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VOLUME 12 November 20, 2017 EDITION 43



Human progress is our cause, liberty of thought our supreme wish, freedom of conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal.


If you are aware of an event with the Scottish Rite that does not show up on this calendar, please email enews@ritestart.org 

Nov 20 Clay - Platte Club Meeting - 6:00 PM
Nov 23 Thanksgiving Day
Nov 26 Decorate the Temple
Dec 2 Children's Christmas Party
Dec 7 Sedalia Club Meeting - 7:00 PM
Dec 8 Bates County Club Meeting - 6:30 PM
Dec 9 Benton County Club - 7:30 AM
Dec 12 Executive Board Meeting - 6:30 PM
Dec 16 Temple Leadership Meeting - 8:00 AM
Dec 18 Clay - Platte Club Meeting - 6:00 PM
Dec 20 Stated Dinner Meeting and Officer Installation - 6:30 PM
Dec 23 Sedalia Club Meeting - 7:00 PM
Dec 24 Christmas Eve
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 30 Undecorate the Temple
Dec 31 NYE At The Temple - Rental
Jan 1 New Years Day


Many have asked for contact information for the leadership. This information can be found here.


Unsung Heroes
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Steven L. Harrison, 33°, FMLR

Publishing is hard. Just ask Robert Johnson, the Managing Editor of this blog. Every week you can come here and read three new articles on Freemasonry and then go about your business. Very simple. There is a lot, however, going on behind the scenes to bring those articles to you. He faces some of the same problems publishers have had since Gutenberg's brainstorm gave us movable type. That said, Right Worshipful Brother Robert has a "leg up" on some publishers when it comes to getting those articles to you. Once he has gone through the process of reading, editing, spell-checking and making sure an article is appropriate he heads for his computer and… presto-change-o! He hands it to you on the Internet, that land of science and technology with a bit of magic thrown in.



Brother Mel Tillis Passes Away at 85

Country music legend and Brother Freemason Mel Tillis has passed away Sunday morning at the age of 85. He was a Country Music Hall of Famer, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee, and a member of the Grand Ole Opry. In a prolific career that spanned six decades, he recorded more than 60 albums with three dozen Top 10 singles, and wrote over 1,000 songs. 

He had been quite ill ever since early 2016, and his suffering has now been eased. 

Illustrious Lonnie Melvin Tillis was raised a Master Mason on December 16, 1984 in Branson Lodge No. 587 in Branson, Missouri. He became a 32° Scottish Rite Mason in the Valley of Joplin, Missouri, in 1993, and was invested with the Rank and Decoration of Knight Commander Court of Honour in 1996. He was coroneted a 33° Scottish Rite Mason at the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C. in 1998, and on October 11th, 1999, Mel was further honored by the Scottish Rite Southern jurisdiction by being awarded the Grand Cross.

Brother Tillis suffered with a lifelong speech impediment following a childhood bout of malaria, but he deliberately incorporated the stutter into his act as his own comedic signature. His fellow country music singer friend Bill Anderson was quoted in a news story Sunday afternoon saying Tillis once told him concerning his stutter, "I had a handicap and turned it into an ass-ass-asset." The stutter disappeared when he sang, and he later commented to his lodge brothers that he was able to repeat his Masonic ritual flawlessly because he had to concentrate on it so carefully to repeat it without the stammer.

In addition to his music career, Brother Tillis appeared regularly on television shows such as “Hee Haw” and “Hollywood Squares,” and was in several movies, including “Smokey and the Bandit 2” and “Cannonball Run."

Brother Tillis Tillis is survived by his longtime partner Kathy DeMonaco, his children, Pam, Carrie April, Cindy, Mel Jr. ("Sonny"), Connie and Hannah; brother Richard; sister Linda Crosby; and six grandchildren and one great-grandson. 

Funeral arrangements are unavailable at this time. Memorials will be held in Florida and Nashville.

His column is broken and his brethren mourn.


It is the mission of the Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri, Inc., to enhance the lives of the children of Missouri by actively embracing high social, moral and spiritual value through: the RiteCare Childhood Language Program, Youth Programs, Scholarships and Disaster Relief.

You can now make a donation to the Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri, Inc. online using the button below.

The Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri, Inc. was originally incorporated in 1946 as the Scottish Rite Endowment, Philanthropic, and Educational Foundation, Inc.  Its purpose was to provide the public charities of the order and go beyond that given by the Almoner to needy brethren.

In 1958 the Foundation’s name changed to The Scottish Rite Foundation of St. Louis, Inc.  Its purpose was the same as before, and as early as 1959 it selected as its objectives for future development the training of children who are aphasics and the maintenance of scholarships.

In 1970, amended Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office to change the name to The Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri, Inc.  The Foundation concentrates on four principal charities:

  • To provide financial support of the Orient RiteCare Clinics;
  • To grant undergraduate scholarships to deserving individuals attending an accredited college or university and pursuing a bachelor’s degree;
  • To give financial assistance for medical, dental, and personal needs to children who would otherwise have to do without the treatment or benefit; and
  • To give financial assistance to Missouri DeMolay to offset their expenses related to leadership training and education.

It has been a matter of custom and precedent to urge those financially able Scottish Rite members who are 32° to give $32, those who are KCCH to give $32.50 and 33° brethren to give $33 annually to the Foundation.  There is also an Albert Pike Society which is composed of members who give $10,000 to the Foundation.  The contribution may be made in lump sum or over a period of ten years.  Donors receive recognition by having their names inscribed on a plaque which lists every member and which is displayed in each of the Valleys.

Please note that you can access additional information on the Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri using the menu found above. This includes our MISSION STATEMENT, information regarding our HISTORY AND PURPOSE, our ANNUAL REPORTS, a DONATION page, and our CONTACT INFORMATION.

Up-to-date news regarding the activities of the Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri is available here.

If you have any questions, please click here to contact us.



Have you ever wondered what it means to open a lodge in Ancient, Due, or Ample form? Have you ever heard a term you don't know? Head over to the Masonic Dictionary!


The Supreme Council hosts a podcast that is now entering its second season. This podcast contains stories, interviews, and lessons for freemasons. This wonderful podcast, hosted by Bro:. Maynard Edwards, 32°, has been a fantastic addition to the ongoing education of freemasonry. Tune in at


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This email is sent by the Kansas City Scottish Rite as a free service to members for the purpose of sharing news on upcoming events as well as Masonic education and offering resources in the Masonic search for light. Contents of articles in the Rite Start do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor, The Valley of Kansas City or its officers, the Grand Lodge of Missouri or the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry S.J. Supreme Council in general.
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ERRARE HUMANUM EST? - To err is human