Honors

Service Awards for Masons and non-Masons

Honors

Several honor and awards are bestowed upon members to recognize achievements within the craft and in service to the community. Recognition is also given to non-Masons who support the ideals and philosophy of the fraternity.

Master Builder’s Award

The Master Builder’s Award was developed by the Grand Lodge to recognize newly made Masons who have worked diligently to engage in the activities of their lodge, their district and the fraternity as a whole.

Each participant is required to complete several courses via the Grand Lodge’s online education system, as well as complete a personal Masonic journey through other avenues of the fraternity. Once a candidate has completed the program, he submits the program form to his Worshipful Master, who forwards it on to the District Deputy Grand Master for review and submission.

Core Requirements

An applicant for this award must complete all of the following:

  1. Attend a Stated Meeting of your home lodge.
  2. Attend an Extra Meeting of your home lodge.
  3. Attend at least one meeting of another lodge in your district.
  4. Serve as greeter for one of your lodge’s Stated Meetings.
  5. Attend an Official Visitation of the DDGM within your district.
  6. Attend at least one of your lodge’s fellowship events.
  7. Assist in a fundraising event held by your lodge (if applicable).
  8. Completion of your Blue Lodge’s Mentor Program as required by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s Education Committee.
  9. Attend a youth group meeting within your district or region.
  10. Assist the secretary or other members in contacting members in danger of being suspended to discuss with them what you believe to be the benefits of their Masonic membership.

Elective Requirements

An applicant for the award must complete three of the following:

  1. Participate in a degree conferred by your lodge.
  2. Be the first-line signer on a petition for membership in your lodge.
  3. Contact a brother who has not attended lodge in the last six months and invite him to accompany you to the next Stated Meeting. (The brother must accept and attend in order for these criteria to be completed.)
  4. Assume responsibility for arranging a Masonic Education program for your lodge. This may be done by you or by someone else via your invitation with the Worshipful Master’s approval.
  5. Attend a Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
  6. Attend either a stated meeting of The Pennsylvania Lodge of Research or the Academy of Masonic Knowledge.

Completed all of the requirements?

Download and complete the form below.

Master Craftsman & Master Pillar

The Master Craftsman and Master Pillar Awards are extensions of the very successful Master Builder’s program.

The Master Craftsman award is aimed at members of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania who have been Master Masons for more than one year. The program consists of educational and volunteer requirements that will help both the Lodge and the Brother grow.

The Master Pillar award is the highest achievement recognition possible. In addition to the requirements of the Master Craftsman award, a Master Pillar recipient must serve his Lodge as an elected officer and confer all three Masonic Degrees. See the award form for complete details.

The Franklin Medal

The Pennsylvania Franklin Medal was created in 1979 to honor distinguished Master Masons for their outstanding service to the Craft in general and Pennsylvania in particular. It has been awarded sparingly since then, maintaining very high standards for its presentation, and including among its recipients some of the most renowned Freemasons of our time. It is worn with Masonic regalia on formal occasions.

The medal bears the likeness of Brother Benjamin Franklin, Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1734 and in 1749. The work of sculptor Donald DeLue, this rendition appears on the front of the solid gold medal, which is suitably engraved for the recipient on the reverse side, and attached to a purple and gold neck ribbon.

“Adopted at the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, held at Philadelphia, March 7, 1979, Walter P. Wells, R. W. Grand Master, presiding.”

RESOLUTION for the Creation of the Pennsylvania Franklin Medal For Presentation to Distinguished Masons

WHEREAS, Grand Lodges have from time to time honored distinguished members of the Craft by the presentation of medals created for that purpose and/or by electing them as honorary members of the Grand Lodge; and

WHEREAS, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has by its Constitution provided for the special election of honorary members but has not created a medal for presentation to distinguished Masons; and

WHEREAS, the Grand Lodge Officers look with favor upon the creation and presentation of such a medal to those who have rendered outstanding service to Freemasonry in general or to this Grand Lodge in particular; and

WHEREAS, Brother Benjamin Franklin served the then Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania as Grand Master in 1734 and again in 1749 and served his country with honor and distinction to himself and the Craft, it is deemed just and fitting to name the medal in his honor; and

WHEREAS, this matter has been submitted to the Committee on Finance and the monetary requisites have been approved by it;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

  1. That a Pennsylvania Franklin Medal be created for presentation to distinguished Masons;
  2. That the recipients of such medal shall be chosen by the Right Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden and Right Worshipful Junior Grand Warden, then serving in such capacities; the recipients, if not a member of this Grand Lodge, to be elected to honorary membership in accordance with the Ahiman Rezon;
  3. That seventeen (17) such medals be struck initially and the Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer shall make available from current operating funds the sum of Seven Thousand Dollars ($7,000.00) to meet the costs of same.

2022

  • Brian A. Maxwell, Chief Investment Officer

2021

  • Thomas Gamon, IV, R.W.P.G.M

2019

  • S. Eugene Herritt, R.W.P.G.M.

2018

  • Raymond T. Dietz, R.W.P.G.M.

2017

  • 2017 John W. McNaughton, Sovereign Grand Commander, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.

2016

  • William L. Kingsbury, Past District Deputy Grand Master

2015

  • Robert J. Bateman, R.W.P.G.M.

2013

  • Thomas R. Labagh, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation
  • Robert D. Springer, Lt. General USAF (Ret.)
  • Thomas C. Librandi, former Grand Steward, former Aide to the Grand Master, and Honorary Member of the Grand Lodge
  • G. Kent Hackney, Past District Deputy Grand Master and Deputy Chief Aide to the Grand Master
  • Jay W. Smith, R.W.P.G.M.

2011

  • Thomas K. Sturgeon, R.W.P.G.M.

2010

  • Ernest Borgnine, Hollywood Lodge No. 355, California, Actor, Entertainer, Humanitarian

2009

  • William D. Hartman, Grand Chaplain
  • Mark A. Haines, R.W.G.S.
  • Stephen Gardner, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Larry A. Buzzard, Director of the Ritualistic Work, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
  • Jeffrey W. Coy, R.W.G.T.

2008

  • Kim W. Jeffreys, P.D.D.G.M., Member of the Committee on Masonic Homes, Pa. Masonic Youth Foundation Board of Directors and Aide to the Grand Master.

2007

  • Daniel J. Hinds, Superintendent of the Masonic Temple and Aide to the R. W. Grand Master
  • Gerald D. Wagner, Methodist Minister and Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge for more than 25 years.
  • Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W.P.G.M.

2005

  • William Slater II, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Donald L. Albert, R.W.P.G.S.
  • Joseph E. Murphy, Executive Director and CEO, Masonic Villages
  • Rev. Dr. Charles H. Lacquement, Grand Chaplain, Retired Director of Spiritual Services for the Masonic Homes at Elizabethtown
  • Dr. Elvin G. Warfel, Professor Emeritus of Education and Human Services, Lehigh University, for devoted service to Masonic Education.

2003

  • Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., R.W.P.G.M.

2001

  • Nat Granstein, Right Worshipful Assistant Grand Master of the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise
  • Robert L. Dluge, Jr., R.W.P.G.M.
  • Richard E. Fletcher, M.W.P.G.M. – Vermont, and Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association

2000

  • C. DeForrest Trexler, P.D.D.G.M., Grand Treasurer General and Deputy for Pennsylvania of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction
  • Carl R. Flohr, Past Master, George Washington Lodge No.143 for long-time service to the Committee on Masonic Homes
  • Marvin G. Speicher, Grand Treasurer

1999

  • Blaine F. Fabian, Editor of the Pennsylvania Freemason
  • James L. Ernette, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Edward O. Weisser, R.W.P.G.M.

1998

  • Jack H. Jones, Imperial Recorder, Imperial Shrine

1996

  • Thomas W. Jackson, Grand Secretary

1995

  • George H. Hohenshildt, R.W.P.G.M.

1994

  • Burton E. Ravellette, Jr., Imperial Potentate of the Shrine of North America
  • Robert O. Ralston, Sovereign Grand Commander, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction
  • Edward H. Fowler, Jr., R.W.P.G.M.

1993

  • William H. Thornley, Jr., Most Eminent Grand Master of Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States
  • Marvin E. Fowler, M.W.P.G.M. of the District of Columbia; Provincial Grand Master of The Royal Order of Scotland

1992

  • W. Scott Stoner, R.W.P.G.M.
  • John W. Dean, III, Imperial Potentate of the Shrine of North America

1991

  • Francis G. Paul, Sovereign Grand Commander, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction

1990

  • Arthur J. Kurtz, R.W.P.G.M.

1989

  • William A. Carpenter, R.W.P.G.M.

1988

  • Carl W. Stenberg, Jr., R.W.P.G.M.
  • Charles F. Greevy, Deputy for Pennsylvania, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction

1987

  • George N. Holmes, Grand Marshal

1986

  • Robert E. Woodside, Jr., Past Master of Lodge No. 364

1985

  • Joseph E. Trate, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Arthur R. Diamond, Grand Treasurer
  • Joseph M. Shanholtz, jeweler for Grand Lodge

1984

  • Samuel C. Williamson, R.W.P.G.M.

1983

  • Theodore K. Warner, Jr., Past Master Joseph H. Brown Lodge No. 751 for long-time service to the Committee on Masonic Homes

1982

  • Arthur T. Moore, Assistant to the Grand Master, retired in 1976

1979

  • W. LeRoy McKinley, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Earl F. Herold, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Robert E. Deyoe, R.W.P.G.M.
  • John K. Young, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Hiram P. Ball, R.W.P.G.M.
  • W. Orville Kimmel, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Rochester B. Woodall, R.W.P.G.M.
  • John L. McCain, R.W.P.G.M.
  • Stanley F. Maxwell, M.W.P.G.M., Massachusetts; Sovereign Grand Commander, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction

The Grand Master’s Outstanding Service Medal

The Grand Master’s Outstanding Service Medal is presented to honor Masons who have distinguished themselves through service to their community, Lodge or Grand Lodge. It was established by a Resolution of Grand Lodge, adopted at the Quarterly Communication held on December 5, 2007.

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania Freemasons, working in a Blue Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, as well as Freemasons of other Jurisdictions of their respective Grand Lodge, who have distinguished themselves to their community, their Blue Lodge and to their respective Grand Lodge; and

WHEREAS, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania would like to honor these Brethren who have given their time without recognition of their efforts; and

WHEREAS, the Grand Lodge Officers look with favor upon the creation and presentation of such a medal to those who have rendered outstanding service to Freemasonry and/or their community in general, or their Grand Lodge in particular; and

WHEREAS, the R.W. Grand Master of Pennsylvania has deemed it just and fitting to create a Grand Master’s Outstanding Service Medal; and

WHEREAS, this matter has been submitted to the Committee on Finance and the monetary requisites have been approved by it;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

  1. That a Grand Master’s Outstanding Service Medal be created for presentation to Pennsylvania Freemasons or Freemasons of other Jurisidictions;
  2. That the recipients of such medal shall be chosen by the Right Worshipful Grand Master not to exceed a total of 15 recipients during his term in office;
  3. That an adequate number of medals be struck initially and that the Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer shall make available from current operating funds an appropriate sum to meet the costs of the same.

(Adopted at the December 5, 2007 Quarterly Communication of Grand Lodge)

February 8, 2022:

  •  Daniel W. Simmons, P.M., Shrewsbury Lodge No. 423

January 8, 2022:

  • Martin L. Miller, P.M. King Solomon’s Lodge No. 346

December 27, 2021:

  • Jeffrey S. Moyer, P.M., Assistant Grand Marshal, Lodge No. 43
  • Peter M. Kraus, P.D.D.G.M., Oasis Lodge No. 416
  • Timothy L. Pletcher, D.D.G.M., Springford Lodge No. 553
  • Joseph C. Reuter, P.M., Shrewsbury Lodge No. 423

June 7, 2021:

  •  William A. Boharsik, Jr., Houseman Lodge No. 211
  • Raymond W. Bryant, P.M., Penn Lodge No. 709

December 4, 2019:

  • Paul E. Hollenbach, P.M., Lafayette Lodge No. 194
  • John N. Seeton, P.M., Norristown Lodge No. 620
  • Clinton J. Starkey, P.M., Spring Ford Lodge No. 553

June 8, 2019:

  • Charles L. Heydt, P.M., Lodge No. 62
  •  John D. Copeland, P.M., Shidle Lodge No. 601
  •  Edward D. Potter, P.M., Red Lion Lodge No. 649
  • Richard A. Slaughenhoupt, P.D.D.G.M., Parker Allegheny Canby Lodge No. 521

December 8, 2018:

  • W. Scott Muller, P.D.D.G.M., Harford Lodge No. 792
  •  Dennis l. Robinson, P.M., Emmaus Lodge No. 537

June 9, 2018:

  • Seth C. Anthony, P.M., Abraham Treichler Lodge No. 682
  •  William R. Rininger,P.M., Old Fort Lodge No. 537
  • Michael S. Essis, P.M., George Washington Lodge No. 143

June 24, 2017

  • Harold L. Knappenberger, Grand Chaplain, Washington Lodge No. 164

June 25, 2016

  • Byrl J. Johnson, Sr., P.D.D.G.M., Tyrian Lodge No. 644

December 28, 2015

  • D. William Roberts, P.D.D.G.M., Doric Lodge No. 630

December 2, 2015

  • Jeffrey S. Green, P.D.D.G.M., Aide to the Grand Master, Lodge No. 751
  • L. Donald Loos, Jr., Williamson Lodge No. 307
  • Earl D. Mordan, Jr., P.D.D.G.M., Lodge No. 265

June 20, 2015

  • Vincent G. Monardo, Deputy Chief Aide to Grand Master, Lodge No. 45

May 18, 2015

  • Robert J. Slater, Jr., P.M., Junior Warden of Centennial-Lafayette Lodge No. 544

December 3, 2014

  • Anthony J. Garvey, former Assistant to the Grand Master & former Aide to the Grand Master, Richard Vaux-Ivanhoe Lodge No. 384

June 21, 2014

  • William M. Kratzenberg, P.D.D.G.M., Deputy Chief Aide to Grand Master, Plum Creek-Monroeville Lodge No. 799

December 27, 2013

  • Jeffrey M. Wonderling, P.D.D.G.M., King Solomon’s Lodge No. 346

October 5, 2013

  • A. Preston Van Deursen, Grand Chaplain, Ashara-Casiphia Lodge No. 551
  • Edward J. Stumm, Grand Tyler, Williamson Lodge No. 309

May 21, 2013

  • Bryan K. Foor, Senior Warden, Mountain Lodge No. 281

December 8, 2012

  • Raymond P. Greiner, P.M., Ephrata Lodge No. 665
  • Daniel P. Martin, P.M. Distribution Office, Grand Lodge, Athelstan Lodge No. 482
  • Alvin H. Blitz, Cumberland Star Lodge No. 197

December 7, 2011

  • Rodney E. Boyce, D.D.G.M., District 30, Westmoreland Lodge No. 518

November 19, 2011

  • Ricky V. Cross, Washington Lodge No. 164

May 1, 2011

  • R. Keith Lindie, P.M., Bloss Lodge No. 350

March 21, 2011

  • James M. Elliott, Armstrong Lodge No. 239

February 2, 2011

  • Alexander C. Portellos, P.M., South Hills Lodge No. 761

August 7, 2010

  • Daniel J. Konieczka, P.M., John A. Brashear Lodge No. 743
  • Lewis R. Rauhecker, P.M., Franklin St. John’s Trinity Lodge No. 221

June 26, 2010

  • Raymond E. Foose, Grand Lodge Soloist, Newtown Lodge No. 427

February 2, 2010

  • David P. Rihl, Doric Lodge No. 630
  • Tracy H. Miller, III, Doric Lodge No. 630

January 19, 2010

  • Leroy E. Krebs, Shrewsbury Lodge No. 423

January 16, 2010

  • William D. Johnston, Crafton Guyasuta Lodge No. 513

January 9, 2010

  • Charles W. Madden, Oakdale Lodge No. 669

December 5, 2009

  • Alvin W. Hollister, P.D.D.G.M., Salem Lodge No. 330
  • Ralph H. Slider, Sr., D.D.G.M., 10th Masonic District, Greenleaf Lodge No. 561
  • Raymond W. Unger, Secretary, Pocono Lodge No. 780

December 6, 2008

  • Larry R. Christenson, Thomson Lodge No. 340
  • Colonel Harris H. Brooks, Lodge No. 126
  • John E. Goodman, Grand Lodge Organist-East, Greenleaf Lodge No. 561

December 27, 2007

  • Ronald C. Mitchum, M.W. Past Grand Master, Grand Lodge of South Carolina
  • Allen J. Henninger, P.D.D.G.M., Senior Grand Deacon, La Belle Vallee Lodge No. 232
  • F. Rick Knepper, P.D.D.G.M., Grand Steward, Cromwell Lodge No. 572
  • Alfred W. Kotula, Sr., P.D.D.G.M., Assistant Grand Marshal, St. John’s Lodge No. 233
  • Jon A. Fair, Grand Marshal, Parker City-Allegheny Valley Lodge No. 521
  • Kenneth W. McClintock, D.D.G.M., 18th Masonic District, Muncy Lodge No. 299
  • James A. O’Connor, D.D.G.M., 21st Masonic District, State College Lodge No. 700
  • Richard J. Stemmler, P.D.D.G.M., Loyalhanna Lodge No. 275
  • Joseph F. Acton, P.D.D.G.M., Henry M. Phillips Lodge No. 337
  • Thomas R. Reich, P.D.D.G.M., Aide to Grand Master, Elysburg Lodge No. 414
  • Howard T. Silbaugh, Aide to Grand Master, Westmoreland Lodge No. 518
  • John G. Richards, Aide to Grand Master, St. John’s Lodge No. 233
  • Harry B. Rutter, Jr., Controller, Grand Lodge, William L. Elkins Lodge No. 271
  • John Lawler, Distribution Office, Grand Lodge, Athelstan Lodge No. 482

December 5, 2007

  • Jeffrey B. Hodgdon, M.W. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts

The Wanamaker Medal

The John Wanamaker Masonic Humanitarian Medal was created by resolution of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania at the December Quarterly Communication of 1993, under the leadership of then Grand Master Edward H. Fowler. It is to be awarded to a person (male or female) who, being a non-Mason, supports the ideals and philosophy of the Masonic Fraternity.

John Wanamaker was an outstanding public-spirited citizen and a lover of all people who devoted his life to doing good. The recipient of this medal is one who personifies these high ideals. The award is made at the discretion of the R. W. Grand Master.

The medal has been presented sparingly to maintain the great prestige associated with an award created by resolution of the Grand Lodge, the others being the Franklin Medal for Distinguished Masonic Service and the Thomson Award for Saving a Human Life.

220px-John_WanamakerInternationally known as a merchant, John Wanamaker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1838. Little is known of his early life, but after a few years as secretary of the Philadelphia Young Men’s Christian Association, he and his new brother-in-law, Nathan Brown, opened a men’s clothing store called “Oak Hall” in 1861.

In 1869, a year after Brown’s death, Wanamaker opened the more fashionable John Wanamaker & Company. He turned this store over to his brothers to manage, and in 1876, in time for the National Centennial, he opened the “Grand Depot,” a huge dry goods and men’s clothing store located in a former Pennsylvania Railroad depot. Unable to attract other merchants to open shop under his roof, in 1877 he opened a number of “specialty shops” that flourished after a year.

He expanded into New York City in 1896 and continued enlarging his innovative “department” stores. He advertised effectively in newspapers and implemented a money-back customer guarantee.

A devout Presbyterian, he founded the Bethany Sunday School (1858), and supported temperance and the Pennsylvania Blue Laws. An enthusiastic Republican, he was unsuccessful in his bid for various political offices. However, as a reward for his support of Benjamin Harrison, he was made Postmaster General of the United States in 1889 and created several improvements, including the introduction of the Parcel Post system.

He was patriotic even to the detriment of his own business. He required military drill of his male clerks and offered to release them for service during the Spanish-American War and the First World War. But he truly cared about his labor force. To help his workers improve themselves, he provided business classes and benefits for his employees.

Masonically, he was made a Mason-At-Sight with two other candidates (John L. Kinsey and Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf) by virtue of the presence of Right Worshipful Grand Master William J. Kelly, in an Emergent Grand Lodge, held March 30, 1898, at the age of 62. Being a Mason-At-Sight meant that he did not belong to a Lodge, and many solicited for his affiliation. On January 9, 1900, he elected to become a member of Friendship Lodge No. 400 in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, then a predominantly rural community. He was elected Senior Warden, and the following year served as Worshipful Master of this Lodge.

Brother Wanamaker belonged to no other fraternal society. He did become enthusiastically involved in many of the affiliated bodies of Freemasonry and received the Thirty-Third Degree in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, but he always regarded the first three degrees of Freemasonry as not only fundamental, but essential in the understanding of Masonic beliefs and the reason for the existence of the Craft.

He was appointed to serve the Grand Lodge as Chairman of the Library Committee by R.W. Grand Master James W. Brown, and was largely responsible for the phenomenal growth of the collection at the inception of the Library. Using his own personal wealth, he gathered together books, letters and artwork which pertained to the history and moral teachings of Freemasonry. While serving in that position he donated a copy of William Joseph Williams’ portrait of George Washington in Masonic regalia, painted in 1794 at the request of Alexandria (Virginia) Lodge No. 22. By the end of his tenure as Chairman, the Library had over 17,000 volumes, and over 7,400 works of art and Masonic relics.

His Masonic character was intimately tied to his business practice, summed up in the memorial tablet surmounting the Wanamaker Store on the celebration of its Completion Day, June 11, 1910, and duplicated on a ceremonial medal at the Diamond Jubilee of his business career in 1921, as follows:

“Let those who follow me continue to build with the plumb of Honor, the level of Truth, and the Square of Integrity, Education, Courtesy and Mutuality.”

He died on December 12, 1922.

Dr. Loretta FinneganDr. Loretta Finnegan
Year Presented: 1993
Awarded for: For her work in the area of study, treatment, prevention and education in the field of drug and alcohol abuse.

Eleanor KratzerEleanor Kratzer
Year Presented: 1996
Awarded for: For her charitable efforts and her efforts to make others aware of community needs.

Beryl L. HogueBeryl L. Hogue
Year Presented: 1997
Awarded for: For her many years of devotion and service to the youth of Pennsylvania.

Donald MireauDonald Mireau
Year Presented: 1998
Awarded for: For volunteer service to combat drug and alcohol abuse.

Joseph V. PaternoJoseph V. Paterno
Year Presented: 2001
Awarded for: For his commitment to education and teamwork, his elevation of the concept of the student-athlete, and his unique blend of character-building and leadership training for all team members.

Barbara CarsonBarbara Carson
Year Presented: 2007
Awarded for: For her service to Masonic ideals through her unwavering support of Pennsylvania Rainbow in its time of need for leadership and stability during a period of great adversity.

Dr. Richard MextorfDr. Richard Mextorf
Year Presented: 2007
Awarded for: For his service to the public schools, and in particular his work with students with special needs, as well as his charitable activities.

Helen SneddenHelen Snedden
Year Presented: 2010
Awarded for: For her many years of service as an elementary school teacher in the city of Pittsburgh, and her uncommon devotion to serving the youth of Pennsylvania.

The Thomson Cup

Officially titled “The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania Thomson Award for Saving A Human Life,” it is presented by the Right Worshipful Grand Master to a member of the fraternity who was primarily responsible for saving the life of a fellow human being.

It bears a unique emblem which combines the square and compasses, the first aid cross and the keystone, thematically portraying the themes of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. This emblem is joined with the seal of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania by a cabletow, the age-old symbol of the distance a Mason is to go in service to his fellow man.

Brother ThompsonThe Award is named for Brother John Thomson, a Past Master of Lodge No. 51, Philadelphia, who served as Right Worshipful Grand Master in 1861-1862. A common man with little schooling, he developed a respected trade as a cooper, learning the intricacies of barrel and tub construction from an apprenticeship with his father. Lack of formal education was no hindrance to him, for he became a very successful businessman and leader in Philadelphia.

John Thomson’s long record of service to the Craft is unmatched by any other man in the history of the Grand Lodge.

Born in 1799, he was proud of the fact that he was, for four months of his infancy, contemporary to Brother and First President of our Nation, George Washington. He petitioned for membership on March 22, 1827, and was entered into the fraternity by the officers of Lodge No. 51 during the height of the Anti-Masonic period.

During his Masonic career, Brother Thomson met in three different Masonic halls owned by the Grand Lodge and was well acquainted with the financing and details of the construction of the Masonic Temple at One North Broad Street in Philadelphia. Throughout his 63-year tenure of membership, he served as a lodge officer for 26 years and as a Grand Lodge officer for 30 years. In fact, Brother Thomson was the only individual to ever serve in all six elected offices of the Grand Lodge:

Grand Treasurer from 1842 to 1853

Junior Grand Warden in 1856 and 1857

Senior Grand Warden in 1858 and 1859

Deputy Grand Master in 1859 and 1860

Grand Master in 1861 and 1862

Grand Secretary from 1867-1880

Brother Thomson’s incomparable Masonic record of service might well have been enough to warrant the distinction of attaching his name to this award, but a singular incident in his life deserves particular notice: he was “publicly acclaimed” and cited by the Humane Society of Philadelphia for saving several persons from drowning in the Delaware River.

Four of Thomson’s sons also were members of Lodge No. 51, one of whom provided this personal recollection, which is on file in the archives of the Grand Lodge:

“Born August 14th, 1799, Penn St. and Lombard in the old City limits. Learned the trade of Oak Cooper which he afterwards conducted successfully. His occupation, requiring his presence on the wharves, frequently gave him many opportunities to rescue persons from drowning who had been misfortunate enough to fall in the docks, and for these services the Humane Society presented him with a Silver Cup.”

We don’t know what Brother Thomson’s silver cup might have looked like. The cup he received is not presently in the archives of the Grand Lodge. It may be presumed to have been shaped like a two-handled loving cup, the form of the traditional trophy cup still used today when bestowing distinction and honor.

The only other record of this award to him was reported as the presentation of a silver medal, rather than a cup, but this was in a printed Memorial Address, delivered by a Past Master in Lodge No. 51, on December 26, 1889, two months following his decease. We accept the son’s account as more accurate, owing to his intimate knowledge of the possessions of his father.

It may be coincidence, or even, perhaps, providence, that the word for his occupation, cooper, is derived from the Latin root cupa, meaning “cup.”

In commemoration of Brother John Thomson’s unselfish acts of service, we present this silver cup to celebrate a response to the call of Masonic duty by hastening to the rescue, and saving a human life.

A letter explaining the circumstances may be addressed to the Grand Lodge Officers (RWGM, RWDGM, RWSGW, RWJGW, RWGT and RWGS – all the positions in which Brother Thomson served) and sent through the District Deputy Grand Master, in accordance with Masonic Protocol, to the Grand Secretary’s Office. The recommendation will be referred to a review committee for investigation.

Each nomination must be carefully investigated and documented. The committee will look for evidence that the incident involved the actual saving of a life from certain death, that the nominee was primarily responsible for saving a life, and that this was a case of SAVING a human life, rather than protecting it. Videotape, photographs and written statements by multiple eyewitnesses, or reports filed by police, insurance or emergency personnel are the best evidence for these purposes. The incident must have occurred after December 8, 2000, when the Award was created by Resolution of the Grand Lodge. The nominee must have been acting outside the line of his duty as a professional or volunteer in the field of health, human services or safety.

The committee is charged with granting the award only in cases of absolute certainty that the incident represents action worthy of the special recognition this prestigious award brings. The committee will ask for additional information if necessary, and will ultimately make a recommendation to the Grand Lodge Officers as to the merits of the nomination. Because of the singularity of this award, each selection will be held to the highest standard anticipated when the award was created. All inquiries and correspondence must go through the District Deputy Grand Master.

The Thomson Award was designed by direction of Brother Robert L. Dluge, Jr., Right Worshipful Grand Master, 2000-2001. It was formally adopted by resolution in Grand Lodge on December 8, 2000. It is a sterling silver cup, handcrafted by Wendell August Forge of Grove City, Pennsylvania.

December 27, 2021

  • Thomas Gamon, IV, R.W. Grand Master, Perkiomen Lodge No. 595. Presented by The Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

December 2, 2020

  • Edward L. Campbell, Oriental Lodge No. 460, Presented by Thomas Gamon, IV, RWGM.
  • John H. Huckans, Oriental Lodge No. 460, Presented by Thomas Gamon, IV, RWGM.
  • Dana J. Shaffer, Oriental Lodge No. 460, Presented by Thomas Gamon, IV, RWGM.

December 7, 2016

  • David A. Labagh, Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682. Presented by Raymond T. Dietz, RWGM.

November 4, 2015

  • Douglas D. Quinn, Perseverance Lodge No. 21. Presented by Robert J. Bateman, RWGM.

September 16, 2014

  • Shawn R. Hill, Lodge of the Craft/Westminster Lodge No. 433. Presented by Robert J. Bateman, RWGM.

December 27, 2011

  • Eric H. Sowers, Kedron Lodge No. 389. Presented by Thomas K. Sturgeon, RWGM.

December 5, 2009

  • Monroe S. Myers, Eureka Lodge No. 404. Presented by Stephen Gardner, RWGM.
  • Nathan W. Fisher, Eureka Lodge No. 404. Presented by Stephen Gardner, RWGM.

December 6, 2008

  • Charles D. McHenry, Doylestown Lodge No. 245. Presented by Stephen Gardner, RWGM.
  • Ronald D. Goodman, Doylestown Lodge No. 245. Presented by Stephen Gardner, RWGM.

June 21, 2008

  • Paul E. Greiner, Oasis Lodge No. 416. Presented by Stephen Gardner, RWGM.
  • Scott D. Steva, Oasis Lodge No. 416. Presented by Stephen Gardner, RWGM.

December 7, 2005

  • Mark A. Muzzana, Butler Lodge No 272. Presented by William Slater II, RWGM.
  • David L. Reiner, D.D.G.M., Eureka Lodge No. 404. Presented by William Slater II, RWGM.

June 2, 2004

  • Nelson S. Wehler, Sr., Hebron Lodge No. 465. Presented by William Slater II, RWGM.

December 8, 2000

  • Michael A. Dickey, Jr., William H. Miller Lodge No. 769. Presented by Robert L. Dluge, Jr., RWGM.
  • James S. Grady, Jr., William H. Miller Lodge No. 769. Presented by Robert L. Dluge, Jr., RWGM.
  • Ronald A. Marsico, William H. Miller Lodge No. 769. Presented by Robert L. Dluge, Jr., RWGM.

Member Awards

Century Club Pin

At the December 5, 2009, Quarterly Communication, then R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner announced the creation of the Century Club award for Pennsylvania Lodge members who have conferred a minimum of 100 Lodge degrees.

This award can be obtained by completing the application. The Lodge Secretary should complete and forward the application to his District Deputy Grand Master for approval who will then forward it to the Grand Lodge.

Grand Lodge Service Emblems

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania recognizes Master Masons who have given significant Masonic service. Special pins are awarded at 25, 50 and 75 years, and certificates for 60 and 70-year milestones. The 75-year award is known as the Diamond Jubilee Award.

Twenty-five year pins are awarded by the Lodge Secretary any time during the year in which a member celebrates this significant anniversary of membership. The Worshipful Master MAY use the 25-Year Pin Presentation ceremony, posted below, at his discretion.

By resolution of the Grand Lodge adopted at the Quarterly Communication, held June 5, 1940, a member of a Lodge in this Jurisdiction who has been a Master Mason in good standing for 50 years, or more, is eligible to receive a Grand Lodge 50-Year Masonic Service Emblem. By decision of the R.W. Grand Master, January 10, 2007, additional service award levels of 60, 70 and 75-years may also be awarded. The 75-year award shall be known as the Diamond Jubilee Award.

Eligibility

Eligibility for service emblems is determined by the length of time a member has been a continuously active member of one or more lodges recognized by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Any time during which a member was not an active member as a result of resigning from all lodges is not counted toward service emblem eligibility. Any period longer than one year during which a member was suspended is not counted toward service emblem eligibility

Requests for Emblems

If a member feels he is eligible for one of these awards, he may request it through his lodge secretary, although the records are usually reviewed automatically at the beginning of each year. When a member becomes eligible for a Masonic Service Emblem, the lodge secretary will request these items from the Grand Secretary’s office, in writing, at least 30 days in advance of the anticipated presentation date.

A special ceremony has been created for the presentation of 25-Year Pin Presentations, 50-Year Emblems and for the Diamond Jubilee Award. These ceremonies will be conducted by the R.W. Grand Master, by the District Deputy Grand Master in his absence or by a designated brother, on behalf of the Grand Master.

Ceremonies for Awards

Lewis Jewel for Pennsylvania Masons

On December 27, 2007, R.W Grand Master Ronald A. Aungst, Sr. introduced and approved the usage of the Lewis Jewel for Pennsylvania Masons.

The word “Lewis” denotes strength and is depicted by certain pieces of metal dovetailed into a stone, which forms a cramp, and enables the operative Mason to raise great weights to certain heights with little encumbrance, and to fix them in their proper bases. Lewis, likewise, denotes the son of a Mason; his duty is to bear the heat and burden of the day, from which his parents, by reason of their age, ought to be exempt; to help them in time of need, and thereby render the close of their days happy and comfortable; and his privilege for so doing is to be made a Mason before any other person however dignified.

In the days of operative Masonry, it was a great source of pride when a son followed in his father’s footsteps and was Entered as an Apprentice, his name “entered” on the roll, and thereby admitted to the Lodge. To study his father’s skills and learn to use his father’s tools were manifest expressions of the greatest honor and esteem a son could play. It was common to carry on the tradition through several generations in the same family.

The Lewis Jewel may be worn by a Mason, if, at the time of his Initiation, his father was a Mason in good standing. The initiate of a deceased father – in good standing at the time of his death – would also qualify. The jewel is suspended from two chains with two bars. The upper bar contains the name of the father and the date of his initiation. The lower bar contains the name of the son and date of his initiation. The Jewel comes in a wallet with a pocket holder.

The Lewis Jewel has been in use in England and other Jurisdictions under the United Grand Lodge of England for many decades to honor a new Mason’s father. The jewel has also been adopted in the Jurisdictions of Vermont, Texas, Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut and perhaps others in the United States and is offered throughout Canada.

Eagle Scout Commendation Certificates

Commendation certificates from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and a letter signed by the R.W. Grand Master, can be requested in writing through the Grand Secretary’s office. Please include the following information:

  • Name of scout
  • Scout troop number
  • Troop location
  • Troop charter partner
  • Scout Council
  • Date of Eagle Scout Court of Honor
  • Name of requester
  • Mailing address of requester

Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award

The Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award is given to a Master Mason who is currently a registered Scouter and active in a Scout unit, district, council, or national affiliate and has displayed outstanding dedication to the Scouting program through:

  • Developing Scouting units
  • Assisting lodges in forming units
  • Exemplifying the Scout Law and Masonic virtues
  • Recruiting Scouting volunteers
  • Strengthening the relationship between Freemasonry and Scouting

Work accomplishment and dedication, rather than a specific number of years in Scouting, will be the criteria for this award.

The program is administered on behalf of the Grand Lodge by the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation. The application and additional details can be found at: https://pmyf.org/masonic-youth/scouts/

Masonic Eagle Scout Lapel Pins

The Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation, in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America’s National Eagle Scout Association, has designed and created a lapel pin which can be worn by ANY Freemason who earned the Eagle Scout Award as a youth.

Visit the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation website for more information and application for the Masonic Eagle Scout Lapel Pin.

Other Honors & Awards

Appendant and affiliated organizations may offer honors and awards recognized by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Resources and links with more information are listed below.

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