From the East
Greetings from the East!
Brethren, as you are reading this article you wil note that the calendar has turned the page once more. We are two thirds through the year of 2012 in what has been one of the quickest moving years of my Masonic life. This month wil be no slower, I am afraid as we have a number of activities on the agenda.
Firstly, we will welcome two new Master Masons into our fold on Saturday, September 8, 2012. This Saturday morning degree will be complete with a tremendous breakfast offering, fellowship and the fun of raising two brothers, Mike Mangum and Hasan Latif, who are anxious to get under way with the work of the Craft. I hope you all will plan on being in attendance.
Secondly, our Stated Communication for the month of September wil be held as scheduled on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. Dinner will commence at 6:30pm followed by our business meeting at 7:30pm. This Communication is of particular interest because it is just before our attendance at the annual Grand Lodge of North Carolina meeting later in the month. Worshipful Brother Mike Hamrick, Secretary, will be reviewing in detail the proposed amendments that wil be voted on this year. Please mark your calendars and be in attendance. Your principal officers need to know your feelings so we may accurately cast the votes for the lodge. I urge you to attend the Grand Lodge meeting, if it is within the length of your cable tow. For the past 2 years I have been required to attend. This is my third time; how-ever, it will not be my last. The friendships and bonds you make over the years transcend the office which we hold. This fellowship is part of what makes this fraternity so great.
Speaking of Grand Lodge, the 225th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, A.F. & A.M. wil be held in Winston-Salem, NC, September 21-22, 2012. Your principal officers are preparing to make the trip and represent Phalanx Lodge #31, A.F. & A.M. in fine form as always. If there are questions or concerns about any of the proposed amendments, feel free to reach out to Kai Ferell (Senior Warden), Jim Lofton (Junior Warden), Mike Hamrick (Secretary) or myself. This fraternity is “ours”, not yours or mine, so we should communicate as such.
Thirdly, but certainly not lastly, Friday, September 28, 2012, will be the annual York Rite Masonic Center Barbecue. This event ushers in the Fall season with a taste of what it is like to live in the South, particularly North Carolina, this time of year. Our brothers, many of whom are Phalanx members, work hard each year at making this a successful event. I urge you to lend your support by volunteering to work a few hours or buying lunch or dinner during the course of the day. i promise you will not be disappointed. If you think you can sell some tickets for the event, which will run from 11:00am-8:00pm (or until the “cue” runs out), contact a member of your Charlotte York Rite fraternity. A good place to start with that is Worshipful Brother John Caudle or myself.
Brethren, I am sure there are many other events and opportunities for us to be involved with this month. I ask that you seek them out and remember what our tenets state-“Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth”. You don’t have to look far to see those exemplified. As I have always stated, if you are a Mason in the Charlotte Metro and find yourself bored, you are definitely not connected to your Masonic fraternity.
My blessings to each one of you!
Ralph Harkey – Master
From the West
I hope everyone is enjoying the ‘official’ last weekend of summer, and that your summer in general has been a good one. As summer fades away, soon fall will be upon us and a new cycle begins.
This year has been a year of reflection for me. Not only was I reunited with some close friends whom I hadn’t seen in about 28 years, but also I did something I swore I’d never do again. I attended my high school reunion… I attended a small high school in the town of Cullowhee. Most of you know Western Carolina University, but outside of the university, there’s a small local population of about 9,500 residents.
Cullowhee is a beautiful small town nestled in the mountains. The name ‘Cullowhee’ is actually a Cherokee word that means, “Valley of the Lilly’s.” And like many small towns, graduating high school students can’t wait to leave. I was one of those who thought there was nothing for me there, and that my life wouldn’t begin until I left. 30 years later I question that reasoning. While it’s true that there are many drawbacks to a small town (lack of jobs, limited resources, horrible cell phone reception, etc.), there are also many great memories that I never could have had growing up in a much larger, less close knit
community. I’ll always have fond memories of those early days on Wilson Creek.
Brethren, cherish the good times. Life is ever changing and sometimes life’s paths can take us away from those happy times. We’re fortunate enough to have our own close knit community within Masonry. We support each other, look out for one another, and have a bond that those outside of Masonry don’t have. Each lodge is its own small town. Never lose sight of the greater good.
Kai Ferrel, SW
From the South
First of all I would like to thank every brother that attended our first degree at the end of August, which happened to my first time in the east. We had a fantastic group of brothers there to support our newest entered apprentice, Graham McAlpin.
I would like to issue a special thanks as well to Worshipful Gilbert Bailey and Brother Robert McDowell, who brought two of their entered apprentices from Seltzer to witness our degree. It is a very special occasion, in my opinion, for a brother to begin his journey through the several degrees surrounded by
so many friends who he learns very quickly to trust.
WB Bob Braswell has always been one to provide me with words of wisdom, and something he tells me regularly is that you only get one chance to make a first impression. I spent some time speaking with Graham after the degree and I can assure you that the impression we left on Graham was one of intrigue and interest in continuing through the degrees and learning more about our fraternity. In my opinion, this sort of impression can only be achieved through ritual practice and proficiency with each part being played.
Jim Lofton – JW
From the Secretary
As we enter the third quarter of the year, we are finding ourselves quite busy…and that’s a good thing.
With the upcoming Master Mason degree on September 8, Fall School of Instruction on October 23 & 24, Service Award presentation on October 30, the continuation of Joppa’s annual fall barbeque (date TBD), a likely Fellowcraft Degree as well as a cleanup day in the coming weeks and the 2013 Officer’s election at the November stated, the calendar has filled with opportunities for fellowship and work at the Lodge. Please make plans to join us if you are able…as
always, we would love to see you there.
Mike Hamrick, PM