Monday, January 12, 2015

Welcome to 2015! What's happening in the Valley? Glad you asked!

Dear Brethren and Friends:

Good Morning everyone and welcome to Monday! I hope all of you and your loved ones arrived safely at their Monday destinations this morning. There is a lot of black ice out there. I had an encounter with some it on my way to the train. I went one way and my left foot and ankle went the other way. I have a bit of throb going on right now, but, I'll live.
Okay, so what's going on? Glad you asked!
Our Spring Reunion is right around the corner and preparations have already begun!
As you know our 2015 Spring Class is named in honor of our "Best Friend" Ill. Russell W. Baker. 33, Deputy for Pennsylvania and Active Member of the Supreme Council. This is a fantastic way to pay homage to our Illustrious Brother and to thank him for all he has meant to our Valley during his term as "our" Active.
The first thing to happen will be the 4th Degree Cast Kick Off meeting on Monday, January 26, 2015 at the Masonic Temple. As has become our 'tradition' recently, all the members of the 2014 Fall Class were invited to this meeting to consider becoming a part of the 4th Degree Cast. This is a great opportunity for them to jump right in and get involved in the Valley in an easy, no pressure activity. There are few speaking parts and most of them are very small. If you were a member of the Class, you should have received your 'invite' to the Kick Off meeting by now. We hope that you are planning to attend the meeting and be a part of the Degree Cast. Whether you plan to attend or not, please be sure to send your postage paid post card indicating that to our 4th Cast Degree Master, Bro. Brian Skoff. The meeting begins 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. Please make a note of this information. To all those new Valley Brethren that are planning on taking part in this conferral, THANK YOU!
Our Spring Reunion begins on Friday, 20 March. That evening we will present the 4th, 7th and 22nd Degrees. The parts for both the 7th and 22nd Degrees have been sent out to the Casts. The 7th Degree will be directed by Ill. John "Doc" Wagner, 33 and the 22nd Degree Cast will be under the leadership of Ill. Robert Burns, 33. This will be Doc's second foray into the Director's chair. I'm sure he will do a great job! And I have no doubts that Illustrious Bro. Bob and his "lumberjacks" will take the 22nd Degree to new heights of greatness!
As we get closer to that date, I will post event for the meeting on this page which will include the menu for the dinner to be served that evening. And as always you will be able to 'one click' your dinner reservations.
The Reunion will conclude on Friday evening, 17 April, with the presentations of the 18th and 32nd Degrees. The 18th Degree Cast already has their part assignments and rehearsals dates. The 32nd Cast, which most likely be the very same Cast as last time; with Bro. Brian Skoff returning to play his traditional role, will receive their material soon.
Just a reminder. If you didn't get assigned a part for any of the Degrees are you are interested, please let me know. As you know we have a new Director of Work in the Valley; Illustrious Bro. Phil Janusz, 33 MSA has recently taken over that duty and he is looking for Cast members.
Also if you didn't receive a part and are interested, no matter how long you've been in the Valley, you too are welcome to attend the 4th Degree Cast Kick Off meeting on January 26th. We have found recently sometimes the 'newbies' are shy and we need to have 'seasoned' Brethren get involved. This is a GREAT opportunity for a long time member who has been considering getting involved for a long time to finally make it happen. As I always say, "Don't be shy. Give it a try!"
Don't forget our Annual Memorial Service on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at Gloria Dei (Old Swede's) Church, Columbus Boulevard and Christian Streets in South Philadelphia.
This year's service will begin at 3PM and will again be presided over by our Most Wise Master, Illustrious Dan Hinds and the other Officers of Kilwinning Chapter of Rose Croix. Illustrious and The Reverend William D. Hartman, 33, Valley Prior will present the message. If you're going, get there EARLY parking is always an issue!
As has been our tradition, a complimentary dinner will be served in the Church's Social Hall following the Service and you and your family are welcome and invited to attend, BUT, as always, you must have a reservation. Reservations can be made by calling 215-563-1814, or by email to or by clipping out and sending in the reservation form form from The Double Eagle.
In May, we'll have our annual, "You Don't Have to be an Officer," Valley Officer's Training Seminar on Saturday, 9 May at the Jenkintown Masonic Temple, 443 Old York Road. The doors open at 7:30 AM for the traditional Coffee and Donut Fellowship. The Conference kicks off at 8:30 AM and will conclude at noon. Business Casual dress is the uniform of the day. This Conference is open to ANY Valley Member who is interested in getting involved in the Valley, or in learning what it takes to get involved. Elected and appointed Officers are expected to attend. Valley Committee members and Cast members are encouraged to attend. Our annual Conference has been lauded as the best Valley offered training in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. We have a relaxed, 'laughter and questions encouraged' session. If you've never been to one, why not join with us this year? If you've been a regular attendee we hope we're on your calendar for a return visit this year. To reserve your place, please call 215-563-1814, or email to or clipping out and sending in the reservation form in The Double Eagle.
The Valley's MOST IMPORTANT evening of the year, our Annual Meeting occurs on Friday, 15 May. That evening we will elect, appoint and install our Officers for the 2016 Scottish Rite year, approve our budget, recognize our 50+ year members, award Abbott Scottish Rite Scholarships and more!
As always the installations and presentations occurring at the Annual Meeting will be 'open to the public.' This means your lady is welcome to come up to Gothic Hall and be a part of the evening. More importantly, this is a great opportunity for you to invite that Lodge Brother you've been talking to about Scottish Rite. He can come along for this 'taste' of the Valley. Get this date on your calendar now!
Speaking of the Abbott Scottish Rite Scholarship, NOW is the time to apply!
This general scholarship is available to Scottish Rite Masons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, their children, and the young people of our Masonic Youth Groups: DeMolay, Job's Daughters and Rainbow.
Grandchildren of Scottish Rite Masons can apply if they are a sole dependent of their grandfather.
Individual scholarships are limited to funds available from donations to the annual Blue Envelope Appeal.
Applications must be obtained by writing to the Scottish Rite Office, Masonic Temple, One North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107-2520, or by email to and returned on or before Monday, March 16, 2015 in order to be eligible for submission.
Our Family Life Chairman, Ill. James Rae, 33 MSA has again organized another Valley of Philadelphia Day at the Campbell's Field. The date of this year's outing is Sunday, 28 June. We will again have the picnic pavilion with the catered picnic and of course that great Atlantic League baseball action, featuring the Camden Riversharks! Ticket information will be available as soon as the March 2015 issue of The Double Eagle. Don't miss out on this great annual Valley family event.
Is that it? Nope!
Don't forget the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania Council of Deliberation. This year's meeting takes place on Saturday, 11 July at the Seven Springs Resort in Seven Springs, PA. Valley Brothers, Michael Bauerle and Russell Combs will receive the Meritorious Service Award (MSA) in recognition and in honor of their dedicated service to the Valley of Philadelphia.
Okay, so now you're caught up, informed, notified and reminded. Get these dates on your calendar and plan to be with us. Remember, just like in everything else in life or Freemasonry, you get out of it what you put into it!
To all our 'newbies,' please consider being a part of the 4th Degree Cast. You'll have a great time and make a few new friends too. Am I right Nicholas Vettese and Mark O'Fee?
Have a great Monday everyone and BE CAREFUL out there!

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