The North Carolina Mason

September/October 2020

North Carolina Mason

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Page 2 The North Carolina Mason September/October 2020 ANNUAL, from page 1 APPROVED AMENDMENTS GROUP 1 Allows election of Finance Committee Chairman to occur prior to installation of Grand Lodge Officers. GROUP 3 Allows members who reside out- side the state to serve on Boards, Commissions, and Committees. GROUP 4 Establishes additional qualifica- tions for Grand Lodge Officers. GROUP 6 Increases the size of the Committee on Special Activities to five members. GROUP 11 Creates recognition Chaplain of Distinction. TABLED TO 2021 GROUP 2 Requires lodges to fully insure their property per NC law. GROUP 5 Allows lodges to vote on petitions collectively. GROUP 7 Allows a lodge, if it wanted to, to open and conduct business on First Degree. GROUP 8 Resolves conflict in the Code concerning motions to close debate in a subordinate lodge. GROUP 9 Requires consolidating lodges to transfer real property before consolidation is complete. GROUP 10 Refines and restructures endowed memberships. ñ Ò _ $ Ï & $ a P ? p a reason to come back to lodge," he said. "We must rethink how this fraternity does business ... so that we can become stronger than in the past." Also elected were: Deputy Grand Master Larry B. ompson Jr. of Salisbury; Senior Grand Warden Kevan D. Frazier of Asheville; Junior Grand Warden Donald E. Kehler of Burlington. Re-elected were: Grand Treasurer Lewis R. Ledford of Raleigh and Grand Secretary T. Walton Clapp III of Raleigh. RW Clapp told the crowd this is his 25th year as Grand Secretary. Other Grand Line positions were approved by the Board of General Purposes the day before Annual Communication. Appointed were: Senior Grand Deacon Robert W. Rideout of Zebulon; Junior Grand Deacon Steve M. Norris of Shallotte; Grand Marshal Gilbert D. Bailey of Charlotte; and Grand Steward Michael A. Register of Asheboro. Brethren also welcomed to the Grand Line Philip R. Johnson of Perquimans #106 as Grand Steward. Brother Johnson, who was raised in 1996, is a past District Deputy Grand Master, member of the Masonic Home for Children board of directors and the Board of General Purposes. He has been married for 37 years to his wife Mary and they have four sons. Past Grand Master Mack Sigmon addressed the communication in his final report, urging his brethren to "practice Freemasonry in everything you do and say." He took a moment to recognize how difficult 2020 has been for brethren and GM Bradshaw alike. "Grand Master, you have served us well in these times," he told Bradshaw. "When looking at all you've had to deal with this year, I realize how blessed I was." In his address, GM Bradshaw touched on the highlights – and lowlights -- of his year, spent in hard work but also in isolation from his brethren. He completed only 11 of his 23 planned district meetings before the pandemic closed lodge doors. "It's not necessarily what I hoped for, but it is what I got," he said. But he said he was heartened by the reports he keeps getting from lodges who heeded his request to keep tabs on each other and our widows. He reflected on a difficult point in his term: Issuing a joint statement with the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina condemning rioting and violence of any sort in the wake of the George Floyd murder. e reaction from some quar- ters was harsh. "Systemic racism continues to exist in our grand lodge," he said. "We all know of a lodge where we won't take a petition from a man of color because you know it will be rejected. … Don't give yourselves to prejudice … we are better than that. Only the unloved hate, and brethren. I love you. You have the power to create joy." Traditional honors, such as handing certificates to past District Deputy Grand Masters, could not be held in this year's venue, but GM Bradshaw promised he would hit the road and make in-person presentations as his year winds down. Names of the Lion and Pillar honorees were announced live. Brethren also voted to approve five of 11 proposed Code Amendments, including amendments that allow brothers who live out of state to serve on NC Masonic boards, commissions and committees; increases the size of the Committee on Subordinate Lodge Special Activities to five from three and creates a Chaplain of Distinction Award. (See full list of amendments and votes in sidebar.) Two late additions to the agenda were approved: Enfield Lodge gets approval to change its name to Scotland Neck; and Rolesville #683 becomes W.G. Arnold #683. e body also approved the budget for 2021, which closely mirrors the 2020 plan with few increases. Newly appointed Steward, Philip R. Johnson Above, brothers gathered in their districts to participate in Annual Communication (pictured here, Wake Forest #322). Each district made sure brothers were safely distanced. Mean- while, Worshipful Brother Joey Transou and Grand Lodge Outreach Coordinator/Admin Matt Robbins work their technological magic at the Masonic Center in Winston-Salem, making the first virtual Annual Communication possible.

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