The North Carolina Mason

September/October 2020

North Carolina Mason

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The Mason Official Publication of e Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 145 Number 5 Oxford, North Carolina September/October 2020 NORTH CAROLINA ■ see ANNUAL, page 2 By Beth Grace Mason Editor It was a "most historic event." As Grand Master Shaun Brad- shaw presided via Zoom from the Masonic Center of Winston-Salem, masked brethren braved rainstorms from border to border and gathered in socially distanced groups to conduct the business of the Craft at the 233rd Annual Communication. e coronavirus and regulations preventing close contact forced organizers, who traditionally spend months every year preparing and executing the largest meeting of A.F. & A.M. Masons in North Carolina, to change everything – almost literally – to pull off the first-ever virtual Grand Lodge. Normally, the two-day gathering of more than 1,000 men, their wives, significant others, friends and others consumes much of the Twin City Quarter hotels in downtown Winston. Friends who never see each other gather in lobbies, restau- rants and on the streets to exchange hugs and catch up before getting down to the business of Masonry. ere was very little hugging this year – but lots of elbow bumps. Annual Communication happened in six hours over a secure Zoom connection in designated rooms with strong WiFi in districts around the state. Designated brothers bearing proxies – each lodge gets three votes – cast his own vote and that of the other two brothers via the Election Buddy app under the guidance of their DDGMs. With the exception of an hour- long local internet outage, which happened providentially at lunch- time, the day went without a hitch. Brethren elected a new Grand Master, R. David Wicker Jr. of Oxford, who will be installed on Dec. 5. "I am humbled by the actions of the members of this fraternity," he said after the vote. He thanked his family, brethren and made special mention of his Masonic "father," Past Grand Master Dalton Mayo. "I'm not sure what he saw in me when he appointed me," he said. "I will do my utmost to fulfill the duties and make not only PGM Mayo proud, but all of the brethren." Because of the virus and meeting restrictions, things are up in the air as he plans his year. "We must begin at some point to reopen. We must give members The scene from behind the camera as GM Shaun Bradshaw speaks. Meanwhile, Masons from across the state gathered, socially distanced, at sites in the various districts to participate in the Annual Communication via Zoom. Grand Lodge Zooms through Communication Wicker elected next Grand Master as brethren gather by Districts

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