Volume LIIIMay 2006Number 2

Highlights from the Annual Grand Communication in Hershey, Pa.

Snippets from Grand Master Aungst's Banquet Speech

Ladies, Brethren, Family and Friends:

"Our Family of Freemasonry is not only 125,000 strong, but is multiplied many times over when we count those special loved ones in each of our lives who share our bond and love for this great fraternity. "

"Throughout my term, we will have many open presentations, events and programs so that our loved ones can join in and participate in these meaningful events. Masons have long been elusive to the public and even to those who are closest to us, creating misunderstandings about who we are and what we value and represent. The stronger our families are, the stronger Freemasonry becomes and the better we can become Masons Helping Masons."

"This is a term you will hear over and over, because it is my passion and my charge. We have lost focus on what's most important in our commitment to one another. The more we support and care for one another, the stronger our unity, the better equipped we are to reach out and help others. We are a charitable fraternity, one that is matchless in its history and philanthropy. Let's show the world that we also are unparalleled in our solidarity and Brotherly love, toward one another and in our devotion to helping those who need our charitable works."

"I have learned that life is a series of opportunities. I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve as your Grand Master, and in that role, I intend to be just that - a servant to my Brethren, to my family, to my community and to my God. It is my goal to use the blessings and gifts that have been given to me, along with the guidance of Brethren and friends whom I am so thankful for, to lead this fraternity as Masons Helping Masons."

Showing Support for our
Veterans and Brethren in Need

R.W.P.G.M. William Slater II presented Bro. Richard E. Fletcher, Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association (MSA) and R.W.P.G.M. of the Grand Lodge of Vermont, with a $20,000 check for the MSA's hospital visitation program to continue its mission to care for our veterans who served this great country. He also presented a check from the Masonic Charities Fund to MSA in the amount of $79,500 to be divided equally among the Grand Lodges in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to assist Brethren affected by Hurricane Katrina. During the ceremony, Bro. Fletcher also recognized Bro. Slater with a plaque for his assistance, cooperation and contribution to support the MSA and its hospital visitation program.

2005 Pennsylvania Franklin Medal Recipients

The Pennsylvania Franklin Medal was created in 1979 to honor distinguished Master Masons for their outstanding service to the Craft in general and Pennsylvania in particular. It has been awarded sparingly since then, maintaining very high standards for its presentation, and including among its recipients some of the most renowned Freemasons of our time. It is worn with Masonic regalia on formal occasions.

The medal bears the likeness of Bro. Benjamin Franklin, Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1734 and in 1749. The work of sculptor Donald DeLue, this rendition appears on the front of the solid gold medal, which is suitably engraved for the recipient on the reverse side and attached to a purple neck ribbon.

Dr. Elvin G. Warfel, Educator, and the Rev. Dr. Charles H. Lacquement, Grand Chaplain, Retired Director of Pastoral Services for the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, were awarded their medals during the Grand Master's Banquet.

R.W. Grand Master Aungst leaves his Installation, flanked by his sons, Ryan, Grand Sword Bearer, and Ron Jr., Junior Grand Deacon. The U.S. Marine Corps Officer Presentation Grade Sabre that Bro. Ryan Aungst carried during the ceremony was presented to Grand Master Aungst by James A. O'Connor, D.D.G.M., on behalf of District 21. The prestigious saber was given as a testament to his leadership, honor, integrity and virtue.

Brother Jay G. Brossman traveled from Colorado to present a check to R.W. Grand Master Aungst, and to demonstrate his continued support of the Grand Master's Masonic Temple Initiative.

R.W. Grand Treasurer, Jeffrey W. Coy; R.W. Senior Grand Warden, Thomas K. Sturgeon; R.W. Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr.; and R.W. Deputy Grand Master, Stephen Gardner, prepare for the ceremonies.

R.W. Grand Master Aungst kneels with his sons, Ron Jr. and Ryan, and his brother, Sam R. Aungst, Grand Steward, during a special prayer given by Rev. Dr. Charles H. Lacquement.

R.W. Grand Master Aungst greets his friend, Ronald L. Mitchum, Grand Master of Masons in South Carolina, who spoke on behalf of the visiting dignitaries.

William Slater II, R.W.P.G.M.; Joseph E. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Masonic Villages; and Donald L. Albert, R.W.P.G.S., were presented with their medals during the Annual Grand Communication.

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