Notes from the Northern Light: January-February 2011

Bordeaux Hotel de Ville

Dr. Newell in France

Photo: Bordeaux Hotel de Ville

In June, the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library’s Director of Collections, Dr. Aimee E. Newell, presented her paper, “Authority or Auxiliary? Miss Rose Lipp’s Masonic Business, 1900-1930,” in Bordeaux, France. The presentation was part of an international conference, “Women and Freemasonry Since the Enlightenment.”

Newell’s paper explored the early 1900s career of Boston regalia maker Rose Lipp, who was hailed as an authority in Masonic costume by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The paper studied a number of aprons and other regalia items in the museum’s collection that show Lipp’s label, as well as Lipp’s advertisements, in The New England Craftsman, a Masonic magazine published in Boston. A forthcoming publication of the conference proceedings is planned for 2011.

Stepping Up in New Jersey

Fall 2004 was a dark time for Ill. Verdon Skipper, 33°, then Deputy for New Jersey. He received word that financial problems were causing a major supporter of the 32° Masonic Learning Centers for Children in his state to step away from its long-term financial commitment to the program.

It would have been easy to close the affected centers. “I didn’t want to consider this option,” Bro. Skipper continues. “I didn’t think we’d want to lose these centers without a fight.”

Ill. Kenneth Larsen, 33°, a board member and certified tutor for the learning center program observes, “New Jersey has a veritable army of volunteers working on behalf of our learning centers.”

A turning point came when Bro. Larsen introduced Ill. Malcolm Wernik, 33°, to the program and to Ill. Bro. Skipper. “Mal has turned out to be an absolute godsend for us,” observes Ill. Bro. Larsen. “He has given and raised $1,000,000 in donations for the New Jersey learning centers.”

The success is due to the heroic work of all the Masons in New Jersey. None, however, feel compelled to take a bow. Bro. Wernik probably best sums it up, “In the end, it’s all about the kids.”

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