A Masonic Tradition Begins in Pittsburgh

asc3Every good tradition has its roots in the past. On Tuesday, March 2, 2004, John A. Brashear Lodge No. 743 continued that golden rule as it marked the initiation of the Milan M. Tomich Masonic Excellence Award. Brashear Lodge developed the award to honor Brethren of its Lodge who exemplify the extraordinary activity of Brother Milan M. Tomich, 33°. His accomplishments in the many arenas of our fraternity comprise a story in itself. Brother Tomich was an unequalled leader and motivator, greatly admired and known throughout Western Pennsylvania.

The award ceremony was scheduled to coincide with the official visitation of District Deputy Grand Master David W. Morgans, together with the officers of the 57th Masonic District. Many of Brother Tomich's friends attended, some traveling as far as the jurisdictions of West Virginia, Florida, Canada, and even Germany, to honor the implementation of the award named in memory of their friend and worthy Brother.

Also present that evening was an impressive contingent from the American Serbian Eastern Rite Brothers. Led by their President, Brother Brian Hayden, they exemplified a support for the event which Brother Milan Tomich, 33° would be proud, as he was a driving force in their important organization. Their Secretary, Brother Michael Mochan, delivered an eloquent biography of Bro. Tomich that left listeners wondering at Milan's energy and drive.

The 2004 recipients of the Milan M. Tomich Masonic Excellence Award were: Bros. Anthony J. Brozovich, Frank R. Kirsopp, and Joseph A. Thomson. Worshipful Master Giulio Magrini, serving as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, summoned each recipient, in turn, to the altar. Following presentation of the awards, a beautiful Masonic tapestry and an orchid corsage were bestowed upon each recipient's wife in recognition of her important role in her husband's Masonic career.

The ceremony culminated with the introduction of a plaque that will hang in perpetuity in John A. Brashear Lodge No. 743 serving as a reminder to every Brother of the purpose of the award, namely, to identify Masonic Excellence from an inspirational source to the success in action of its awardees. The Worshipful Master advised that the higher purpose of the award was to motivate members to model their actions after those whose names are inscribed thereon.

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