Tuesday, August 16, 2011

As the Fall Reunion Approaches

Brethren and Friends:

I hope this edition finds you and yours well and healthy.

Dues are starting to come in and that is always a good sign. Our Valley survives on the dues paid by our members and of course the efforts of our Trustees. They do a great job and deserve all the credit they can get, especially in today's economy.

While I am on the subject of dues, I've received a number of phone calls and emails in the office regarding the $21 "Assessment" shown on your dues bill. The "Assessment" is your dues to the Supreme Council. Just like your Lodge pays dues for you to the Grand Lodge, we are required to pay dues for you to the Supreme Council. I know the word "Assessment" tends to get folks upset and believe me, I've tried for a number of years to get them to change that to read, "Supreme Council Dues," to no avail, but I wanted you to know what it means.

For many years the Valley had paid those dues for you, but in recent years the Supreme Council has had to increase its dues by $3 per year. This is scheduled to continue until 2014. After much discussion and research into what other Valleys are doing, the Executive Committee voted to keep our dues at the price of $60 plus the assessment.

I know I don't have to tell you that if you are active in the Valley, you get that $60 back plus. To those that have paid their dues already, thank you. To those that have yet to send in their dues, I thank you too, in anticipation of them being received.

Our Fall 2011 Reunion begins on Friday, 16 September, and as of right now we have 15 Candidates for the Class, which is named in honor of our Right Worshipful Grand Master, and Active Member of the Supreme Council, Ill. Thomas K. Sturgeon, 33.

We're five away from the desired 20. Lets get going Brethren, talk to that Brother in Lodge, you know him, you sit next to him at every meeting, or maybe at dinner. Let him know about our Valley and how much you enjoy it and how it could be better if he was there with you.

That evening, Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection, led by our Thrice Potent Master, Ill. Robert J. Burns, 33, will present the 12th Degree, "Master of Mercy," and the 14th Degree, "Grand Elect Mason." The 4th Degree, "Master Traveler," will be presented in the new DVD format.

We will be trying something new beginning with our September gathering as well. As many of you know, our dinners are a great opportunity for our Brethren and Ladies to enjoy each others company and some great conversation. But, we have found that lately, our dinners seem to be taking longer and have caused us to get started later. To try and alleviate this, we are going to have a buffet dinner, rather than our traditional sit down dinner. All the same menu items you love will be there, (yes, that means fish too!) soup and salad will still be available, and we will still have the refreshments at the end of the night. Carving stations will add to the enjoyment of the meal. The meal price will still be $15 per person. The reservation deadline will still be the Wednesday before the Friday evening meeting.

Our Valley's Advisory Committee after meeting with the Caterer, feel that this will speed up our meal and get our evening off to a good start. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Don't forget the bus trip to Autumn Day. Our Sovereign Prince has arranged for two buses, one leaving from Tacony Temple (4400 Magee Avenue in NE Philadelphia) and the other from LuLu Shriners (5140 Butler Pike, in Plymouth Meeting). As of right now, we have sold 9 seats on the bus from Tacony and 5 seats on the bus from LuLu. You know what that means? There's still PLENTY of seats available for you!

Autumn Day happens on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at our beautiful Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, PA.  This annual outing sponsored by the Grand Lodge is one of the highlights of the Masonic year. You can stroll the beautiful grounds, shop the farm stand, visit a friend who is a Village resident, shop the craft stands, get information on the doings of the entire Pennsylvania Masonic family, and enjoy all the FREE eats. The buses leave LuLu and Tacony at 9 AM and leave the Masonic Village at 4 PM. This means NO TOLLS, NO DRIVING, NO HIGH GAS PRICES, LOTS OF SITTING and RELAXING, and FELLOWSHIP with FRIENDS on the bus.

The cost per person is $23, this is the cost of your roundtrip seat on the bus. Valley Members and their families are welcome to attend, but then again, so is that Master Mason friend who you've been trying to recruit for Scottish Rite. I'll bet he and his wife go to Autumn Day every year anyway, so why not invite them to climb aboard the "Scottish Rite Express?" You never know.

Make your check payable to "Scottish Rite Bodies" and send it in to the Office, TODAY!!! For more information click here.

The Board of Governors of the Children's Dyslexia Center of Philadelphia and the Officers and Members of Richard Vaux-Ivanhoe Lodge No. 384, wanted me to remind you about, "A Toast To Reading," on Friday, 28 October 2011 at the William Penn Inn. This event benefits the efforts of the Center and its mission of teaching kids affected by dyslexia to read, for FREE. More information is available here. Check it out. Tell your Lodge or other Masonic body about it as well. Anyone can be a sponsor.

We are in the planning stages of a Holiday Dinner to be held in December. One of the things that we plan to have that evening is a silent auction to benefit the Center. If you can donate an item to the auction, please contact the Scottish Rite Office.

Perhaps you and your wife have a favorite restaurant, why not mention our Center and the auction to the manager? You never know, maybe they'll donate a gift certificate to help the Center.

"Christmas in Hershey" is our next Family Life event. More information and a ticket order form will be available in the September issue of THE DOUBLE EAGLE, but in the mean time you can go here for details.

Well that will do it for this edition. May the Grand Architect continue to bless all of you.

Sincere fraternal regards,

Steven A. Morrison, 33
Valley Secretary

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