Pittsburgh Shrine Center to Remain Closed Through at Least June 1st -R.W. Grand Master

Thomas Gamon, IV, R.W. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has issued the following order today. He is extending the cessation of Masonic activities at all Pennsylvania Masonic facilities - including the Pittsburgh Shrine Center - in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

April 2, 2020

Dear Brethren,

While I know our brethren look forward to returning to their respective lodges and fellowship, I have seen first-hand the severity of this virus, and as it continues to spread, my concern for the health of our brethren and their families remains paramount. Therefore, I have made the difficult decision to extend the suspension of all Masonic events across the state until June 1, 2020.

Believe me, I’m just as disappointed as everyone else. However, as challenging as this time is, it is also an opportunity to shine our Masonic light by looking out for our fellow brethren, their families and widows, while taking all precautions for safety. Remember, many people are isolated and lonely, so please reach out via phone, text, social media, video chat or other means to simply let them know you’re thinking about them. Please remember to share your acts of kindness with Tina Lutter at tlutter@masonicvillages.org   so she can promote them to inspire others.

Some lodges have found creative ways to hold informal meetings and schools by using Zoom. I encourage you to share this as one of many options for providing education, information and meaningful connections while we cannot meet in person.

There are incredible things happening during this national healthcare crisis. For example, Brother David Stein, owner of Hidden Still Spirits in Lebanon, has converted his operations to making hand sanitizer and spray – and he’s donating all the product he is able to make to first responders. I was just able to pick up 10 gallons of sanitizer for my fire department from this dedicated and caring Brother! If you know of other brethren contributing efforts to fight COVID-19, we would love to hear about it.

Our Masonic Villages continue to exemplify our Masonic principles of love and benevolence. Employees from all parts of our operation are pitching in to help care for our residents by delivering meals to residents’ accommodations to promote safety and social distancing. Staff are finding creative ways to help residents stay in touch with their families and enjoy modified recreational and spiritual opportunities. To recognize their hard work, sacrifice and commitment, the Grand Lodge officers and I made emergency relief funds available to provide resources to benefit our front-line caregivers, as well as to supplement other resources to procure elevated levels of personal protective equipment. If you, your lodge or your family would like to brighten our residents’ days, please visit https://masonicvillages.org/sending-smiles/  to learn the best ways to do so.

I can’t express how proud I am of being the Grand Master of such an awesome organization. It’s about the people serving in trenches day-to-day who make us so important in this world. I thank the Lord every day that He has allowed me to play a small part in what we do!

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Thomas Gamon, IV
R.W. Grand Master

Syria Shriners

Founded in 1877, Syria Shriners is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. Our fraternity is open to men of integrity from all walks of life.

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