The Masonic Academic Bowl

By Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott

St. Joseph-Ogden H.S. Scholastic Bowl Team
“Who wrote the Broadway musical - The Sound of Music?”  The correct answer was quickly given by one of the young team members, “composers Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II.”   This was one of the questions recently asked at a regional contest of the Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl.   

The Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl is a program of the Grand Lodge of Illinois and is an academic knowledge competition between Illinois high school scholastic bowl team.  Local high school teams are sponsored by a local lodge.  The goal is to provide positive recognition for academic excellence.

Eric Buzzard
 Our area lodges are strong supporters of this program and many lodge members were in attendance to watch the tournament.   The students are very bright and eager to demonstrate their knowledge.   The questions are not easy and honestly I didn’t know most of the answers.

This program hits the heart of what Freemasonry should be, education of the mind and self-improvement.  It’s also a wonderful program to put Freemasonry in front of the general public to help understand what we are about.

One of my St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 brothers, Eric Buzzard, has long been an advocate of the scholastic bowl team at our high school.  He and his wife Lyna regularly attend the matches.  They also coordinate a year pizza party that is sponsored by the lodge.  Many people in the community know about the lodge because of Eric’s efforts.   Eric is also a member of the Illinois Grand Lodge academic bowl committee.

Does your Grand Lodge have a program similar to this?  If not I encourage you to inquire and get one started.   Illinois has a wonderful model to look at.

WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.  He’s a member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign-Urbana.  He is also a member of ANSAR Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.  Greg serves on the Board of Directors of The Masonic Society and is a member of the Scottish Rite Research Society and The Philathes Society.  Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts—an Eagle Scout himself, he is a member of the National Association of Masonic Scouters. 

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