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President's Message

George Washington Masonic Stamp Club

GWMSC Annual Meeting - Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

Members' annual chance to receive the Master of Philately for free.

2018 President’s Message



The annual meeting of the GWMSC will be held on Sunday, February 25th in the George Washington Masonic National Memorial beginning around 1:30 p.m..  After the cover sale and exchange an election will occur after the conferring of the degree on all candidates at the actual meeting starting at 2 p.m..  Our cachet chairman should have another beautiful cover for the event, along with a printed program.  There will be an election of officers.  Hopefully some member will be willing to take over as president as your current president has held that office long enough.  

There will be a number of very valuable collections available for sale, including one that was turned over to your president during last summer.  Though not well organized, there are many Masonic covers and cachets along with a significant collection of Isle of Man stamps.  In addition to the original collection, the sheet of the Isle of Man Triennial celebration sheet of the Grand Lodge of England will be added to the original collection, which is being added to collection.  Two additional Isle of Man Triennial celebration sheets which were obtained at the Grand Lodge of England will also be available for $30 each.  There will be a number of albums up for sale many belonging to your president that have been collected over the years.  It is a time in his life to start downsizing.  There will be many items of interest for the club members for purchase.  Of course we will have the usual door prizes.  


This past summer the BALPEX meeting was to say the least strange.  The program for the meeting was “Actors in WWII.”  Those with stamps were noted, as well as the Masons.  Prior to the meeting announcements were made and there were a good number of non-Club members who showed up with interest in the topic.  NO GWMSC CLUB MEMBERS WERE PRESENT, with the exception of your President and his beautiful wife Charlene Gatewood (thank you Charlene for your continued support).  Unless there is a significant commitment from the membership to attend BALPEX, there may not be another meeting at BALPEX  despite the club’s long association with the exhibition.  The decision will rest with whoever is elected president for the next two year term of office.


Considering the poor attendance at BALPEX the post meeting dinner at Theismann’s will NOT have an outside speaker.  Your president will do a talk about his visit to London and attendance at the Grand Lodge Triennial.  In case you are not aware, on October 31, 2017 the Grand Lodge of England celebrated its 300 anniversary.  Prince Albert Hall seats over 5,000, was the focal point of the celebration.  The “over flow” crowd, which your president was a part, sat in the Grand Lodge watching a live telecast of the program on a projected screen which itself was over 15 feet tall.  The program was outstanding.  It was truly a once in a lifetime experience which hopefully will be of interest to all at dinner.  Remember wives and non-Club members are welcome to attend the dinner which usually starts around 4:40 p.m.  A separate Triennial slide show has been developed should any of your Masonic bodies wish a more formal presentation.  


It is hoped many of you within a 75 mile radius will be able to attend the Annual Meeting.  It should be fun.  There will be at least one candidate for the degree and the fellowship is always enjoyable.




Walter Benesch, President, GWMSC

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Addendum from the Secretary, added following the death of Brother Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States - for your information: 

Brother Gerald Ford was made a Royal Arch Mason, at site, in the Oval Office of the White House while serving as President of the United States.  Long-time GWMSC members Herman Lichty, Walter Godby, and Marvin Fowler, three of the highest ranking Royal Arch Masons in D.C. at that time, were three of roughly 12 participants at that ritual where only Royal Arch Masons were admitted.  Brothers Lichty, Fowler and Godby long preceded Brother Ford to that house not made with hands; all are certainly missed because of their fine examples on earth.  May we strive to exhibit in our own daily lives the fine examples these brothers set.  A photo of these RAMs at this  ceremony is on display in a small room on the Royal Arch floor of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial building in Alexandria, Virginia.  Be sure to look for that photo, and several of the commemorative Gerald Ford RAM covers, on your tour of the upper floors of the GWMNM building!

Note:  Covers honoring Gerald Ford being made a Royal Arch Mason, at site, in the Oval Office were designed and printed by the clubs long-time GWMSC cachet maker, Brother Herman Lichty.  Some of this set of covers are on display at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial and may be seen during the building tour in the Royal Arch Room.  We are striving to locate the Official White House Photo of Brothers Ford, Lichty, Fowler & Godby, which the club had in its archives, in order to add it that photo to the GWMNM display case.