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 Michael Fleming, 32°

“Eventually, a spark made flame, and I found Masonry. It is now the guiding light in my personal life, without which, I am unsure of what kinds of darkness could have forsaken me.”

My grandfather, Charles Gus Groth, was a Mason. This was not a new fact to me, as I had grown up hearing about Masonry from my Mother and her sisters.

The only male child my grandfather had was a son named Bobby, who tragically passed away in childhood. Masonry, had to skip a generation, although, my Aunt was a member of The Order of The Eastern Star.

Everything I know about him came from the stories my mother and aunts told me about him.

He was called upon to serve his country after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and decided to serve as a medic during WWII. I was told that this was a result of his value for human life, that he couldn't take a life, but could try to save them. He served in the Aleutian Islands in the Pacific.

He worked for the Pullman Company, working his way up from the shop floor to management. The family started in Pennsylvania moving to Indiana as a result of his work; eventually settling in Charleston, Illinois.


Sadly, my grandfather passed away in 1976 after finally succumbing to prostate cancer, a disease that, not long after, became very treatable. My mother was only 14 years old. This was long before I would have ever had a chance of meeting the man and Mason.

I remember hearing the stories about him; his daughters bickering about who lost what artifact of his military career, or who had what memorabilia of his service to Masonry all throughout my childhood.

At the time, as a young boy, I was more concerned about never finding his army fatigues, than whatever a "Mason ring" was.

Eventually, a spark made flame, and I found Masonry. It is now the guiding light in my personal life, without which, I am unsure of what kinds of darkness could have forsaken me.

A newspaper clipping featuring Scottish Rite Masons, including Brother Fleming's Grandfather, Brother Charles Gus Groth.
A newspaper clipping featuring Scottish Rite Masons, including Brother Fleming's Grandfather, Brother Charles Gus Groth



Not long ago, my mother came across a few of his possessions - specifically, what she thought was a regular Masonic Bible. I quickly realized that this bible was actually a Scottish Rite Bible and I explained to her that the Scottish Rite is an appendant body to Masonry.

This happened to be the very same week, just a few days after, I had received my 32nd Degree.

Inside I found a photograph from the event in December of 1974 in which he and eight other men received their 32nd Degrees at the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville.


I'm not sure if I have inherited some sort of gene that drew me to Freemasonry, or if it was the simple case of curious mind meets oddity. On occasion, I am convinced that I had a friend in the lodge of the Supreme Architect nudging me to seek light.

Whatever the case, my grandfather, Charles Gus Groth, is now more than just a childhood story. He is more than my middle namesake.

My grandfather is no longer a stranger, a photograph, a story, or a myth.

I'm proud to say, he is my Brother.