Year in Review: The Valley of Portland, 2021
Here at the Valley of Portland, we are proud to serve southern Maine as part of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. In this capacity, we join with our Scottish Rite Masonic brothers nationwide in our commitment to enhance our members’ lives and the lives of others by teaching and emulating the principles of Brotherly Love, Tolerance, Charity, and Truth.
In what specific ways did we do this throughout 2021? How did our activities reflect our embrace of deep values such as fellowship, compassion, and dedication to God, family, and country?
An Exciting and Pivotal Year
To offer you a Year in Review assessment that we hope will be concise and enriching, let’s focus on a few key topics, as illuminated by blogs we posted throughout 2021:
On June 4, we enthusiastically announced in a blog post the launch of our new website. We told you about all the specific improvements offered by the site, including how it would more effectively help us support and educate our members, and better serve the community as a whole.
On Saturday, June 26, the Valley of Portland held a special luncheon and presented scholarship checks to five students in attendance. For more information about how the Valley of Portland positively impacts the lives of students through scholarships, please see below.
The Illustrious and Most Worshipful Brother, Richard M. Nadeau, 33°, Grand Master of Maine, was honored with a Grand Master’s One Day Class Reunion in October at the Portland Masonic Temple. The event was unique in that it allowed brotherhood participants to complete five degrees in one day, and become a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason.
Throughout 2021, the Valley of Portland held its regular stated meetings, as well as special meetings to mark distinctive occasions. On Saturday, November 6, we held a “Feast of Tishri” to honor Maine’s newest 33° Honorary Members of the Supreme Council, who were coroneted this past August in Cleveland, Ohio. The Feast is a seven-course banquet, consisting of seven toasts, similar to that of a Table Lodge of Instruction. It was held at the Kora Shrine Center in Lewiston.
After our kick-off Gala on Thursday, December 2, we participated in and ardently supported our 1st annual Festival of Trees Fundraiser to benefit the Portland Children’s Dyslexia Center. The event was from Friday, December 3, through Sunday, December 5. Held at the Portland Masonic Temple at 415 Congress Street, this distinctive fundraiser continued the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction’s 25-year-long passionate commitment to helping children regain confidence and self-esteem through proven methods of reading instruction, tutoring, and dyslexia remediation.
To continue our support of local children’s education, we offered a donation of $500 to Portland’s new Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. We value the organization’s dedication to relationships, and their ability to work together with parents, caregivers, and diverse partners to build a foundation of educational support for children and families across Maine.
We also stepped up in the fight against hunger and food-insecurity. To help two southern-Maine-based nonprofits in this critical effort, we offered $500 donations each to the Wayside Food Programs of Portland and to the York County Shelter Programs Food Pantry.
The Valley of Portland ardently believes in helping students achieve their dream of achieving a life-enhancing higher education. This year, the Scottish Rite awarded a total of $99,600 in this effort. The Arnold Veague Scholarship Fund awarded $85,000 and the Leon Abbott Scholarship Fund awarded $14,600 in Maine. A total of 41 students were awarded scholarships: 37 received Veague Scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000; four received Abbott Scholarship of $3,650; and $20,000 each was awarded to the Portland and Bangor Children’s Dyslexia Centers. Of the 41 students receiving scholarships, 11 were from the Valley of Portland!
Why You Should Consider Membership in the Valley of Portland
Do you want to embody noble values and truly make a difference in your community? Do you want to “walk the talk” in a way that spreads brotherly love, tolerance, charity, and truth-telling? We invite you to visit our website and discover the rich benefits of membership in the Valley of Portland. New brothers interested in completing the application process can do so by filling out the online application here.