From the East
Greetings from the East,
Brothers, the lodge has been a hive of activity this month. With many practices, degrees and meetings our calendar was well filled.
We welcomed two new Entered Apprentices and four new Master Masons in October!
I am proud to be a part of a lodge where the ritual work is carefully practiced and so well executed. Special thanks go to WB Glen Sigmon, WB John Harder and WB Bob Braswell for their leadership during these degrees. We also had the help of many brothers from Temple Lodge 676. Plus our visitor roll included brothers from several other lodges in NC, SC and a brother from Germany.
The sale of the Joppa building will be completed by the time our stated meeting rolls around this month. If you are able to lend a hand before November 7th please reach out to myself or the secretary WB Mike Hamrick to volunteer.
Looking forward to seeing you soon, more especially in the lodge.
From the West
Next month, Phalanx Lodge No. 31 will celebrate its 224th anniversary. In the December Trestleboard, I will write on how this came about in 1797, but this month I will focus on the man who was critical in founding Phalanx Lodge No. 31 and obtaining its charter from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina – Thomas Polk, the first Worshipful Master of Phalanx Lodge No. 31 and the fourth Grand Master of North Carolina.
Most Worshipful Brother Polk was born in Mecklenburg County in 1758. He was first cousins with President James K. Polk and his father was Thomas Polk, a key player in the disputed 1775 Mecklenburg Resolves and Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, called by many as the “Father of Charlotte” and buried in Old Settlers’ Cemetery in uptown Charlotte. Thomas Polk led the local militia and his son followed into military service. In December 1775, he was seriously wounded in South Carolina and carried in a liter 120 miles to his father’s home to recuperate. Many believe this was the first bloodshed in the war south of Lexington and Concord. He was wounded several more times during the war and served until 1785 during which he was involved in many battles including Brandywine, Camden, Guilford Courthouse, skirmishes and chases of Lord Cornwallis through the Carolinas, and the famous winter of 1777 and 1778 encampment of Valley Forge where General Washington lost roughly 2,000 men to the cold and malnutrition. After the war, he served in North Carolina politics, including Mayor of Raleigh, and twice was defeated for governor. From 1811 to 1819, he was the first president of the State Bank of North Carolina, and from the 1790s until his death in 1834 acted as a trustee at UNC.
In 1789, Most Worshipful Brother Polk was raised in Phoenix Lodge No 8 in Fayetteville (established in 1788 and still active). He subsequently moved back to Charlotte, and in 1797 successfully obtained a charter from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina creating Phalanx Lodge No. 31 and serving as its first Worshipful Master. From December 1799 to 1802, he also served as the fourth Grand Master of North Carolina.
His effort and leadership in envisioning and leading our lodge at its inception should be remembered and commemorated as we look to celebrate our 224th anniversary on December 2nd.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
From the South
Greetings from the South!
Modern Masonry has been said to have been founded in 1717 where the members of four old lodges met at the Apple Tree Tavern in London and agreed to form a Grand Lodge. The men met later, on June 24, at another inn, The Goose and Gridiron, in St. Paul’s Churchyard to break bread and choose a Grand Master from among their number. Since that time Masonic lodges have been founded in almost every country in the world. Freemasonry has been banned in some places and flourished in others.
During the last week in October at Phalanx Lodge we initiated two Entered Apprentices on one night and two nights later we raised four Fellow Craft to Master Mason. We sincerely thank members of the other lodges who came out to assist us in both degrees.
Please enjoy Halloween with the rest of the children. Have a happy Thanksgiving with friends and family.