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Virginia Mason given Masonic Award for 'strengthening the relationship between Freemasonry and Scouting'

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Richmond man receives Masonic honor for dedication to Scouting, lodge

Rachel E. Sheeley

March 20, 2005

Indiana Masons believe Jan Passmore of Richmond has exemplified the Masonic ideals through Boy Scouting.

To honor that dedication, Passmore recently received the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award from the Grand Lodge of Indiana, F&AM and Webb Lodge No. 24 in Richmond.

George Eastman, secretary and past master of Webb Lodge, made the presentation of a framed certificate, a medallion with the square and compass and letter G suspended on a blue and silver ribbon, and a knot to be displayed on the Boy Scout uniform. Webb Lodge worshipful master J. David Jones also participated in the presentation during the lodge's sweetheart dinner.

The award is named in honor of Daniel Carter Beard, who was one of the worldwide Boy Scouting movement founders. He organized a male youth program in the late 1800s called the Society of the Sons of Daniel Boone. By 1905, the program had become The Boy Pioneers.

Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Great Britain read of Beard's program and, using his own military experience, developed what is now known as the Boys Scouts. When Baden-Powell's program came to the United States in 1910, Beard's organization merged with it to form the Boy Scouts of America.

Beard was Boy Scouts of America's first national commissioner. He also was a member of Masonic Lodges in New York City and Flushing, N.Y.

Passmore joined the Masonic Perry Lodge No. 458 in Marysville, Pa., and has been affiliated with Richmond's Webb Lodge since 1992.

He received the Beard award because he has, Eastman said, "displayed outstanding dedication to the scouting program through developing scout units, exemplifying the scout law and Masonic virtues, recruiting scouting volunteers and strengthening the relationship between Freemasonry and scouting."

Passmore was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout while growing up in Union City, Ind., in the 1950s. He was in the Explorer unit and the Order of the Arrow's Ordeal and Brotherhood levels.

After moving to California, Passmore became involved in the Santa Clara County Boy Scout Council in San Jose. There he was a board member and officer, also serving as a national council representative.

He negotiated a gift of 140 acres for a new scout camp and when he was named the 1985 Santa Clara County Citizen of the Year, the recognition banquet raised more than $150,000 for scouting. He received the Silver Beaver Award in 1983, the Benefactors Award in 1984 and was nominated for the Silver Antelope.

Upon his return to Indiana, he served on the executive board of the Crossroads of America Council based in Indianapolis and did fund-raising for the Old Trail District, which includes Wayne County. Passmore worked on a capital campaign for the council that raised more than $18 million.

Rachel E. Sheeley writes "Everyday People" for the Palladium-Item. If you've got an interesting story, we'd love for you to share it with other area residents in "Everyday People," which appears every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Call Sheeley at (765) 973-4458 or (800) 686-1330 Ext. 4458. You also may send a note to "Everyday People," P.O. Box 308, Richmond, IN 47375 or e-mail [email protected]

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