Brethren and Friends:
I write this message with a heavy heart in the days following the funeral of our Illustrious Brother, Thomas Hopkins, 33, Past Thrice Potent Master of Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection. Tom's impact on the Valley of Philadelphia was very prominent.
He served as the presiding officer of the Lodge of Perfection in 2010-11 and also served on a number of Valley Committees. He will probably be best remembered however for his work with the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Children's Dyslexia Center. It was through his chairmanship of the annual, "A Toast to Reading," that many of the needed funds to operate the Center were raised.
Our Brother was so honored by the Valley of Philadelphia and the Supreme Council when he was coroneted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33 at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction held at Boston, MA.
Stay tuned for news regarding this year's "Toast" as it will, beginning this year, honor our Brother's work and his memory.
We ask the Grand Architect bless our Brother and be with his family during this most difficult time.
If you wish to send a card or note to the family, contact the Scottish Rite Office for addressing information.
If you were present at the March 16th Special Communication of Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection, you not only saw some great Degree work (Especially the PHENOMENAL Cast that put on the 8th Degree. I was particularly impressed by the performance of the guy that played role of King Hiram of Tyre!), but you also saw the large Class of Candidates we have going through the Degrees. Congrats again to all of them for selecting our Valley to assist them in their search for further Masonic Light and also to our Candidate Recommenders. Great work as always guys!
The aforementioned Class will be back with us for the Spring Special Convocation of DeJoinville Council and the Spring Special Assembly of Kilwinning Chapter of Rose Croix on Friday, April 20, 2012 and you should be there too!
The evening begins with dinner in the Grand Banquet Room at 6PM. A buffet dinner featuring a Roast Turkey Carving Station will be served. The Special Convocation opens at 7:30 PM at which time the 16th Degree, Prince of Jerusalem will be presented. The Special Assembly follows, in which the Officers of Kilwinning Chapter will present the 18th Degree, Knight of Rose Croix.
Before the commencement of the Degree work, we will pause for a moment to recognize two of our Valley's leaders, Illustrious Brothers and Past Commanders-in-Chief, Anthony J. Garvey and G. Kent Hackney, 33. It is appropriate to honor them both on this night as they are both also Past Most Wise Masters of Kilwinning Chapter of Rose Croix. Our Illustrious Deputy, Russell W. Baker, 33, is expected to be with us as well. Come out and welcome him.
Call the Scottish Rite Office at 215-563-1814 for more information or to make your dinner reservations BEFORE the 18 April Deadline!
If you are interested in getting more involved in the Valley or maybe just in learning what might be expected of you should desire to get more active, why not register to attend our Annual Officer's Training Conference on Saturday, April 14th at Tacony Masonic Temple? If you have any desire to serve the Valley in virtually any capacity, there will be something you will glean from the Conference that will assist and enable you to become a DYNAMIC Scottish Rite/Masonic Leader.
The day kicks off at 7:30 AM with a Continental Breakfast. The Conference begins at 8:30 AM and will conclude by 12PM at which time lunch will be served.
All Valley Officers, both elected and appointed are expected to attend. Valley Committee members and Degree Cast members should plan to be there too. If you are interested in attending, call the Scottish Rite Office at 215-563-1814 to register. You can also register through the Valley's Facebook group page by going to either one of the two Conference event postings and click the "Going" button.
Ill. Robert J. Bateman, 33, RWDGM, and the other Officers of Kilwinning Chapter of Rose Croix, hope to see you and your family at the Valley of Philadelphia's Annual Memorial Service on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at Gloria Dei (Old Swede's) Church, Columbus Blvd & Christian Street in South Philadelphia.
The Service which memorializes our Valley Brethren lost over the past year, will again be lead by The Reverend and Ill. William D. Hartman, 33. Bro. Bill always has an inspiring and meaningful message to impart. Following the Service a COMPLIMENTARY dinner awaits you and your family in the Church's Social Hall, but (isn't there always a but?), you must have a dinner reservation. To make a reservation, you can call 215-563-1814, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by going to the Memorial Service event page through the Valley's Facebook group page and click the "Going" button. Remember, if you do not have a reservation, we cannot, will not, can't, won't, and shouldn't guarantee you a meal. Don't miss out!
We have been invited to have a Valley table at the Shiloh Lodge No. 558 Annual Banquet. The banquet will be held on Monday, April 30, 2012 at the William Penn Inn, 1017 DeKalb Pike, Gwynedd, PA 19436. The special guest speaker for this event is R.W. Bro. James W. Daniel, MA,PhD, Past Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England.
The Executive Committee voted not to purchase a table for this event as we have other financial attentions at the moment. However, if any Valley member is interested in going and coordinating with other Valley members to sit together at the banquet as a representative delegation of the Valley of Philadelphia, we can work to put this effort together through the Scottish Rite Office.
The three course dinner (with wine) is for Masons only. Jacket and tie are required. The choice of entree is Capon Marsala or Blackberry Barbecued Pork. The cost per person is $40. Make your check payable to "Shiloh Lodge No. 558." Contact the Scottish Rite Office for addressing information. DO NOT SEND ANY CHECKS FOR THIS EVENT TO THE SCOTTISH RITE OFFICE.
The Valley's next big Family Life event is right around the corner! Well, actually right over the river! The Valley's Family Day at Campbell's Field featuring the Camden River Sharks vs the Somerset Patriots, is scheduled for Sunday, June 3, 2012.
This Family Life event is open to all Valley members, their families, and Masonic friends. The cost per person for tickets is $12 for ages 13 and up and $6 for ages 12 and under. For an additional $10 per ticket you can order a River Sharks ball cap with "Valley of Philadelphia" on the back.
We again have the picnic pavilion for this outing which means your ticket entitles you to a half-hour of food before the game and an hour and a half during the game.
This will be our third year with the River Sharks. The past two years have been sell outs. Don't be left out! Look for the ticket order coupon in your April issue of THE DOUBLE EAGLE!
Well that will do it for this edition. I want to wish all of our Brethren and Friends a joyous and peaceful Easter/Passover Season. May the Grand Architect continue to bless and watch over each of you and your families.
God Bless Ill. Bro. Thomas Hopkins and offer His Divine Comfort to Tom's family during this most difficult time.
Sincere fraternal regards,
Steven A. Morrison, 33