I better get to the Masonic Week coverage, although there won’t be much this time because I attended only three functions before heading home too early on account of a medical concern. So, I attended The Masonic Society’s ninth annual banquet, the Society of Blue Friars 73rd annual Consistory, and the Grand College of Rites’ annual meeting. But this edition of The Magpie Mason concerns the Allied Masonic Degrees meeting on Saturday, by which time I was well on my way home, where Bro. Mohamad was honored with a singular surprise.
I was there in 2002 at the former Hotel Washington when Grand Master James Olmstead inaugurated the Marvin Edward Fowler Award as his final action in office, presenting it to Herb Fisher (MVGM of AMD in 1981). Olmstead designed the glass piece, having a gentle green hue added to symbolize AMD beyond the fraternity’s emblem and wording on the surface of the beveled glass. It is awarded, and not necessarily meant to be given every year, to those designated by the grand master in thanks for outstanding service to the fraternity. Its namesake had died just two months before our meeting in Washington, DC. Marvin Fowler was one of those Masons who provided backbone to American Freemasonry, having served as grand master of AMD and grand master of the Grand Lodge of Washington, DC, and was a VIP in many other apartments of the Temple. He is remembered as one of the Masons who ensured the Masonic Week (then known as AMD Weekend) tradition continued through the years as chairman of the planning committee. He had been around for some time, having been coroneted at 33° Scottish Rite Mason back in 1943! (He was made a Mason at age 22.) I did not know him; in addition to the age difference, I was still somewhat new to AMD in 2002. Nevertheless, I felt it was a pretty emotional moment when the award was revealed to the brethren present, and its first recipient was asked to approach the East to accept it. Fowler’s son Ed was junior grand warden of the Grand Council of AMD at the time too, adding more fraternal warmth to the occasion.
|Courtesy Moises Gomez|
Fast forward 15 years, and it is Bro. Mohamad’s turn. Here he is, at left, receiving the award from outgoing Grand Master Lawrence Tucker.
One unusual detail: Mohamad is a past master of Atlas-Pythagoras Masonic Lodge 10 in New Jersey. There are three other Fowler Award honorees who have links to the lodge. First, of course, is Thurman Pace, who served as grand master of AMD in 1994. In addition—and I had no idea of this until Bro. Moises Gomez pointed it out in the lodge’s March trestleboard—two honorary members of A-P 10 have received it: James M. Ward, past grand master of Mississippi (2004), and William R. Logan, past grand master of South Carolina (2016).
Congratulations, Mohamad! In addition to being proud to be your friend, I am in awe of your commitment to Freemasonry, and enjoy watching the tokens of esteem come to you.