The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2010

North Carolina Mason

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NORTH CAROLINA Volume 135 Number 4 The Mason Official Publication of Te Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Oxford, North Carolina September 24–25 in Winston-Salem Grand Lodge set to open annual meeting By Ric Carter WINSTON-SALEM — Grand Master William L. Dill will preside as 2010 Annual Communication opens in Winston-Salem. Te 223rd annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina is scheduled for September 24–25. Te meeting will be at the Twin City Quarter here, the same hotel we used last year. It will be the headquarters hotel, the site of all com- mittee meetings, and Grand Lodge business sessions. Te hotel is large enough to house all delegates to the communication. Partici- pants at previous communications held here enjoyed having everything on one site. It will be a great chance to enjoy a classic convention atmosphere, with everyone spending a couple of days in close proximity. While every Mason in the state is invited, only the master and wardens of your lodge, or their official proxies, may vote during business sessions. Tey’ll join the same officers of the other lodges around the state. Te other voters are committeemen and officers of the Grand Lodge and its districts. Workshops and com- mittee meetings held before the official sessions will be at the Twin City Quarter on Tursday, September 23. Te Lodge Secretary’s Workshop will be held there that Tursday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and will again feature a training session on the new lodge software — MORI, Masonic Online Registry Interface. All voting sessions will be held in the Twin City Quarter’s Grand Pavilion Friday and Sat- urday, September 24–25. Lodge officers are asked to bring and wear their aprons for all business sessions. Please do not mail your credentials to the Code changes we will consider By Ric Carter Here we go with our annual recap of Things are gearing up for Annual Communication. Grand Lodge office. You must present them at the registration desk to receive ballots and other essential information. You may register at the main lobby on Tursday and outside the Grand Pavilion on Friday and Saturday mornings. In order to vote, you must have your credentials, and you must register. Again, do not return your credentials to the Grand Lodge office. Grand Master Dill will open the first session at 10:00 a.m. on Friday morning. Tat’s when you’ll see the formal opening and welcoming of special guests. Grand Orator Tomas W. Greg- ory, past grand master, will make the keynote address. Te rest of the morning, a number of reports will be read and others submitted for the record without reading. Downtown Winston-Salem has lots of res- taurants, so you can find a place you like for the lunch break within easy walking distance of the hall. A memorial service for those Masons who died in the past year will follow the call from re- freshment to labor. Te Grand Master’s Report is next. Other reports will also be received. Some voting will take place on Friday afternoon. Plan to spend Friday evening with friends and Brothers. Tere are several restaurants and night spots along the streets around the hotel to spend your evening. Business resumes on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. when the last day of the session opens. Tat’s when more proposed amend- ments and resolutions will be considered. An analysis of those proposals starts on page one of this issue of Te North Carolina Mason. We will also adopt a budget for the year. We will see MEETING, page 4 the year’s proposed amendments to Te Code. Tis is an effort to put the propos- als in plain language and share some of the arguments commonly expressed on the amendments. Te discussion is far from exhaustive, but intends to give you a better understanding of the changes offered and their possible repercussions. A lodge cannot and should not at- tempt to bind its delegates to a particular vote on a particular question. Very often, the amendments are changed on the floor before voting. More often still, arguments not thought of in analysis or lodge debate arise at the meeting, bringing a different outlook to the proposal. Discuss the votes and suggest the thinking of the lodge. Your delegates should vote in the best interests of your lodge and all Masonry after hear- ing all discussion. Group 1 You are not allowed to use the Official Standard of the Work (OSW) in coaching a candidate. It is in the rules set by the Board of Custodians. Apparently so many people have challenged lecturers about the rule, see AMENDMENTS, page 5 Fifth Annual Pig Jig continues growing tradition By Ric Carter RALEIGH — May 22 marked the fifth year for the Ma- sonic Carolina Pig Jig and the second year it’s been held in con- junction with Got to Be NC AgFest. Raleigh 500 sponsors the Pig Jig which crowns the best Masonic barbecue in the North Carolina. Tis year they had their largest field of contenders ever with 28 teams from various Masonic groups from around the state. Tere were teams from AF & AM lodges, Prince Hall lodges, and several Masonically related organizations. Tere was even one team from Ohio. Te team from Hiram 40 in Raleigh won this year’s title of Grand Champion as well as taking the People’s Choice award. More than 3,000 tickets were sold, the most ever. Tose sales, sponsorships, and profits made more than $9,000 to be sent to the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford, this year’s target charity. AgFest is a spring-time State Fair-like festival held on the State Fairgrounds. Tousands visit to enjoy the sights, tastes, and rides. Many of them are now attending to sample Masonic barbe- cue as well. Pig Jig ticket holders are invited to sample all the en- tries and cast their votes for “Peoples Choice” award. Te Grand Champion is named by trained barbecue judges. Some report that the most fun is in the hours before the food see PIG JIG, page 4 THE BOTTOM LINE Of your own free will and accord By William L. Dill Grand Master Freemasonry is what it denotes – “Free Man,” of his own free will and accord. But someone may say that times and conditions change, and this is bound to materially affect institutions. Tat may be correct to a certain de- gree, but if the tenets of the craft are unchangeable and are strictly adhered to, there will not be any great difficulty if men are worthy and unusually well-qualified on the occasion of their initiation. If then, why not all through the Masonic journey simply because, some person who has already been admitted, has either forgotten, or never learned the lesson; that basic principles of the Masonic system are not political, financial, or even numerical. Te rock bot- tom foundation on which the structure is built is character, and he who has lost sight of that attribute, has signally failed, not alone for himself, but for his own lodge and the fraternity at large. We believe that, through the decades, a man had to be a good man before he became even a petitioner for the degrees. No member would take in the petition of a man unless he could vouch for his honesty and integrity, his moral character and gen- eral fitness. Today it is different. Too many are glad to accept the petition and present it to the secretary to be placed before the lodge for action regardless of his habits, character, and standing in the community. We oftentimes hear of those who say that the Masonic in- stitution is secret, therefore it is not tolerant. How absurd! Has it never been brought to your attention that those who usually shout the loudest for toleration are, generally speaking, the ones who would give you the least consideration when it is their turn to be tolerant? It is, however, a well-defined rule, which calls for Masonic obedience. “Masonry asks of its members obedience to certain defined principles and well-established lines of action that are in agree- ment with honor, justice, and humanity; but it requires no blind allegiance to itself nor any performance of service contrary to the individual conscience, or in conflict with the duty and responsibil- ity of good citizenship. “Nothing can be demanded of any member of the Craft that is in violation of those fundamental obligations; indeed, his personal independence is recognized in many ways, and all along the line of his Masonic advancement he is told that his primary duty con- sists in his being faithful to himself, his country and his God. “He finds laws and principles clearly laid down, definite courses of social and moral obligations marked out and he promises an observance thereto; he promises to obey the com- mon law, to be a loyal citizen and an honest, upright man and Mason. But that is not ‘blind’, unreasoning obedience, which, overthrows personal dependence and threatens the good order and welfare of the state. “Masonry has no class or group that rules it with an iron rod; it is governed by leaders chosen by the members themselves, to serve for definite periods. Only, and when that time has expired, these temporary leaders fall back into the ranks and become workers in the quarries with the others, having only the honor of past services to their credit. “Masonry demands obedience to those laws, edicts, and regu- lations not only of its own, but also demands honest obedience to the law of the state. It excludes no one from its benign influence, and does not dictate to its followers to what other orders or soci- eties he may or may not belong. “Masonry enforces obedience, but it is an obedience with a freer conscience, the obedience of a free man. Masonry stands for law and order; stands above all for universal truth and uni- versal charity.” It can safely be said: that if men can see no difference in the moral standard of the members of an Institution, and those out- side its gates; whether that institution be named a church or a lodge, there is time for reflection on the part of those within, and serious thought for those who would otherwise seek its portals. Teir standards, in each case, to be worthy of emulation must em- body sterling qualities of mind and heart, and these rarely pre- dominate, when character is lacking. Institutions and men never build so effectively as when they build on that basis. So that when men learn, of their own free will, the principles of the brotherhood of man and the eternal fitness of things and respect the rights of others, they will then be free. Tey will en- joy the fellowship of others and whether or not they have real- ized their ambition, of having been enrolled somewhere in the Masonic firmament, they will still discover that Freemasonry is a veritable storehouse of information and knowledge, which can only be comprehended by continually searching, and even then, there will be something more. Indeed there is! Te greater the honors conferred, the more the obligation and responsibility increases, but does not most of it find its emphasis in the proud title of a Master Mason? It would be of interest to consider that in receiving the degree of Master Mason you entered into a contract. It is a contract with men to be a man. You have taken upon yourself pledges and ob- ligations, which, in the world of business, you would never think of breaking because you know it, would spell your financial ruin. No more should you think of breaking this contract for it spells your moral ruin to do so. Every contract breaker has less regard for contracts thereafter. So every deliberate breaker of a moral contract has less regard for morality thereafter. It is inevitable; you cannot afford to get into such a habit. To be sure a contract must be mutual to be binding, and the failure of one party to maintain his part of a contract may legally and morally free the other party from its conditions. But you cannot work out of this contract be- cause some Brother Mason falls short in his duty. Your contract is not with one Mason, it is with every Mason, and it is individual with each. So even though one Brother may fall by the wayside, yet there are hundreds of others who are living up to the precepts of the institution – the terms of the contract – and to them you are irrevocably bound. When every member honors to the fullest extent his Masonic obligations, what the Fraternity will be then, will speak so loudly, that its members will have no occasion even for the sign of an urge, much less, a query why not, to those who remark “I have never been asked to join.” Demand was steady for the entire Pig Jig serving schedule. July/August 2010 Ric Car ter photo Ric Car ter photo

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