Staff Officer's article for February 2013

A Few Outstanding New York Masons

Brothers near and far: Several lodges in the district are dark and in the past I have used this time to present a little Masonic education. This month I thought I would bring your attention to some of the more illustrious New York State Masons of the past.

Here in the Oswego District we often end our meetings with Irving Berlin's God Bless America but how many of you knew that the Original Pledge of Allegiance that we take at the opening of our meetings was created by Francis Bellamy, a brother from Little Falls.

Fiorello LaGuardia was such a beloved mayor of New York that the airport was named after him and another 'Positive Thinker' who surely espoused or masonic principals was Rev Norman Vincent Peale.

For entertainment we have Cecil B. DeMille, Harry Houdini and Paul Whiteman. We also had the “GI's General” Omar Bradley, and another famous humanitarian, Daniel Carter Beard in who's name an award is given to Masons who make outstanding contributions to Scouting Including our own Norm Kruth.

Should you travel to South Dakota and gaze upon Mount Rushmore remember that the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum was a Freemason. And then there were great entrepreneurs, John Jacob Astor, George M. Pullman  and Branch Rickey, the man who hired Jackie Robinson and broke the “Color Barrier” in Baseball.

All these men were members of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. We can be justly proud of the accomplishments of these brothers. We should also remember that each of us has walked the same Masonic path as they. The Masonic principals that surely helped them in their success can, if followed lead all of us to greater accomplishment, satisfaction and happiness. See you at Lodge.