The North Carolina Mason

March/April 2021

North Carolina Mason

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March/April 2021 The North Carolina Mason Page 3 Walt Clapp, the longest-serving Grand Secretary in United States Freemasonry, will retire in May. It's not goodbye forever, he says. "I look forward to continuing my travels in search of light with you, but just from a little different point of view." eophilus Walton Clapp III has worked at the Grand Lodge for 42 years – 25 of them as Grand Secre- tary. He was elected to that position after his mentor and friend, Robert P. "Pete" Dudley, retired. Dudley would pass away just three days into his retirement. WB Clapp, a 47-year Mason, steps down as his daughter gradu- ates from college. "Over the last several years I have often been asked when I would retire. … My stock answer was always, 'My daughter is in college,' assuming it would be interpreted the year when my daughter would graduate from college. My daughter, Katherine Anh is now a senior at North Carolina State University and will graduate this May," he says. "Let me tell you, I am one proud daddy. As you may have surmised, her milestone is also a milestone for me in more ways than one." Walt was born in Marion, the son of eophilus Walton Clapp Jr. and Vashti Fredonia Dulin Clapp. He is married to Betty Connette. He attended Western Piedmont Community College and is a member of Mystic Tie #237 and Mosaic #762. In 1974, he surprised his father with his petition for Masonry, even though the senior Clapp was serving as Master of the lodge at the time. Walt got a petition from a friend on the local police force, who slipped it to the lodge secretary. Until his name was read aloud, the elder Clapp had no idea his son was taking the first step toward becoming a Mason. His father would go on to be Master for all three of Walt's degrees. Walt says he looks forward to retirement but will stay as busy as always. No sleeping in for him. He will be heading back into his garage workshop, where the skilled cabinet maker builds furniture. He says he's thinking of making a Morris chair, among other things. And he'll spend time with his wife and daughter and the newest addi- tion to the Clapp family: a black lab puppy on the way from the breeder. Grand Master David Wicker, who thanked Clapp for his service and led a standing ovation for him when he announced his retirement at the quarterly meeting of the Grand Lodge Board of General Purposes, says he will share in May the name of the brother who will serve out the term. Clapp announces plan to retire this year Q. How many district meetings have you attended? A. 1,396 meetings scheduled; Attended more than 1,000 Q. Have you visited EVERY lodge in the state? If not, how many? A. Only about 25 not visited Q. How many Grand Masters have you worked with? A. 43 Q. How many miles have you driven? How many motels/hotels have you stayed in? A. Well over 1.5 million miles. Countless motels (real cheap dives) Q. How many cars have you used up? A. 15 Q. How many pounds of barbecue have you consumed? A. I don't know but I discovered that waving a Masonic apron would make a hog quiver! See Walt's column on page 6 Longest-serving Grand Secretary in the U.S., Walt Clapp, to retire in May. By Beth Grace Mason Editor Nobody is more grateful these days than Brother Tommy Eller. Nobody. e 53-year Mason, a member of Eureka Masonic Lodge No. 283, says he can't thank brothers and sisters enough for the support, love, cards, meals and good wishes that flooded in after he was attacked and injured by two assailants late one night at his home. e Jan. 20 attack left the 93-year-old Montfort medal recipient hospitalized for days with a brain bruise and other wounds. ree men, who called Eller by his name during the attack, have been arrested and are facing charges in the case. Brother Eller told Rowan County Sheriff 's Department investiga- tors that he was attacked by men wearing masks as he opened the door to let his dog out at about 9 p.m. e men pushed him back inside the house, kicking and beating him and demanding to know where his valuables were. After a few minutes, Eller said he stopped moving, and his attackers fled after going through his home. Following a 911 call for help, Eller was conscious when help arrived. He suffered cuts on his head and lost three teeth in the attack. Authorities say the attack may be linked to others in the area. Brother Eller, who returned home from the hospital by early February, says he is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from the Craft. "Please let all of my brothers and sisters know that they have helped me more than they will ever know," he says. "I don't know why this happened, but I know that their good thoughts and wishes have helped me recover faster and have helped make things right at my home again." He wanted to share a special thanks to members of the Rowan County Sheriff 's Department and local EMS and fire, many of whom are Masons. Photo credit: Bill Wallin of Winston-Salem Sco sh Rite Valley Brother thankful for fraternal support a er attack on him

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