Tuesday, November 17, 2009

‘Passing the baton’

Magpie file photo
Mike Lakat and Bud York, both Past Grand Commanders,
greet SK Thurman Pace.

For 43 years, Thurman C. Pace, Jr. has presided in the East of Trinity Commandery when conferring the Order of the Temple, but last night was his swansong. (Actually there was one exception last November when Grand Master Billy Koon paid an Official Visit to confer the Order.) He has been retiring, gradually, from various Masonic duties in recent years, and while he certainly remains very active, he believes it is best to “pass the baton” – or sword, as the case may be – to a new generation.

Thurman is a Past Commander of Trinity Commandery No. 17 in Westfield, New Jersey; a Past Northeast Department Commander; and an Honorary Past Grand Master of Grand Encampment. And he is a past grand or past supreme of almost everything else in Masonry in the United States. I am not able to list every capacity in which he has served the Craft, but I cannot resist pointing out how there are Rosicrucian colleges in France and Portugal named in his honor.

Naturally, it was he who knighted me when I received the Order of the Temple in 2000. “It’s great to see another Rose Croix man!” he said, greeting me upon being knighted. One of the few truly indelible memories in my Masonic life.

The Magpie Mason was unable to attend the ceremony last night, so these are file photos from the Magpie Archives.

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