• If you took the PILM exam in July or early August, please contact ctdcompton@aol.com with your contact info.

A Message from the MSA of N. America – Hurricane Harvey

Disaster Appeal For Texas

The entire Gulf Coast of Texas was deluged with high winds and rain from Hurricane Harvey, setting records for rainfall from any single storm anywhere in the continental United States. Extensive building and property damage, electrical outages, unhealthy conditions caused by flooding, and widespread disruption of normal living conditions has occurred.

The Grand Lodge of Texas has requested this Disaster Appeal, to assist their many brethren who have been injured or who have received extensive damage to their homes from Hurricane Harvey.

Please forward to the MSA such donations, which you feel are appropriate to help our devastated Brothers, their families and others in this stricken Jurisdiction.

For donation options and to read the full post, click on the link below:
http://www.msana.com/msappeals.asp#texas

UPDATED 9.1.2017 – An update on our Grand Secretary

Brethren,

I spoke with the Grand Secretary, MWB Sam Roberts this morning and he wants everyone to know that he is doing great.  As you may have heard, he had to be readmitted to the hospital on Wednesday due to a complication at his incision site.  Basically, he developed a blood clot and pseudoaneurysm in his leg.  The doctors have gotten him tuned up and ready to go home, so he anticipates that he will be released today.  He wanted me to tell everyone that he appreciates all of your thoughts and prayers.  He hopes to spend a quiet Labor Day weekend at home with Vickie and their cats, resting and recuperating.

Fraternally,

Clint Brown

Assistant Grand Secretary

 

Where’s Sam?
Sam is lounging at home, in his jammies, when he really should be working. The bum!

Many Thanks
Vickie and I are overwhelmed with the calls, messages, texts, emails, thoughts and prayers from everyone.  Such an out pouring of concern and wishes for recovery makes us realize just how truly blessed we are.  So many friends and people that are sincerely concerned are irreplaceable and more valuable than anything else in the world, and we bask in the light of all the love.

Sooooooo,  what happened?
Friday was just another normal day at the office… until about 9:45 or so. I had a banana for breakfast about 15 minutes earlier and as sometimes can happen with a banana, it might not make it all the way down. What began as a simple case of heartburn, was just that, until it intensified to be a bother. The cold sweats and then the streams of perspiration were the first real indicators that maybe it’s not the typical bout of indigestion. A concern that it might be painful to faint and fall to the floor convinced me to beat the rush and just pick a piece of carpet for myself.

Thinking that it wouldn’t be a good idea to get myself a cold compress, I prevailed on VWB Clint for his assistance. He IS the Assistant Grand Secretary after all. That seems to have gotten the attention of the Staff. Now while I have a large office, it’s not big enough for the party that seemed to be gathering. Sharp continuous pain in the center of my chest resting on top of the beer gut, and difficulty breathing seemed to warrant a 911 call. Thanks to everyone that supported the last EMS levy because the Boys in Blue were there in a jiffy.

A couple of things for note. 
One: It’s only when you may be in a bit of distress that people, especially strangers, want to ask you forty thousand questions. And because they don’t share, people standing right next to each other generally will ask the same questions over and over.  What’s worse is, because I look (or is that act?) much younger than my actual age, they all think you are a fibber and will ask your birthday at least a hundred times. And when you are having chest pains and trouble breathing, you might not get the exact number of years right.

Two: When they begin to insert the stents, sometimes the heart has a tendency to do some funny stuff.  Well, if you are awake, and they break out the paddles, and you hear charging noises and the words “Clear”, my recommendation is to get up and leave or ask to be put OUT.

By the way, I’ve included a picture of my heart taken at the hospital, but most people knew about this already.

 

 

 

 

 

Readers Digest Version
Where Sam had a 100% blockage in the frontal coronary artery, he now has 2 stents. The electrocardiogram has found two more arteries with 80% blockage and another near the speed limit (except in Seattle). We will check in with the surgeon in 4-6 weeks, and schedule the triple by-pass surgery that will be required. For now, I am home and feel fine.  I’ll gradually return to work this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just to let you know that nothing has really changed, I am including my Statement of Availability with this Messenger.

Memberships and Affiliations
Stints are US
Royal Order of Stints
You Stint!

Offices, Committees and Task Forces
Heart of rock, and we are not talking rhythm
Wardrobe Trend Setter

Skills
None that anyone can think of

Philosophy
Modified from Dr. P. when talking about surgery and life style changes, “One has the surgery so that one does not have to make the life style changes.”

Thanks to everyone for everything,  Sam

Secretary, Treasurer and Temple Board Training

Dates have been added to the 2017-18 Secretary, Treasurer and Temple Board Training schedule.  This is a great opportunity for anyone who is currently serving in one or more of these positions or is thinking about making themselves available in the future.  The Grand Secretary along with members of the Leadership Training Committee will be covering topics such as the new Grand View Database system, 990’s, Audits, Monthly reporting and Year End reporting.  To sign up for the free training, please click on one of the location options below.  Additional dates and locations will be added as they are confirmed.  Lunch will be provided at each training for a donation:

Secretary, Treasurer and Temple Board Training – Bellingham, WA – October 7, 2017

Secretary, Treasurer and Temple Board Training – Sequim, WA – October 14, 2017

Secretary, Treasurer and Temple Board Training – Kennewick, WA – April 28, 2018

You may also enroll by calling Chantal at the Grand Lodge office (253.625.7891).

Rainbow Girls Color Walk – September 10th

The annual walk/run will be held on Sunday, September 10th, 2017 and will start at 9:00am.  The kids dash will begin at approximately 8:45am.

Registration fee is $40

The RBO Color Walk provides money for scholarships to Sultan and Monroe High Schools and provides donations of bikes to the Sno-Isle public libraries for their Bikes for Books literacy program, as well as the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls WA-ID annual service project for 2017-2018, the Fred Hutch Cancer Center. Enjoy the scenic route along the Skykomish River, wooded Al Borlin Park, and historic Monroe.  All profits will be donated to Sultan-Monroe Masonic Lodge #160, serving the community since 1907, and the WA-ID Rainbow Girls.

Grand Lodge Messenger – Grand Master’s Special Edition (4th Quarter)

YOU HAVE A JOB TO DO

Our Annual Communication is just around the corner. This will be your opportunity to exercise your responsibility to set the future direction of our Craft. 

We have three Resolutions that have been carried over from last year’s Annual Communication. Lodges have put forth seven Resolutions for your consideration, two of which have been deemed out of order. In addition, I am making six recommendations.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 1 (2017-8): To eliminate the usage of the Masonic Retirement Center auditorium for any purpose.

As the facility is presently on the market for sale, this precludes the availability of the auditorium.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 2 (2017-9): To permit the use of video recording during a Grand Lodge Trial.

Video recording would result in instant availability of the record of trial proceedings and would be a valuable tool, in conjunction with the written transcripts and audio records, to permit rapid response to appeals.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 3 (2017-10): To clarify the Grand Lodge Trial Committee’s duties and to eliminate a conflict regarding who imposes the penalty after a verdict of guilty in a Masonic Trial.

It needs to be clear that the job of the Trial Committee is to investigate, consider, conduct, report, and make a recommendation to the Grand Master. It is then the Grand Master’s duty to take the appropriate action.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 4 (2017-11): To redefine the name and purpose of the Military Recognition Committee.

The general idea behind this Resolution is to shift this committee from one that doles out plaques to one that works with Washington Masonic Charities to provide assistance and support to our veterans. I think it was best put by VW Jim Tourtillotte: We need to make sure that we don’t forget the kid who went to Iraq, came back messed up, and disappeared to the family farm in Washtucna never to be seen again.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 5 (2017-12): To bring uniformity in the Cornerstone Ceremony.

When the Alternate Cornerstone Ceremony was developed, the part of the Master Architect was eliminated. I believe that this part is vital to the ceremony, and should be reintroduced.

Grand Master’s Recommendation No. 6 (2017-13): To provide the Grand Master the option of appointing a Deputy of the Grand Master for a third consecutive term.

When I joined the Fraternity some 20 years ago, there were more than 30,000 members. Today, there are around 12,000. Over the years it has become increasingly difficult to find Brethren willing and able to serve as Deputy of the Grand Master. The demands of this job have become numerous and extremely weighty, and we must not get into the habit of appointing a man just because it is “his turn”. This recommendation will allow present Deputies the ability to identify and train those Brethren who are not quite ready, but may benefit from a year of training vs. being thrown into the fray. Several Jurisdictions already place no term limit on the position of Deputy (or its equivalent). This resolution is about giving our Grand Lodge the ability to develop future leaders.

Ask questions. Listen carefully to the answers. Look well to your ballot, and vote for the good of Masonry.

 

CAN YOU WIN THE GAME IN THE 4TH QUARTER? 

It may be human nature to ease up as one approaches the end of a journey, but the old track athlete in me needs to just plow forward, lower my head, and push my hardest through the finish line. I was coached to run through the tape, so I have and so I shall.

One of the great highlights of this 4th Quarter was being received as Grand Master at the recent DeMolay Conclave. It was an overwhelming and emotional experience. As I stood at the altar being presented and introduced to the young men of DeMolay and their advisors, I found myself flooded with memories of my time as a DeMolay.

I remembered falling in love with the idea of being part of an organization that had a goal of making me a better son, a better brother, a better friend. I recalled with great fondness the camaraderie that DeMolay offered. I harkened back to the ritualistic ceremonies and the lessons they imparted. I married a Job’s Daughter, consider a Rainbow Girl to be my oldest and dearest friend, and am a charter initiate of a Masonic Lodge named after the founder of DeMolay. The Masonic Youth experience in many ways defines who I am.

This is why the “One More” initiative was introduced. Each of us has a responsibility to “Be the Difference” in the lives of our Masonic Youth. It is well to remember that our youth may someday be the future leaders of not only our Fraternity but potentially of our corporate or government sectors. We owe it to them and ourselves to provide the mentorship and guiding example that will allow them to reach their fullest potential so that they can Be the Difference in their little corner of the world. Just ask MW Carl Smith if it was worth his time to be a DeMolay advisor.

Every Grand Master will tell you that he looks forward to his District’s Meeting during his term of office. The Brethren are particularly excited to welcome one of their own, and the Grand Master is filled with the entire gamut of emotions. Such was the case at the District No. 13 Meeting.

At the District No. 13 Meeting I found myself in the presence of one of my DeMolay advisors, the Past Grand Master who signed my high school diploma and gave me the gift of Masonic curiosity, the founding father of my home Lodge, and the Past Grand Master who has always been there with guidance & counsel. I am proud to call District No. 13 home. We may be loud, but that’s how we proudly roll.

I had occasion to speak with the folks at Puget Sound Honor Flight to see if they might carve out some time at an upcoming arrival so that I might present another check from the sale of my lapel pins. They were very accommodating, but little did I know that I was being set up.

To be sure, a check presentation was made, but only after they presented our Grand Lodge with a plaque recognizing not only our contributions of money but also of our time. Over this year, I have asked for your money, but I have also asked for your time. I’ve asked you to attend the flight departures and flight arrivals. You have done so, and have hopefully felt the same life-affirming experience that I have. I’ve heard it said that our support of the Honor Flight program has been one of the best things our Grand Lodge has done. I am hard pressed to disagree.

While I’m on the subject of doing great things, I have a question. Have you ever wondered what motivates your Brethren? How about an invitation to change their little corner world, to “Be the Difference”. When you give your Brethren the opportunity to “Be the Difference”, their lives and membership in the Fraternity take on deeper meaning and significance.

For the past few years, the Brethren of District No. 19 have been a primary sponsor of the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Great Strides Event. The inspiration behind their sponsorship is Levi Johnson, son of our Grand Standard Bearer WB Gordon Johnson. Levi has struggled and lived with CF, and is a shining example of what happens when one does not let the disease define who they are.

The Brethren of District No. 19 proudly call themselves “Levi’s Uncles”. They host a charity dinner in support of the fight against CF and are the number one fundraising team at the annual Great Strides Event – not to mention that they grill up some tasty hot dogs for the run/walk participants. To the Brethren of District No. 19, CF is not just another charity. It is more of a noble cause, a rallying point that brings them together to improve their little corner of the world – to “Be the Difference”.

In 1980, the Brethren of Thornton F. McElroy Lodge, No. 302 thought enough of my scholarship and community service to award me one of their scholarships. My tenure as an elected Grand Lodge officer has granted me the opportunity to attend several presentations to deserving students throughout our Jurisdiction.

At one such presentation, as part of the application process the students were presented with this query: Name a Mason who has inspired or influenced you. There were predictable responses like George Washington and Ben Franklin, as well as outside the box responses like Joseph Smith and Prince Hall. There was also an unexpected response of Jim Mendoza. The young student who put forth my name got a hold of my biography and stated that she was impressed with my efforts in the fight against breast cancer and with my support of the Honor Flight Network.

As I listened to this young lady, I found myself thinking “folks are paying attention”. Brethren, it is well to remember that when we hold ourselves out as Masons that brings with it Great Expectations to Walk the Talk Every Day in Every Way. I get it. It’s not easy. You stumble along the way, but you persevere. Maybe that’s why we often refer to Freemasonry as work.

Freemasonry is an incredible smorgasbord, filled with numerous avenues of finding the light which we all seek. It has been a great delight to be part of the events hosted by our Concordant and Appendant bodies. Each event was memorable and left a lasting impression upon my heart. One such event was the Reception of the Grand Master hosted by the Seattle Valley of the Scottish Rite.

The Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) of the Orient of Washington is Ill. and Most Worshipful Brother Al Jorgensen. The Personal Representative of the SGIG in Valley of Seattle is Ill. and Most Worshipful Sat Tashiro. As I sat between these distinguished Brothers, I couldn’t help but think that in many ways they got me started on this journey. I served as Deputy of the Grand Master in District No. 13 under both of these Past Grand Masters. MW Sat has a personal story that inspires one and all to higher thoughts, nobler deeds, and greater achievements. As MW Al was himself a Deputy of the Grand Master in District No. 13 as well as a member of my home Lodge, the idea of holding one’s self to “Great Expectations” takes on a whole new meaning. Most Worshipful Sirs, it is an honor to share in your legacy.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It all started when I was accepted into membership in Frank S Land Lodge, No. 313. To the Brethren of my home Lodge – especially WB Drew Baker and VW Jeffery Brunson – THANK YOU. WB Drew, your vision of creating a Lodge that spoke directly to the younger Mason remains extraordinary. I am so glad to see you going through the line one more time, and it will be my privilege to be in your service. VW Jeff, as the first Worshipful Master of our Lodge you bore the brunt of some unfair criticism from those who may not have understood what we were trying to do, but remained steadfast in your belief that the Masonic experience we were trying to create was the right experience for our membership. I have appreciated your guidance and counsel over the years – particularly these most recent ones. I cherish our friendship, and I am at your call whenever you need me. Drew and Jeff, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not be a Mason today, let alone serve in this office, if it were not for the two of you.

As I close this final Grand Master’s Communicator, I share these words from WB George Washington:

“In reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that you, My Brethren, will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after these years of my life dedicated to your service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion.”

As the clock winds down on this 4th Quarter I have been often asked how I wish to be remembered. That is a question of legacy. My Brothers, it is well to remember legacy is about planting seeds that you may never see produce fruit; it is about writing songs that may be sung by someone else; it is about plans that may take a different direction that what was originally envisioned. Whatever manner I am remembered, as I stated at the beginning, I hope that my time as your Grand Master has inspired you to nobler deeds, to higher thoughts, and greater achievements that allowed you the opportunity to “Be the Difference”.

Richard A. Birkland Memorial Service

Richard (Dick) A. Birkland

April 2, 1940 – May 12, 2017

Born in Tenino, WA and living in Yelm thru his school years, Richard made lifelong friends from an early age.

A man true to his word and no better partner or friend that one could find or have.

He started playing trumpet around 10-12 years old, and by age 13 was playing with bands. After graduating from Yelm High School, he went off to the Navy, and played in the Navy Unit Band #187 where he made more great friendships while serving on the Coral Sea and Yorktown carriers. 10 years ago, he reunited with the band and their wives, and began traveling coast to coast annually, always looking forward to the next year’s adventures. He loved Bowling with more great friends and even a few 300 games!

Richard was a very active Mason that he put his heart and soul into for over 46 years, where he made more great friends. He loved all and put in all he had to do the best always.

He will be missed by many!

He is predeceased by his mother Margorie, his father Alf, and his brother Jim. He is survived by his wife Lois, son Johnny, grandson Jacob, Son Denty, granddaughter Alexa, Brother Erling and his wife Debbie, Sister Mariann Birkland Eakes and he husband Bob, Brother Jim’s wife Kathy, and several nieces and nephews.

Richard’s service will be on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 2pm, at the Scottish Rite Temple, 817 South Vassault St., Tacoma, WA. Everyone is Welcome!

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Washington Masonic Charities, P.O. Box 65830, University Place, WA 98464.

Cards or notes to Lois or the family may be mailed to:

1010  101st St. Ct. E

Tacoma, WA 98445-3145

 

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