Volume LIVMay 2007Number 2

A Message from the Grand Master

Brethren:

Since we opened the front doors to the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia in December, we have seen a great increase in the number of visitors interested in touring our National Historic Monument. This flow has generated increased revenue and has allowed us to add an additional tour guide and a receptionist to welcome our members, as well as the public, during the day. In fact, this year we plan to stay open on Saturdays in July and August, so keep this in mind as you plan your summer vacations!

One of my goals for the Masonic Temple is to make it a meeting place where lodges want to come for both social and fraternal functions. For many years, we have used the same caterer for all of our events; now, we are entertaining contract proposals from numerous caterers so we can offer services on numerous levels. We also are making some dynamic changes to our Temple Treasures gift shop under the leadership of Mrs. Carol Alfe, our new gift shop manager, such as a new computerized system for the cash register which allows us to process credit cards and maintain better inventory. We also are analyzing our merchandise to ensure it is of interest to various individuals. Much of the success in this transition also can be attributed to the efforts of Andrew Zellers-Frederick, executive director of The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania.

Bro. and Judge Seamus McCaffery presents a donation for the Masonic Children's Home to Ronald A. Aungst Sr., R.W. Grand Master.
In my role, I am fortunate to meet many outstanding brethren who give generously of their time and resources, not only to our fraternity but to the betterment of our communities. One brother who stands out in my mind as an extraordinary example is Brother and Superior Court of Pennsylvania Judge Seamus McCaffery, who is well known for his selfless community service. Recognizing the strong feelings caused by the legislative pay increases for judges in July 2005, and yet believing strongly that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's rulings must be respected, Bro. McCaffery accepted his new salary. Instead of benefiting personally, however, he has donated his net pay increase to several charitable organizations for children, including a generous contribution to the Masonic Children's Home in Elizabethtown. He embodies my vision for Masons Helping Masons, and exemplifies our fraternal benevolence and commitment to helping others in need through his dedication to community service.

We have many exciting events coming up in the next few months, which are featured in this issue. The June Quarterly Communication will be held on June 30 in Pittsburgh, and I am looking forward to a great attendance. During my term I have held the Quarterly Communication in eastern, central and now western Pennsylvania so members across the state have the opportunity to attend at a nearby venue.

The Grand Master's Charity Mini Grand Prix will benefit the Masonic Children's Home, as well as the Grand Master's Charity. Held again this year at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown on June 2, this is always an exciting event full of fraternal and family fun. Autumn Day is scheduled for Sept. 15, and this year the highlight will be the dedication of the new Veterans Memorial, which will provide us an opportunity to honor all veterans, past and present. Also in September and October, the Grand Master's Charity Golf Tournaments will be held in the eastern, central and western parts of the state to benefit our various Masonic Charities. Fore!

I strongly encourage all lodges to make a donation to the Temple Initiative by the June Quarterly Communication or soon thereafter, so we can continue our restoration efforts and other enhancements as I've described above. While some lodges can afford to give more than others, I believe that every lodge can contribute something through the proceeds from a pancake breakfast, a pie sale, chicken BBQ or other fund raising event. This magnificent Temple belongs to all of us, and therefore we must take ownership to ensure its future.

How can YOU be creative in supporting our Masonic Temple?
Sincerely and fraternally,

Ronald A. Aungst, Sr.
R.W. Grand Master

Establishing Bi-lingual Lodges

Brethren:

I have been approached by a few of our members who have expressed an interest in performing Masonic work in a language other than English, such as Spanish or Polish. We already have two German-speaking lodges within our jurisdiction who have formed a strong bond of brotherhood through their shared heritage. If you would be interested in forming a similar club or lodge of brethren, please contact the Membership Services Office at (215) 988-1901 or E-mail so we can determine the level of interest and possibly help brethren of similar heritage connect with one another.

Sincerely and fraternally,
Ronald A. Aungst, Sr.
R.W. Grand Master

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