If you have not attended an Easter Sunrise Service at the George Washington Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, you should plan on doing so in the future. It was a cool morning, but the message was worth it. Pennsylvania had one of the larger contingents of Sir Knights marching up the hill.
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John Peter Shindel Gobin
Fifteenth Grand Master
Sir Knight Gobin was born in Sunbury, Pennsylvania on January 26, 1837. He was educated in the public schools, and learned the printer’s trade. While still an apprentice he studied law and was admitted to the Bar of Northumberland County in 1859. He continued his practice until 1861.
He entered the United States Army in 1861 with the rank of Lieutenant in the 11th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. He subsequently recruited company C, 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, in which regiment he was rapidly promoted for conspicuous service and gallantry, and was brevetted Brigadier General on March 13, 1865.
From the close of the war until January, 1866, he remained with his regiment in Charleston where he acted as Provost Judge. He was commissioned Colonel of the 8th Regiment of the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1874, and was Commander of the Third Brigade of the Pennsylvania National Guard from 1885 to 1907, and finally attained the command of the troops of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During the Spanish American War he served as Brigadier General. He was Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic and a high ranking officer in the Loyal Legion.
General Gobin was officially connected with many business corporations and was associated with various philanthropic and fraternal organizations. He was prominent in the Odd Fellows and had been head of that Order in Pennsylvania.
He was distinguished in the legislative and executive offices of the State. Early in his career he was County Solicitor of Lebanon. He was elected State Senator in 1884 and served honorably for 15 years, and in 1898 was elected Lieutenant Governor.
Gobin married Miss Annie M. Howe, a daughter of Captain Howe, U.S. Army in 1866. There were no children.
He died at his home in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, on May 1, 1910. The funeral was held in Lebanon on May 5th. The services were conducted by Reverend Dr. William E. Stahler of the Zion Lutheran Church of which Sir Knight Gobin was a member. The funeral was attended by representatives of the Bar, State and Military officials, Civil War Veterans, and prominent Knights Templar. On his grave was placed a large white floral pillow with the triple Cross of the Grand Encampment in purple.
Sir Knight Gobin was made a Mason in Sunbury Lodge No. 22 in 1859. He received the Capitular Degrees in Northumberland Chapter No. 174 at Sunbury in 1865. He was a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and received the 330 in 1906. He was made a Knight Templar in Crusade Commandery No. 12 at Bloomsbury, Pennsylvania, in 1866. He was elected Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Pennsylvania in 1879. The next year he attended the Conclave of the Grand Encampment in Chicago in 1880 and was elected Grand Captain General. He was advanced at each Triennial and in 1889 he became Grand Master. During his term in office he served the Order with fidelity and zeal.
Sir Knight Gobin had a most attractive personality. He was skilled in oratory and was an interesting conversationalist. He was a great reader of history and was fond of travel. He was devoted to his family, friends, and had a ready sympathy for the affairs and interests of others.
Reference: From Dr. Francis J. Scully’s…History of the Grand Encampment, Chapter XXIII, Biographies Of The Grand Masters, as published in the Knight Templar Magazine
At the Southeast Section Reception for the Grand Commander of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania, held Saturday, December 5th, there were some special awards presented. During that event Rev. & Sir Knight William D. Hartman, Right Eminent Grand Prelate for the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America presented Lady Sandra Hall, President of the Hermit Commandery Ladies Auxiliary with the Companion of the Temple award for her service to Templary in Pennsylvania. S.K. Hartman presented Sir Knight Larry Q. Hall, PDC with the Knight Commander of the Temple Award for his service and dedication to Templary in Pennsylvania. Also, Sir Knight Seth C. Anthony, PDC, Quartermaster for Grand Commandery, with the Knight Commander of the Temple award for his continuing service to Templary in Pennsylvania. It was a very nice evening to honor these three very worthy recipients. (pictured below is S.K. Anthony’s award, similar to all the awards presented that night)
On September 20, thousands gathered as Masonic Villages dedicated an Eternal Flame monument in the Veterans Grove at the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown. Watch the full program, which pays tribute to all military and veterans and concludes with a flyover of a World War II-era bomber, by clicking the link below and scroll to the bottom of the page. http://www.masonicvillages.org/
If you would like to be part of the project click on the following link for more information. http://www.masonicvillages.org/elizabethtown/docs/Eternal-Flame-form.pdf
Hermit Commandery No. 24 has a paver at Veterans Grove to help honor those that have served and continue to serve this country. Here are a few pictures.
The September 25th Conclave of Hermit Commandery was a Grand affair. Hermit Commandery was host to Sir Knight Nicholas Vaccarello, Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Pennsylvania, along with three other Grand Commandery officers, four past Grand Commanders and many other Grand Commanders, Past Grand Commanders, Grand Officers, Past Commanders and Commanders from PA and all over the United States. It was our pleasure to host the Sir Knights while the ladies of the Social Order Of Beauceant had a meeting of their own. The meeting was followed by a presentation on the Holy Land Pilgrimage given by our own Sir Knight Rev. Christopher D. Rodkey who made the journey to the Holy Land earlier this year. Pictured below is the group of Sir Knights after the Conclave and Sir Knight David Winters, P.C., who was presented with the Illustrious Knight of The Triangle award by Nicholas Vaccarello, REGC, and Jerry J. Hamilton, PGC (not pictured) who actually signed the award during his year as Grand Commander. Also pictured with David are his wife, Barb Winters, and Division Commander SK Mark G. Mattern, Division 5.
(click on the picture to enlarge)
Dear Brick Donor,
It has been two years since the dedication of our Masonic Center. I am committed to installing every memorial brick which has been donated in a more timely manner. My goal is to have the inside memorial wall completed by years end and to design and install the memorial walkway and courtyard shortly thereafter.
Part of the reason for the delay has been that Masonic symbols were promised on every brick at no additional cost. Almost every donor chose this option such that over a dozen symbols had to be offered. None of these symbols were in the manufacturer’s art library and were considered to be “custom” artwork. The set-up fees and placement would have added thousands of dollars to the cost. Also, adding a symbol to each brick would have decreased the print space available such that many dedications would no longer fit on the brick. Finally most of these Masonic symbols, when sandblasted on a 4×8 brick, would lose detail and not look well. Because these symbols were promised but could not be implemented, the project just foundered.
On my motion, the MTA has voted to scrap the Masonic symbols on individual bricks. In lieu of this we will purchase a larger 8×8 brick with its appropriate symbol for each Masonic body that has purchased a brick. These larger bricks will be placed among the individual bricks on the inside memorial wall. Certain requested donor bricks will, when possible, be clustered around the appropriate larger brick.
Some may be disappointed that placing a symbol on the brick just is not doable. I hope that in the Masonic spirit of charity and love, the will forgive us our error and allow us to move forward. For those who cannot, a full refund will be given if requested on or before September 2nd, 2014. After that, the bricks will be purchased and no refunds will be considered. A request for refund should be mailed to me.
Michael S. Marrone
Chairman:Donor Brick Committee
1958 Wexford Rd
Palmyra, PA 17078
At the Stated Conclave of Hermit Commandery No. 24 Sir Knight John R. Von Blauch received the Illustrious Knight of the Triangle (IKT) Award. Presenting the award was Eminent Grand Generalissimo George H. Taylor assisted by Division Commander Mark G. Mattern, Division 5.
pictured above from left to right are SK George H. Taylor, Eminent Grand Generalissimo; SK John E. Von Blauch (John’s Father); SK John R Von Blauch IKT; SK Mark G. Mattern, Division Commander; (back) SK Gerald B. Stephens, Commandery Hermit Commandery.