Thursday, December 10, 2015

Good morning everyone. It's Thursday, 10 December and here is your news.
Our top story this morning is, IT'S RESERVATION DEADLINE DAY! If you're coming next Friday night and plan to have dinner with the Valley and you have not made reservations yet, get them in today, please. If you know of any Brothers that are planning to attend but haven't called in yet, please let them know that they must do so today.
No reservations will be accepted tomorrow or any day after that. No exceptions.
Please call 215-563-1814 today!
Thank you for your expected cooperation.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good morning everyone and welcome to Monday.
This Wednesday night, 9 December, at 7PM in Gothic Hall, our 32° holds its first rehearsal in advance of the presentation at our 18 December, Special Rendezvous.
Parking for the rehearsal is the Convention Center Parking Facility, 1324 Arch Street and as always the dress code for the Temple is jacket and tie.
Don't forget, this Thursday is our Dinner Reservation Deadline for next Friday's dinner. If you haven't called in, emailed, or clicked "Going" yet (our Facebook group members know what that means), lets get it done soon!
Last week I sent out a letter to all those Candidates that I have not heard from yet in regards to our Reunion's final night. I copied that letter to the Mentors as well. This is the first time that we are using Mentors and so far it seems to be successful. To all of our Mentors, Thank You!
Yeah I know, you're celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas shopping, but I have to remind you about our upcoming BIG night in the Valley; our Valentine's Dinner and Dance, on Saturday, 13 February at the Canstatter. This is going to be a fantastic event that you most definitely do not want to miss! $50 per person gets you a delicious meal, 4 hour open bar and live music to dance the night away. Don't miss this!
Our Valley Hospitaler, Bro. Norman Greene, 32° MSA is fully recovered from his two eye surgeries and he is back to full service form in his role and he has asked me to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers. If you know of any Valley members in distress, please let myself or Bro. Norm know. We are fully committed to the Supreme Council's mission statement: "We will strive to be a fraternity that fulfills our Masonic Obligation to care for our members."
Have a great Monday everyone and an even better week ahead!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Our Fall Reunion concludes on Friday, 18 December with the Special Rendezvous of Benjamin Franklin Consistory, 32°.

The Degree to be presented that evening will be the 32° Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. The meeting will be held in Gothic Hall, but following the close the Brethren are asked to retire to Corinthian Hall on the second floor of the Temple.

The evening begins at 6PM in the Lower Level Banquet Room with a buffet dinner selected by our Valley's 'First Lady,' Mrs. Linda Melson. Lady Linda hopes you'll love: Selected Salads, Marinated Pepper Steak over White Rice, Broiled Tilapia, Homemade Baked Ziti, Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes, Broccoli Spears and Ice Cream to finish. The cost per person is $20 with the exception of the Class.

Reservations for dinner are required and are very easy to make. Just call 215-563-1814 or email to and you're done! 

Reservations MUST be made by or before, Thursday, December 10, 2015. No reservations will be accepted past that date. NO EXCEPTIONS!

During dinner we will present the 33° jewel and cap to Illustrious Brothers: Rick S. Freedman, William A. Klosz, Michael D. McKee. Edward J. Neilson, Daniel R. Scheetz, Gerard R. Sealy and Thomas F. Toscani, 33°. The red MSA cap will be presented to Valley Brothers, Michael C. Bauerle and Russell B. Combs, 32° MSA. Congratulations Brethren!

The Ladies of the Valley will have a very interesting program, “Eleanor Roosevelt” presented to them by actress, Linda Kenyon.

After the conclusion of the Degree, the Brethren and Ladies will be welcomed into Corinthian Hall for our salute to our Veterans, featuring an address by General and Brother, Wesley Craig, U. S. Army (Retired) and special appearance from the Color Guard of the First City Troop. As per our Commander-in-Chief, our Veteran Brethren are welcome and encouraged to wear their ribbons/medals to this meeting. We want to be able to recognize you!

Parking for the evening is in the Convention Center Parking Facility, 1324 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. This is only garage we have chasers/validations for! Park elsewhere and you are on your own.

As always the dress code is tuxedo for the Officers, business suit or sport coat and tie for the members.

Hope to see YOU there!

Steven A. Morrison, 33°
Valley Secretary

Monday, November 9, 2015

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning everyone and welcome to Monday! Yeah, I know I did that again, get over it.
The 15° Cast rehearses this evening at 7PM in Gothic Hall. Parking is at the Convention Center Parking Facility, 1324 Arch Street, and as always the dress code for the Masonic Temple is coat and tie.
This coming Thursday, 12 November is our Reservation Deadline! That's right, for dinner on Friday, 20 November! Came up pretty fast huh? Guess what? So's Christmas! I know, shocked me too.
If you haven't made your reservation yet; lets get it done by this Thursday. Again to our Recommenders & Mentors, there's still a number of Candidates I haven't heard from. Please touch base with them and ensure that they know that they must let us know if they're planning to attend and most importantly, if their lady will be accompanying them. We almost take it for granted that 'he' is coming as he is a Candidate, but if they fail to call and then bring their lady, she is not in the dinner count.
The 18th Degree Cast rehearses this Wednesday night, 11 November at 7 PM in Gothic Hall. Parking is, well you know by now.
Tomorrow is the Marine Corps birthday and I will recognize that important event then, but I wanted to wish all of our Valley Devil Dogs a great day today as well; and as it's Veterans Day week, to all of my Valley 'comrades in arms,' Thank You again for Your Service!
Have a great day everyone and an even better week ahead!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning everyone and welcome to Friday! Yes, you made it.
So what's going on and coming up? Glad you asked!
First off, this coming Monday night, 9 November, the 15° Cast will hold their first rehearsal in preparation for their presentation at the Special Convocation. The rehearsal starts at 7PM in Gothic Hall. Cast members are reminded to park in the Convention Center Parking Facility, 1324 Arch Street; and as always, the dress code for the Masonic Temple is business suit or sport coat and tie.
Just spoke with our Commander-in-Chief, Ill. Clay Melson, 33° MSA and he has informed me that our Valley's First Lady, Linda is Bryn Mawr Hospital.  Lets all keep her in our thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery.
Next Wednesday night, 11 November, our 18° Cast has their first rehearsal in Gothic Hall at 7PM. Parking and dress code rules still apply!
This coming Thursday, 12 November is the deadline for dinner reservations for the Special Convocation and Special Assembly. If you haven't made a reservation yet, get it in now. Avoid the delay and more importantly avoid forgetting! No reservations will be accepted past that date.
Special note to our recommenders and our mentors: Please check with your Candidate/Mentees to see if they've check in yet. As of right now I have a large number of candidates NOT heard from. I send them a letter reminding them to call in upon receipt of the letter, you'd think that would work, but it doesn't always.
Be sure to talk to your lady about coming too. The Ladies welcome former 6ABC consumer reporter Amy Buckman as their very special guest that evening. With the approaching holiday shopping season on the horizon, maybe Amy will have some advice to lower the bruising on your credit card or bank account!
I have to apologize, sort of. I put an order form in the November issue of THE DOUBLE EAGLE for Christmas in Hershey tickets. At the time of preparation we still had tickets; I went to print, then we had a run on tickets. I am now returning checks to those ordering tickets as we are SOLD OUT again. Well, to be completely honest, we're not totally sold out. we have 1 ticket left. If you've ordered tickets previously and need 1 more, give me a call.
Congrats go out to our Family Life Chairman, Ill. James Rae, 33° MSA on another sell out. Yet another great job Bro. Jim in planning a Valley Family Event!
This Sunday evening we say farewell to Valley Brother, Skip Leopold, 32° MSA. The viewing is on Sunday evening, 5 to 7PM at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 2147 E. Cumberland Street, Philadelphia. There will be a Masonic Service at 7PM.
This is going to be a tough one, not that any of them aren't. Bro. Skip served our Valley from the moment he received his 32°. He was active in the Degree Casts, on our Marshals Committee, Stage Managers, pretty much anywhere he saw a need to get involved. He was also Santa for the kids at the Children's Dyslexia Center each year at their Holiday Party. The Celestial Lodge has received a 'squared away' new Brother.
If you're going, I will see you there.
On Monday morning at 9AM to 10:30AM there will be a viewing and memorial service at the Church and then our Brother and retired United States Navy Chief Petty Officer, Robert 'Skip' Leopold, 32° MSA will be laid to rest at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery. Fair winds and following seas my Brother and Shipmate. Save me a seat in the heavenly mess decks.
Next Friday, our Valley Hospitaler, Bro. Norman Greene, 32° MSA, has surgery to repair the tear in his retina. Norm tells me that following that procedure, his Doctor tells him that he will have better vision and can expect to give up his specs for a single contact lens! Best wishes Bro. Norm on your upcoming procedure. Thoughts and prayers continue.
And finally Congratulations go out to our By-Laws Chairman and one half of the 4° and 32° 'opening act,' Valley Brother, Leonard Altieri, 32° on his big win in Tuesday's elections. Our Brother was a candidate for the Marple Township School Board. Vote early. Vote often. Vote Altieri! First the Marple School Board. Next 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! Great job Leonard!
Well, that will do it for now. Get your dinner reservation in, if you didn't. If you did, Thank You! Call your Candidate and remind him to get his in. If you did, Thank You! Good luck to our 15° and 18° Casts for great rehearsals! Get Well First Lady, Linda Melson! Good Luck Bro. Norm! God Bless Bro. Skip.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dear Brethren and Friends:

 I've been ignoring this for awhile but thought I'd better say something.
In the Valley's email each day I receive requests from some of you asking to be added to the "Valley's Linkedin network." We DO NOT have a Linkedin account and we never have. I have no idea how we got posted on Linkedin or why. But please understand that I am not ignoring your requests to 'link' you. I am ignoring the emails from Linkedin; as a matter of fact I've reported them several times as spam.
The Valley, as you know is on Facebook and Twitter (@PhilaScotRite), we have a website and a blog site (, but we are not on Linkedin and as far as I can forecast, we won't be anytime soon.
Thank you for your understanding and I apologize to anyone who sent link requests to our 'account.'
We're still in need of Brethren to volunteer to be mentors for the 2016 Spring Class.
Yes, it's early but, you will need to be trained as to what is expected.
This is a great opportunity for anyone (except the Fall Class mentors that is) to take a starting leadership role in the Valley; and who knows, you'll probably learn something along the way too.
Sign up today by calling 215-563-1814.
They say that 1 is the loneliest number and if that's true we have 1 lonely ticket remaining for Christmas in Hershey. If anyone who previously ordered tickets and needs one more let me know.
For those that missed out, we've got a GREAT Family Life program lined up for Spring 2016: 1776, the Musical at the Media Theater.
The show is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 2PM. Tickets are $15 per person and we have 100 of them! Don't miss this fantastic show, order your tickets NOW!

Missed out on Christmas in Hershey tickets? Don't fret. There's still a GREAT way for you to add some Scottish Rite flavor to your Holiday Season!
Don't forget the Valley's Holiday Party on Saturday, 28 November at the Lazaretto Ballroom in Essington.
Click on the FILES tab above to download a ticket flyer or check the October or November issue of THE DOUBLE EAGLE.
It's going to be a GREAT night! Don't miss it!

Don't forget our BIG VALLEY TRIP!
Next August 27-31, 2016 the Valley of Philadelphia will be traveling to Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ontario, Canada! This is normally the time of the year that Supreme Council would be meeting, and of course our 33° members would be going on that trip. Since Supreme has now moved to biennial sessions, our Commander-in-Chief, thought, "Hey, lets have a Valley trip that EVERY member of the Valley could go on." Great idea!
The package is excellent! This is going to be a spectacular trip! I've shared the flyer outlying the details of the trip for you. PLUS it will appear in every issue of THE DOUBLE EAGLE prior to the date.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Our Fall Reunion continues on Friday, 20 November with the Special Convocation of DeJoinville Council, Princes of Jerusalem, 16° and the Special Assembly of Kilwinning Chapter of Rose Croix, 18°.

The Degrees to be presented that evening are the 15° Knight of the East and the 18° Knight of Rose Croix of H.R.D.M.

The evening begins at 6PM in the Grand Banquet Room with a buffet dinner selected by our Valley's 'First Lady,' Mrs. Linda Melson. Lady Linda hopes you'll love: Selected Salads, Chicken Parmigiana, Broiled Flounder in Lemon Butter, Penne Ala Rosa, Scalloped Potatoes, Vegetable Medley and Pound Cake to finish. The cost per person is $20 with the exception of the Class. 

Reservations for dinner are required and are very easy to make. Call 215-563-1814 or by email to

Reservations MUST be made by or before, Thursday, November 12, 2015. No reservations will be accepted past that date. NO EXCEPTIONS!

The Ladies of the Valley will have a very interesting program presented to them from former 6ABC reporter Amy Buckman.

Parking for the evening is in the Convention Center Parking Facility, 1324 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. This is only garage we have chasers/validations for! Park elsewhere and you are on your own.

As always the dress code is tuxedo for the Officers, business suit or sport coat and tie for the members.

Hope to see YOU there!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Good Morning Everyone and Welcome to our Fall Reunion!
Yes, everything starts this evening with the Fall Special Communication of Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection.
We have 47 petitions for this Class, the "Honor Our Veterans Class."
Everything starts with dinner in the Grand Banquet Room at 6PM, if you do not have a reservation for dinner, we are FULL. I called in to the Caterer yesterday to reconfirm our count of 200 people. Yep, we have that many. I won't get into how many called after the deadline, but it was more than a few. Thankfully the Caterer gives us 'some' wiggle room.
Good Luck to our 4°, 14° and 31° Casts. All your hard work will be on display this evening. Thanks to all of you for your dedication and service to our Valley!
This evening will be Illl. Cliff Hutchens' swan song as Degree Master of the 14°. Thank you Illustrious Bro. Cliff for your many years of service to the Valley. The pride and commitment to excellence that you've instilled in the Lodge of Perfection line shows in the work performed on the floor.
Best wishes to our Thrice Potent Master, Bro. Douglass Hocker and the Officers of our Lodge of Perfection.
Best wishes to our Valley Brethren from Thomson Lodge No. 340 who will present the new 31°, 'My Brother's Keeper' this evening. Special thanks go out to Bro. Frank J Lorine for all his work in putting this Cast together and all the Brothers who volunteered. I believe we are in for a great show tonight Brethren!
Thanks again to all of the Brethren that volunteered to be a part of our 4° Cast for this Reunion. It seems to be a task putting the Cast together each Reunion for this Degree, but we never fail to have a group of Brethren step up to be a part. Thank you to Bro. Brian Skoff for his dedication in keeping this together every time.
Thank you again to all of our Valley Ladies, who are coming out to support our Valley. Enjoy the Laura Amoroso Show tonight. . .you're getting very sleepy.. . sleepy. . .sleepy. . .What? No, you weren't acting like a chicken. Not at all.
See you tonight!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Good Morning All and Welcome to August!
Congratulations go out to our Sovereign Prince, Bro. Russell Combs, 32° MSA for a fantastic Valley Family Picnic this past Saturday! Great job Russ!
Our High Priest and Sovereign Prince-in waiting, Ill. Harry Rutter,33° has already booked next year's Picnic with the folks at the Canstatter. The date will be Saturday, 30 July. Hmm. That date seems familiar to me for some reason???
So, what's next up for the Valley of Philadelphia? Why our Fall Reunion of course!
No Reunion can start without Degrees being selected and Casts assigned and rituals being sent out. Done. Well, almost done. We still have to have the Cast Kick Off meeting for the 4°. As soon as our Degree Master, Bro.Brian Skoff , 32° gets his date to me for that event, I will send a letter out to the members of our Spring Class to encourage them to take part in this project.
Now as you know in recent years we've given the 4° to our newest members as an opportunity for them to jump right in and get their feet wet so to speak in our Degrees. But, if you've been a member for a number of years and have thought about getting involved but haven't had the time, were shy or just didn't know why you didn't, you too are welcome to attend the Kick Off and take part in the 4° Cast. We'll make room for you!
Our Fall Reunion begins on Friday, 16 October. That evening we will present the aforementioned 4°, along with the 14° and the for the very first time in the Valley of Philadelphia, the new ritual of the 31°.
Our Thrice Potent Master, Bro. Douglass Hocker, 32° and the other Officers, including all the new Guards appointed following the Officer's Conference, will present the 14°, which is back as part of our 'Traditional' Fall Reunion plan.
The new 31°, 'My Brother's Keeper' will be presented by a team of Valley Brethren who are also members of Thomson Lodge No. 340. Thank you to Bro. Frank J Lorine, 32° who stepped up to volunteer to recruit a Cast from his Lodge and to serve as Degree Master for this Degree.
Bro. Frank tells me our Thomson Brethren are very excited about performing the Degree and representing their Lodge. Well, we're excited too to see this first time conferral of a new Scottish Rite ritual!
If you have a number of Valley of Philadelphia Brethren in your Lodge and are interested in putting a Cast together for a future Degree conferral. Let us know. As of right now, we have requests from Lodges No. 51, 67, 115 and Lodge No. 506 is eager to return for another run. Please note that the ONLY Degrees that will not be Lodge Casted are the 4°, 14°, 18° and 32°.
For your calendar: The Fall Reunion will continue on Friday, 20 November with the conferrals of the 15° and 18° and conclude on Friday, 18 December with the presentation of the 32° only. BUT, that will be a BIG evening! As our Fall Class is named in honor of our Veteran Members of the Valley of Philadelphia, our Commander-in-Chief, Ill. Clay Melson, 33° MSA has arranged for 2015 Miss Philadelphia, Julie Rae Schluchter to be present that evening. She will sing the National Anthem and 'God Bless America' to honor our Veterans and Nation. She will be backed by a USAF Color Guard. Miss Schluchter will be the special guest for the Ladies Program while we're up in Gothic Hall for the 32° conferral.
Following the close of the Consistory, everyone, and that means Ladies and Brethren will be invited to Corinthian Hall to hear an address in honor of our Veterans, by Brother and General Wesley Craig, U.S. Army (Retired).
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! Yes, there is. Our Valley's Holiday Party happens on Saturday, 28 November at the Lazaretto Ballroom in Essington. Anyone who went last year will tell you that they had a great time and no doubt we will again this year. Watch the next issue of THE DOUBLE EAGLE for a ticket order form or you can download one RIGHT NOW by visiting:
Shhh. I shouldn't say this, but as you're all Brethren and Valley Ladies, I'm feeling a level of trust here: Our Commander-in-Chief, has sworn me to secrecy, but he has a REALLY BIG AND VERY EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT that he will be allowing me to share with you very soon. Stay tuned to this blog, the Valley Website and THE DOUBLE EAGLE for more information. I can tell you this much, you'll read about it here first.
Well that'll fill you up for now. Have a great Monday everyone and an even better week ahead!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Good Morning Everyone! It's Picnic Day!
This is a ticketed event; which means,
A. If you do not have a ticket, please do not just show up.
B. Having a ticket means you're in the count and that there will be food available for you.
C. Just showing up and sitting down to eat means, you've taken from a Brother who reserved before the final count went in; and that wouldn't be of a Masonic character.
For those of you that have never been there before, Canstatter's picnic grove is shaded in most of the tabled area. Be sure to bring a table cloth unless you don't mind being on the bare wood.
Beer and mixed drinks are sold on sight. Please do not bring a cooler with your own, it is prohibited. And, no, these items are not included in your ticket price.
If you're bringing a Master Mason guest, please be sure to introduce him to myself or Bro. Dan Scheetz so that we can be sure that he is part of our 'short' Scottish Rite Membership Program.
If you ordered tickets and are paying for them at the event. Please see me upon arrival.
Your lawn chairs are welcome.
The Rainbow and DeMolay folks will be running games and activities throughout the day, Participate and have fun. Be sure to thank them for doing this for us. That small gesture goes a very long way,
Other than all of the above, have a great time and we'll see you there!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Valley of Philadelphia's Annual Family Summer Picnic is on Saturday, August 1, 2015 in the Picnic Grove at Canstatter Volkfest Verein, 9130 Academy Road, in Northeast Philadelphia, and you can come for FREE!
The Picnic runs from 12 to 5 PM. Lunch and Dinner will be served. We'll have activities, entertainment and games for the kids all day and there will even be things for you to do!
Your family is welcome to attend as well for the admission price of $15 for those 13 years and age and up and $10 for those 12 and under.
Lunch menu includes: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans, and French Fries.
Dinner menu includes Roast Beef, Fried Chicken, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Cucumber Salad, Tomato Salad and Corn on the Cob.
Tickets are required in advance. Our Membership Team will be there to welcome you and share a program about Scottish Rite and You.
This is going to be a great day! Call 215-563-1814 now for more information on how you and your family can be there! Don't miss out!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

This Sunday's Valley Family Day at Campbell's Field

The Riversharks have issued a traffic advisory for the games on Friday, 26 June through Sunday, 28 June, due to the Tall Ships events on the Camden Waterfront. Please allow for extra travel time!
The Camden Sheriff's Department has asked fans to display an official parking placard on the dashboard of their vehicle as they approach the waterfront to help traffic flow move as smoothly as possible and to help them direct you to the appropriate lots.
Here is the link for you to PRINT out your REQUIRED placard:…/Camden%20Riversharks%…
Remember leave early to get there and anticipate traffic. Have a great time and enjoy the game. Thank you for supporting our Valley's Family Life events.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

It will soon be dues time!

Believe it or not the year 2015 is about to come to an end in the Valley of Philadelphia. That's right. 2015. Over. Soon.
Our fiscal year runs from August 1st to July 31st. Which means, August 1st will be day one of 2016 for the Valley of Philadelphia.
As such, soon it will be time to renew your dues to the Scottish Rite. I will be requesting the Supreme Council to run our 2016 dues bills next week. I try to do it early, as with 105 Valleys in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction and most of us having our years end at the same time, there can be a 'traffic jam' so to speak in getting our bills out to you.
As always, PLEASE wait until you receive your dues bill in the mail to pay your dues and REMEMBER to include your bill with your check when paying your dues. I know our online banking folks cannot do that and that's okay, BUT, PLEASE remember to put both your name and your 9-digit member number (it's on your dues card) as your account number on the check. If your bank won't allow both, PLEASE be sure to include your member number!
Speaking of dues cards; all of you should have the silver credit card-style dues card. This is your 'permanent' dues card. You will not receive another. Unless of course you've lost it and then all you have to do is call or email me and I will order you another post haste. Do NOT misunderstand the word 'permanent.' It doesn't mean that you no longer have to pay your dues (with exception of life members).
Now, for those that still haven't paid your 2015 dues; pay them soon or you will find yourself owing two years dues and in danger of being suspended after the May Annual Meeting. We don't want that and hope you don't either.
Of course you can also go to the Supreme Council web site ( and pay your dues by credit card as well. Be advised that when you do that, the Supreme Council does deduct the amount of the credit card processing fee from your dues,thus giving the Valley, YOUR Valley, less money. If you do plan to pay by credit card, PLEASE wait until you receive your actual bill to do so. That is your guarantee that our new dues rate has been posted and you're not paying short a few bucks. Thank you.
And as always, PLEASE remember the ever dreaded word, 'Assessment' on your dues bill, is NOT, I repeat, NOT some evil conspiracy to extract money from you! No, it's not. It is your dues to the Supreme Council. Plain and simple. Just as your Lodge must pay dues to the Grand Lodge for you, we must pay them to Supreme Council. If you pay only the Valley dues, you will receive a second notice for the 'Assessment.'
And lastly, REMEMBER, we raised our dues at the Annual Meeting. You were there. You voted for it. If you weren't there; don't look at me. You had a chance to voice your opinion, you chose not to. Our 2016 dues will be $99. That breaks down as $72 for the Valley of Philadelphia (remember, you're paying for 4 Bodies!) and $27 for the Supreme Council.
Okay, so that wasn't totally, 'lastly.' If you find that paying your dues might be a difficulty; call me. We can work out a payment plan that works for you. 215-563-1814. Really. Call me. I'm a nice guy, despite this new 'nickname' that has arisen lately. We can make it work for you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

As the Summer season begins

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Have you seen our new Valley web site yet? If not, surf on over and give it a look today.

The new site features a "Contact" page that allows you to communicate directly with the Valley by email. "Announcements" brings you up to date about upcoming Valley activities and events and provides the opportunity to order tickets for those functions. 

Our site still features a downloadable petition for interested Master Masons. Our "Officers" page has been condensed to show only our Presiding Officers, Valley Secretary and Treasurer.  The Valley's "Calendar" is still there bringing you all the dates regarding the Valley's activities and meetings as well as dates for activities throughout Pennsylvania Freemasonry and all the Holidays too!

Check it out!

Our NEW Commander-in-Chief, Ill. Clayton Melson, 33 MSA, has announced that our 2015 Fall Reunion will be held to honor our Veterans. All Valley Veterans are asked to send in their name, rank and branch of service. This information will be published in the 2015 Fall Class Reunion booklet.

Speaking of the "Honoring Our Veterans Class," they will begin their Scottish Rite journey on Friday evening, October 16, 2015. That evening the 4th Degree, "Master Traveler" will be presented by a Cast made up of members of the 2015 Spring Class. Bro. Brian Skoff, 32, Degree Master will soon announce the Cast Kick-Off meeting at which time the parts will be assigned to those Brethren that expressed interest in taking part. 

The October 16th meeting will include the 14th Degree, "Grand Elect Mason" presented by the Officers of Philadelphia Lodge of Perfection. The evening will round out with the conferral of the new 31st Degree ritual, "My Brother's Keeper." This new Degree will be conferred by a Cast of Valley members who are also members of Thomson Lodge No. 340.

Lodge Casts are an exciting new opportunity for Valley Brethren to get involved. So far we've had a Degree presented by a Cast of Valley Brethren from Cassia -Mount Horeb Lodge No. 273 and Jerusalem Lodge No. 506. Casts of Brethren from Concordia Lodge No. 67 and St. Johns Lodge No. 115 are in the works, as well as one made up of Valley Brethren who are also members of the Pennsylvania Shield and Square Club. If you are interested in getting a Cast together from your home Lodge, call the Scottish Rite Office at 215-563-1814 for more information.

The 2015 Fall Reunion continues on Friday, November 20th when the 15th Degree, "Knight of the East" and the 18th Degree, "Knight of Rose Croix," will be presented by the Officers of DeJoinville Council, Princes of Jerusalem and Kilwinning Chapter of Rose Croix respectively.

Speaking of our Valley's Bodies, if you were at the Annual Meeting this past May 15th, you no doubt noticed that our Lodge of Perfection, Council of Princes of Jerusalem and Chapter of Rose Croix lines have grown in size. Our Officer Selection and Officers Education Committees took notice of how many "unattached" Brethren attend our annual Officers Training Conference each year and go home empty handed. Not wanting to let their enthusiasm for getting involved and being an active part of the Valley, go to waste, the Committees decided to give these Brethren an opportunity to join one of the lines in newly created roles of Guards (Lodge of Perfection), Satraps (Council of Princes of Jerusalem) or Acolytes (Chapter of Rose Croix). These new appointments will give these Brethren the opportunity to be a part of the Line's Degree conferrals and to prepare themselves for an eventual journey through the actual line of the Body.

Our Fall Reunion will conclude on Friday, December 18, 2015. That evening Benjamin Franklin Consistory will present the 32nd Degree, "Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret." This will be the only Degree shown that evening. As our Class is named in honor of Veterans, we have a few special surprises in store to recognize this honor. First up, the reigning Miss Philadelphia, Julia Rae Schucter will be in attendance. She will sing "God Bless America" accompanied by a military color guard to kick off the evening; and remain with the Valley Ladies after dinner to discuss her program during her term as Miss Philadelphia. After the Degree conferral, Brother and General Wesley Craig,  US Army (retired) will address the Class and Valley members. Should be a fantastic evening!

We're headed back to the Canstatter for the Valley's Annual Family Summer Picnic! 

The Picnic sponsored by DeJoinville Council, Princes of Jerusalem, will happen on Saturday, August 1, 2015. The day begins at 12 PM in the Canstatter's picnic grove. Lunch and Dinner will be served for the price of $15 for those 13 years of age and older and $10 for those 12 and under.

There will be games for the kids and activities for everyone who wants to participate throughout the day.

See the May issue of THE DOUBLE EAGLE for a ticket order form or you can visit the "Announcements" page on the Valley web site ( to download one.

Valley members are encouraged to invite their non-Scottish Rite Masonic friends, who can come for FREE. Our Membership Team will be on hand to offer them a brief program on the Valley and the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Your Masonic friend's family are welcome too for the admission price.

Everyone who attended last year had a great time. Don't miss this NEW Valley tradition!

May the Grand Architect continue to watch over and bless each of you and your families.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning Everyone and Welcome to Reunion Week!
This evening the Cast of the 32nd Degree, 'Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret' rehearses at 7PM in Gothic Hall. Parking is at the Convention Center Parking Facility, 1324 Arch Street, Philadelphia, and as always the dress code for the Masonic Temple is coat and tie.
Our Dinner Reservation Deadline has come and gone. If you did not make a reservation and are planning to attend on Friday night, grab a bite before you get there. Sorry but you were given 'due and timely notice.'
The Officers of Kilwinning Chapter of Rose Croix and the other Cast members of the 18th Degree will rehearse this Wednesday evening, 15 April (TAX DAY) at 7PM in Gothic Hall.
To both Casts, have a great rehearsal, we're all looking forward to your presentations on Friday night!
Have a great week everyone!

Friday, March 20, 2015

We're a GO for tonight!

Dear Brethren and Friends:

I just spoke with our Commander-in-Chief, Ill. Art Becker, 33 MSA.
We are ON for this evening!
Visibility isn't all that great but generally the roads aren't bad. Please exercise caution while enroute to the Temple this evening.
We'll see YOU tonight!

Opening Night

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Tonight's the Night! Our Spring Reunion Opening Night.
The snowfall has begun in the area and the weather is looking sketchy. The Commander-in-Chief will make his decision later this morning. Once I hear from him you will hear from me. But as of right now we are a GO for tonight!
We have a total of 39 Candidates for this Class. We have some new Brethren taking part in the Degrees. It's going to be a BIG night for our Valley.
If we do go forward with the meeting, please be careful on your way in. The weather folks are saying that we will see heavy wet snow falling during the 5PM rush hour, which is when you'll most likely be on your way in to the Temple. Take your time.
Again, if anything should change, I will be in touch with you IMMEDIATELY through this medium, the blog and Twitter, also on the Valley's voicemail.
Have a great R.E.D. Friday everyone. Hope to see you this evening!
Be careful out there!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No Decision Yet - Stay Tuned!

Brethren: I just spoke with Illustrious Bro. Art about our meeting tomorrow night.
As of right now, he and I both agree that we will speak again tomorrow around noon regarding whether or not to go forward with our meeting.
Stay tuned!

Thursday Morning Update

Dear Brethren and Friends:
Good Morning everyone and welcome to Thursday!
In checking the weather this morning the storm pattern threatening our area tomorrow is still on track to possibly disrupt our plans.
As I mentioned in my earlier (or later last evening) post, I will talk with the Ill. Art Becker, 33 MSA, our Commander-in-Chief about this today. As soon as I have any updates or information I will get them out here, on my blog ( and on both the Valley's (@PhilaScotRite) and my own (@SteveAfromPA) Twitter accounts.
I'm already receiving questions from those that missed the dinner reservation deadline regarding the possibility of getting into the count for next Friday should we have to move the meeting. No promises. I will discuss this with the Caterer, but remember, you had plenty of time the first time!
We don't want to have cancel and reschedule our Reunion Opening, but your safety is our first and foremost concern.
Have a great Thursday everyone!
Stay tuned for updates!

Possible Snow Emergency for Friday

I'm sure many of you are following the weather forecast for Friday. It doesn't look good. As of 11 PM this evening, they're calling for snow in the morning, changing to snow and rain in the afternoon, which will make for slushy conditions, more snow during the evening rush hour and possibly ending with freezing rain. We're not supposed to get too much, only 3 inches, but we have to be prepared either way. Hopefully they'll be wrong. But, again we have to be prepared.
I plan to speak with the Commander-in-Chief on Thursday about this and see what his feelings are.
Stay tuned to this blog for information as things develop. As soon as I know, you'll know.
If we should have to cancel, I will ask each of you that are recommenders to assist me in letting the Candidates know what is happening. I will call them as well.
If we should have to cancel, I will discuss this with the Committee on Temple office to see about rescheduling our meeting for NEXT Friday.27 March.
But of course this is all thinking ahead. As of right now, we are a GO for this Friday, but we need to be prepared for change.
This won't be the first time we've had to move a March meeting. Some of you might remember the Statewide Ice Storm we had during Ill. Daniel Martin, 33's term as Commander-in-Chief. We survived that, we'll survive this.
Change and adapt. If we have to, we will.
As we used to say in the Navy; Stand by for heavy rolls!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BRETHREN: Here are the totals regarding our 2015 Spring Class, the, 'Ill. Russell W. Baker, 33, Deputy for Pennsylvania Class"
Lodge No. 9- 2 Candidates
Washington No. 59- 1 Candidate
Concordia No. 67- 6 Candidates 
St. Johns No. 115-1 Candidate
Brotherhood No. 126- 4 Candidates
Houseman No. 211- 1 Candidate
Thomson No. 340- 4 Candidates
Williamson-Corinthian No. 368- 2 Candidates
Friendship-Williams No. 400-1 Candidate
Mozart No. 436- 1 Candidate
Kennett No. 475- 1 Candidate
Jerusalem No. 506-1 Candidate
St. Albans No. 529- 2 Candidates
Prospect No. 578- 2 Candidates
Equity No. 591-1 Candidate
Tacony No. 600- 5 Candidates
Springfield-Hanby No. 767- 1 Candidate
Thank you to all the Brethren who are the recommenders for this Class.
Don't see your Lodge listed? NOW is the time to get a Candidate for the 2015 Fall Class. Keep YOUR Valley growing!

Dear Brethren and Friends:

One step closer to the start of the Reunion!
This evening in Gothic Hall, the 7th and 22nd Degrees hold their FINAL rehearsals.
The 22nd Degree Cast will rehearse at 6:30PM followed by the 7th Degree Cast at 7:30PM
Parking is in the Convention Center Parking Facility, 1324 Arch Street and as always, the dress code for the Masonic Temple is coat and tie.
To both Casts: Have a great rehearsal. We're all looking forward to your presentations on Friday night.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Brethren: I took a number of phone calls in the office today in which I had to turn Brethren away from making a dinner reservation for Friday evening's meal.
Needless to say those Brethren were not happy when I told them that they were of course welcome to come to the meeting but not the dinner.
To be fair, yes in the past our reservation deadline was always the Wednesday of the meeting week. That changed when Edgemont Caterers was awarded the contract to provide food at the Masonic Temple. Originally Edgemont wanted our reservations in 10 days prior to the meeting. I argued that policy wouldn't work for us as our Petition Deadline had always been the week before the meeting. They relented and allowed us to extend our deadline to the same date.
That date is advertised in THE DOUBLE EAGLE. Every Valley member gets a copy of that. You know well in advance of the when the deadline is. You have the option of sending in a paid reservation, calling it in, emailing it in or using our Facebook group to make a reservation. Waiting until after the deadline is neglect and will not do anything for you.
Please know that beginning next month, the reservation deadline will be a day earlier as I have to let Caterer know that same day we were closing our reservation and we have had a number of Brethren call after the reservations have closed. I will still add an extra 10 reservations for those that might not get their reservation in a timely fashion.
I always provide the dinner information with at least 3 to 2 1/2 weeks to go before the deadline. Which gives the membership plenty of time to make a reservation in advance.
Thank you for your understanding and your continued expected cooperation.