Tall Cedars of Lebanon
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The Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America is a side degree of Freemasonry, open to Master Masons in good standing in a regular Masonic Lodge. Its motto, "Fun, Frolic, & Fellowship," is indicative of this social bent. Its members are distinguished by the pyramid-shaped hats they wear at their functions. The name is derived from the cedars of Lebanon that King Solomon used to build his Temple.
The origin of the degree originated before the establishment of the formal organization. Some historians trace it as far back as the 1840s. The awarding of the degree apparently involved a deal of roughhousing. The Tall Cedars of Lebanon of the U.S.A. was founded in 1902 in Trenton, New Jersey. The organization adopted its present official name in 1972.
Cedars meet in groups called "Forests," each headed by a Grand Tall Cedar. These forests most often meet at the local Masonic hall. The Tall Cedars claim 15,000 members, mostly in the eastern United States. Its center of activity was, and is the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania; the Tall Cedars' national governing body, The Supreme Forest, is headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The current Supreme Tall Cedar — the TCL's highest-ranking officer — is Barry L Sheaffer of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania.
The Tall Cedar Foundation exists as the body's charitable arm, supporting research into Muscular Dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases. In 1951, it became the first organization to join permanently with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in sponsorship. Tall Cedars often provide the site and volunteers for local telephone banks for the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon.
- Alan Axelrod International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders New York; Facts on File, inc 1997 p.235
- Axelrod p.235
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