Monday, January 20, 2014

I Didn't Forget You.

Dear Brethren and Friends:

An alert reader has mentioned that the Web Edition has been quiet of late. He's right it has been a bit quiet here, it's not that I've forgotten about you, dear Web Edition reader, it's just with the Holiday Season and the conclusion of the Fall Reunion there hasn't been much to report on. That being said, I do try to include a daily post onto the Valley's Facebook group, "Valley of Philadelphia, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite-Members Only!" Our group has 227 Valley Members and their Ladies in it and, yes, being the slave to technology that I am, I have to admit, I do enjoy the 'one click ability' I have there for communicating with our Membership.

But, I have you as an audience as well and you are just as entitled to have information in a similar format, so, lets get you caught up:

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014 in the Valley of Philadelphia! 2013 was a pretty good year for our Valley.  We celebrated Supreme Council's Bicentennial with 2 very nice size Classes. We had three of our Brethren coroneted as part of the Bicentennial Class, and I dare say we were the TOPS of all Valleys in the Pennsylvania Council of Deliberation in new members! And, one of our own, Ill. Robert J. Bateman, 33, is now the Right Worshipful Grand Master!

I'd say we had a pretty great year. What do you think?

Our Spring Reunion is just around the corner. We're hoping to have a large Class. Our Class Honoree is our very own Illustrious Valley Brother and Right Worshipful Grand Master of Pennsylvania, Ill. Robert J. Bateman, 33. 

During a recent visit to the Scottish Rite Office, our Grand Master shared with me how excited he is about our upcoming Class. He is so happy that his Valley, the Valley of Philadelphia will be the first in the State to have a Class in his honor.

While he was here he took two petitions for his two sons who are not yet Valley members! If our Right Worshipful Grand Master has time to get a Candidate or two, so do you!

Our Spring Reunion begins on Friday, March 21, 2014 and will conclude on Friday, April 11, 2014. Please be sure to put those dates on your calendar NOW!

I thought it was time to 'change the oil' over at I'm pretty happy with the new product. Give it a look-see if you get a minute. Thanks!

MEMBERSHIP, IN THE VALLEY OF PHILADELPHIA HAS ITS PRIVILEGES: Our Valley Treasurer, Ill. Spencer Butterwick, 33 and myself recently opened the Valley's new Almoner Fund at the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union, and as such, YOU, yes, YOU, Mr. Valley Member can become a member of the Credit Union!

They will ask you to show your Valley dues card to identify yourself as a member of the Valley of Philadelphia to open an account. Be sure to have your card with you, should you choose to take advantage of this EXCLUSIVE Valley of Philadelphia member benefit!

SPECIAL NOTE TO OUR MEMBERSHIP TEAM: Be sure to mention this exciting news when discussing our Valley with a potential candidate.

The Credit Union has several branches in the local region and they're opening one soon in South Jersey. Visit them on the web at for more information on locations, hours or whatever.

DON'T FORGET: It's that time of year again. What time of year you ask? Well, it's Abbott Scottish Rite Scholarship time.

Now, yes, now is the time to apply for the Abbott Scottish Rite Scholarship. This general scholarship is available to Scottish Rite Masons in Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, their children, their grandchildren (if the grandfather can claim the grandchild as a sole dependent), and the young men and women of our Masonic Youth Groups (DeMolay, Job's Daughters and Rainbow).

Individual Scholarships are limited to funds available from donations made through the Annual Blue Envelope Appeal.

NOW FOR THE LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Applications must be obtained by writing (emails count too) to the Scottish Rite Office, Masonic Temple, One North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107-2520 and returned on or before the MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2014 deadline in order to be eligible for submission.

AND DON'T FORGET: The Ill. John K. Young, 33 Fund! What's that you ask?

Well, it is an educational grant named for the late Right Worshipful Past Grand Master, Active Emeritus Member of the Supreme Council, and member of the Valley of Philadelphia.

This grant is available to the financially deserving children and grandchildren of the members of the Valley of Philadelphia, who are currently enrolled into an acceptable law school of a college or university in the United States. Students may apply for the grant each year and, applications for this grant may be obtained by writing or by email to the Scottish Rite Office. There is no deadline to apply for the grant.

Congratulations and Thank You goes out to Valley Brother, Tim Curran, 32, who has agreed to join our ROTC/JROTC Representatives Committee! Bro. Tim will join as our Committee's second Marine to accompany our First Lt. Commander, Ill. Clay Melson, 33, MSA.

This Committee performs a vital role of representing the Scottish Rite by presenting the Supreme Council's Scottish Rite ROTC/JROTC Award at local high school and college ROTC/JROTC awards ceremonies.

The Committee is made up of Valley Brethren who are also Armed Forces Veterans. We have a number of Navy members, including your humble narrator, a few Army and Air Force members and one lone Coast Guardsman, Ill. Len Bezar, 33. Any Veteran Valley member is welcome to volunteer to join our Committee.

It is always exciting news when a new member steps up to get involved. Which brings to mind the really exciting news coming forth this Spring!

We will return to the live conferral of the 4th Degree, "Master Traveler," during the Spring Reunion. Our Cast is going to be made mostly of new Valley members, many of whom were members of our 2013 Fall Class!

The Degree Master for this Degree is Bro. Brian Skoff, 32. This will be his first time in that role.

To prepare these new members for this first time responsibility we are having a 4th Degree Prep Meeting this Wednesday night, January 22, 2014 in Gothic Hall at the Masonic Temple. 

The meeting begins at 7PM  and parking will be provided by the Convention Center Parking Facility, 1324 Arch Street, Philadelphia.

We will hand out scripts and assign parts for the Degree. Our Stage Director, Ill. William Brown, 33 MSA, our Make up Director, Bro. Norman Greene, 32 and our Wardrobe Director, Bro. Russell Combs, 32 will offer short presentations on their areas of responsibility as they relate to the members of the Cast. It is our plan to make this Cast the best prepared Casts we've ever had.

We had hoped to fill this Cast completely with new members but there are some openings still available. If you're able to come out Wednesday night as a standby for a fill-in role, please do. We need you!

As this is a new Masonic year, we want to offer our sincere congratulations to any of our Valley Brethren that are now serving in Masonic office. Have a great year! If you're a Worshipful Master of a Lodge in our local area or you're a Senior Warden, who will be taking the East for a "Senior Warden's Night," Bro. Dan Scheetz, 32, Associate Membership Coordinator wants to talk to you! He has a program idea for you that is so great, you'll be the envy of the District and you'll even astonish that grumpy Past Master faction. I know how they can be, I am one. Call the Scottish Rite Office at 215-563-1814 and I'll get you and Bro. Dan in touch.

Well, there you have it. A bit of New Year noise. Don't forget dear reader to get a Candidate or two for the Class. We have a title to defend. 

May the Grand Architect continue to watch over you and yours.

Sincere fraternal regards, 

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