New Jersey Council of Deliberation



Awarded only 35 times previously in its 71-year history, Grand Commander McNaughton presented the Gourgas Medal to the New Jersey Scottish Rite brethren, the first time the honor was conferred upon a group

The Gourgas Medal

Prompted by the first memorial service to Gourgas in 1938, Sovereign Grand Commander Melvin M. Johnson secured Supreme Council’s approval for the establishment of a special decoration to be known as the Gourgas Medal, which could be awarded by a vote of Supreme Council, or on the individual initiative of the SGC, upon any Scottish Rite Freemason of any Jurisdiction, for “notably distinguished service in the cause of Freemasonry, humanity or country.” The award was not given for several years thereafter, but in 1943 was voted to Senator Harry S. Truman, who did not actually receive the Medal until November 21, 1945, by which time he had succeeded to the Presidency of the United States. Recipients of the Medal are:

1945 Harry S. Truman
1946 Melvin M. Johnson
1949 His Majesty King Gustav
1952 Kaufman T. Keller
1952 Roscoe Pound
1953 Winfred Overholser
1954 Mark Wayne Clark
1956 George E. Bushnell
1959 Christian A. Herter
1963 Edward W. Wheeler
1964 Richard A. Kern
1968 George A. Newbury
1971 John W. Bricker
1973 Norman Vincent Peale
1974 Gerald R. Ford, JR
1975 Robert P. Taylor
1978 Stanley F. Maxwell
1978 George E. Gardner
1980 Robert H. Felix
1981 Louis Williams
1982 John H. Van Gorden
1983 Edmund F. Ball
1984 Warren N. Barr, Sr.
1986 Raymond C. Ellis
1988 Thomas F. Seay
1989 Francis G. Paul
1990 Charles E. Spahr
1995 Richard B. “Red” Skelton
1998 Carl H. Lindner, Jr.
1998 Robert O. Ralston
1999 John H. Glenn, Jr.
2002 W. Clement Stone
2003 Samuel Brogdon, Jr.
2006 Walter E. Webber
2006 Ronald A. Seale
2009 New Jersey Council of Deliberation

The Pictures are Courtesy of the Magpie Mason
The portrait of JJJ Gourgas is from the collection of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library in Lexington, MA.