Jay W. Smith
119th Right Worshipful Grand Master
Personal and Professional Biography
Bro. Jay W. Smith graduated from Manheim Township High School, Lancaster, Pa., in 1959, and attended Stevens State School of Technology (formally Stevens Trade School) where he studied architectural drawing and engineering. He went to work for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) and upon being encouraged by a mentor on the job, he took night classes for nine years at Penn State University. He then passed his exams and earned his Engineer In Training and then his Professional Engineer and Land Surveying licenses.
"I had a mentor who saw some potential in me and was willing to invest his time to help me succeed," Bro. Smith said. He retired from PENNDOT as Chief of the Highway Quality Assurance Division after 40 years of service.
Bro. Smith is the first Mason in his family. He inquired about the fraternity after hearing two friends in his church bowling league talk about Freemasonry. Having noticed the men's moral conduct and professional demeanors, he decided to learn more about it. While Nancy's father had been a Mason, back then in 1971, the fraternity was still quite secretive. Bro. Smith remembers driving by a building that had a sign reading only "551 F&AM" and wondering if it referred to some type of radio station! Upon joining, it became his lodge home.
"Young men coming into the fraternity today know more about it than I did back then," Bro. Smith said. Fortunately, once again, he benefitted by the mentorship of two older brethren who took him under their wings and taught him the degree work. That's why he is so enthusiastic about promoting Masonic Education.
"On the internet, there's a lot of information, but not all of it's accurate," Bro. Smith explained. "By the time my term is over, my hope is that every new member, as well as each existing member, will be able to explain, when asked, what Freemasonry is, why he joined and what it means to him." All it takes are brethren who believe in new members' potential and are willing to invest the time to help them learn the truth about Freemasonry's past and present, so that it will be preserved and prospered for future generations.
All must be, in fact, "Master Builders -Building for Our Future."
Bro. Smith and his wife, Nancy, were married on July 9, 1961. Nancy was a stay-at-home mother until after their children were married, when she began volunteering at the Lancaster General Hospital. She is a member of Donegal Chapter Order of Eastern Star, having served as Worthy Matron in 1982.
The Smiths are members of Chiques United Methodist Church, where he has served as a Sunday School Teacher and Youth Coordinator. In addition to the Masonic Charities, they support the American Cancer Society and the Lupus Foundation of America.
When not involved in various Masonic activities, the Smiths enjoy boating at their summer home on the Chesapeake Bay at Red Point, Md. When Bro. Smith was younger, he loved to water ski and knee board on the bay; now, he operates the boat for his children and grandchildren to go water skiing, wake boarding and tubing. They also enjoy gardening, camping and spending time at their hunting cabin in Franklin County. Bro. Smith likes to fish and hunt.
The Smiths have three children, all of whom live close by, and eight grandchildren who keep them busy trying to attend as many sports activities as possible.
They clearly have passed along their Masonic values, doing their part in "Building for the Future."
Their daughters, Traci and Kristine, were members of Job's Daughters during their youth. Traci was Honored Queen of Job's Daughters, Bethel 15, Elizabethtown, 1983-1984, and Kristine was Honored Queen of Job's Daughters, Bethel 4, Lancaster, 1988-1989, and Bethel 7, Columbia, 1985-1986.
Their son, Steve, was Master Councilor of Lancaster Chapter Order of DeMolay in 1988 and served as State Master Councilor of DeMolay in 1992-1993. He is Worshipful Master of Ashara-Casiphia Lodge No. 551, Mount Joy, for 2012. Their son-in-law, Jesse Spence, was Master Councilor of Lancaster Chapter Order of DeMolay in 1989 and is also a member of Ashara-Casiphia Lodge No. 551.
Their granddaughter, Brooke Spence, was Honored Queen of Job's Daughters, Bethel 15, Elizabethtown, in 2010. Granddaughters Nicole and Corrie Baker belong to Bethel 15, where granddaughter McKena Smith is a Jobie-to-Be. Grandsons Jarrid Baker and Alex Spence belong to Elizabethtown Order of DeMolay. Jarrid served as Master Councilor for 2011, and Alex will be installed as Master Councilor in January 2012.MASONIC RECORD
Casiphia Lodge No. 551 (now Ashara -Casiphia Lodge No. 551)
Initiated - April 1971
Passed - May 1971
Raised - June 7, 1971
Worshipful Master (1977, 1981, 2003, 2004)
Treasurer (1978, 1982-1990)
Trustee (2001, 2002)
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
R. W. Deputy Grand Master (2010-2011)
R. W. Senior Grand Warden (2008-2009)
R. W. Junior Grand Warden (2006-2007)
District Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District No. 1 (1991-1999)
Junior Grand Deacon (1990-1991)
Committee on Landmarks (2006-present)
Committee on Finance (2006-present)
Committee on Masonic Homes (2006-present)
Masonic Homes Admissions, Home Assistance and Resident Services Sub-Committee (2006-2007)
Masonic Homes Building and Grounds Sub-Committee (2006-present)
Masonic Homes Human Resources Sub- Committee (2008-present)
Membership Services Committee Board of Directors (2006-2009)
Committee on "The Pennsylvania Freemason" (2006-present)
Masonic Library and Museum Board of Directors (2006-present)
Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation Board of Directors (2006-2011)
District Deputy Grand Master Resource Committee (2000-2001)
Committee on Masonic Education (2000-2009)
Other Masonic Affiliated Bodies
Valley of Lancaster, Lodge of Perfection (Thrice Potent Master, 1982)
Valley Of Harrisburg (Most Wise Master, Chapter of Rose Croix, 1993)
Lancaster County Scottish Rite Club of Harrisburg Consistory (President, 1985)
Honorary Member of Supreme Council, 33°
Royal Arch Chapter No. 43, Lancaster, Pa.
Goodwin Council No. 19, Lancaster, Pa.
Lancaster Commandery No. 13, Lancaster, Pa.
Trinity Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, Harrisburg, Pa.
Excelsior Mark Lodge No. 216, Philadelphia
Lancaster County Shrine Club
Lancaster Forest No. 27, Tall Cedars of Lebanon
Pennsylvania Lodge of Research
Royal Order of Scotland
Constans Council No. 239, Allied Masonic Degrees
Pennsylvania College, Masonic Societas
Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis
DeMolay Legion of Honor
DeMolay Cross of Honor
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