The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2021

North Carolina Mason

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July/August 2021 The North Carolina Mason Page 5 FROM THE GRAND MASTER WhiteStone legacy continuing By R. David Wicker Jr. Grand Master W hen I last discussed the tenants of a Mason's profession, my focus was on the past, present and future of the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford. Today, I will address WhiteStone, our retire- ment community in Greensboro. My brothers, the purpose of my article is twofold. e rst is to provide you with a history of the develop- ment and operation of your home. e second is to dispel certain rumors that the home is no longer owned, occupied and operated by the Masons and Eastern Star of North Carolina. At the 1904 Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, Brother L. M. Clymer introduced a resolution which stated in part that: "Whereas, Charity is one of the cardinal principles of Masonry; and "Whereas, We feel that we should have an institution for the care of our aged and indi- gent brethren; therefore, be it, "Resolved, at a committee of ve be appointed by this Grand Lodge to inquire into the advisability and expediency of establishing such an institution in the near future, and said committee be instructed to report at the next session of this Grand Body." Brother Clymer's Resolution was adopted and a "Committee on Home for Aged, Inrm and Indigent Masons" was established. In 1905, the committee reported that a home should be established at the earliest possible moment. However, because the Grand Lodge was building a Masonic Temple in downtown Raleigh, the Committee recommended that any work on a home for the aged be delayed until surplus funds from the Temple construc- tion became available. e committee would begin to inquire into a suitable location for the Home. e committee continued its work during 1906 and 1907 by communicating with the Craft regarding the need for the home and gauging their support of such a project. In 1908, the Committee reported that several oers of land had been received on which to locate the home. e committee was then charged with receiving, considering and recommending to the Grand Lodge the oers to locate the home. In 1909, the committee reported that they had $1,100 cash on hand and pledges of another $900 for construction of the home. e committee recommended that the home be incorporated and that construction begin when the committee secures $5,000. In addition, the committee reported that it had received communications from the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Star to combine a Home for the Aged and Indigent Masons with a Home for the Aged and Indigent Wives and Widows of Masons. A subcommittee was authorized to be formed with representatives of the Eastern Star to consider plans for the home. e following year, the committee reported at Annual Communication that the incorporation of the home had been postponed until a vote of approval to do so was taken by the delegates at Grand Lodge. Committee members felt that such an action, without the delegates' approval, would have exceeded their authority. ey also informed the delegates that after conferral with representatives of the Eastern Star, the two bodies should unite and cooperate in the construction and maintenance of the home. ey further reported that they had received an oer of 11.5 acres of land to locate the home in Mooresville. e delegates approved the incorporation and elected the rst ve directors of the Masonic and Eastern Star Home. On June 18, 1910, the North Carolina Secre- tary of State recorded docket number 8159, the Articles of Incorporation for the Masonic and Eastern Star Home Inc., since known to many of us as MESH. e original stated purpose of the corporation is "to build, operate and maintain a home for aged and indigent Masons, aged and indigent wives and widows of Masons and such other relatives of Masons as the By-laws shall provide for." At the 1911 Annual Communication, the board reported that it had considered several sites and at the Oct. 7, 1910, board meeting in Salisbury accepted the proposal to locate the home in Greensboro. e Masons and citizens of Greensboro agreed to donate 25 acres of land and $5,000 for construction of the home. e rm of Hooks & Rogers was selected as the architect and the estimated cost of construction of the home was $15,000. e following year it was reported that great progress had been made toward the completion of the home, but that nearly half of the lodges had not "subscribed or paid a single dollar toward the accomplishment of this great work." e committee went on to report that the failure of the lodges to donate to the project or timely pay their pledges created a situa- tion where the board of directors was unable to pay construction costs on time. e board was forced to borrow funds to proceed with construction. By the end of 1913, construction had been completed, with a nal construction cost of $22,000. It was again reported that over half of the lodges had not made any contribution and that the board was forced to borrow $12,000 to complete the project. e board asked "what, my brethren, can be the reason for this indierence and apathy? … An opportunity of doing great good is at hand. How much better it is to provide a home where your aged and indigent brothers can spend their last few remaining years in peace and comfort, and in the congenial society of brothers and friends, than it is to have small charity doled out to them by their home lodge and individual friends." e board also reported that the rst admin- istrator of the Home had been hired, Brother M.W. White of Mooresville. At the 1914 Annual Communication, it was reported that the home had completed construction of a water and septic system, installation of electric lights and a power plant. e board acknowledged the generous support of the appendant bodies in the cause of constructing the home. It was reported that the Scottish Rite Bodies, York Rite Bodies and Oasis Shrine had contributed almost $1,800. On Jan. 12, 1914, the home received its rst residents, Brother F.M. Stone and his wife from Rolesville #156. At the 1915 Annual Communication, the board recognized that, although the home was located in the county, as the city of Greensboro continued to grow, additional land would be needed to support the home. e board recom- mended that additional land adjacent to the home be purchased from J. Van Lindley and Paul Van Lindley. e land was necessary as MESH, much like the Children's Home in Oxford, had an active farm to support the residents. e proceedings showing that the home had three milk cows, ■ see WICKER, page 8

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