The North Carolina Mason

March/April 2013

North Carolina Mason

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NORTH CAROLINA The Mason Official Publication of The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 138 Number 2 Oxford, North Carolina March/April 2013 The old is new again in Grimesland Ric Car ter photos By Ric Carter GRIMESLAND — It seemed an ill wind that blew through this Pitt County community in July of 2012. As citizens there took stock of damage and recovery for themselves and neighbors after the winds and tornados, it took members of Grimesland 475 several days to notice their lodge had been hit. Winds had separated the roof from their lodge and set it down displaced by more than a foot. Their policy with Grand Lodge insurance stepped in quickly and sent them a check to replace the roof with a modern metal top. They even added a much needed cover for the back stoop while they were at it. About the same time, perhaps encouraged by the improvements they saw, the lodge voted to pull the old carpet out of the lodge room. Rather than replace it, they refinished the pine flooring and left it bare. A new square and compasses went up on the front porch. People started getting excited about the way things were looking around the lodge. Excitement built. They dared talk about doing it big. Benjie Forrest, Mike Clark, and Kendall Paramore were appointed a special Ways and Means Committee to get the job done. First, what to tackle? The exact age of their building is not known, but they moved into the old schoolhouse in about 1895, so few could remember what their home looked like before suspended ceilings and paneling were added over the old interior. The exterior, bricked over some years ago, was originally white painted wood. The brick will remain. But it's the inside that's going to see extensive changes — all is aimed at returning some of its early beauty. On the second floor with its preparation and lodge rooms, walls and ceiling will be returned to their historic beadboard and painted white and blue. The suspended ceiling has been removed, and the curved ceiling will be restored thanks to rerouting of ductwork. The attic will be insulated to save energy. The remaining floors upstairs will be refinished. The downstairs area is in for big changes, too. The dining room will get sheetrock and wainscot. The floors will be taken back to their original pine and refinished. The kitchen will get a full remodel with a ceramic tile floor, new appliances, counter, and cabinets. There will be a new storage room for the kitchen, and the bathrooms will get a complete remodel and updating. Doors and fixtures will be replaced. They called in the man who had just finished their repairs and improvements and asked him to work up a price for doing some restoration work. Total cost? $35,000. An early decision was to do the work with contributions, not fundraisers. The committee sent out a letter to all 80 of the lodge's members on January 2 describing the project and soliciting pledges and contributions. Pledges paid by the end of 2013 will be honored on a plaque to be permanently displayed in the lodge — $1,000+ donors will be labeled Master Mason, Fellow Craft for $500–999, and Entered Apprentice for up to $499. Within days, they had the pledges, nearly half already paid, to finance the restoration. Nearly every member, and a see GRIMESLAND, page 5 Up the shore for Sandy WAKE FOREST — The week following Super Storm Sandy hitting the New Jersey/New York area Joseph Miller felt he had to do something. He had retired from police work and moved from New York to North Carolina just three months earlier. The former police officer and Master Mason, trained in New York's Wallkill 627 and now a dual member in Wake Forest 282, felt a strong need to help. He called his cousin, Joe Kurnos, in Virginia, and they tried to brainstorm an idea that could help. They decided that just giving to the Red Cross or volunteering locally wasn't enough. They decided they had to help in a way that they could actually see at work, and it had to be done quickly. With generous donations from Wake Forest 282 and Wallkill 627 as well as from family, friends, Facebook networking, strangers, and a website named ChipIn, what was now dubbed Operation Joe took shape. In just five days, between cash donations, and donations of clothes, boots, coats, etc., they were able to raise approximately $8,500. They used the money to purchase essential items from a list that was put out authorities in the NY/NJ area. They loaded it all up on a box truck and headed north. Designs It was an early Saturday morning. There was a little North Carolina morning chill in the air when Miller left his home headed to meet with Kurnos in Virginia. They loaded the remaining items on the truck, and hit the road. Signs were put on the truck by Kurnos's daughter saying, "NJ or Bust, NY Too" and "Support For Hurricane Sandy Victims." Along the route, they were greeted with waves and horns blowing in support. At one point they were stopped by a bread delivery truck. The driver emptied his load of bread into the truck and then handed them $20 to help with gas. Shortly after, while gassing up, two more people donated a trunk full of clothes and shoes. First stop — Staten Island. They met with a longtime friend and NYPD officer Anthony Hernandez. They wanted to first help those who help others. While emergency personnel helped the public, flood waters devastated the workers' families in Staten Island. NYPD had set up a care station where members of service could come to get essential items they and their families needed to survive. Sharing from those supplies, officers loaded 40 cases of water on the Operation Joe truck for others along the way. see SANDY, page 4 upon our trestle board Own and deliver your Masonry By Dewey R. Preslar Jr. Grand Master Probably my favorite episode of the Andy Griffith Show was the one on Opie's charity. You may remember it. Andy is embarrassed when he learns that Opie has donated a "measly" three cents to the underprivileged children's drive. Andy scolds Opie after learning that he is saving his money to buy his girlfriend Charlotte a present. Later, Andy discovers Opie's true intentions — his girlfriend is underprivileged, and he is buying her a winter coat because her mom doesn't have the money. But during the conversation Andy remembers reading somewhere that there are 400 needy boys in the county alone, or one and a half needy boys per square mile. Opie remarks that he has never seen one before — a half boy. Andy replies that is not really half of a boy, but a ratio. Opie replies, "Horatio who?" He continues, "It is pretty hard to forget something like a half of a boy, poor Horatio." I have told a couple of stories at the district meetings about something that was once old is new again. And this is true of the dialogue between Andy and Opie. This is not an old message, but one to be repeated many times over. It is a wonderful story and is relative to our conversations this year about increasing our charity efforts. Opie was out to cause a different outcome in his charity efforts just as we are. We are blessed to have Mark Kolada and Chris Richardson speaking during the district meetings about our beautiful Homes. They do a wonderful job talking about our charities, and their passions are very much alive for what they are trying to accomplish. Their inspirational conversations clearly show the need to increase our fundraising efforts. At WhiteStone, Mark has been telling us about the formation of the NC Masonic and Eastern Star Home Foundation, LLC which allows each of us an opportunity to directly support our fraternal residents. Last year, WhiteStone provided more than $1.3 million in fraternal assistance with a small portion of that amount being provided by our lodges. The opportunity for us is that by giving more, we can equally provide more assistance to those that need it the most. During the district meetings, Chris has been handing out something that I find to be very creative. It is a Child's Ticket to Hope, which includes information related to admissions to our Home. Clearly, there are many more children in our communities that we could help. If you know of any we can serve, please don't hesitate to call our children's home. Brethren, I am staying with my message. My push has been to increase our charity efforts through an increase in fundrais- ing projects. If your Lodge is already doing a fundraiser, thank you. But, I will continue to ask, "Can you do more?" If your lodge isn't doing a fundraiser, isn't it about time you did? It is my belief that doing it for the fellowship can lead to many opportunities. I often say at the district meetings that I know that I am "singing to the choir." But isn't it our time to increase, engage if you will, more of the choir in our work? Harmony is the strength and support of our work in orchestrating an increased support of our Homes. My Brethren, this is our time to cause a different outcome in our Masonry. Together we can cause something extraordinary to occur. We can choose to continue to work in the "business as usual" mode and wait on a crisis to occur that will cause us to think differently, or we can plan and draw designs upon our trestle boards that will have a positive effect on us as well as grow in our Masonry. We must implement our plans, execute against them, and be accountable for what we are out to cause. In my last article in The North Carolina Mason, I spoke about the connection between resolutions and our obligations. I ask that you regularly attend your lodge, enroll others in our efforts, and cause and inspire passion for our beloved fraternity. I ask again, what outcome are you planning to cause in 2013? Finally, my Brothers, Own and Deliver Your Masonry.

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