The North Carolina Mason

November/December 2020

North Carolina Mason

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Page 4 The North Carolina Mason November/December 2020 T h e m i s s i o n o f f r e e m a s o n r y i n n o r T h C a r o l i n a i s T o r a i s e T h e m o r a l , s o C i a l , i n T e l l e C T u a l , a n d s p i r i T u a l C o n s C i e n C e o f s o C i e T y b y T e a C h i n g T h e a n C i e n T a n d e n d u r i n g p h i l o s o p h i C a l TeneTs of broTherly love, relief, and TruTh, whiCh are expressed ouTwardly Through serviCe To god, family, CounTry, and self under The faTherhood of god wiThin The broTherhood of man. (USPS 598-260) is published bimonthly by e Grand Lodge of AF & AM of North Carolina, 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27608. ird class postage paid at Oxford, NC 27565. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to e North Carolina Mason, School Of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, Oxford, NC 27565. Grand Master R. David Wicker Jr. Board Of Publication Kenneth Lambert Adam Cloninger Dwight Decoskey omas VanEtten omas Pope Editor Beth Grace Good quality pictures are essential for suitable reproduction. e right to reject any submission is reserved. Pictures will be returned to the sender only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Email submissions are preferred: high resolution, unaltered JPGs and Rich Text Format documents only. Submissions and other correspondence should be sent to the editor at 2921 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27608 or Each North Carolina Mason is a subscriber to The North Carolina Mason. If you know a member who is not receiving the paper, please send us his full name, complete address, and the name and number of his lodge. Masonic widows receive The Mason free upon request. Subscriptions are available to others at a rate of $5 per year. Subscription inquiries and address changes only should be sent to: e School of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina 27565. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The North Carolina Mason, the Grand Lodge, or Board of Publications. From the editor's desk Grand Master R. David Wicker Jr. ............................ Deputy Grand Master Larry B. ompson Jr. Senior Grand Warden Kevan D. Frazier Junior Grand Warden Donald E. Kehler Grand Treasurer Lewis R. Ledford (PGM) ............... Grand Secretary T. Walton Clapp III Senior Grand Deacon Robert W. Rideout ................. Junior Grand Deacon Steve M. Norris ........................ Grand Marshal Gilbert D. Bailey Grand Steward Michael A. Register Grand Steward Phillip R. Johnson ........................... Judge Advocate T. Marcus Browne III Grand Chaplain Paul F. Menard Grand Tyler Calvin A. Rogers Jr. Grand Lecturer Herbert C. (Dicky) Lyon Grand Historian Daniel F. Finch Grand Orator E. Oscar Alleyne NORTH CAROLINA The Mason By Beth Grace Editor ■ see TEAMWORK, page 9 Virtual Grand Lodge took teamwork, preparation G olf great Tom Kite once said that the only thing that relieves pressure is preparation. And make no mistake – there was no small amount of pressure on the brothers and others called upon to take Annual Communication virtual this year. It was a first in more ways than you can count. And it went off without a hitch. Well, there was one hitch … but the timing was so exceptional, it worked out just fine. e internet went out for a bit – but since it happened at lunchtime, it worked well with the schedule and didn't seriously extend the day's labor. Preparation made all the differ- ence, says WB Joey Transou, whose work helped make the technical side of the event work. e planning began well in advance, after it became clear the coronavirus had rendered the usual gathering of 1,000 good men gathering in Winston-Salem impossible. Grand Master Shaun Bradshaw made the tough call to take the meeting virtual. "e Grand Master set out the goals he wanted to achieve, and he wanted to mirror the typical Annual Communication as much as possible. With that as our goal, we tried to make the mechanics work," says Transou. Grand Secretary Walt Clapp, Assistant to the Grand Secretary Jonathan Underwood and new Grand Lodge Outreach Coordinator Matt Robbins worked with Brother Joey and the Grand Lodge Technical Committee and others to set up the process. e goal was to make the entire event, including a first-ever electronic voting system, as seamless and transparent as possible. One of the major tasks was finding the right election software. e team found the online voting system Election Buddy. ree software applications were evaluated and the leader – Election Buddy – was tested and passed with flying colors. With a little fine-tuning, the soft- ware was a perfect fit. Voting was secure and accurate. One of the major successes of the virtual event was that the Grand Master could still do what a Grand Master does at Annual Communication. Speeches could be made, awards given, honors bestowed. Another, says GM Bradshaw, was that the virtual meeting was every bit as well-run and prop- erly conducted as the face-to-face communication. "I've had nothing but positive feedback," GM Bradshaw said. "And it was set up in a way that we can replicate it – we don't ever want to replicate it – but we can use some lessons learned for future meetings." For example, the electronic voting system was a hit and helped move votes along faster and accurately. It's also possible that the tech- nology is in place now to allow brothers who are not delegates to watch proceedings from their districts – an option they have never had before. e visual side of the meeting was carried off with help of a professional company, AVEX Audio Visual of Kernersville, which brought in cameras and handled all set-up needs and took direction from our own behind-the-scenes producer, WB Cliff Pranke. Finally, when all elements were in place, DDGMs and others gathered two weeks before Annual Communication for a dry run. e test went perfectly – with only minor problems that were easily fixed on the fly. Another dry run was held at the Masonic Center of Winston-Salem, where the Grand Line Officers would spend the day, along with 10 masters from District 26. e masters gathered to meet a Code requirement that says 10 lodges, each repre- sented by one or more of its principal officers or their respective proxies and a brother qualified to open and preside over the Grand Lodge, shall constitute a quorum to transact any business in the Grand Lodge either at an annual or an emergent communication. e event was available on video in real time; only the opening and closing ceremonies were not shown, to protect the ritual. e Masonic Center of Winston-Salem was the perfect location to hold the main event – it

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