I hope all of you are doing well, and your significant others are doing well also.
Here is where I stand on the future with closer of our buildings and meetings. First: We must follow Federal, State, County, and City laws. Second: Our Grand Master has put out an edict on meetings and it must be followed. Third: Common sense.
With these in mind, after June 30th, 2020 every Valley in Oregon, with the approval of the Personal Representative and his advisory group may decide if they will meet, rent, etc. There is always an exception, Portland is the exception in this case; because of the population and also that I live in the Portland area. (Lucky Portland, huh) Our leadership elsewhere knows how things are going in each of their communities, so I am leaving it up to them to make these important decisions.
This is being posted to the Orient Blog-site but your Valley’s should also use methods of communicating with their membership at this time as well.
Thank you for your leadership and God bless you all!
Gary Kuney, 33°
Grand Chamberlain &
S.G.I.G. in Oregon
For your listening enjoyment Circumambulations; Scottish Rite Symbols & Stories.
This series sponsored by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, SJ, “explores the ideas and symbols of Freemasonry, in particular the Scottish Rite Degrees, and supplements them with insight from other historical, cultural and esoteric traditions from around the world.” Hosted by Illustrious Brother Mark Oldknow, 33°, from the Valley of Santa Fe in the Orient of New Mexico.
The role of the workman has been called and, one Master Mason, Brother Lawrence Youmans, 32°, has not answered to his name. He has laid down the working tools of life and with them has left that mortal part for which he no longer has use. His labors here below have taught his to divest his heart and conscience of the vices and superfluity of life, thereby fitting his mind as a living stone for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Strengthened in his labors here by faith in God, and confident of expectation of immortality, he has been granted admission to the Celestial Lodge above. His Brethren mourn the passing of a great man and Mason. He will be missed.
Brother Larry Youmans 32° was born January 4, 1922 in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. He was a lineman for Pacific NW Bell when he moved to Oregon. He served as Worshipful Master of Warren Lodge #10 in Jacksonville Oregon in 1977 and Worthy Patron Adarel Chapter #3 in 1972. He received the Scottish Rite degrees on April 4, 2015 in the Medford Valley. He was also a member Hillah Shriners and served as Potentate in 1989. Brother Larry was involved in numerous Masonic Organizations in his fraternal life serving a leadership role in Blue Lodge Masonry, Shrine Masonry, York Rite Masonry and Scottish Rite Masonry. He died in Medford Oregon on June 26, 2020 at the age of 98 years. Brother Larry has been an inspiration to many area Masons and was a personal mentor to me in numerous Masonic Organizations when I affiliated to Oregon. Brother Larry was a devout ritualist and held to proper form and protocol in all his Masonic service. Brother Larry was a U. S. Navy veteran serving in WWII and the Korean Wars as a crew member of a Destroyer/Gun Boat. He met his lifelong mate Pat Youmans at the end of WWII. They settled down only for Larry to be recalled to active duty in the U.S. Navy five years later, to serve in the Korean War. Since then they were inseparable until his beloved Pat passed nine months ago. He is survived by his three children, Linda DeVenney of Salem, Oregon, Mike Youmans of Madras, Oregon and Susan Wetzel of Medford, Oregon.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later time. Donations may be made to Shriners Hospital for Children in his name.
Fraternally, Bruce A. Kundert, 32* KCCH Personal Representative to the SGIG Medford Valley Scottish Rite
On June 19th, 2020 a statue of Past Grand Commander Albert Pike was toppled from its pedestal in Washington, D.C.
The statue celebrated Pike’s humanitarian successes and his leadership of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. The statue was gifted to the people of the United States in 1901. Even though the Scottish Rite no longer had any ownership rights to the sculpture, this Supreme Council has repeatedly voiced its strong support for any governmental decision to remove the statue, because we recognized that its existence could be a concern among some citizens.
We can never condone unlawful acts; otherwise the foundation of our society would crumble. However, the statue has belonged to the people since we gave it to them more than a hundred years ago. Our prayer is that the removal of the statue can be at least a small step toward healing our nation’s wounds.
As Scottish Rite Masons, we prefer to step forward with our fellow citizens, consistent with the Scottish Rite Creed: Human progress is our cause, liberty of thought our supreme wish, freedom of conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal.
Brothers, For the past couple of months we have been working hard to come into the 21st century. We now have a brand new website for everyone who is interested in the Scottish Rite. There is a lot of useful information included on the website to help those to understand what Scottish Rite is all about, as well as a calendar of events and much more! Please take some time and check it out and give us your feedback on any improvements. This will be an active website and it will be kept up to date with pictures and events. Go to: http://www.medfordscottishrite.com
I wish that we could all be together for the Annual Grand Lodge Communication, but alas, such are the way of things right now. Over the last several months I have done my best to offer you stories of Masonic Light in this time of darkness. I have sent out 32 stories in 75 days, many written or greatly expanded during this time. I hope that I have been able to entertain and educate you about some of the great men and Masons in Oregon History, and given you some ideas for your Lodge Histories.
Today a new Grand Master will be elected and his officers appointed, we wish them all the best of luck in what will likely be another challenging year. Thank you MWB Eggers for allowing me to serve in your Grand Line this year, and thank you Brothers for taking the time to read my ramblings.
For my last act as Grand Historian, for the year, I present WB Joseph A. Sladen 33º. Through his long military career, he was the embodiment of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice. A Peacemaker who worked across the color lines, serving as an office of Colored Troops during the Civil War and helping Gen. Howard bring opportunity and education to former Slaves during Reconstruction. Soldier, Hero, Doctor, and Professor, he repeatedly put himself on the line to bring Peace between Whites and the Native Americans tribes of the west. He left a legacy of service to this country, that rippled through several generations. I started his story with a biography written by Seth Pope, about one and a half pages; with some effort I was able to expand that a bit.
I have also included a Masonic Biography sheet as well. Print it out and fill it in, give one to your Past Masters, heck give one to every member of the Lodge and file them at the Lodge, Brothers in the future will love you for it.
There is a lot going on right now that boggles the mind of the Historian, destructive heavy handed patterns from the past are playing out in front of us again with little likelihood of obtaining anything but the same horrible results. In the interplay between opposing ideas we as Masons are called to a Higher Standard. Yet, in the age of social media many appear unable to restrain their vitriol. We have Brothers on both sides of most issues and I’m sure reasoning is varied. It is our duty to stand up for what we believe, and in this age of lies to stand for the Truth, but when we start down the path of the “other side is evil or stupid or not American enough” (that’s right I see what some of you post) like everybody on one side or the other are the same, we forget our obligations and play into the divisive game that is being perpetrated against all us as a whole. As hyperbolic and divisive rhetoric is thrust upon us, resist it, look at the facts and seek a constructive solution. There is an active effort to divide us at a time when we should be coming together for the betterment of all. Compassion on both sides is needed for understanding. We are called to tolerate the intolerant while defending against the intolerable. While the intolerant just get to be A… We have chosen the harder path. Sometimes I think my head is going to explode, so I remind myself Audi, Vide, Taci si vis vivere in pace and Virtus Junxit mors non seperabit…then look for something constructive to do.
Brethren, as we get back to our Masonic Lodges, be safe, and be careful. Let us be happy ourselves and endeavor to promote the happiness of others. Let the benign Genius of the Mystic Art preside over our dealings with one another and the World. Finally, my Brethren be ye all of one mind, live in Peace and many the God of Love and Peace delight to dwell with you and Bless You.
Sincerely and Fraternally
Michael D. Robinson
(Past) Grand Historian, and Orient of Oregon Scottish Rite Historian
The articles presented here, will likely be put into a book and made available. They can also be found at the Oregon Scottish Rite Blog, as will future articles.