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2002. március 9., szombat

Masonic/Hungarian Celebration In The House Of The Temple

Masonic/Hungarian Celebration In The House Of The Temple
At 2:00 pm on March 9, 2002, more than 250 representatives of foreign governments and American Scottish Rite Masons gathered in the Temple Room of the House of the Temple for a colorful ceremony celebrating Louis Kossuth, Hungarian patriot and Freemason. Among those attending were dignitaries from Austria, Russia, Germany, Romania, the Czech Republic, the United States Department of State, and several international institutions. They joined with Hungarian and American nationals to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Kossuth in 1802 and the 150th anniversary of his being raised a Master Mason during a visit to America in 1852.
His Excellency Geza Jeszenszky, Ambassador of Hungary, addressed a near-capacity audience of international dignitaries and Scottish Rite Brethren in the Temple Room of the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C.
Among the Masonic dignitaries present with their ladies were: M.W. Robert H. Starr, 33°, Grand Master, Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia; Ill. Charles S. Iversen, 33°, S.G.I.G. Emeritus, Orient of the District of Columbia; Ill. Bernard E. Rothman, 33°, S.G.I.G. Emeritus, Orient of Maryland; Ill. Leon Zeldis, 33°, Past Sov. Gr. Cmdr., Supreme Council for the State of Israel; Ill. George R. Adams, 33°, Deputy, Orient of the District of Columbia; Ill. Hans R. Wilhelmsen, Deputy, Orient of Maryland; and Ill. Matthew N. Mezzanotte, 33°, a very special friend of the Supreme Council
Illustrious C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33°, Sover-eign Grand Commander, and His Excellency Geza Jeszenszky, Ambassador of Hungary, were co-hosts of the festive occasion. After an organ prelude by Ill. Floyd E. Werle, 33°, Grand Organist of the Supreme Council, Ill. William G. Sizemore, 33°, G.C., Grand Executive Director of the Supreme Council and Master of Ceremonies for the event, greeted the assemblage. Then he introduced Bro. William F. Jiron, Jr., 32°, who sang the American National Anthem and Monica Janossy who sang the Hungarian National Anthem.
Following an inspirational invocation by the Rev. David A. Balcom 33°, Grand Commander Kleinknecht rendered fraternal greetings, gave a brief explanation of Masonry and proudly related the history and significance of the national headquarters building of the Scottish Rite. Then Margit Lee, a Hungarian-American who initiated planning for the event as a celebration of Hungarian and Masonic history, introduced Ambassador Jeszenszky. Speaking with an authority reflective of his distinguished academic and diplomatic background, the Ambassador described the importance of Bro. Kossuth as "one of the nineteenth century's greatest champions of liberty" and a world-famous representative of national self-determination. Kossuth inspired the struggle for Hungary's independence from Austria in 1848 and is often characterized as "the George Washington of Hungary."
On March 9, 2002, Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33° (center), and Ill. David Kruger, 33° (right), welcomed His Excellency Geza Jeszenszky, Ambassador of Hungary (left), to the House of the Temple. Together, they presented a program celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Louis Kossuth, the "George Washington of Hungary," and Kossuth's becoming a Mason while visiting America in 1852.
Following the Ambassador's presentation, Ill. David Kruger, 33°, Grand Secretary of the Supreme Council and S.G.I.G. in Virginia, eloquently reprised the highlights of his article "Louis Kossuth, Mason and Apostle of World Democracy," published in the June 2001 issue of the Scottish Rite Journal. Dr. Kruger pointed out that Kossuth was not a violent revolutionary, but an advocate for peaceful, lawful change based on the three principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. Thus, it was natural that he should be attracted to Freemasonry, an institution he regarded with the highest esteem, and petition membership in Cincinnati Lodge No. 133 while touring the United States in 1852. After his raising as a Mason, Bro. Kossuth spoke at Lodges as he traveled in America. Addressing the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, he said: "It will be the great aim and effort of my life to walk worthy of the character of a Mason and to fulfill the Masonic duties which devolve, according to his ability and rank, upon every member of our noble institution."
A reception, provided by the Hungarian Embassy in the George Washington Memorial Banquet Hall of the House of the Temple, followed the formal program and offered an opportunity for both cordial fellowship and tours of the House of the Temple. Clearly, this very special event, a celebration of universal Freemasonry and national patriotism, was a great success and a credit to the Scottish Rite's place in the global community.


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