Albert Pike Lodge No. 162 in Guthrie recently changed their by-laws to include an annual celebration of perpetual lodge member Dr. James T. Tresner. This year’s celebration took place on Dr. Tresner’s birthday, Nov. 11, and in the future will be held on the second Monday of November during Lodge 162’s stated communication.

Dr. Jim Seeger, current Worshipful Master, said that lodge members began discussing ways to honor his memory. They were more interested in doing something that would be recurring and decided a good way to do that would be an annual celebration during one of the stated communications that fell closest to Dr. Tresner’s birthday.

“It’s pretty easy to erect a statute or a plaque but we were more interested in doing something that would give it a life,” Seeger said. “The idea being that every November from now on that stated communication would be held in his honor. That we would spend our time during that meeting just remembering him and having people who knew him talk about him. It was just a way to remember our relationship with him, what he did for masonry and what he did for us individually.”

Elizabeth Hurd, publisher of OK Art Scene and Hurd, spoke at the celebration this year. Dr. Tresner was both her and her husband William’s best friend, the best man at their wedding and godfather to their children. Hurd said that he was a friend, brother, professor, mentor and encyclopedia.

Hurd read an excerpt from one of his many books “But I Digress” and spoke about not only what masonry meant to Dr. Tresner but what masonry was like from the outside.

“That’s what is important in remembering him,” Hurd said. “Not just telling stories about funny things he did but what was meaningful to him in the foundations of the organization he devoted his life to.”

Both Seeger and Hurd mentioned what a brilliant mind Dr. Tresner had and that through studying Freemasonry he became internationally renowned as an advocate for masonry as a way of life for good men. 

Among the many achievements in masonry Dr. Tresner made, he was named the Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Oklahoma—this was and remains the only such distinction ever bestowed on any Mason in Oklahoma.

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