National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
The National Tuberculosis Association estimates that some fifty thousand living cases exist at all times among Freemasons in the United States and that five thousand of the Brethren die from tuberculosis every year. A Tuberculosis Sanatoria Commission was appointed by the Grand Lodges of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.
An investigation was made by this Commission in 1922 of the situation in the Southwestern United States where thousands of consumptives resort. Many of these are Freemasons. Information collected by the Commission indicated distressing conditions and an urgent need for larger fraternal co-operative service. During the fortyffeventh Annual Communication on February 18, 1925, Grand Lodge of New Mexico, a Committee was empowered and subsequently, at Las Cruces in that State, the Committee met and provided for the incorporation of a National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association with an office at Albuquerque, New Mexico, under the supervision of Brother Alpheus A. Keen Grand Secretary. The purpose of the institution is to act as trustee or agency for receiving and administering funds for the relief of Freemasons and members of their familes or others suffering from tuberculosis or in distress from other causes; to provide hospitalization for sick and employment for the well; to establish institutions for the care of those suffering from tuberculosis and other diseases; and to acquire and conduct property in lands and buildings for such training schools, hotels, and so forth, as required for the objects named, and to circulate scientific and useful information for the prevention, relief and cure of tuberculosis, etc.
The Association is to do whatever may be deemed essential to accomplish these objects, to encourage and promote works of humanity and charity, to relieve poverty sickness, distress, suffering, to prevent danger, and to educate, to conquer tuberculosis. The management is under a Board of Governors, one member from each United States Grand Lodge Jurisdiction, the General Grand Chapter, General Grand Council, Grand Encampment, the two Supreme Councils, the Shrine, and the Eastern Star. The first President, Jaffa Miller, was succeeded by Herbert B. Holt, both Past Grand Masters of New Mexico; the first Secretary was Alpheus A. Seen, Grand Secretary of Freemasons, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Executive Secretary was Francis E. Lester, Past Grand Master, Mesilla Park, New Mexico. The Builder, National Masonic Researeh Soeiety, St. Louis, Missouri, had a monthly department, "The North-East Corner," conducted vigorously and ably as a Bulletin of the Association by Robert J. Newton, Las Cruces, New Mexico.
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