The North Carolina Mason

September/October 2019

North Carolina Mason

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September/October 2019 The North Carolina Mason Page 5 From the Grand master Iʼm glad our paths crossed By Dwight M. "Mack" Sigmon Grand Master A s I write my last article for the Mason, I reflect on my year with deep appreciation for all who supported my efforts and goals for 2019. While the grand master is the primary leader of our jurisdiction, it takes an entire team to be successful. I would like to thank my team of officers, not just the Grand Line officers, but all who have served as district officers, board and committee members and each of you serving at your local lodges. e Grand Lodge, as we have stated on many occasions, is not just the Grand Lodge officers or the Grand Lodge office. It consists of the approximately 36,000 Masons in our grand jurisdiction. Our annual communication has just wrapped up and I have a few more events to attend, more Masons to meet and enjoy time with together. We have just elected and appointed a new slate of officers. I am confident that our Grand Lodge team will move forward with some new and exciting work. I ask that you continue to give them the support required to make North Carolina the best grand jurisdic- tion in this country. Since 2007, I have witnessed each year the unofficial tradition of the changing of the guard of our Grand masters. e official change occurs on the first Saturday morning in December when the Grand Master-Elect takes his oath of office and becomes the new grand master. e unofficial change occurs on Friday afternoon, prior to the official installation, at the meeting of the Board of General Purposes. is is the primary business board of the Grand Lodge which is chaired by the Grand Master. It is a tradition I admire because of the respect given to our outgoing and incoming Grand Masters. Some may view this event somewhat somber in nature since we are saying goodbye to one, but on a positive note, we are welcoming another. After the Grand Master conducts the business of this board for his final time, he makes some remarks, typically thanking those for their support and those who made this opportunity possible. is is followed by someone paying a brief tribute highlighting his grand officer and Masonic journey and he then quietly exits the room. e grand master-elect then assumes the chairman's seat and discussions center around brief comments of his programs for the coming year and final logistics of his installation. We are fortunate to have a process in our jurisdiction that allows a Grand Lodge officer to work on a team for up to nine years. Because of this process we have solid continuity from one grand master to another. Not all jurisdictions are able to enjoy that well-appreciated process. I am proud of this system because it works well and gives us a respectful and very appreciative changing of the guard. Because we have an appointment system, I was given the rare opportunity to be able to serve as your 166th grand master of Masons in North Carolina for the past year. I was both blessed and honored to do so. I would like to again thank Most Worshipful Robert E. Gresham Jr., PGM 2012, who appointed me to the Grand Lodge line at the annual communication on Sept. 24, 2011. I began this journey when I was installed on Dec. 3, 2011, as your newest junior grand steward. It has been a wonderful eight-year experience! I thank my family for their support, espe- cially Linda, my wife of 48 years. Her patience with all my absences due to a heavy travel schedule as Grand Master and previous Grand Lodge offices held is greatly appreciated. As Grand Master, quite often you receive honors and recognitions on your journey. I do not take these lightly. I have been treated with respect and honor everywhere I have travelled. But, as I stated in my district meetings, the most important part of this journey has been and will always be the many wonderful people I have met along the way. Without the connections we establish and maintain as the oldest and greatest fraternity in the world, it is likely most of us would have never met. at would have been sad for me. If I can be remembered for one thing after my life's journey is over, I wish it to be that I was one who always treated others with kind- ness and respect and one always willing to help others in need. I encourage you to practice, as I try to do daily, the words so eloquently stated at the end of our officer's installation ceremony which says, "may kindness and brother affec- tion distinguish your conduct, as men, and as Masons." Always remember, each day we have the opportunity to make this world a better place to live. We also have the choice to be a Mason or just a member. No one can make these choices for us. Practice the teachings of Free- masonry in everything you do and say. Always be the example others would want to emulate. Be part of the solution for a better tomorrow. You see Life is a School, Masonry is Work, but it is important work. My brethren, it is time that we as Freemasons lead the way in Making a Difference in this world. May God bless each of you and may God continue to bless this fraternity that we love so much. So, my final words written for the Mason simply stated once more are, "I am glad our paths crossed." 4-year tally shows Masons Can and Masons Do NC brothers remembered others in need again this year at Annual Communication. e "Masons Can" collection became the first of an annual event back in 2016. Here's how it works: Brothers are challenged to bring 10 cans of food or give $10 to help folks who are in need and don't have enough food for themselves or their families. Since 2016, brothers have carted in about 11,400 pounds of food and donated $16,020 in cash. is year Masons brought in 600 pounds of food and raised $2,600.

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