Two Brothers from The Greatest Generation within the Valley of Central New Jersey joined the ranks of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32°, D-Day hero Leonard “Bud” Lomell, 32°, and Vietnam hero Sammy Lee Davis, 33°, as recipients of The Daniel Tompkins Medal for their outstanding and exemplary service to their country and Masonic fraternity at large.

Scottish Rite honors and salutes Brother William D. Haller, Jr., 32°, from Ocean Lodge #89 F&AM, and Brother Robert N. Stutz, 32°, of Mercer Lodge #50 F&AM for their service to both our country and our fraternity. The Tompkins Medal is conferred by the Scottish Rite to honor distinguished contributions not often witnessed by the general membership.

The Daniel Tompkins Medal is named for Daniel D. Tompkins, first Sovereign Grand Commander of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Brother Tompkins also served the nation as vice president, under President James Monroe.

On August 22, following the “Rite on the Road” degrees held at Ocean Lodge #89, Scottish Rite Deputy for New Jersey Grand Secretary General Douglas Policastro, 33°, presented Brother William “Bill” Haller, Jr. with the Tompkins Medal with his immediate family present. Brother Haller served his country as a tail gunner during World War II and in Masonry, served as Master of Ocean Lodge #89 twice and Grand Chaplain for the Grand Lodge of New Jersey in 1998. He has been a member of Scottish Rite since 1970.

William Haller Tompkins Recipient
Ill. Brother Doug Policastro presents Brother William D. Haller with the Tompkins Medal

“It wasn't until just the past few years that Bill would talk about what it was like being a gunner in an airplane during World War II and the part that he played. Being a humble man, he still downplays his role in the war, but we know he played an important one,” said Ill. Brother Policastro.

On September 26, after the installation of Officers for the Valley of Central New Jersey, among his family and Masonic friends, Ill. Brother Policastro presented Brother Robert N. Stutz, 32°, with the Daniel D. Tompkins award. Brother Stutz was a Seabee from the 95th Battalion at Pearl Harbor, and was then transferred to the 90th Battalion, which was a part of the occupation of Japan under General Douglas MacArthur. Brother Stutz was Master of Mercer Lodge #50 and became Secretary to the Grand Master in 1996, and has been a member of Scottish Rite since 1979.

Robert Stutz Tompkins Recipient
(Left to right) Ill. Brother Doug Policastro, Brother Robert Stutz, and Sovereign Grand Commander Glattly

“Bob has the rare distinction of being at the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. In talking with Bob, you get the opportunity to see for yourself what it was like for a teenaged boy to view the war from his perspective. His memory of the war is as vivid today as it was almost 80 years ago,” Brother Policastro said.

Watch our Greatest Generation video below of Brothers from the Valley of New Jersey share their experiences of Pearl Harbor and World War II, including stories from Brothers Stutz and Haller.