|Volume LVII||January 2010||Number 1|
A Lasting Impression
As a young man fresh out of college, Bro. Allen Breed, North East Lodge No. 399, Northeast, took a job with General Electric (GE). This career choice greatly impacted his life, leading him to meet his wife, Becky, transplanting him to a foreign country and introducing him to the Masonic fraternity.
Originally from Boston, his work with GE sent him to Erie, where he met Becky on a blind date. Her father, the late Bro. Dr. James Andrew Merle Russell, was a Mason in Commonwealth Lodge No. 695, now Tyrian-Commonwealth Lodge No. 362. While residing in Pennsylvania, Bro. Breed made the decision to join the Freemasons, which led him to join the Scottish Rite, Shriners and the Royal Order of Jesters also. He has served as Commodore of San Francisco Shrine Yacht Club and Director of South Bay Shrine Comios.
When asked what it means to be a Mason, Bro. Breed simply said, "It's an association of men which you just can't describe with words. The result is a feeling of oneness."
GE transferred him and his wife, their two sons and their daughter to Tokyo, Japan, for two years, which was a good experience for the family. It encouraged their children to become interested in foreign travel and world affairs, according to Becky.
They ended up in Saratoga, Calif., where Bro. Breed retired. Their home, much warmer than Erie, is close to Silicon Valley and is a sister city to Muko, Japan. Throughout their worldwide travels, the Breeds have returned to Japan several times since residing there.
Boating and sailing kept Bro. and Mrs. Breed busy in their retirement, but they recently passed their boat on to one of their sons. They enjoy being active in the local community and their church, and Bro. Breed also belongs to the Sons of the American Revolution.
During a reunion trip to Becky's alma mater, the University Pennsylvania, the Breeds toured the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.
"It was fabulous," Bro. Breed said. "Walking through the museum and seeing George Washington's apron was outstanding."
"Historically, it's one of the greatest things in Philadelphia," Becky said.
Several years ago, Bro. Breed received his 50-year Emblem of Gold from then-Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., while attending a reception hosted by Bro. Alvin H. Blitz of the Masonic Charities of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for Pennsylvania Masons in the San Francisco area. Bro. and Mrs. Breed then approached Bro. Blitz about establishing several charitable trusts to provide them and their children with substantial income for their lives with the remaining funds to be given to the Masonic Temple.
In appreciation for their significant and generous gift, Bro. Blitz suggested Allen and Becky consider choosing a location in the Masonic Temple to be dedicated in memory of Becky's father, Dr. Bro. Merle Russell. After reviewing their choices, the Breeds determined that the most fitting location they desired was Ionic Hall. Named for its Ionic order of architecture, the hall features pillars finished in cream-tone ivory with capitals enriched with gold, vermilion and blue. The ceiling of Ionic Hall represents the blue vault of heaven. In the center blazes the mid-day sun, surrounded by the planetary signs and signs of the zodiac.
Despite living across the country, the Breeds continue to be inspired by Freemasonry in Pennsylvania. Their support of the fraternity's beloved and majestic Masonic Temple will perpetuate the building's lasting impression on visitors and Masons from around the world for generations to come.
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