Letter of the month: April 2003
Subject: Page About Freemasonry Guest Book
> Name:: Nadine Joseph Kovar
> E-mail:: DonnNate@aol,com
> Location:: Wilmette/Il.USA
> Message:: Info re: college scholarships for descendents of Harry
> Joseph member of John Carson Lodge #944 in Chicago, Il. This concerns
> his great grandson, a Wisconsin resident.I have further info if desired.
Thank you for writing to ask about this. This kind of question comes
up often, and I'm grateful for a chance to explain the situation.
It's true that some lodges do give scholarships to children (and
sometimes grandchildren) of current members, and have for many years.
But some things have changed in the last few decades, as I will try to
In your grandfather's day, a much greater percentage of men were
Masons or members of other fraternal societies. We sometimes say that
"Everyone's grandfather was a Mason," and in most parts of the
country, that was pretty much true! So what's changed since then?
These days lodges are much smaller. For instance, the great-grandson
you are writing about: is his own father a Mason? Are any of his
father's brothers or friends Masons? Are any of your brothers a Mason?
Your father? Your uncles? Have any of them been regularly contributing
over the years to any lodge for its charitable activities?
So you can see from your own evidence that Masonry is smaller in
numbers than it used to be. It is this current smaller Masonry that
must support whatever scholarship programs there may be, but it's not a
secret money-bucket, merely the contributions of the participating
According to public grand lodge figures, Masons in the US still
manage to donate, on average, two millions dollars to charity every
day. That the lodges and their members can accomplish this even as
membership numbers decline is, I think, remarkable. But even so, most
lodges would be hard-pressed to provide for all the descendants of all
their former members.
You could, and I think should, contact the Grand Lodge of Illinois
for help getting in touch with John Carson #944. If the lodge is still
in existence, the Grand Lodge would have the address and phone number of
the Master and the Secretary of the lodge. Those lodge officers could
tell you if the lodge still offers scholarships. But when you do,
please keep in mind my explanation that it is difficult for lodges to
offer scholarships for their own members, not even counting distant
I hope you will understand. Best of luck.
| Gary L. Dryfoos <email@example.com>| Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA (PM)
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| whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
| or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."
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