En: Thomas W. Jackson

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Thomas W. Jackson

Source: http://www.pagrandlodge.org/freemason/0905/jack.html

RWPGS, Recognized for Service to Freemasonry

On March 23, Brother Thomas W. Jackson, RW Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and Executive Secretary of the World Conference of Masonic Grand Lodges, was invested with the Medal of Honor by the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium while attending the annual communication of that Grand Lodge in Brussels. It was presented by Most Worshipful Grand Master Alexandre Cleven for Brother Jackson's contributions to Belgium Freemasonry. It is only the third time in the history of the Grand Lodge that it was ever presented outside of the country.

Five days later, Most Worshipful Brother Alberto Menasche, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Switzerland, presented Brother Jackson with the Medal of Honor for his service to World Freemasonry. It is the first time it has been presented outside of Switzerland.

On May 2, The Grand Lodge of New York presented Brother Jackson their highest honor, the Distinguished Achievement Award. Most Worshipful Grand Master, Edward Trosin presented the award at the annual Grand Lodge banquet in New York City. This award has been presented 80 times since 1934. Past recipients include: Gerald Ford, General Douglas MacArthur, Norman Vincent Peale, Sir Alexander Fleming, John Glenn, Hubert Humphrey, Gene Autry, Ernest Borgnine, Admiral Byrd, J. Edgar Hoover, Lowell Thomas, Red Skeleton, Jimmy Doolittle, and Irving Berlin. Two past Pennsylvania recipients are Brother and Lieutenant General Robert Springer and Brother Larry Christenson for his success as an athlete and his work with charities.

Brother Jackson holds Honorary Grand Rank in 20 Grand Lodges around the world, including Honorary Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Iran in Exile, and the Grand Lodge of San Marino, and has been invested with 17 medals for his contributions to the craft.

Association of Masonic Arts

Thomas W. Jackson is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Masonic Arts. He serves the organization as Most Honourable Chairman.

Here he wrote:

It is a definite honor for me to be asked to serve as honorary chairman of the "Association of Masonic Arts". It is also a distinct pleasure for me to be associated, even in a small way with my Masonic brothers who are dedicated to the arts.

That being said, I confess that I feel quite inadequate to sit in this position. I must assume that the proposed composition of this Association will be made up of brothers far more qualified than am I to exemplify those qualities of the "Masonic Arts". However, I have great appreciation not only of the Masonic arts per se, but also for those brothers who are better prepared to exemplify that significant character of Freemasonry.

One of the charges made to each man passing through the portals of Freemasonry is that he "should be a lover of the arts and sciences and take every opportunity to improve himself therein". I have been much impressed over the years, with some of the brothers that I have met in my journeys throughout the world, with their ability to express themselves in the fields we regard as the, "Arts".

Freemasonry takes great pride in proclaiming that on its membership rolls have been some of the greatest men of the arts who have ever lived. Amadeus Mozart, Franz Joseph Hayden, Franz von Liszt, John Philip Souza, Marc Chagall, Alexander Nasmyth, William Hogarth, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Burns are a few names amongst the many, that reverberate throughout not only the Masonic world but the world in general. These men, our brothers contributed great luster to the meaning of Freemasonry.

I was extremely fortunate when I began my academic studies at the University level that I was required to take classes in diverse fields, to fulfill my requirement for a degree, the arts included. At that time I probably had some resentment of this requirement. My field of concentration was in the field of biological and chemical science and that is what I wanted to study.

Nonetheless, I have been eternally thankful for this requirement. It has become a far more important segment in my life than I had perceived at the time, paving a much smoother pathway for my world travels. However, I feel certain that my literature professor would be astounded to learn that I do writing composition as well as write book reviews. Just as shocked would probably be my speech professor to learn that I spend much of my life speaking in many countries. How much poorer would have been my life without it. I now serve on the board of advisors for the College of arts and sciences of that University from which I obtained my first degree.

Today, as a result of the vast amount of knowledge that is being amassed in so many fields, professional degrees are becoming more of a necessity than liberal arts degrees. Learning for the sake of learning is rapidly becoming passé and the day of the Renaissance man is waning in our society. Thus, the emphasis that Freemasonry places upon the brother to become "a lover of the arts and sciences" takes on greater significance in their lives.

I again express my appreciation for the honor of having my name associated to the Association of Masonic Arts.

Sincerely yours,

Thomas W. Jackson,

Honorable Chairman

(Source: AMA Website)

See also