History of Lubbock Valley

This history was taken from notes written by Beverly Vinson widow of Furman Vinson, Past Grand Master of Masons in Texas and Personal Representative of our Lubbock Scottish Rite for 21 years.

HISTORY OF THE LUBBOCK SCOTTISH RITE BODIES AS OF 2007

The Scottish Rite, one of the most benevolent organizations in the world and a part of the Masonic Fraternity has been in this area for 46 years. The men from the Texas Panhandle to the far reaches of West Texas, to the east as far as Wichita Falls and South to the Midland-Odessa area who were interested and encouraged to take the Scottish Rite degrees were called upon to assist in forming a Scottish Rite Valley in Lubbock. Many had gone to El Paso or Dallas to obtain their Scottish Rite degrees until this time.

On January 5, 1972 a group of men from the Lubbock area went to Waco to meet in the City Club for the purpose of discussing a Scottish Rite Consistory in Lubbock, Texas. Those making the trip were John Bean, P.G.M. and Masonic Home and School Superintendent, Harvey Bird, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Texas A.F. &A.M.; Shannon Keltz, Clint Webster, Charlie Sherrod, Al Muldrow, O.W. Schellinger, Leonard Ellington, Tullus Walker, Herschel Galey, Rolan Simpson, Jimmy Willson, Furman Vinson, Dale Tanner, W.L. Hampton, F.C. Odorizzi, A.A. Sparkman, Jack Strong and Bob Scott. Brother Lee Lockwood, P.G.M. and S.G.I.G called the meeting to order; Charlie Sherrod gave the invocation. After discussion, Brother Lockwood gave the group representing the Lubbock area the authority to go to work as the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies to secure application for affiliations and certificates of good standing as well as petitions for the degrees.

January 8, 1972 a meeting of the Scottish Rite Masons was held in the Yellowhouse Lodge for the purpose of electing officers: Charlie Sherrod, acting Master of Ceremonies. The meeting was called to order and the pledge of allegiance to the Flag was given. The group stood in silence in memory to Brother Douglas E. Pitts 33° after which Brother Furman Vinson gave the invocation. The following officers were elected.

Al Muldrow Venerable Master Lodge of Perfection
Bob Andis Wise Master Chapter of Rose Croix
Jimmy Willson Commander Council of Kadosh
Rolan Simpson Master of Kadosh Lubbock Consistory

April 28 and 29,1972 was set as the time when Brother Lockwood would come to Lubbock, present letters temporary and install officers and hold a 5-degree reunion. This meeting was held in the Municipal Auditorium on Texas Tech Campus.

John Bean, P.G.M. and Superintendent of the Masonic Home and School were appointed by Brother Lockwood to serve as Chairman of the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies. He filled this position very favorable.

According to the first Lubbock Scottish Rite Bulletin printed in July 1972 the Charles E. Maedgen, Sr. Charter Class was held April 28 and 29, 1972 at the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium receiving 444 initiates swelling the total membership to over 3,000. Brother Lee Lockwood directed the Charter Class, as this was a very special occasion. The evening previous to the Scottish Rite degree a lovely gathering of dignitaries at the Hillcrest Country Club was held and four youngsters from the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas were there and given the red-carpet treatment and were introduced to the group. They were also introduced the next day to the candidates so they could see what their contributions did as far as aiding and abetting the cause of the Scottish Rite.

Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies will serve a sixty county area from Snyder north to Oklahoma and west to New Mexico.

Officers serving the first term of office for the Lodge of Perfection were:

Al Muldrow 33° Venerable Master
J.M. Willson 33° Commander
Bob Andis 33° Wise Master
Rolan Simpson 32° KCCH Master of Kadosh
Charlie Sherrod 33° Secretary
Shannon Keltz 32° KCCH Treasurer
Bryon Shotts 33° Membership Chairman
Ralph Krebbs 32° KCCH Publicity Chairman
Ivan Boxwell 32° KCCH Co-Chairman Membership Zone 1
John Satterstrom 32° Co-Chairman Membership Zone 1
Ralph Krebbs 32° KCCH Chairman Membership Zone 3
D.L. Adcock 32° KCCH Co-Chairman Membership Zone 4
Furman Vinson 32° KCCH Co-Chairman Membership Zone 2
Al Reed 32° KCCH Chairman Membership Zone 5

Always looking for new and more candidates as indicated by the Vol. 1 #1 bulletin, 500 were expected to be involved with the names and places of all 29 degree teams. Relating to these are 300 speaking parts. Teams building their own stage and props with an additional 200 people to be working as stagehands, costume custodians and registration clerks.

The second reunion was the Douglas Pitts Sr. held September 17th thru 20th, 1972, and Texas Senator Jack Hightower of Vernon addressed the group. He was serving as Grand Master of Masons in Texas at this time. John Bean 33 ° P.G.M. and superintendent of the Masonic Home and School presented the Smith Family, a choral group composed of four girls and one boy.

All members joining in the year 1972 were considered Charter Members. At that time, 1973 dues were $12.00 plus $1.00 for the Scottish Rite Foundation. In a report on February 3, 1973 the Venerable Master reviewed the year. It was only 11 months ago a group of men met, elected a full slate of officers and petitioned the Supreme Council, and then Ill. Brother Lockwood 33° S.G.I.G presented Letters Temporary. They were granted February 4, 1972 and Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies became an entity immediately.

There were problems as there always is with a new organization. In organizing there were Finance, Membership, training degree teams, acquisition of a suitable wardrobe and stage properties, culminating with three outstanding reunions. Office space and staff were acquired and proved to be most efficient. It was at this time a permanent home was thought of, and Scottish Rite Associations were being formed throughout the area; Brownfield; Hockley-Cochran-Lamb; Gaines-Yoakum; Matador-Floydada; Amarillo; Central Plains; and west plains.

Officers and zone chairman were attending meetings away. In 1973 a group attended the Scottish Rite Session in Austin. They included A.M. Muldrow, J.M. Willson Jr, Rolan Simpson, Furman Vinson, Hershel Galey, Charles Duncan and Charles Sherrod.

Maundy Thursday Observance was held in Yellowhouse Masonic Lodge for the first time on April 18, 1973 with Bob Andis presiding.

From the bulletin of July 1973, when the Lubbock Scottish Rite began they had no stage, furniture, props or wardrobes. Clovis Kendrick began a furious search to supply the necessary items. H.A. “Red” Bryant was appointed Wardrobe Chairman with Ray Ball as Vice-Chairman. The Scottish Rite Bodies of McAlester, Oklahoma gave a large number of robes, as did Khiva Shrine Temple of Amarillo. Before the first full reunion the Fifteenth Degree Team proposed the wives give some effort to making robes primarily for that degree. The Scottish Rite agreed to furnish the material and the wardrobe patterns. John Baumgardner of Plainview got the ladies of Plainview together and they agreed to make a number of robes with Mrs. John Baumgardner in charge. With much diligence she secured correct material and patterns and by the time September rolled around at least two outstanding Kings Robes, 4 or 5 Princes Robes, Warder, Guard and other additions approaching forty-five Robes made by the hard working ladies. Mrs. Ray Ball coordinated colors, materials and trims and in preparation of all patterns and designs. To do all the degree work correctly requires five to 500 costumed performers.

The Supreme Council on October 15, 1973 acted on the Charter of Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies from A.M. Muldrow in Washington, D.C. “The Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies” was born at a meeting with Ill. Brother R. Lee Lockwood 33° Sovereign Grand Inspector General for Texas in Waco on January 5, 1972. This was definitely a RED LETTER day for all Masonry in West Texas.

Similar greetings came from J.M. Willson, Jr. 33° Commander, Rolan Simpson 32° KCCH and Charlie Sherrod 33°. Those receiving their 33° at the first 33° degree conferral were:

Bob G. Andis Pampa
Raby Hampton Wichita Falls
Roy Furman Vinson Flomot
Alvin M. Muldrow, Sr. Brownfield
Parker F. Prouty Lubbock

Those receiving the KCCH were:

Chester A. Barid John Biggs
Deane Dodge Howard G. Fowler
Herman Kee Green William R. Knight
Moody Neely John B. Noland
Elbert Knowell Donald Orr
Claude W. Parrish Earnest O. Purelley
Mozelle Ratliff David M. Sears
A.D. Stancel John A. Storey
J.Q. Warnick Jr.

On the evening of November 5, 1973 the four charters of Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies were presented. Brother James Carter 33° G.C., Grand Historian formally on behalf of the Supreme Council delivered the (the charters) to the respective presiding officers. Over 200 attended (picture in Vol 2 #1, January 1974) (also new 33° and KCCH’s).

The 1000th candidate was initiated in March 1974 at the reunion.

On February 21, 1974, Illustrious Sovereign Grand Commander, Henry C. Clausen 33° appointed Brother J.W. Chandler of Houston Deputy of the Supreme Council of Texas.

Reunions were carried out several times per year to gain new members and keep the degree teams and stage crews on their toes. The first year’s reunion was named for:

Charles E. Maedgean Douglas Pitts
Burton G. Hackney Clifford B. Jones
Neal H. Wright Robert Lee Moore

Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies in August 1974 bought a 2 acre site on the west side of Ave. Q between 6th and 7th streets, a former school building on the front of which was “K. Carter”. Temporary offices were set up in the school building following some improvements. With the assistance of Brother Herbert Kendrick 32°KCCH of Dallas, practicing attorney and member of the Dallas Scottish Rite Bodies, he gave freely of his legal talent to assist the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies in starting their building. Two corporations were created – West Texas Human Affairs was set up to work through for contributions. The first is Lubbock Scottish Rite Building Company at this time the Scottish Rite Bodies were notified by IRS that it would qualify as a public foundation. Contributions came to West Texas Human Affairs Corporation and carried on with charitable work. The Building Company will build and own the new Temple. It will, in the years, pay back its loan. Now they had to wait for the final approval from A.G. Clausen 33°.

The first election of officers was at the February 5, 1975 stated meeting at the school building.

At a Scottish Rite seminar in Houston on March 18, 1975 dues were increased to $20.00 from $14.00.

In September 1975 preparations were made for the October reunion to be held in the Municipal Auditorium on the Texas Tech Campus. School rooms were being readied for the new Language Learning Center (the charitable branch of the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies) for the teaching of children who have a learning disability known and diagnosed as “Dyslexia” and a developmental difficulty in learning to read, write and spell in children of normal or better than normal intellect. Dr. Lena Waters, a most capable and qualified person was employed to supervise the teaching and training program

On April 3, 1977 another milestone was reached when at 4:30 PM the architect turned the new auditorium over to the Bodies. It was formally received by the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies and dedicated to Ill. J.W. Chandler 33° S.G.I.G. in Texas. It was a great compliment to each of the 5,600 active members.

The first reunion in the new auditorium was held on April 4th through 6th, 1977, (pix) reunion on June 10 and 11, 1977 in Amarillo.

Words of praise and encouragement through the first years were outstanding, a sure way to get the workers and keep the workers in all phase charging ahead. They could do no wrong. Goals were set, events planned, all to encourage members to get more members. Dinners were planned in various areas in honor of the workers there. Associations were formed and kept members informed; reunions were held in different towns.

1978 was a good year. The sixth birthday was passed, debts paid off and substantial capital was accumulated.

February 1979, J. W. Chandler, S.G.IG. in Texas announced A.M. Muldrow 33° was appointed chairman of Inspector’s General Advisory conference. Brother C.K. Kendrick 33° of Brownfield was elected to fill the unexpired term of brother John T. Bean 33° as Trustee of the Scottish Rite Hospital. Brother Bean was honored at the spring reunion on March 29-30, 1979. He died in April 1978.

In the spring of 1979 brothers Clint G. Webster 32° KCCH and Tom Nivens 32 ° KCCH worked diligently to develop and construct a new kitchen in the Scottish Rite Temple. It will be completed at no cost to the Lubbock Bodies.

The time finally arrived when, on October 9, 1980 at 5:30 PM the ceremony of leveling the cornerstone and dedication by Grand Master Sam E. Hilburn of Midland performed those duties. At 7:30 that same day the Scottish Rite Temple dedication banquet was held at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center with Grand Master Sam Hilburn as honored guest and speaker. This was not the first reunion but a very special one. Looking at 1980 for the Lubbock Scottish Rite the temple was worked on to the tune of the new Learning Center, Library and kitchen facilities. It was a banner year for the Learning Center as it doubled in size. Four new classrooms, the John Biggs Memorial Library, the new director’s office and new space for meetings, counseling, and work planning were completed.

The idea of the need for long-term funding of the Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas Permanent Endowment Fund was established in 1980 as directed by Board Member Robert “Bob” Gaffga 32°.

In 1977 the Learning Center was certified to train student therapists and in 1980 the first graduate of the two-year plan to receive her certificate. Janie Jacob of Lubbock was the second full-term teacher. The reputation continued to grow with queries from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Also to bring notoriety to the Learning Center, Dr. Waters participated in one National convention and many state and local seminars along with presentation of school programs to civic clubs and other interested groups in and around Lubbock.

Open house for the new Temple was held on April 5, 1981 from 2:00 – 5:00 PM.

Brother A.M. Muldrow resigned as Chairman of the Advisory Conference because of ill health. Ill. J.W. Chandler 33° S.G.I.G. in Texas duly appointed Brother R. Furman Vinson 33° P.G.M. to serve in that capacity.

The first oyster feed was held on June 7, 1980, it being a carry-over from the Chapter-Council “mountain oyster” feeds of Matador fame. Stated meeting on March 18th (it was the first meeting in the newly renovated Temple). On May 20, 1981 a covered dish meal and program for the ladies was started. On May 6, 1981 the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce presented to the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies a beautification award for the Temple. During the summer of 1981 Charlie Sherrod was very ill and as of August 1981 was back in the office part time.

From the November 1981 Scottish Rite Bulletin, Charlie Sherrod remarked “when we started out ten years ago we had to borrow a chair and the use of a telephone from Yellowhouse Lodge. We have put together an organization as of October 31, 1981 of 5,632 members. When we pay the bank $247,000 it will be truly ours.” Charlie Sherrod retired in January of 1982.

Daylight Lodge was dedicated at 7:30 A.M. on January 30, 1982 by J.M. Willson, Jr. 33°.

Speaker for the fish and oyster feed on March 22, 1982 was J.M. Willson, Jr. 33°. Honored guest were DDGM of the Grand Lodge of Texas, the DDGHP of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas and the DDGM of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Texas.

Open house was held for Charlie Sherrod 33° and his lovely partner, wife Hazel. Charlie was Secretary of the Scottish Rite for ten years. He was active and devoted in all branches of Masonry. Charlie served Grand Lodge and served on many other committees.

On January 4, 1982, 37 students (largest ever) will start the spring semester and also the first student language therapist will begin her two-year course of instruction. When the course is concluded this teacher will be certified as a language therapist and be qualified to teach in other learning centers, establish a new one or become a private tutor.

In 1982 Dale Tanner became the new General Secretary of the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies and Sally Hall was office secretary.

In June 1982 it was mentioned that the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies had a Dual membership program.

On June 12, 1982, Dr. Lena Waters spoke to the London England Dyslexia Society.

On September 13, 1982 a meeting was held at Khiva Shrine in Amarillo to host a Masonic Awareness Night and our Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies joined in with the meeting. J.M. Willson, Jr. 33° was the principal speaker with others speaking on the different aspects of Masonry.

The Downtown Bible Class met in the old Scottish Rite each Sunday morning. They have assisted in so many wonderful ways to help make the Scottish Rite Temple the great building it was. They are truly a joy to have as Sunday morning tenants.

Dr. Lena Walters resigned in August of 1982. Janie Jacob was appointed the new director. She had been the Assistant Director for the last four years. Dr. Waters died in June 1984 shortly before the final students she started graduated.

We had our second annual oyster feed in 1983 and Grand Master J.D. “Buddy” Baccus was our speaker.

Janie Jacob our Director of our Learning Center retired on September 1, 1983. Betty Roy was appointed as the new Director and her associates were Jane Bundock and Connie Reid. All certified public school teachers functioning as full-time language therapists.

Our charter Venerable Master A.M. Muldrow and second chairman of Inspector General’s Advisory Conference passed away and he was buried October 21, 1983.

A new brochure about the Learning Center was developed and ready by late 1983. This new brochure gave us much needed and better exposure.

Our Chaparrel Family picnic was held on June 2, 1984 at Reece AFB Park.

Brother Al Harris donated a beautiful Hammond organ in memory of his beloved wife Lois Marie (Kenatzar) Harris to our Scottish Rite.

Pampa Shrine Club gave 10 new electric typewriters to the Learning Center.

On July 23, 1984 our Director Betty Roy conducted a 4-week training class for area teachers with 15 teachers in the first class with plans from the Dean Learning Center in Dallas to assist. This was the beginning of our Learning Centers own teacher training program.

Clovis Kendrick, stalwart in the organization and workings of the Lubbock Scottish Rite died in the fall of 1984.

In September of 1984, the establishment of the Dr. Lena Waters Teacher Training program was created. The Learning Center opened its doors in November 1975 with two goals for the future. These goals were to assist children with learning disabilities known as “Dyslexia”, and eventually offering training for teachers. The first goal was reached and the second we looked forward to by providing training for public school teachers. On May 17, 1986 eleven teachers were certified as Alphabetic-Phonics therapists by the Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas and the Dean Learning Center of Dallas.

On October 1986, our fall reunion was named for George H. Mahon, one of the most outstanding men to have served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Colorado City.

Also in October 1986 Gerry Gerretson became the new office secretary of our Scottish Rite.

In March 1987 the Investors in Youth program was initiated for the Learning Center.

On May 1st through 4th, 1987 R. Furman Vinson our Scottish Rite chairman presided over Grand Commandery Knight Templar of Texas in Lubbock.

Fifty-year awards (blue cap) presented to a brother who has been a Mason for that number of years. Sometimes it is done in the Scottish Rite Temple, other times in the recipient’s home or in a nursing home or hospital.

December 1987 “Cotton” Beasley and the “Kitchen Krew” provide meats, hot rolls and filled glasses and cups and the ladies of the Scottish Rite brothers fill in with covered dishes, salads and desserts. In April 1987 the final notes were paid off on the Scottish Rite Temple. This dream began with the purchase of the property in 1974. The next step was building the auditorium and finally the complete renovation of the building that changed it from an old red brick schoolhouse to one of the most attractive buildings in Lubbock.

On May 15, 1988 the Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas received its final certification as an Alphabet Phonics Training Center. Lubbock Scottish Rite Learning Center now became one of five such centers in the United States. This has been a four-year process.

Teachers from many of the outlying areas who have attended our Learning Center have returned to their schools to teach pupils with their dyslexia problems.

October 1988 Jan Morris became the new director of our Learning Center.

October 1988 Ill. J.W. Chandler 33° PGM and S.G.I.G. of Texas died. Sam Hilburn 33° PGM of Midland became the new S.G.I.G. of Texas

In October 1989 changes made at Supreme Council: “New Age” magazine changed the name of the Scottish Rite Journal, Southern Jurisdiction USA.” Also changed was the Designation of Chairman of the Advisory Conference by the term of Personal Representative of the S.G.I.G.

On October 1, 1989 the Lubbock Scottish Rite took a tour to Dallas to visit the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, flying to Dallas from Amarillo and Lubbock. Lunch was at the hospital, a tour was then taken and then to Texas Stadium to see the Dallas Cowboys and Giants play in the heat. The group had supper before boarding the planes to return after a full but very interesting day.

In February 1990 Mr. and Mrs. Clifton Casey presented a beautiful striking clock (created by Brother Casey), which now stand in the foyer. A brilliant gift of two giving people.

The Lubbock Sojourners, all of whom are Scottish Rite members have constructed a Masonic float to be used in parades. The participants all dressed in Colonial period uniforms denoting them Heroes of “76”. This group offers three programs on Americanism and Patriotism to any Masonic group, civic club, church group or school in the area. In January 1991 A.D. Hanna was appointed the new Chairman of the Ft. Worth Scottish Rite after J.D. Tomme’s death. A.D. was a charter member of the Lubbock Consistory. As of January 1991 there were over seventy Learning Centers within the Southern Jurisdiction. Also in January 1991 the Lubbock Osteopathic Fund gave $4,500.00 to the Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas to fund three teacher scholarships for the full two-year program. This is the second grant from this group. It is people such as this who help the center keep going. January 8, 1992 marked the receipt of Letters Patent Perpetual Constitution by the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies denoting 20 years of existence.

The Learning Center staff was asked to present a seminar at the annual meeting of the Orton Dyslexic Society held on November 7th through 9th in Portland, Ore. Quite a feather in their caps!!! This was the fourth consecutive year for the team, denoting honor and national esteem, which they have achieved.

Also in 1991 the Lubbock Scottish Rite publication was renamed the High Plains Reporter.

On May 5, 1991 Charlie Morse graduated a second time from the Lubbock Learning Center, first as a dyslexic pupil and second as a graduate from the teacher training.

At the fall reunion held on September 21 and 28, 1991 Jack, James and John Shepard; triplets from Lubbock became Scottish Rite Masons. At that same reunion, Pampa Shrine Club, Pampa Lodge #966 and Mr. and Mrs. D.P. McCunn gave another “round” of typewriters to the Learning Center. They do get used and do wear out. Oh what generous people we have in our area.

On March 22, 1992 the Learning Center sponsored a Dyslexia Awareness Day. Over 300 educators, school administrators and parents of dyslexic’s children were in attendance and there were many compliments from the visitors.

In December 1992 Most Worshipful R.O. “Bob” Schnell 33° was elected Grand Master of Masons in Texas. He was a member of the Lubbock Scottish Rite finance committee, degree master of the Borger 18th team and an Advisory Trustee of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas from our Lubbock Valley.

On March 12, 1994 Dr. Howard Stewart, M.D. 33° was installed Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Research. He has presented many papers and very knowledgeable on Masonic History and lore.

On July 9, 1994 over 200 current and former patients of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas and their families and hospital representatives met in Huber Park in Borger. Talks by some of the patients and former patients and entertainment by Roger Bell from the hospital made for a glorious summer evening.

In January 1995 Robert L. Clemmons 32° KCCH became the new General Secretary replacing Dale Tanner who retired. In early 1995 the Learning Center received a $100,000 grant from the Davidson Family Charitable foundation of Midland to establish the “C.L. Davidson Annual Lecture Series Advances in Literacy.” This is held each spring and feature’s a nationally and internationally known expert on the subject of Dyslexia from the Orton Dyslexic Society and other recognized organizations. Approximately 400 attended the first such lecture and it has grown to 600 or more with each passing year.

The “Traitor” is comprised of Lubbock Scottish Rite Masons and has performed over the area for a number of years. The cast is composed of:

Furman Vinson 33° General George Washington
Glen Polk 33° Benedict Arnold
Bob Clemmons 32° Worshipful Master
J.B. Joiner 32°  KCCH General Henry Knox
Carl Barton 32° Marquis de Lafayette
Lyman Uland 32° KCCH General Nathaniel Green
Jason Polk 32° Sir Francis Cranston
Bob Murders 32° KCCH Col. Adrian Beltower
Don Mittan 32° Brother Gerry
Marvin Floyd 32° Senior Warden
Harry Walker 32° Junior Warden

The costuming was all colonial and it was a most enjoyable presentation.

In the fall of 1997 after the Teacher Training and business of summer the Learning Center planners, contractors, interior designers, painters, and Kibitzers burst upon the Learning Center rooms led by Building committee Chairman Tony Ratliff and in a few short weeks a tremendous transformation had taken place with the new and brighter shades of paint, light fixtures, carpet for the entire center, pictures and new furniture for the directors office. This is the first refurbishing since the center was expanded in 1981. With such hard use everyday and even through the summer it needed it. With more grant money and individual gifts the completion will not occur until early 1998 when $30,000 from the C.H. Foundation and Helen Devitt Jones Foundation, both of Lubbock will be available for replacement and new equipment. In the new equipment phase will be a computer lab. Then, an elevator installation will bring the center up to standards required by the American Disabilities Act.

Coy McDougald 33° resigned after serving many years as Reunion Director. Steve Cross 33° was appointed to take over as Reunion Director.

The S.G.I.G. and his wife, Sam and Millie Hilburn are very slowly recovering from a disastrous auto accident, which occurred before Thanksgiving in 1997.

With so many people attending the Davidson Lecture Series the meeting had to be moved to the Lubbock Civic Auditorium in the spring of 1999. There were 732 reservations made for the Lecture Series.

In the spring of 1999 a grant from the Lubbock Osteopathic Fund assisted in making the installation of the new elevator possible.

On November 3-6, 1999 during the annual convention of International Dyslexia Association held in Chicago, our Lubbock teachers were asked to present two programs.

On January 19, 2000 the Scottish Rite held its first open installation.

On October 2001 the Supreme Council met in Charleston, SC, in celebrating the 200th anniversary and funding of the Southern Jurisdiction Scottish Rite. Lubbock Scottish Rite had a great group attend and all enjoyed the session and program by Mel Tillis 33°.

Jan Morris our Learning Center Director retired but did not leave. She had been our director since 1988. She will teach at least two classes each school day and participate in teaching training in the summer for an indefinite period of time. Doris Haney, associate Director of the Center has been offered and has accepted the post.  Linda Stringer will assume the office of Associate Director.

In the spring of 2002 Texas had a new S.G.I.G, PGM Jack Hightower 33°. He is a Charter Member of the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies.

Furman Vinson decided it was time to retire when his 80th birthday arrived and did so. Ted D. Hennis of Amarillo was selected to replace him. A lovely retirement party was held in the McInturff Center on August 29, 2002. Furman had served for 23 years. Dr. Howard Stewart, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Scottish Rite Learning Center retired after serving for 23 years. The new chairman is Steven Ireland 32°.

Over 500 dyslexic students have attended classes at the Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas. Over 400 teachers have been trained at the center and have taught an estimated 4,000 dyslexic students to read, write, and spell in the public and private school system.

Doug Maxey 33° and his wife Rhonda have taken on a fund raising project with the proceeds going to the Learning Center. Doug and Rhonda have a German popcorn cooker and will take it to various places and events.

Office secretary’s who have served our Scottish Rite since its inception:

Steva Schellinger
Hazel Blumenstock
Sally Hall
Estelle Tanner
Gerry Garretson
Peggy Findley
Beverly Bell
Laura Jolly

General Secretary’s who have serves our Scottish Rite since its inception:

Charlie Sherrod 33°  1972-1982
Dale Tanner 33°  1982-1995
Bob Clemmons 33°  1995 – 2008
Andy Wines 32° KCCH  2009 – 2012
Ronnie Kinney 32° KCCH 2012 – Present

Chairmen who have served our Scottish Rite since its inception:

John Bean 33°  1972 – 1978
M. Muldrow 33°  1978 – 1980
Furman Vinson 33°  1980 – 2002
Ted D. Hennis 33°  2002 – present

Directors who have served our Learning Center of West Texas since its inception:

Dr. Lena Waters 1975 – 1982
Janie Jacob 1982 – 1983
Betty Roy 1983 – 1987
Connie Reid 1987 – 1988
Jan Morris 1988 – 2001
Doris Haney 2001 – 2005
Linda Stringer 2005 – present

In 2004 the Lubbock Scottish Rite Board was made an offer to purchase our building by a local firm. In late 2005 and early 2006 another offer was made to purchase our building. After a lengthily study it was decided and voted on by the members to proceed with the sale and purchase some property to build a new Scottish Rite Building and Learning Center. The sale was finalized in September 2006. We then began to look at a number of sites around Lubbock and decided on a site at 1101 70th Street.

In 2005 John Bill Cruce 32° KCCH was elected the new chairman of the Learning Center when our current Chairman Steve Ireland 32° moved away.

In 2005 Doris Haney retired and Linda Stringer was appointed Director of our Learning Center.

In 2006 Brother M. Douglas Adkins 33° of Dallas was appointed SGIG of Texas.

On August 14, 2006 we signed an agreement with Lee Lewis Construction Company to be the contractor and construction manager.

Jimmy Dirks’s firm was chosen as the Architect.

Ground breaking was held on November 15, 2006.

The finance committee met on December 11, 2006 and approved the construction bid and let construction start after the first of the year.

On April 21, 2007 the last reunion was held in our old building. The Learning Center would hold classes through the school year in early May and then we would turn over the building to the new buyers. We relocated our offices and learning center to a temporary location, located at 5744 40thstreet. This location had a large warehouse as part of it and we were able to store all of our contents from the old building at same location.

The staff of our Learning Center led by our Director, Linda Stringer did a great job in the temporary location in maintaining the training schedule for teachers, even in less than ideal conditions and they did this without missing a beat.

On April 26, 2008 we held our first reunion in the new building. What a success it was as we had 42 candidates who took the degrees.

In our newsletter our Chairman Ted D. Hennis stated to all of our brethren, the following. “You should be proud of our new facility as we start a new beginning into the future for our Scottish Rite. And I guarantee the future is bright for us. The new building is not what makes our Scottish Rite. It is YOU that can make our Scottish Rite one of the strongest in Texas. The future is what we make it. I am proud to be associated with each of you. Together as a team we can and will accomplish great things.”

June 14, 2008 was our dedication ceremony and here are those notes.

Dedication of the Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies – June 14, 2008

On June 14, 2008, our Lubbock Scottish Rite held its dedication ceremony at our new building located at 1101 70th street. At 8:00 A.M., a representation of the Grand Lodge of Texas was opened in South Plains Daylight Lodge # 1443 which is located in our new Scottish Rite building. With the exception of Right Worshipful Orville O’Neill, Grand Senior Warden of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas, all members of the degree team were charter members of our Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies. At 10:00 A.M., the Grand Lodge of Texas performed the leveling of the corner stone and dedication ceremony. David Counts, Deputy Grand Master of the Masons in Texas performed the ceremony as Grand Master with Pete Laney former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives as Deputy Grand Master, Orville O’Neill Grand Senior Warden of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas, served as Grand Senior Warden, Bob Melear as Grand Marshal, Don Ewing as Grand Orator and Jimmy Willson, Past Grand Master of Masons in Texas, as Historian. The ceremony was attended by approximately 200.

Distinguished Guests in attendance were:

R\W\W. David Counts, Jr, Deputy Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas and his lady Mary
R\W\ Orville L. O’Neill, Grand Senior Warden of the
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas
Jimmy Willson, Past Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Texas
The Honorable M. Douglas Adkins, S.G.I.G. of Texas and his Lady Carole
The Honorable Thomas E. Payne, III, S.G.I.G. of New Mexico and his Lady Kay
Gary M. Deck, Senior Grand Warden of New Mexico
David Melear, Grand Generalissimo, Knight Templar of Texas
Jerry L. Pingle, Grand Sword Bearer, Knights Templar of Texas
Robert E. Melear, Grand King, Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas
Bob Walker, Executive Vice President and Administrator,
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and his Lady Pat
Henry R. “Hank” Clore, General Secretary Houston Scottish Rite Bodies
Bill Gray, Personal Representative and Chairman El Paso Scottish Rite Bodies
Fred E. Haller, General Secretary El Paso Scottish Rite Bodies
Bob Clemmons, General Secretary Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies
Ted D. Hennis, Personal Representative and Chairman Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies
Beulah Speer, Past Grand Matron, and her husband Brooks Speer, representing the GrandWorthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, Mrs. Joyce Gilbert
Tom Martin, Mayor of Lubbock
Todd Klein, Lubbock City Councilman
Debby Hansard, Representative of Senator Robert Duncan’s Office
Jimmy Dirks, Architect
Tim McLean, Project Manager for Lee Lewis Construction Company
Charles French, Superintendent for Lee Lewis Construction Company
Beverly Vinson, widow of Furman Vinson, Past Grand Master of Masons in Texas

Jimmy Willson, Past Grand Master of Masons in Texas, gave a short account of the history of our Scottish Rite Bodies and Learning Center. His notes were taken from our history that was put together by Beverly Vinson, widow of Furman Vinson, Past Grand Master of Masons in Texas and who served our Valley as Personal Representative for 21 years. We will see that Beverly’s entire history notes will be placed in a binder and put in our Library for everyone to enjoy.

Here are Jimmy’s notes:

The Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas
Presented by Jimmy Willson 33° on June 14, 2008

I would like to give you a little history on our Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas. It was first named the West Texas Human Affairs Corporation, a non-profit corporation formed in Lubbock on March 6, 1974.

The leaders of our Scottish Rite at that time decided to take on a charitable project because it is the Masonic way, especially a charitable project aimed at children.

They decided on Dyslexia because they center were familiar with the pioneering work with dyslexic children being done at the Language Laboratory at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas and they also knew that no such program was available in West Texas.

At the invitation of the Lubbock officials, the administrator of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, the head of the Pediatric Neurologist department and the Director of the Language Laboratory at the hospital met with the Board of Trustees and the Advisory Conference of the Lubbock Scottish Rite to discuss the planned program for dyslexic children and inspect the recently acquired K. Carter Elementary School. They were pleased with the facility and unanimously approved the project.

The first task was to remodel a portion of the building to house the center. The assistant principal’s office on the second floor was chosen for the office, and two small classrooms adjacent to it were soon outfitted to hold the classrooms for the children.

Dr. Lena W. Waters was chosen to direct the new center and she proceeded to the Language Laboratory in Dallas for six weeks of introductory training. Returning then to Lubbock she enrolled the first student on November 4, 1975. At first under the rules of the hospital in Dallas she was allowed only one student who periodically accompanied her to Dallas for progress testing.

In 1978 in order to establish better identification the name of the corporation was legally changed to the Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas.

By 1979 there were two full-time instructors on the staff with an average of 15 to 18 students enrolled.

Despite the growth a waiting list formed and it was obvious that an outreach program would be needed. Unfortunately because of funding it was impossible to form satellite centers so instruction of children in Lubbock continued to be the sole endeavor until the 1980’s when a point of law proved to be a boon for the center.

The educational laws of Texas contained a “mainstream” clause, which in essence states that if a public school student is released to a center for special instruction for a specified time he or she must be returned to the regular class-room for the remainder of the day.

The classroom teachers impressed by their students’ progress came to the center for monitoring purposes. Several expressed a desire to become therapists.

By 1983 both the Lubbock Independent School District and Texas Tech University of Lubbock were encouraging officials of the center to sponsor an official teacher-training program. It is to be noted that in the interim the center had been certified to train teachers utilizing the Alphabetic-Phonics curriculum, which was developed and copyrighted by the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Teacher training officially began in the summer of 1984 with the enrollment of 18 teachers in a two-year program leading to certification as an Alphabetic-Phonics therapist.

The Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas has grown and prospered in the ensuing years. There are now six therapists on the staff with several guest instructors employed during the summer teacher-training program.

A Master Teacher’s certification is now available for those desiring further training and quite a few have already achieved this ranking.

The center enjoys national attention with its instructors having been invited to conduct seminars at five national conventions. Present enrollments average 40-50 dyslexic children and a like number of teacher trainees.

A few of our teacher graduates are no longer active and a few are private therapists. This center has grown into one of the largest in the Southern Jurisdiction having trained over 400 language therapists.

These therapists are currently helping thousands of students learn to read, write, and spell in their public school classrooms in approximately 111 cities and towns of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.

Additionally 9 teachers have moved to or live in other states and countries: Utah, New York, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Kansas, Israel, and Canada.

Our 2005 graduation ceremonies had to be moved from our Scottish Rite Bodies auditorium to the First Christian Church because we have outgrown our facility. We had over 400 family and friends attend the 2005 graduation.

The ceremonies included the graduates from our Scottish Rite Learning center, graduates from public and private schools and 15 teachers from the center’s therapist training program.

End of Jimmy’s comments.

The Lubbock High JROTC presented the colors, and they did an outstanding job. They are a great group of boys. Their Commander, Mike Cochrane became a new Scottish Rite Mason at our Spring Reunion.

The U.S. flag that flew that day was donated by Mrs. Coy McDougald, widow of one of our most dedicated Scottish Rite Masons, who served as our Venerable Master in 1997. The flag was presented to her at his funeral, and she asked that it be flown the day of our dedication, then refolded and placed in our Library and Museum. We were pleased to honor her request.

After the dedication everyone was treated to lunch provided by Xcel Energy. They prepared, cooked and served hamburgers with all the trimmings.

From 2:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M., we had an open house and gave tours of our new facility.

We are proud of our Learning Center, and the service our teachers provide to the children of the Lubbock and surrounding areas who are dyslexic.

All of the Scottish Rite Masons who made our Scottish Rite what it is today should be proud of what they did, and we will see that this great tradition will be carried on for the service of our Scottish Rite Bodies and Learning Center. The hand of God touched us all today.

In 2007 Brother J. M. “Jimmy” Willson, Jr. 33° was presented with the Grand Cross by M. Douglas Adkins, 33° Sovereign Grand Inspector General in the Orient of Texas. This is the highest award that can be given by the Supreme Council Southern Jurisdiction to a Scottish Rite Mason. Brother Willson 33° Grand Cross has spent a lifetime serving others. He has generously given his time to his family, church, business and community and has dedicated more than 60years to Masonic Service. Born in Hale Center, Texas, he graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1943 with a bachelor’s of business administration and served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946. He married Anne O’Berry Newman and later joined the family business – Willson and Sons Builders Mart, in Floydata, Texas.

Brother Willson has served three terms on the city council of Floydada and two terms as mayor. He is active in various civic organizations, serving as president and district governor of the Rotary Club, board member of the Floydada Chamber of Commerce, board representative of the Texas Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the board of the Methodist Home in Waco. Brother Willson has been involved in Boy Scouts of America for more than 72 years and a member of the board of trustees at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children since 1984. He serves as vice president and treasurer.

He is a 33° Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Floydada Masonic Lodge No. 712, Lubbock Scottish Rite Consistory and Khiva Shrine in Amarillo. Brother Willson served as Grand Master of Texas Masons in 1981. His notable service earned him the Sam Houston Medal and the Golden Trowel Award. He also serves as treasure of C.B.C.S., Convent General Knights of the York Cross of Honour and the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the U.S. A. In 2008 Brother Willson was honored with the title of Honorary Grand Master of The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America, by our Most Eminent Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America, Sir Knight William Howard Koon, II.

Brother Willson also serves as treasure of the National Organization of A.M. D. He has also actively served the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Texas, Red Cross of Constantine, Chapter, Council and Commandery of York Rite, Royal Order of Scotland.

His ceaseless dedication and selflessness is a true benefit to his community and the state of Texas. The Lubbock Scottish Rite Bodies and the Masons of Texas are proud of this fine Christian brother.

The Lubbock Scottish Rite Masons appreciate all of the work that Beverly Vinson did in putting this together to preserve the history of our Lubbock Scottish Rite and Learning Center for future generations to read. Beverly we all Love and appreciate you and may God continue to bless you and our Scottish Rite.