The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2019

North Carolina Mason

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July/August 2019 The North Carolina Mason Page 5 From the Grand master Enjoy the journey, especially the people you encounter By Dwight M. "Mack" Sigmon Grand Master A s I continue my travels across our grand jurisdiction, I reflect on the many wonderful events now behind me and those on the horizon. Each provides a unique opportunity to meet new friends and brothers and renew acquaintances. One might think that the summer months provide an opportunity for some relaxation and a break from attending Masonic activities. at is far from reality as those months provide just as many opportunities to share in Masonic fellowship. And while the first half of my journey has been extremely busy, it has been extremely rewarding. rough June, I had the privilege of presenting 11 70-year certificates, and many 25-, 50- and 60-year service awards at lodges, in homes and during my district meetings. I congratulate all who have or will be receiving service awards in 2019. e annual installations of our North Caro- lina Shrine Divan officers were held in January. Linda and I attended each event and the hospitality extended to us was exceptional. My congratulations to Illustrious Sir Potentates Kenneth Jarrett (Oasis), Donald Slaughter (Amran) and Carl Smith (Sudan) and their officers for a successful 2019. I wish you safe travels on your journey. In mid-February, our elected officers attended the annual Conference of Grand Masters of North America, held this year in the frigid climate of Rapid City, SD. What an honor to sit at the table with 64 other grand masters and participate in the business of this conference. I also had the opportunity to serve as an officer of the planning committee. Approximately 900 Masons attended the conference. is is an excellent venue to learn and share best practices with other jurisdic- tions. is was a bittersweet conference for me, as it was my last after attending for the past three years. e Grand York Rite annual communica- tion was held in Clemmons in mid-March. I appreciate the kind hospitality extended to me during their session. I offer my thanks to our outgoing leaders and congratulate the new officers elected and appointed, especially Right Eminent Mike Daniels (Grand Commandery), Most Illustrious Kevin Wood (Grand Council) and Most Excellent Tom Bridges (Grand Chapter), who will lead our Grand York Rite for 2019-2020. Our future leaders I attended the annual North Carolina Masonic Youth Leadership Conference at the Winston-Salem Masonic Center in late March. What a great experience to spend time with our future leaders. Anyone concerned about the future of our fraternity needs only to attend one of our youth meetings. You will have a different perspective after spending time with our Masonic youth. I had the privilege of witnessing the Rainbow Girls initiation and the DeMolay Degree. I was very impressed with the dedication and performance of their ritual work. Outstanding! On June 23, I attended and spoke at the 82nd Grand Assembly of NC, International Order of Rainbow for Girls in Raleigh. is was another great experience to be with our future leaders. e annual Grand Encampment Easter celebration was held April 20-21. I had the opportunity on April 20 to participate in a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Va., with members of our North Carolina Grand Commandery. e Easter sunrise service was held at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial the next day. I encourage all our members to visit our most famous Masonic Memorial. In late April, I attended the Grand Lodge of South Carolina Annual Communication, and in early June, the Grand Lodge of Oregon. Both were excellent opportunities to witness how other grand jurisdictions conduct business and to renew friendships. I was honored to be with the graduates of the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford at their annual Baccalaureate service on May 19. is was a unique experience for me, as it occurred nine days prior to the 50th anniversary of my 1969 high school graduation. I wish our four graduates a very successful journey, and I am thankful to the Masons of our grand jurisdic- tion for leading the way in ensuring their success. e Grand Chapter of North Carolina, Order of the Eastern Star held its annual meeting June 9-12. I was honored to offer remarks on behalf of our grand jurisdiction. A special thanks to Sister Debbie Owen and Brother Allen Hughes for their great year and congratulations to Sister Louise Taylor and Brother Cutler Dillon for their election to serve as leaders for the 2019-2020 year. I attended the 145th annual Imperial Shrine Session in Nashville, TN, in early July. My thanks to our three Shrine Temples – Amran, Oasis and Sudan – for their warm hospitality. I was honored to be a part of a large number of Grand Masters supporting Shriners Interna- tional at their annual session. In mid-July, I attended the 82nd Great Smokies Summer Assembly in Maggie Valley. is year's event added a statewide Royal Arch Degree, allowing me the opportunity as Grand Master to fill the role of Principal Sojourner in the Royal Arch Degree on July 13. e following Monday, I was honored to be one of several keynote speakers. Most Worshipful PGM William L. Dill (2010) gave the annual address at the Masonic Marker. Later this year, I look forward to conferring the Order of the Temple at a statewide event to be held at Castle McCulloch in October. Our elected grand line attended the North- east Conference of Grand Lodges in late July, as is customary each year. is year's session was held in Bangor, Maine. ese conferences provide an opportunity to share best prac- tices and understand the challenges/solutions other jurisdictions are experiencing. is was again bittersweet for me, as it was my last, but another opportunity to cross paths with grand lodge officers I have met on my journey. Washington Masonic Memorial In early August, I will attend the second annual Master Masons degree at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial hosted again by the Lodge of the Nine Sisters #773. It will be an honor to again participate in a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I will round out the month at the 2019 Biennial Session of the Supreme Council 33°, Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Washington, DC, where ■ see SIGMON, page 13

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