives as the crowd cut off small pieces of the great rope.

For days after, everywhere in Richmond, a man would pull out his little piece of rope, hold it up, and say with great pride to his friends, “I had hold of the rope. Did you? Did you?” As our great Scottish Rite moves forward, may each of us say, “I had hold of the rope.”


From Northern Light, November 1979, Page 6:

'A New Height of Vision

We stand on the threshold of a new decade. The 1980’s lie before us untarnished but filled with unanswered questions. As Americans, we seem to have grown more apprehensive as we approach a new span of time. Perhaps we can recall the tension and turmoil of just ten years ago that filled the streets of our cities and covered our college campuses.

No one could possibly imagine what was to be unveiled in the 1970’s: governmental scandal; renewal of relations with the largest nation in the world after an interval of 30 years, and resumption of travel, cultural exchanges, and trade; a rising standard of living, crippled by uncontrollable inflation, and an energy crisis which threatens to turn our packed superhighways into vacant ribbons of concrete.

Who would have dreamed, ten years ago, that the decade of the 1970’s would become a period when increasing numbers of Americans, long known for their feelings of brotherhood and goodwill, would be dominated by a “what’s-in-it-for-me” attitude. Basking in the attention of others has become the credo of too many of our citizens. As teacher and writer, Christopher Lasch proclaims, for modern Americans “the world is a mirror, whereas the rugged individualist saw it as an empty wilderness to be shaped to his own design.” Shaping the world has given way to being shaped by it.

Twenty-five years ago, many read the book 1984, by George Orwell. In it, he pictured a population controlled by computers and drugs, blindly following the dictates of those in command. He portrayed a nation of brainwashed, passive citizens who were totally dependent upon the government for their daily existence. Now, as we begin the decade of the 1980’s, we are just a few years away from that fateful year of 1984. It is time to ask ourselves some serious questions: Is what Mr. Orwell predicted in fact coming true? Are we destined to become robots, the pawns of those who feel they know best how we should live and think?

Just over a year ago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn came to Harvard University to deliver what has become a famous graduation address. He said that “a decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days.” Many attacked this refugee from Communism for his remarks. But that has always been true of the prophet who dares to sound the alarm and call people to their senses. Mr. Solzhenitsyn concluded his remarks with what we must do to restore our society to sanity and freedom. What is required is “a spiritual upsurge.” He said, “We shall have to rise to a new height of vision . ."

A spiritual upsurge and a new height of vision is needed as we enter this new decade. Having fun is no substitute for hard work and personal responsibility. Being entertained is no substitute for devotion to the service of others. Getting all you can is no substitute for the nobility of generous and sacrificial giving. And doing what is easiest is no substitute for doing what is right.

These ideas may seem to many to be “out of step with the times.” If that is true, then so is Freemasonry. We are deliberately “out of step with the times.”

In the early 19th century, General Benjamin Lincoln, an outstanding Mason, went to make peace with the Creek Indians. One of the tribal chiefs asked him to sit down on a log. Then he was asked to move and then to move again. The request was repeated until the gen­eral was at the very end of the log. The Indian said, “Move further,” and the general replied, “I can move no further.” At that point the Indian chief said, “Just so it is with us. You moved us back to the waters and then ask us to move further.”

Society has pushed far enough! Freemasonry has a mission to uphold the values, the ideals, the moral and ethical insights which have long given strength to men’s lives. It is time to recognize that we are at the end of the log. We can move no further. The strength and vitality of Freemasonry is called into action. Our great fraternity is a source of unending stability amid what seems to be almost total disruption. The traditions which every Mason honors give guidance and direction for living at a time when many men wander aimlessly in life, following this infatuation and that fad. In a day when morality is painted in endless shades of gray, we are called upon to stand up and say, “That’s not good enough.”

As Masons, there are three goals for which we strive and to which we dedicate our lives.

The first of these is the importance of improvement. It was Charles Dickens who wrote, “It is in the nature of things that a man cannot really improve himself without in some degree improving other men.” It is not accidental that architecture was chosen as the significant symbol for our great fraternity. More than anything else, the Gothic cathedral represented the possibilities of perfection. We reach higher only when our eyes are on the highest. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the English poet, was once talking with a man who told him he did not believe in giving children any religious instruction whatsoever. His theory was that the child’s mind should not be prejudiced in any direction so that reaching maturity, he could choose his religious opinions for himself.

Coleridge did not say anything at the moment, but after a while asked his visitor if he would like to see his garden. The man said he would and Coleridge took him out into the garden, where only weeds were growing. The man looked at Coleridge in surprise and said, “Why, this is not a garden! There are nothing but weeds here.” Coleridge thought for a moment and then commented to his friend, “Well, you see, I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself and to choose its own production.”

As we continue to improve ourselves in Masonry, we are indeed improving life. We know from history that without ideals to guide us, the garden of a man’s life will not grow into a place of beauty.

Second, our Masonic responsibility is to set an example. Observers of modern life note that there are few heroes for our young people to follow today and those they do admire are almost always from the world of entertainment. These are strange heroes, some of whose lives are often marked with false sincerity, possibly drug-induced performances, a lack of fidelity and a self-centeredness that defies bounds.

As Masons, we are different. We are committed to excellence in our lives and we are not willing to compromise ourselves for the sake of popularity. One time, the great German mathematician, Karl Gustav Jacobi, was asked why he decided to spend his life at work in such an obscure field. He replied, “For the honor of the human spirit.” That is the reason why we, as Masons, give our lives affirming our beliefs in moral conduct, brotherhood, and compassion. We do it for the honor of the human spirit.

Brother Benjamin Franklin was perhaps one of the most creative of all Americans. His accomplishments continue to inspire us. One time, he wished to interest the people of Philadelphia in street lighting, but he did not try to persuade them by talking about the benefits of lighting. Rather, he hung a beautiful lantern on a long pole over his own door. Each day at dusk he would polish the glass as he lit the wick. Quite soon, his neighbors — one by one — began placing lights in front of their homes. Before long, the entire city of Philadelphia recognized the value of street lighting. Benjamin Franklin lit the darkness. He set the example. That is still the task of Masons in our world today.

Finally, our Masonic mission is to realize that the future rests on our shoulders. Our Puritan forefathers have often been criticized for being stern, rigid, and uncompromising in their attitudes and beliefs. But as the centuries have passed since those early settlers built the Massachusetts Bay Colony, other qualities of the Puritans have been discovered. In the midst of an awesome wilderness, they stood firm. In the most trying of circumstances, they overcame monumental difficulties. It was not that they were so stern as much as they were faithful to their beliefs. It was not that they were so rigid as that they were devoted to building a strong, lasting community. It was not that they were inflexible in their ideas as much as they were determined to survive in a hostile world.

The Puritans knew that the future rested squarely on their shoulders. They took responsibility for their actions and they practiced a discipline that led to accomplishment. As someone has said, wisdom is knowing what to do. Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it. That is our Masonic call to greatness.

The importance of improvement, setting an example, and shouldering responsibility for the future are our Masonic goals. And where will it all end? In brotherhood. What we build today will endure. This is our hope and our faith.

In the late 19th century, a Member of Parliament traveled to Scotland to make a speech. Arriving in Edinburgh, he took a carriage to the town where he was to speak. But along the way, his carriage was trapped on the muddy road. To the rescue came a Scottish farm boy with a team of horses. Quickly, the carriage was pulled free. The politician asked the young man what he owed him. “Nothing,” said the lad. Asking him again, the young man still refused to accept payment for his work. Then, for a few moments, the Englishman and the farm boy talked. The distinguished gentleman from London asked the young man what he would like to be when he grew up. The boy’s face brightened as he told of wanting to become a doctor. Over the years that followed, the Englishman helped make it possible for the Scottish lad to go to the university.

A little more than a half-century later, on another continent, a world statesman lay dangerously ill with pneumonia. Winston Churchill had been stricken while attending a wartime conference in Morocco. But a new wonder drug was given to him. It was called penicillin and it had been discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming. Dr. Fleming was the young Scottish boy, and the man who helped sponsor his education was Randolph Churchill, the father of the Prime Minister who recovered because of Dr. Fleming’s miracle drug.

What you and I do today as Masons to build a better world will be returned manifold to our children and to all mankind.


From Northern Light, November 1980, Page 8:

In the Cause of Mankind

“In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security.” These words could have been spoken last week or last year, or at the turn of the century. Actually, they were written by the great historian, Edward Gibbon, in the latter part of the 18th century as he reflected on the fall of the great culture of Athens.

“In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security.” wrote the author of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. “When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.”

I am sure you will agree that there is no more essential subject for discussion today in our nation than the issue which Edward Gibbon described over 200 years ago. The problem continues to plague us today. It is the major source of the difficulties facing our society as we move toward the end of the 20th century. And, in a very real way, it may be the most important issue facing the future of mankind. Simply put, freedom fails when a people decide that it is their right to take and not to give; when they reject the need to be responsible for their own lives.

Although we continue to look for reasons to explain moral laxity, the decline of productivity, a wholesale falling away from a belief in the traditional values, we do not have to look very far. Whenever a people think it is better to be dependent rather than independent, they arc throwing away their own freedom. A recent American visitor to Russia went to Moscow’s Trans-Siberian railroad station. Since he knew the Russian language, he began talking with several people. Finally, one woman came up to him and spoke rapidly for a few seconds. At first, she thought the well-dressed gentleman was in the city for meetings of the Communist Party. When she found the man to be an American, she said, “The Party has never done anything for me!”

Tragically, that is the temper of the times, not just in totalitarian countries, but the same atmosphere seems to be spreading like a dark cloud across the free world, too. The frame of mind of far too many people is found in the words of that Russian woman. Whether it’s the government or the company, the idea is rampant that others have the obligation to take care of us. When this happens, we cease being free.

Speaking of the recent graduates from our schools and colleges, James Reston of the New York Times (May 13, 1980) described the young men and women leaving the halls of learning this way:

“Unlike their fathers, they don’t have to face a military draft and unlike their grandfathers, they don’t have to face a world war. Their problem is that they have to face freedom and the complications of freedom. . . .”

More than anything else, it is freedom and the complications of freedom that are causing people to deny a love of liberty and to rush toward total dependence.

It was historian Arnold Toynbee who wrote, “When civilizations fail to meet the challenges of their times, they stagnate, decline and die.” That truth should not escape us and neither should the words by Cyrus, King of Persia, who spoke to his followers after capturing Babylon in 585 B.C. This is what he said: “To have been once brave men is not sufficient; it is harder to hold what you have gained than to have gained it.”

As we look back over the last 200 years of American history, we can see one frontier after another fall before the force of dedication and determination. Our people conquered the uncharted and rugged West. We built railroads across an entire continent. We created an industrial machine whose might has never been matched. We educated the young and found answers to medical mysteries that dared to destroy the lives of millions. In a very real way, we came, and we conquered. The end result was abundance and hope for millions of people.

Then just at the time when all appeared to be well, the vitality seemed to wane. We no longer wanted to work and struggle. We wanted society to take care of us. “In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security.” Perhaps we have not learned that it is more difficult to hold what we have gained than it was to have first gained it.

Now, the frontier is before us again. Perhaps it was always there. But we are discovering it anew. There are new lands to explore, new mountain ranges to conquer, new enemies to challenge our strength and determination.

Speaking to the honor students at Fort Hays State University in Kansas, the vice-president for academic affairs, John D. Garwood, concluded with these words:

“The real frontier of America today is that of recapturing what was once the American myth, the American dream—a lifestyle committed to integrity, honor, values which motivate and elevate the society, a community of interests, a concern for the other person, a love of country, an abiding interest in its purposes and dynamics, and a desire to make the world a better place to live. . ."

In a very real way, this is the message of Freemasonry. Deeply committed to a spiritual understanding of man, but without the theological controversy that seems to injure so much of the religious life, Freemasonry possesses the inner richness that affirms a vital renewal of life. At the same time, Freemasons appreciate the love of liberty, but are again free from the political factions that so often mar the beauty of freedom.

Today, Freemasonry stands on the human frontier. We continue to be the heralds of freedom and the exemplars of independence. At every point, we ask ourselves the essential questions of life. What am I? Whence come I? And, whither I go? Continually, we seek the Light—and then more Light. We are conscious of our imperfection, of our limited knowledge, of our need for further understanding. This is our pledge as Freemasons; we shall continue in the Light!

Professor of Management Jeffrey Timmons of Boston’s Northeastern University was asked to describe the successful small businessman. More than anything else, he feels that these individuals seem to be driven by the need to exceed their own past performance, not the performance of others. That’s our Masonic motivation, too. We strive for new heights, to do better and to believe that it is always possible and within our power to move beyond our past achievements.

The distinguished medical doctor and explorer, Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, a man of genuine inner strength, once commented that “real joy comes not from ease or riches, or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile.” That is the secret of life that is known to Freemasons everywhere.

It is our belief in doing something worthwhile that has inspired the efforts of the Scottish Rite schizophrenia research program. Bringing light to the darkness of a devastating disease is our goal.

It is our belief in doing something worthwhile that inspires our commitment to the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage. We are bringing the light of our nation’s heritage to shine upon the lives of thousands and thousands of people each year.

It is our belief in doing something worthwhile that motivates us to make it possible for young men and women to obtain a quality education in journalism and international relations through our Abbott scholarships. This year, students from twelve colleges and universities are benefiting from this commitment.

It is our belief in doing something worthwhile that can cause us to see the possibilities in an even stronger Scottish Rite. With determination, a positive attitude, and intense effort, we are moving into a new era of growth. It can happen— and it is happening in a number of states and many Valleys — because the leaders have made a commitment to move forward.

More than anything else, it is our belief that self-improvement has a ripple effect on the world in which we live that motivates our actions. “It is in the nature of things that a man cannot really improve himself without, in some degree, improving other men.” These words by Charles Dickens tell the story of Freemasonry. The lives of four and one-half million Masons in the world are making a difference!We are not only builders; we are architects of life. Will Durant, the great historian, asks this question in his volume, The Age of Faith: “Who designed the cathedrals?” Referring to the grand period of Gothic construction, Durant answers his questions this way:

“The architect would not receive that title till 1563; his medieval name was ‘master builder,’ sometimes ‘master mason.’ ” He was the one who, “no longer sharing in the physical work, submitted designs and competitive estimates, accepted contracts, made ground plans and working drawings, procured materials, hired and paid artists and artisans, and supervised the construction from the beginning to the end.”

The task of every Freemason is clear! We are here to shape life with the values of honor and integrity, of hope and good will. We are here to set the standards and keep them high. Our job is never done! I would remind you that the future will be built with plans drawn of selfishness or care and concern. Let the future be constructed with our goals and our determination! Our job is not easy, but it is worthwhile.

It is said that few men have been as concerned about their personal reputation than was Daniel Webster. He could not tolerate his character being even slightly tarnished. To those gathered around him at the time of his death, he wanted to make certain that he maintained his honor. Among his last words were these:

“Wife, children, doctor, I trust on this occasion I have said nothing unworthy of Daniel Webster.”

In the days ahead, the highest and best is demanded of each of us. If we meet the challenge; if we remain faithful to the call of leadership and service; if we stay true to the Light, I assure you that the world will be a better place in which to live, and you and I will have done nothing unworthy of Masonry.

May it always be said of us that “in the end, more than they wanted security, they wanted freedom,” and each one gave his best in the cause of mankind.


From Northern Light, November 1981, Page 8:

Facts Don't Speak For Themselves

Last January 20, President Ronald Reagan captured the spirit of America when he said,

“You meet heroes across a counter — and they’re on both sides of that counter. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their values sustain our national life.”

He was talking about leadership — the single most important issue facing our nation today. From our Capitol in Washington to the local Masonic lodge, the issue is leadership.

We have come through many decades of living in a dream world. We went to sleep as a people. We were lulled by noble words which caused us to believe that we could not solve our own problems. We were not strong enough to bear our own responsibilities. We were not big enough to stand up to the pressures of the times.Now, we are awake from our deep sleep. The problems are still there. And, more and more of our people are recognizing that it takes more than billion dollar programs to make America strong. It takes personal responsibility and it takes leadership.

The historian Carl Becker has written that “left to themselves, facts do not speak, left to themselves, they do not exist, not really, since for all practical purposes there is no fact until someone affirms it.”

Think about it for a moment. “There is no fact until someone affirms it.” That is what leadership is all about. Television sets do not affirm facts. Newspapers do not affirm facts. Computers do not affirm facts.

I am sure you will agree with me that we cannot separate the future of our great Scottish Rite from the future of our nation. They are interrelated. Both need our leadership.

There are several facts that each of us as Scottish Rite leaders can affirm wherever we are today. If we avoid them, it is quite possible that we will harm both our society and the Scottish Rite.

The first fact is the power of creativity. While some critics claim that our nation has fallen behind in industrial strength, it is clear that there is a creative energy within American industry that can meet the challenges of the times. The flight of Columbia this past spring should indicate to anyone anywhere that America’s creativity is still the greatest in the world.

Within our Scottish Rite, we must unleash that same creativity. But, it will take determination and dedicated leadership to do it.

When I hear it said that “you can’t get men to work on committees anymore,” I am disturbed. We tend to ask the same ones year-after-year. It takes our best creative efforts to go out and find men with special interests, skills, and talents. They are there. And, their interest in Scottish Rite is closely related to the effort we make to involve them.

We need to initiate a new sense of creativity in our programs and activities, too. It takes strong leadership to make changes. Yet, with new ideas, there will be new interest among our members.

That same creativity should carry over into our newsletters, communications and publications. There are times when I think we just change the dates and photographs and year-after-year issue “carbon copy” publications. What do the members think when these arrive in the mail? Could it be that they say, “Oh, I’ve seen that before”?

Creativity can be applied to the development of membership. With less than 40 percent of the Master Masons in the N. M. J. as Scottish Rite members, there is a huge opportunity in every Valley. I have never met a member who was not proud of being in the Scottish Rite. It is this strong sense of pride that can appeal to thousands and thousands of Master Masons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.

Putting our creativity to work in membership growth means setting goals and working to see that they are met. It means training membership committees so they can be effective.

The Scottish Rite opens Freemasonry’s door ever wider. It enhances a man’s life because the 32° is a source of personal pride. Every Master Mason deserves a personal invitation from your Valley to join the Scottish Rite.

While we are talking about creativity, we must put our minds to work bringing the message of Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite to our communities. We need to be more involved where we live As always, the proof of our Freemasonry is in the quality of our work.Masons with skills, experience, and a commitment to brotherhood should be demonstrating their concern for life where they live. In other words, we need to do everything we can to raise our Masonic visibility.The volunteer spirit is lagging in America. The willing hands that did so much to improve community life in years past are no longer at work. Now, more than ever, it is time for us to go to work and meet the needs of young people, senior citizens and families.Maybe it is also the time for our bold, creative leaders to establish Masonic “Big Brother” groups as an adjunct to DeMolay. Masons can offer so much to boys and young men. Certainly, the qualities that make a man a Mason need to be communicated if we are to have men of character in the future. Of course, we must continue to support and guide DeMolay; that is our first responsibility. But we should use our creative efforts to meet the wider needs of youth, as well.

There is a creative spirit in our Scottish Rite. That is a fact beyond dispute. But facts must be translated into reality. Facts do not speak for themselves. It takes men — it takes you and me.

The second fact is that of philanthropy. In Freemasonry, we often talk about our charities. The word “charity” is not as popular as it was some years ago. In the minds of many, it has come to mean “a handout.” That is a tragic mistake. Charity is born of brotherhood. In the best sense of the word, a charitable man is one who possesses a deep feeling for service to humanity.Perhaps the decline of charity has come about as a result of the government taking over so many programs and services. This may have been done in the name of efficiency, but a high price has been paid. As a people, we have come close to losing a sense of personal responsibility because we no longer believe that we are needed. Hopefully, we are now back on the track in our nation. Billions of dollars do not build brotherhood. It takes individual, personal concern to really solve problems.

That is why our Supreme Council Charities are so very important. Our Schizophrenia Research Program is the most prestigious professional research effort in its field in the nation today. Every Scottish Rite Mason can have a personal sense of pride in the almost 50 years of service of this program.In the very same way, our Abbott Scholarships in journalism and international relations are helping to insure high standards in these two important professions.

And, our Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington continues to grow in national importance as a history museum. We dare not forget that this is one of the most impressive undertakings of any organization in the country. At the museum and library, Scottish Rite Masons have but one goal: to build pride in America.

Our Supreme Council Charities are strong, vigorous efforts by Scottish Rite Masons to build a better world. That is a fact. But it remains for us to make that fact a reality in the lives of our members.

We believe in charity because we believe that we have a responsibility—a personal responsibility—to the world in which we live. All of us can be proud of our accomplishments. It is that sense of pride which you and I must communicate to all our members so that they, too, can come to feel that as Scottish Rite Masons they are sharing in the improvement of life.

The final fact that does not speak for itself is that of loyalty. Loyalty is not gained by signing a sheet of paper. It must be affirmed in a man’s life and when it is, loyalty emerges as fidelity, as faithfulness. When it comes to the integrity of our country and the Scottish Rite, both depend on loyalty for their survival.

Any break in our Masonic sense of loyalty is to betray our fraternity’s great ideal of brotherhood. As leaders of the Scottish Rite, we must be willing to always make certain that our ideas and actions, as well as our goals, aim at creating a renewed sense of fraternity within the Masonic family. That is our Masonic duty and responsibility, and that is what it means to be a Masonic leader. Without faithfulness to each other, the power of Freemasonry is diminished.

Loyalty is not an outdated sentimental word. It is the heart and soul of a sense of fraternity. Without loyalty, we have no brotherhood; without loyalty, we are divided; without loyalty, we are weaker individually and as an organization. We need each other and that is a fact that we must not forget!

The facts do not speak for themselves. They must become alive through each of us. Whether it is the boundless power of creativity that is within our Scottish Rite, the philanthropic spirit, or the affirmation of loyalty, these great facts must be spoken through our lives.Our task has never been more important. The story is told of a man who came upon what appeared to be the early stages of a major construction project. He asked one of the workmen what it was that he was working on.

“I’m shaping these stones,” came the reply, “so they will fit perfectly when I lay them on top of the other.”

A few minutes later, the man asked the same question of a second workman nearby. This man looked up and pointed to a stretch of his completed work.

“As you can see, sir,” he said, “I’m building a wall.”

Finally, the passerby came to a third man, who appeared to be doing the same work as the first two men. Curious to hear what his response would be, he asked also what it was that he was doing.

This man stood up and proudly said, “I’m building a cathedral.”

As leaders of the Scottish Rite, we are not just fashioning an organization. We are not simply engaged in making reports and serving on committees. We are building the cathedral of life. More than anything else, it is that fact which must come alive in our lives and the life of our entire membership.


From Northern Light, November 1982, Page 8:

The New Spirit

Over the years and down through the decades, we have all heard people talk about having "faith in the future." Whether it be at a graduation ceremony, the dedication of a building or the inauguration of a political leader, Americans have always believed that the future would be brighter and better.

It was Charles Kettering who said, “You will always underestimate the future,” while an inscription on a Paris monument reads, “No one can forbid us the future.”

Certainly, over the past four or five decades we did not forbid ourselves from thinking that the future would automatically become better and better. Although there were many voices urging us to take caution about where we were going as a nation, most people cast off such doubts as the meaningless musings of doomsayers.

In 1976, for example, one prominent thinker, Daniel Bell, wrote about what was happening in our society. Commenting on the idea that more and more people were expecting more and more from life, he stated, “What is clear is that the revolution of rising expectations, which has been one of the chief features of Western society in the past 25 years, is being transformed into a revolution of rising entitlements for the next 25.”

Few people listened to these words of caution. Yet, we now know that Dr. Bell was quite correct in his observation. Millions of people have come to believe that they are automatically entitled to just about everything, no matter what the cost may be, no matter the inconvenience to others, and no matter what effect their demands might have on the well-being of our nation as a whole.

In the past several decades the idea of “my rights” have replaced the idea of “my responsibility.” The idea of “my demands” have replaced the idea of “my duty.” The idea of instant gratification has replaced the concepts of hard work and achievement.

I am sure that you sense a strong change abroad in our land today. We realize that we can no longer rush forward in the future mindless of the implications of our actions. There is a new spirit among our people. We are hearing words spoken that have long been forgotten, such old-fashioned words as quality, productivity, dedication, effort, and even sacrifice. We have discovered that we can no longer live by our illusions; we must look at life with realism.

You may say that this “new spirit” is not new at all. It has been the inspiration of our people for over 200 years. We have just mislaid our heritage and we have turned aside from our trusted ideals. Whatever the situation, we are headed in a new direction and we are being guided by a new spirit of determination.

As Freemasons, I am sure we are pleased to see a return to values which have been tested by time. As Freemasons, I know we want to see more and more people assume personal responsibility for their lives.

What is more important for us is to recognize that no matter what happens in our society, we will remain faithful to our beliefs, loyal to our traditions, and true to our values.Although we often speak of those who went before us, the operative Masons, we easily forget their commitment to the task at hand. They did not work on the construction of the great cathedrals for a few months or even a year or two. Many of our early Brothers spent their entire lives building a single structure, while others never lived long enough to see the end of their efforts. For them, it was the task of building that counted: for them it was the quality of work that was important, for them, it was the fact they were involved in the creation of an enduring monument that gave their lives significance. They made their contribution and that was all that was important.

The new spirit in America should be led by Freemasons across our land. We are today’s “operative Masons” when it comes to lending our hands to the job of building that spirit in the lives of our people. Like those whose work became the model for speculative Masonry, we must be willing to do what we can now for the building of a society that honors effort, achievement, and the enterprising spirit. We may not see the completed structure of our commitment, but that is not important. Our job is to remain true to the task and to build with new determination.

As Scottish Rite Masons each of us can be proud of our building. Long before there was vast governmental funding for research into the causes of mental illness, the Supreme Council had established the Benevolent Foundation to be used for the schizophrenia research program. Then came huge federal budgets for research. We continued our efforts with the growing support of our Scottish Rite members. Now, we are seeing funds from government dwindle away. But we are still there as we have been for the past 50 years. We are still working, still supporting the commitment we made back in 1934. The times may change but we are true to the task – we continue our building. This year, more than ever, the schizophrenia research program needs our strong support.

In the very same way, we took upon ourselves a decade ago to create one of the nation's outstanding history museums. We believed that it is the responsibility of the people of our nation to preserve our country's heritage. And that is why we created our Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library in Lexington. This great institution, known as the Museum of Our National Heritage, has emerged in a very short period of time as one of the most significant history museums in the country. Year after year, it attracts attention from both leaders in the field and from the general public who feel that we are making a major contribution to ur national life through the Scottish Rite Museum and Library.

It is obvious that our Scottish Rite Masons sense a great pride in the building of this institution because they continue to give to our building and endowment fund.

In the case of the schizophrenia research program and the museum and library, we must tell the story more effectively so that our members will respond to the "Blue Envelope" Appeal. It is with these funds that we fight the battle of mental illness; it is with these funds that wer are able to tell the story of America and Americans.

In the very same way, we have established Scottish Rite Family Life Week as an important program both for the Scottish Rite and for the public. This November, we will have the second annual observance of this event. I am very pleased to report that there is growing interest in making Scottish Rite Family Week a significant occasion in the lives of thousands and thousands of people.

Throughout the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, there are committees hard at work making plans that will carry the message of the family to millions of Americans. We are making a contribution to the quality of life in our country that defies mesasure. The effects will long be felt in the lives of our people.

Our nation looks to us for leadership. As Freemasons, we have the ability to be the builders; ours is the opportunity to carry the new spirit across the land.

When President Andrew Jackson was finishing his second term at the White House, various politicians were trying to sound him out on his choice for his successor. At first, the President was quite noncommittal. He did not seem to want to reveal his sympathies. The friends of John C. Calhoun became hopeful for their candidate. On one occasion, some of them visited the White House to push for Jackson's support. Finally, the President indicated that he was in favor of Martin Van Buren. Even that statement did not stop Calhoun's friends. One of them asked the President, "General, who then is your second choice?"

Said Old Hickory, growing impatient and his eyes flashing with excitement, "By the Eternal, sir, I have never had a second choice in my life."

Like President Jackson, we have no second choice, Today, our first choice must be to dedicate ourselves anew to the vast task of building a stronger America, strengthening Freemasonry throughout our land, and committing ourselves to bringing a new spirit of hope and destiny to the people of our nation.


From Northern Light, November 1983, Page 8:

The 'Big' Opportunity

The great truths of life are not always found in the words of great thinkers. They sometimes appear in rather unlikely places. One of our nation’s best known cartoonists is Ted Martin. For years, the readers of The New Yorker have enjoyed the way he could capture significant ideas with a few words and a simple picture.In one cartoon, Ted Martin shows a man sitting in a chair in a hallway of an office building. Two other men are watching him and one says to the other, “That’s Ted Mason. He’s waiting for his big opportunity.”

I don’t need to tell you that there are Ted Masons everywhere. They have been sitting and waiting for years, and a decade from now they are likely to still be there. They are waiting for someone to hand the “big opportunity” to them. They wait and wait and wait and nothing ever happens.

Contrast the cartoon with what Dr. Harold W. Dodds, the biblical scholar, once wrote:

“It is not the fast tempo of modern life that kills, but the boredom, a lack of strong interest and failure to grow that destroys. It is the feeling that nothing is worthwhile that makes men ill and unhappy.”

The “big opportunity” for Freemasons across our land is to become a driving force for optimism and hope.

Earlier this year, President Reagan voiced the thought ever so well when he said, “The task that has fallen to us as Americans is to be the conscience of the world, to keep alive the hope and dream of freedom ...”

I would remind you that the task that has fallen to us as Freemasons is to be a conscience of our communities and our country. Our task is to continually remind ourselves and each other that freedom, individual aspiration, brotherhood and justice are not just ideas — they are the real opportunities. They always have been and they always will be.Our legacy to future generations is not to sit and wait for the “big opportunity” to come to us. Our legacy is our initiative, our vision, and our willingness to be men of action.

Our task is not easy. We will always be surrounded by those who see dark clouds on the horizon; by those who cower in fear before the forces of evil. Our task is not easy. It is far easier to be a pessimist. It takes no effort to be overwhelmed by what is wrong in the world. It takes no effort to complain about how things have changed for the worse. It takes no effort to read the depressing headlines of the daily newspaper and to deplore what appears to be the trends of the times.

When asked what his town was noted for, a native of a small Ohio community replied, “Why, it’s the center of everything. You can start here and go anywhere in the world.” This must be our message as Freemasons to America. That is our “big opportunity.”

In the Scottish Rite, we have a tradition of “starting here” and going far. In 1934, when our Dementia Praecox Research Program was established, the hope of helping those suffering from the terrifying effects of schizophrenia was little more than a dream. There was little interest in schizophrenia research outside a small group in the psychiatric and medical community. Yet, Scottish Rite Masons rallied to the cause. In the past 50 years, we have given nearly $9 million for research through our Schizophrenia Program. We seized the opportunity and monumental progress has been made in the treatment of this devastating mental disorder. Great things have been accomplished because of our optimism, our hope, and our support along with other major research funds.

It was just 11 years ago that the idea of a permanent bicentennial gift to the American people brought forth the beginning of our Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage. Even when the doors opened in 1975 — less than ten years ago—no one could have imagined how far we could go. No one knew what could be accomplished in the magnificent new building in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Yet, the optimism and hope were there. And, this fall, the Museum and Library will be the site for one of the most outstanding exhibits on Abraham Lincoln outside Washington, D.C. The Museum and Library has achieved a reputation as one of the notable history museums in the United States. This has happened in a few short years simply because of the optimism of Scottish Rite Masons. No other organization in our country, to our knowledge, has dared to reach so high. With nearly 100,000 visitors a year coming to the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage, we literally started where we were and went around the world!

It is obvious that Scottish Rite Masons have come to believe in the opportunity presented by the Museum and Library. In the last few years, $2 million has been given to the Endowment Fund through the Patriot’s Award, George Washington Award and The Order of the Double Eagle programs. The “Keeping Faith With Freedom” wills and bequest program has attracted hundreds of responses from members who have pledged to include theMuseum and Library Endowment Fund in their wills. They have seen the opportunity and they have seized it.What all this means is that the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage is destined to be a vital, alive, and growing center of hope as it portrays the greatness of America over the coming years.

In this regard, I want to express my personal appreciation for the support our members have given to the 1982-83 Blue Envelope Appeal for Supreme Council Charities. I am delighted to report that the number of gifts increased by nearly 22 percent over the previous year and the total amount given increased by 10 percent. This is the largest increase in recent memory. This is an important accomplishment because it means that more and more of our Scottish Rite members are discovering the opportunities that are ours as those who have a direct responsibility to be a conscience of our communities and our country.

At the same time, the members of our Scottish Rite are to be congratulated for their positive response to our Scottish Rite Masonic Family Life Week program. Thanksgiving Week this year will mark the third annual observance of this event. It is evident that the theme, “Bringing Us Closer Together,” is needed in our nation.

But Scottish Rite Masonic Family Life Week is more than another occasion. It represents our Masonic commitment to the family. Threats to the family are everywhere. There are some who would have us believe that the family is out-of-date and out-of-step with the times. I don’t believe it and neither do you. Doctors Peter and Brigette Berger of Boston are two of the foremost authorities on the family and they don’t believe it either. Here is what they have to say, “The family, and no other conceivable structure, is the basic institution of society. If we have learned anything from the tumultuous activities surrounding the family in recent decades, it is that there are no alternatives, no substitutes, no matter how well intentioned or attractive they may appear at first sight. The prestige of the family must therefore be restored.”

That’s what Scottish Rite Masonic Family Life Week is all about. Our goal — our only purpose — is to work as hard as we can to help restore the prestige of the family!

The Scottish Rite and Freemasonry are on the move. We are responding to the opportunities and we are going from where we are toward the far horizon.Two rather distinguished but down-and-out men were sitting next to each other on a park bench. “The reason I failed is that I refused to listen to anyone.” “That's funny,” said the other. “The reason I’m here is because I listened to everyone.”

The reason you and I are here and not on a park bench lamenting lost opportunities is because we have listened to the voice from within. We have heard the voice of conscience and we are following where it leads.A few months ago, the great actor James Stewart went home to Indiana, Pennsylvania, to celebrate his 75th birthday. Over 3,000 people greeted him outside the courthouse. Speaking to them, he said,

“This is where I sort of made up my mind about certain things. About hard work being worth it, about community spirit, about the importance of a family, about the importance of God and the church.”

Let us make up our minds. Then, with optimism and hope let us be ready for the opportunities that wait for us as men, as Americans, and as Freemasons.


From Northern Light, November 1984, Page 8:

Meeting the Challenge

The ability to meet a challenge is the true test of a man's character. Whether it’s getting up “Heartbreak Hill” of the annual Boston Marathon or facing an aggressive business competitor, the way you and I choose to deal with the difficult, tells the story of our lives.

All of us have watched comer grocery stores close their doors and disappear. Coal yards and ice houses are all but gone. Local motion picture theaters have become few and far between. The famous Linotype machines are found only on our nation’s scrap piles.

Home movies which were popular for four decades are virtually a relic from what now seems to be the distant past. The family doctor who came to our homes with his little black bag has been replaced by “storefront” medical centers.

Many years ago, I heard a man say that he was going in the typewriter repair business because there would always be a need for his services. Today, we are told that within a few short years, the typewriter may very well be as uncommon as coal yards.

Yet, many men are meeting the challenge of change. Many who once trucked coal began transporting fuel oil. And they are successful today. Some neighborhood grocery stores became thriving specialty food shops. And some owners of typewriter businesses are now selling and servicing computers.

It takes courage. It takes conviction. And it takes a belief in oneself and one’s abilities to face an uncertain future with an unswerving sense of self confidence.

As Freemasons and members of the Scottish Rite, the challenges are before us. How we respond will be a test of our commitment, our concern, and our belief in the principles of our great Fraternity.

I firmly believe that we live at the moment of opportunity when it comes to Freemasonry.

Listen to this startling news item. It has just been reported that by the time children in our country get to be six years of age they have already spent more time watching television than they will ever spend with their fathers in their lifetime! Is it any wonder why so few young people understand the meaning of personal responsibility? Is it any wonder why so few have an appreciation of the importance of work? Is it any wonder family life is in a state of disruption?

One of the major factors hurting business in our country is a lack of quality. We buy a product and many times it is defective right from the start. Over and over we hear it said that “nothing works right today.” But the problem is not just with products. How many times do people say to you, “I’ll call you back.” And they never do. Over and over again, appointments are made but never kept. “I’ll be there on Thursday at 10,” we’re told. No one arrives. What is most tragic is that we are coming to accept lower standards of performance in our society. Whether it is at home or in business, as Masons we are challenged to set the highest standards. We believe in excellence. We believe in reaching for the best. Our goal is to be outstanding, not just average. Ours is a commitment to quality. Today, more than ever, our society needs us.

Over the past few years, the well-known United Technologies Corporation has published a popular series of advertisements in the Wall Street Journal. In part, one of those “advertorials” reads —

“The greatest waste of our natural resources is the number of people who never achieve their potential. Get out of the slow lane. Shift into the fast lane. If you think you can’t, you won’t If you think you can, there’s a good chance you will. Even making the effort will make you feel like a new person. Reputations are made by searching for things that can’t be done and doing them. Aim low: boring. Aim high: soaring.”

The writer of that ad didn’t realize that he could be talking about Freemasons. We are what men need today. We represent the qualities and values that are the very strength of our nation. The time is long overdue for us to communicate our message. If a man is thirsty, dare we deprive him of water? If a man needs help, who among us would not give him our hand? If our society is suffering, would we be so rude as not to come to the rescue?

The challenge before us today is to meet our opportunities. Those around us must come to see and feel Freemasonry. In the words of a famous commercial, it is time for us to reach out and touch as many lives as we can. This means that we must communicate more effectively with our members and let them know the difference Masonry and the Scottish Rite is making in men’s lives. In many places we are doing a good job remaining close to our members, but we can do better.

In the same way, we have the greatest pool of talented men ever assembled into one group. We should be utilizing this vast resource for the improvement of life where we live. Maybe we should adopt-a-school in a community and help with the education of the young. If we really believe in the future, we have a responsibility to youth.

Maybe we should be recognizing those around us who are achieving the best in life, who are working to make the community a better place to live. Maybe we should be letting others know that we value excellence. Maybe we should be taking advantage of the technological revolution. Almost every community has cable TV today. This “electronic newspaper” opens the door of opportunity for us to tell the story of our charitable work, our commitment to youth through DeMolay, Rainbow Girls and Job’s Daughters. It is an opportunity for us to focus on the Masonic family.

We must aim high—and soar!

We are making great strides forward. We are particularly proud of the fact that more of our members are responding to the annual “Blue Envelope” Appeal. In the past two years, we have had a thirty-seven percent increase in the number of members who are giving their support. In five years, we have gone from 23,000 gifts to almost 40,000. We’re aiming high and our members are responding.

This year our goal is to show a twenty-five percent increase and reach 50,000 gifts. Can we do it? The answer is — Yes! The future of our remarkable work in the field of Schizophrenia Research depends upon it. The ability of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage to meet the challenge of portraying the story of our great nation depends upon it. The education of our future leaders depends on our ability to provide scholarships.This coming year marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Museum and Library. A decade ago, there were those who had difficulty seeing the vision of a great national institution committed to dramatizing our American heritage. Ten years later, that vision is a solid reality!

We will also be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Program. Today, that program stands as the premier program of its type in the world. To be a recipient of a Scottish Rite Grant is a distinct honor in the scientific and medical communities.This fall we will observe the fourth anniversary of the Scottish Rite Masonic Family Life Week from November 18 to November 24. “America’s Strength — The Family” is our theme this year. The importance of this program for every member of the Scottish Rite and millions of Americans living in the fifteen states of the Northern Masonic Jurisidiction was recognized this past June when the prestigious Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge awarded the Supreme Council its Principal Award for community programs in the United States. This honor is an indication of the impact which Scottish Rite Masonic Family Life Week can have on the lives of so many people.

Although we are pleased with the achievements of our Valleys in creating significant Family Life Week programs, we can still aim higher. And, in 1984, that is our goal.

More than anything else, we are men of achievement. We reach for the goal of greatness, honor, and brotherhood. We must work to remain closer to members, to tell the story of Freemasonry, and to further strengthen the programs of the Supreme Council. And, as we build, there are lessons to be learned from the past. One of the best kept secrets of ancient Rome was the medieval trade in building materials.For almost ten centuries, the Roman marble cutters made a business of excavating ruins, dismantling old buildings and digging up pavements to use as building materials for new construction. As the demand grew, so did their activity. The sacking of Rome by the Goths, the Vandals, the Saracens and the Normans was no match to the violent demolition of historic buildings brought about by the marble cutters. They destroyed the past in order to build for the future. But in so doing, they cut-off people from their heritage. Men could no longer keep in touch with their heroes or the splendor that was once Rome.

The lesson for us as Freemasons is clear. We are here to build upon the past. To reflect in our values, our character, and all our actions, the moral and ethical imperatives which have allowed men to aspire to the heights of freedom, understanding, and justice since history began. We are messengers of Light.

For some, I know, the task must seem never ending or even impossible. But so much is at stake. We must persevere. In the words of a boxer who was determined to endure —

“Fight one more round. When your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the center of the ring, fight one more round. When your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands come on guard, fight one more round. When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack one on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round. Remembering that the person who always fights one more round is never whipped.”

We will continue to build. We will continue to fight. And, if we really think we can reach for greatness that greatness is in our grasp.


From Northern Light, November 1985, Page 6:

The Best Is Yet to Be

The years pass ever so quickly and so has the decade which I have had the honor of serving as your Sovereign Grand Commander. If there is a lesson all of us have had to learn over the years, it has been the need to recognize that we live in a world of change.

Even though we may long for days now gone, we know that the future belongs only to those who have the vision and vigor to meet the challenges of tomorrow. In this final report to you as your Sovereign Grand Commander, I have no intention of dwelling on the past. As Freemasons — as members of the Scottish Rite — we are men fit for the future. If my years as Commander have taught me anything, it is simply that the best is yet to be.

I am forever grateful for your kindness and generosity, for your loyalty and patience. I will always remember your support, your cooperation, and your willingness to move forward on behalf of both Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite. Most important of all, it has been your friendship that has sustained me in the demanding responsibilities of the office of Sovereign Grand Commander.

Now the time has come to pass the office to my successor who will always have my unqualified support. Now is the time to look forward, not back. Now is the time to consider new possibilities, not past accomplishments. Now is the time to dream new dreams, not idealize old ones. It is time to realize, once again, that the best is yet to be.

“The president," said Woodrow Wilson, “is at liberty both in law and in conscience, to be as big a man as he can." Together, you and I must give our new Commander both the encouragement and the opportunity to become as big a man and leader as he possibly can. That will be my goal and 1 know it will be yours too.

Clearly, the future is up to us. The times in which we live place extraordinary demands on Freemasonry. More than anything else, there is a need to motivate men to a renewed sense of morality. Our society is plagued by a lack of moral leadership. Of course, it is easier to go along with the times. In fact, it is not only easy but it is happening all around us.

Our task as Freemasons is to be the conscience of mankind. We must strive for the best in ourselves, but we must also serve as leaders for the immense job of motivating men to live by the highest moral standards. That is the greatest honor we can bring to Freemasonry.

In the same way, we have an unyielding responsibility to our nation. We have always been committed to the necessity of freedom. It is the cornerstone of Freemasonry. Unless there is freedom, no man can grow and develop and assume his individual responsibility. It is this dedication to freedom that caused us to build the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage. And it is our devotion to the maintenance of freedom that must urge us forward to make certain this great institution is forever strong and vital. Much of my time over the past decade has been devoted to building a great endowment fund for the Museum and Library. Thanks to your time, effort and support, we are well on the way to making certain it will always be free to tell the story of America. We can be pleased with our progress, but we still have many miles to go before we dare rest.

The ten years since the Museum and Library opened its doors on April 19. 1975, have demonstrated how well this institution can bring to life our nation's legacy of freedom and hope. Now. all of us must be ready to increase our commitment to its mission and message. Our Benevolent Foundation’s Schizophrenia Research Program is one of the most vital forces in the elusive search for answers to mental illness. All of us can be justly proud of the role which this venerable charity plays in giving support to some of the finest scientific minds in our nation and other countries around the world. Our Masonic belief in the ability of knowledge to cure human ills continues to power this prestigious research effort. The first of our new Scottish Rite Scholarships for Masonically-related students have been granted. The response from our members across our 15-state Jurisdiction has been tremendously enthusiastic. Over the years ahead, many a young person will be able to take advantage of opportunities in higher education because of these scholarships.

Whether it is our Supreme Council Charities, our growing Family Life Week program or any of the almost endless humanitarian activities of our 112 Valleys, we are harnessing our moral resources for the building of a better, stronger and freer society. That is our mission as Scottish Rite Masons.Yet you and I must always ask ourselves if the world would be any different without Freemasonry. That is the only way for us to evaluate our effectiveness and make new our commitment to the future.

There are those who say that strong leadership depends upon the ability to command power. Yet I would remind you of the corruptibility of power and the tragedies committed in the name of authority. True power rests with the ability to influence human lives for the better. As Freemasons, our role is to use our moral leadership to inspire men to follow the path of integrity, honor, justice and brotherhood. Today, that task requires great personal courage.

Although few Americans recognize the name Walter Hunt, industrial historians claim that this man was one of our nation's few authentic geniuses. (Editor's Note: Bro. Maxwell is not talking about me.) Walter Hunt was a brilliant inventor. Some say he was responsible for more practical and successful inventions than any other American who has ever lived. Born in 1796, Walter Hunt died in poverty and practically unknown, even though he is credited with inventing the fountain pen, the rifle, the sewing machine, the paper collar, and burglar and fire alarms.

First designed when cotton became scarce during the Civil War, Walter Hunt's paper collar was looked upon as a joke. But by the early part of this century, nearly forty years after his death, over 400 million paper collars were being worn each year in the United States alone. In 1834, inventor Hunt designed the first lockstitch sewing machine. Even though he thought it had potential, he never did anything with it because he felt it would put too many people out of jobs. He may have been extremely creative, but he lacked the ability to see how many jobs the sewing machine would create over the years.

In the same way, Walter Hunt is given credit for designing the breechloading, cartridge-firing rifle. Nevertheless, the honors go to the man who marketed the rifle — Oliver Winchester. Instead of becoming rich and famous, Walter Hunt died penniless and dejected. Many people have wondered why this could have happened to such a brilliant man. There are those who feel that Walter Hunt suffered front a great weakness that marked his entire life. They say that he lacked the courage of his convictions. He lacked faith in himself and his ideas.

It must never be said that we are like Walter Hunt. Noble ideals and great purposes are without merit unless they are translated into action. Without faith in Freemasonry and confidence in ourselves, our words and our ceremonies are useless.

Therefore, I leave you with this brief message. If Freemasonry and Scottish Rite are to grow and flourish: if men are to be given the opportunity to discover the richness of the Craft; if the best is yet to be for our great Fraternity, then let those who come after us be able to say, “These were men of great vision. Because they saw the possibilities, they met the challenges and overcame the obstacles. Because of their dedication and their deeds, they led Freemasonry forward.”



Grand Masters