From the East
So much seems to be happening these days, both in our private lives and also with the lodge. In life we deal with change on a daily basis. We watch the news, we observe with our own eyes, and we hear from others about things that once were, and now are no longer. In the lodge we talk with our brethren about what’s happening in our own lives and those of our Masonic family. We see who’s in a attendance and who’s not, and we talk about what we can do and how we can encourage members to be more active.
During these trying times, it’s important to hang onto those things that matter the most to us. What makes us happy, what fulfills us, and what keeps us going each and every day. Some days are good, and others are bad, but everyday offers us new possibilities. Yes, that may be a cliché saying, but there’s a reason why it’s been around so long.
As the sitting Worshipful Master for 2013, I, like all previous Worshipful Masters before me, look at the lodge and want do what we can to improve what we see. But like others who have sat in the East before me, I can’t do it alone.
The Lodge is our oasis from a hectic world. It’s where we all meet as equals, no matter what our station in life may be. It’s where we converse about the daily world, and what’s happening in our own corner of it. We break bread together, we encourage each other, and we take an interest in each other’s lives.
Brethren, I’d like to open up the floor and ask for input on how you feel we can improve the lodge, and have greater involvement by all the brethren. As I noted previously, I can’t do this alone, and welcome thoughts and ideas from those in attendance at our Stated Communication. We are, after all, on the level.
Kai Ferrel – Master
From the Secretary
As of this writng, March 7, 88 of our 315 members have recently received a reminder that their 2013 dues payment had not been received and a number of payments are now coming in. Please check your dues card date. If it is a 2012 card, and you did not receive a reminder, please contact me as soon as possible so that we can remedy that.
While it seems that we have just begun this year, we certainly seem to have been busy. The official visit of WB John Trail, DDGM of the 32nd Masonic District was in February. He brought greetings from the Grand Master, and spoke on several topics, including a planned 32nd District Festival on September 21, and that the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford is available for referrals of children who might find a home there. WB Trail also reminded us of the Adopt-a-Resident program at Whitestone, which is a great opportunity for a Lodge to engage the Whitestone community. WB Warren Dover, DDGL, also reminded us of the growing need for Certified Lecturers in the Lodges. Check elsewhere in this edition for the notes from the Grand Master’s visit just this month, and watch for news of upcoming degree work.
Brothers, there are many of you who we miss seeing in the Lodge. Won’t you consider joining us?
Mike Hamrick, PM
From the Craft
East Gate Masonic Lodge #692 was privileged to host an official visit by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in North Carolina Dewey R. Preslar, Jr. on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. The meeting took place at the Charlotte Masonic Temple located at 500 N. Sharon Amity Road in Charlotte, North Carolina. This facility houses both East Gate Lodge #692 and Phalanx Lodge #31.
Most Worshipful Dewey R. Preslar, Jr. (Andrew Jackson Masonic Lodge #576-Salisbury NC) was received at 7:15pm by a host of brethren from North Carolina Masonic Districts 31, 32, 36 and a few other metro area districts. Accompanying the Grand Master were Grand Secretary T. Walt Clapp III (Mys!c Tie #237-Raleigh NC), Senior Grand Warden Douglas L. Caudle (Statesville Masonic Lodge #27 A.F. & A.M.-Statesville NC), Grand Steward “Mack” Sigmon (Catawba Masonic Lodge #248-Newton NC) and Grand Lecturer L. David Potts (Andrew Jackson Masonic Lodge #576-Salisbury NC). Also in a endance and making appropriate comments representing their respective entities were Brothers Mark Kolada, Whitestone-A Masonic and Eastern Star Community Administrator and Chris Richardson, Masonic Home for Children at Oxford Interim Administrator.
As the meeting moved forward, select dignitaries made remarks concerning the Masonic charities, upcoming events and the State of Masonry in North Carolina. Grand Secretary T. Walton Clapp III informed those in a attendance of the following proposals:
1) “Per Capita” increase – The increase being considered is not directly due to a financial set back for the fraternity but rather the declining number of Masons on the lodge roles throughout the State.
2) Dispatch of Business on the Entered Apprentice Degree – Statistical data reflects that one out of every give new initiates do not complete their degree work to become Master Masons worthy of all the rights and benefits for which it involves. At the Grand Lodge level, it is being considered to allow lodges to open the lodge on an Entered Apprentice Degree for the dispatch of its business. This change in the code would allow more Masons to be involved and engaged in the work of the lodge. It should be noted that beginning with the initiation of the Entered Apprentice Degree, a man is entitled to full Masonic burial rites. This fact is the basis for this proposal.
3) Alcohol Amendment – As it has in the past several years, Grand Lodge Annual Communication will take up the proposal to allow the use of alcohol within a masonic facility. The proposal this year will reflect what is known as “Kansas Law”, so named after the State of Kansas fraternal bodies. This “law” allows the use of alcohol during an appropriate function in non-Blue Lodge room areas of the facility. Of course, the function would have to be approved by the appropriate governing bodies.
Key dates were also mentioned for note. These dates are as follows:
May 11, 2013 – Whitestone Family Fun Day
August 10, 2013 – Whitestone Fraternal Open House
September 27-28, 2013 – Grand Lodge Annual Communica!on More informa!on will be forthcoming on the above ac!vi!es. Be sure to a end your Stated Communica!ons and read the Trestle Board for details.
Most Worshipful Grand Master Dewey R. Preslar, Jr. relayed a message of “passion and love” for the fraternity. He expressed his respect and involvement as having come about from the influence of Masonry in his life. He is a third genera!on Mason but not by normal means. His father, Dewey R. Preslar, Sr. was a Mason first, then his grandfather was raised into the fraternity. After his grandfather was raised he, himself, became a member. The Most Worshipful remarked that we should love the fraternity so much that all of those in our circle of influence should know of the charities we support and the work that is done behind the scenes and in the public eye for the good of all mankind. He told the story of a young teenage girl who found herself put out of her home by her parents. The reason was not known to him, and was “not important”, he said. His specific remarks were “How do you throw away a child?” He said he was driving home from work one evening in December 2012 when he received a call from a board member from the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, who happens to be in administration for a Rowan County NC charitable organization at which the teen found herself. By the grace of the Grand Architect of the Universe and the connections which were made through Masonic networking, the teen has had a safe and secure place to dwell since December 2012. Grand Master Preslar also expressed a need for Masons to be diligent in their involvement in the fraternity. The results, as you can see, will be positive all because “someone knew a Mason”.
Phalanx Lodge #31 A.F. & A.M. had 9 brothers in attendance. Many thanks to those who welcomed the Grand Master (WB Walter”Bill” Grahling, WB Glenn Sigmon, Bro. Jeffrey Bri , Sr., Bro. Michael Davis, Bro. Hasan La!f, Bro. Michael Mangum, Bro. A.J. Morton and myself).
Go forth and do the work we were called to do, brethren!
WB Ralph Harkey – PM 2012
Phalanx Lodge #31 A.F. & A.M.