Celebrating Scottish Rite Legacies

The legacy of Freemasonry is built on stories of generations. Brothers have carried on the core values of our Fraternity to spread our mission of building men of character for centuries.

The legacy of Scottish Rite Freemasonry creates a special bond with our Brothers, and with the long line of Scottish Rite Masons who have come before us. This Fall, we are honoring and celebrating the legacy that is the cornerstone of our fraternity. Read below to be inspired by the touching Masonic legacy of Brother Thomas Brotherton, 32°.

“When I completed my passport, I was proud that I was able to finish something that he and I started together.”

Unlike most stories, my father became a Mason after I did. I was proud that I was able to be his guide for each of his degrees. He chose to join a lodge different than mine, one that most of his friends were in, so we would visit each other’s lodges often. One night while he was visiting my lodge, our Master had a speaker from the Valley of Philadelphia join us. At that point in time, we had no clue about appendant bodies and what it meant to be a Scottish Rite Mason. We were both intrigued; we petitioned and became members of the 200th Anniversary class shortly after.

It was a rocky road when we began our travels through the Scottish Rite. The night before we were to return and view the 32nd degree, my father fell leaving Lodge and shattered his shoulder. My father, who felt guilty, told me to go and not miss it. I told him that we were going to go through all this together and that I would wait for him. I had reached out to our Valley’s Secretary and explained to him our predicament. Hearing our disappointment, he mentioned that we could visit another Valley and view the 32nd degree and 32 become Scottish Rite Masons. However, the only Valley left showing the degree was the Valley of New Haven in Connecticut. My father, who was still lying in the hospital bed just outside Philadelphia, said “I’m up for the ride.” So, our Secretary sent an email letting them know we would be attending.

Thomas Brotherton II and Thomas Brotheton III at a lodge meeting.

As we were on our way home from Connecticut that night, my father and I talked about all that we saw and how amazing it was. We both said that we wanted to be able to travel and view all of the Scottish Rite degrees and that we would continue to see them together. He and I became very involved with the Valley and made many great friends. On Reunion nights, we would always sit at the welcoming table. He would sell Valley ties and pins and I would help sign in Brothers. I would take on roles in the presentation of degrees and he would escort new brethren into the lodge room.

Sadly, my father passed away in May of 2016 with about six degrees left to witness. At his funeral, I was touched to see all of our Brothers from each of our lodges and from the Valley come to pay their respects. It truly showed how loved he was and the impact that his friendship had made. I took year off from traveling as it was a “he and I” thing to do but I continued to remain active in the Valley. After some time, I began to travel with my Brothers but I always kept his passport in my pocket so it felt as if we were still traveling together. When I completed my passport, I was proud that I was able to finish something that he and I started together.