The Grand Master awards only four "Builders of Men" each year. The award is to recognize the fine men who have emerged as extraordinary in their devotion to the principles of Freemasonry, and through their conscious effort and untiring work, have helped to shape others into those smooth stones fit for inclusion in the Celestial Lodge above. Such men are "Master Builders" in the Craft. The Wendell K. Walker Awards was instituted to recognize these Masons who exemplify the work of such a "Master Builder."
Those selected for the Wendell K. Walker Award will:
-Be recognized as understanding and exhibiting an unselfish commitment to the ideals and principles of Freemasonry.
-Be recognized as one who is always available to support his Brothers in understanding the value of living his life by those principles and ideals.
-Be that Brother who stands out among his fellows as a true "Builder of Men" and who is often seen as a "mentor."
-Be actively involved in Freemasonry and continually lending support to those around him.
-Be actuated by a deep and abiding love for the Craft, as demonstrated by his thorough knowledge of the tenets of the institution.
A Builder of Men.
The Wendell K. Walker Award was the brain child of M:.W:. Gary Henningsen. He developed the Award to recognize worthy Brethren in one of our jurisdictional areas who "have served the Craft with distinction and who were acknowledged to be men who got things done, and who were sparkplugs for programs and activities that would be beneficial to the Craft. This included especially Masonic education, area program development, and so on. "These men are the unsung heroes who most probably would never be considered for the Charles Johnson or Livingston Medals," M:.W:. Brother Henningsen said.
The Medal was designed and processed in 1992 by R:.W:. William Borman, PDDGM, who was the Editor of the Empire State Mason at that time. It was first awarded in 1993 at the Masonic Area "Town Meetings."
The first Medalists were Brothers Andrew B. Marshall, NYC; Walter C. Brutsche, NYC; Stewart L. Cronk, Newburgh; and and Bruce F. Shandraw, Sr., Buffalo.
Shakespeare's only recipient is R:.W:. Walter Schraeter, DSA. Here is the narrative submitted to the Most Worshipful Grand Master Edward R. Trosin, supporting his nomination for the award:
"Right Worshipful Walter Schraeter, D.S.A. is one of three active Past Masters raised in 1950; the other two are W Harold S. Besser, D.S.A. and W Milton Pelikow, D.S.A. These three Brothers have devoted their efforts to improve Shakespeare Lodge, a goal that is consistent with the purpose and tenor of the Dedicated Service Award, which was developed by Shakespeare's famous and favorite son, the late M:.W:. Arthur Markewich."
"Before, during, and after his service as Master in 1973, Right Worshipful Brother Schraeter has sponsored over 50 men into the mysteries of Freemasonry. As an accomplished ritualist, he has assisted many of his successors in the Lodge's Degree conferrals, and he has served as mentor to many new Master Masons and several new Worshipful Masters. Over the past six years, he has reinvigorated the Lodge's "Summer Picnic" and the Lodge's annual Winter Reunion in Florida."
"For the past four years, Right Worshipful Brother Schraeter has organized and implemented a Winter Reunion in Florida for all Lodges in the Sixth Manhattan District. He has scheduled this Reunion to permit the Grand Master and his entourage for the Annual Cruise to attend this Reunion as guests of the Sixth Masonic District Association of Manhattan, Inc. He also has arranged for the Grand Master to present 50-Year Service Awards to Sixth District Masons who have relocated to southeastern Florida. These additional Labors benefit the Sixth Manhattan District and our Grand Lodge.
"Brother Schraeter is completely altruistic in his approach to life and to Freemasonry. He gives of himself freely and without expectation of awards or recognition. Brother Schraeter's satisfaction comes from seeing Brothers move forward in the Craft, and from seeing his Lodge remain an active and constructive part of the District and Grand Lodge."
"Never one to sit on his laurels, Brother Schraeter continues to be very active as a Grand Representative. Rather than just take his new apron and title to sit on the sidelines with the respect of his many years of work, Brother Schraeter has taken his work as Grand Representative to new heights. It was his idea to form an Association of Grand Representatives of Iceland in the United States, and to encourage their attendance at the Annual Communications of the Grand Lodge of Iceland. The concept received favorable comment by the Grand Lodge of Iceland, and Brother Schraeter has moved forward to work with the Consul General in New York. He has also found receptive ears within the airline of Iceland, IcelandAir."
"In addition, Brother Schraeter continues to bring petitions to the SouthEast corner. The Lodge holds his work up as an example for all, and Shakespeare Lodge prospers as a result."
"Shakespeare Lodge was one of the financial supporters for the Grand Lodge of Israel when originally formed some 50 years ago. Brother Schraeter, even though only recently raised at the time, spearheaded the collection of support. And he recently attended the Golden Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Israel, where he was received with appropriate pomp."
"Brother Schraeter is a serious student of the Torah, and has given additional meaning to the Lodge's Ritual work. He delivered a stirring Middle Chamber lecture one year ago, to the accolade of the Deputy Grand Master (R:.W:. Edward R. Trosin), who lauded the Brother's work."
"Even today, it was his idea that the Lodge should make a strong effort to be with the Grand Master at his Let's Chat meeting in Bellmore on October 30. Brother Schraeter will travel over 100 miles to attend this session and support Masonry." you.