The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2021

North Carolina Mason

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Every Masonic lodge in North Carolina has a story to tell. e stories are often ones of trial and loss … and back again. Staring down adver- sity when the odds are against you has a way of making things interesting. From time to time, I'll tell the story of a lodge that simply refused to give in. P icture it: Eastern Carolina. 2018. Hurricane Flor- ence hits. Refuses to leave for days. Finally goes. At the lodge: Water. Everywhere. Floors ruined. Furni- ture warped. Kitchen swamped. Mother Nature's mayhem. What do you do? Well ... If you are the brothers of Zion #81, you gather and meet anyway. Perched on soggy chairs properly placed to the East, to the West and to the South in ankle-deep water, you start the work of recovery. Masonic lodges are not given to giving up. Zion is no dierent. e pride is palpable. Just take a walk through the lodge with Past Masters and DDGMs Bobby Meadows (currently the Secretary) and Johnny Surles and hear the stories. is impeccably cared-for modest brick building just 80-some miles northeast of the town where Masonry got its start in 1730s North Carolina has seen its share of history – and has made some in the process. During the Civil War, a set of silver o!cer's jewels were stolen from the lodge meeting room at the local courthouse. A fellow Mason from Connecticut came across the jewels among the thieves' belongings some time later and took them for safekeeping. at soldier never made it home, but his family found the jewels – and a note about their provenance – in his eects. ey kept them safe until they could be returned in 1865. Just six years ago, brothers from Wyllys-St. John #4, West Hartford, Connecticut, revisited Zion #81 to commemo- rate that on the 150th anniversary of that return. e lodge has faced a ood once before – Floyd left six inches of water and took out the oor and the old HVAC system. A good lesson learned. e lodge replaced the system – but installed it above the lodge room. Florence didn't touch it, and neither should any future ood. e linoleum tile covering didn't survive, so they replaced that with real black and white tile in the traditional checkerboard pattern. History shows, though, that when the going gets tough, other brothers reach out a helping hand. For example, the lodge furniture was ruined by Florence. e cost of replacing that is exorbitant. Unless someone comes to the rescue. en Grand Secretary Walt Clapp called Brother Surles one day from an event he was attending in Virginia and told him he knew of a lodge that was replacing its furniture and would be happy to give the old pieces to Zion. "We thought the furniture was coming from Virginia. Turns out," he said with a laugh, "It was coming from Vermont!" It took months and endless patience to nally get the furniture shipped – the moving company handling the work was not so committed to meeting actual delivery times. Or days. Or months. e furniture now lls the beautiful, redone lodge, and life has returned to normal … well, post-COVID normal, anyway. e dedication this lodge has shown to preserving its Masonic history is not unique to Masonry in North Carolina. Similar stories abound statewide. It inspires admiration. "By rights, we really shouldn't be sitting here," says Brother Meadows. "But we all worked together and got it done." e story inspires some- thing else: well-placed pride. "One thing we know for sure now," says Surles. "We can handle anything." Page 4 The North Carolina Mason July/August 2021 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 Ca 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. 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 Jonathan Allen Underwood .... Senior Grand Deacon Robert W. Rideout ................. Junior Grand Deacon Steve M. Norris ........................ Grand Marshal Gilbert D. Bailey Grand Steward Michael A. Register Grand Steward Philip 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 FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK =LRQULVHVDERYHWKHख़RRGV with a lot of hard labors

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