The North Carolina Mason

September/October 2010

North Carolina Mason

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NORTH CAROLINA Volume 135 Number 5 The Mason Official Publication of Te Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Oxford, North Carolina September/October 2010 The night before Annual Communication starts, a quiet, empty hall awaits the opening gavel. 223rd Annual Communication concludes By Ric Carter of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina held their 223rd WINSTON-SALEM — Te Grand Lodge Annual Communication here September 24–25. Grand Master William L. Dill presided over a quiet, cooperative commu- nication attended by more than 1,000 voting del- egates. Deputy Grand Master Lewis R. Ledford was elected to become our next grand master. Grand Lodge officials began arriving at the headquarters hotels on Wednesday, September 22 to be present and ready for the board and committee meetings that were to begin early Tursday morning. Te Committee on Finance and Board of General Purposes had their final meetings before bringing business before the membership. Te Board of General Purposes voted on various nominations and appointments of Deputy Grand Master Lewis R. Ledford. It was BGP’s next to last meeting with Grand Master Dill, the last being just before Grand Lodge officer installation in December. Jurispru- dence had their last conference before bringing amendments to the delegates. Te Committee on Appeals met to review all actions and trials by the judge advocate in the last year and held hearings for men asking for permission to return to the fraternity after losing their membership. Te Board of Custodians and Committee on Miscellaneous Publications and other commit- tees met before the general session. Tere were two training session for lodge secretaries on Tursday teaching them more about MORI, our computer database for tracking membership in- formation and lodge finances. Thursday night, Grand Master Dill hosted a banquet for his guests at the Annual Com- munication. Te formal opening began at 10:00 a.m. on Friday morning when Grand Master Dill’s twin brother Hal G. Dill called the hall to order. Te opening procession was led by the United States and North Carolina flags and the banner of the Grand Lodge carried to their places by Dill opens Grand Lodge. A full hall votes on issues of the day. Old beacon regains luster RALEIGH — Tere were far fewer treasurers than hoped By Ric Carter first decade of the 20th for tucked away in a storage locker the Grand Lodge sat on for several years. Most of the interesting stuff had been pulled out years ago. Tere was, however, on old, five-foot tall square and compasses sign. It is thought to be the sign that hung on the old Masonic Temple on the corner of Fayetteville and Hargett streets in downtown Raleigh. Te facility was the home of several of Raleigh’s lodges as well as the Grand Lodge. We left the building when we built our current headquarters on Ra- leigh’s Glenwood Avenue in the mid-1950s. Now, thanks to the labors of Wilmington’s experienced restoration artist and Mason Don Floyd, we again have the sign on display. It joins the cornerstone from our first headquarters in the developing museum area of our Grand Lodge building. Floyd did the restoration of the metalwork and wiring in the 100-year-old sign. He even made replacement ceramic bulb sockets for the lights. An anonymous Brother donated the gold leaf restoration. Te Grand Lodge has had three homes in its 200-plus year history, all in Raleigh. Te first was two blocks west of the State Capitol at the corner of Morgan and Daw- son streets, the current site of Campbell University’s Law School. It served as our home from 1813 until about 1870. Te second was the building that likely held this sign. We moved into the seven-story temple near the end of the THE BOTTOM LINE Living Masonry or not? By William L. Dill Grand Master Of all the humanly ordained institu- tions, none compare in beauty, nobility, strength, and endurance with the valiant, magnanimous order of Freemasonry. Tere is no accepted record of the date when the order was insti- tuted, and it may be well for us to be content with simply saying of it — in the beginning was Masonry. It is ancient, and it is accepted. It is old because it is noble, and it is old because it is old. Te older member, who has not much future to dwell among us, delights often in the past; while the youngest member, who has little past to reminisce, delights in imagining the bright opportunities the future holds. But men, freeborn, of lawful age, acting in the present, dealing with the burning questions of the moment, this glorious heritage of our fa- thers, which has so grandly withstood the onslaughts of ignorance and the ravages of time: are we doing everything to keep its luster bright? Are we raising or lowering the standard of proficiency established by our stalwart predecessors? Is it considered now to be as much of an honor to belong to a Masonic lodge as it was in the times past? Is it amiss to inquire whether the excellent tenets of our institution are maintained as unsullied and transmitted as unimpaired as in former times? Is there as much time devoted to the study of its underlying and enduring principles as there should be? Is this institution, which has so gloriously withstood the ravages of time, in danger of suffering from the lack of time, on the part of its members to devote to it? Is there any danger of our becoming so absorbed in the service of domineering money and of tyrannical business that we will not have the allotted time for the service of God and a distressed worthy brother? How many of us divide our time in accordance with its teach- ings? I have some idea of what the service of a distressed brother is. It consists, in part at least, in ministering to his wants. But, this service of God, which is something additional and distinct, what is it? What does it consist of in Masonry? Can it be simply a meaningless ritual, or is it intended to be put in practice Masoni- cally? Tis has never been explained. Tis instance is noted simply as tending to establish the claim that, in this grand jurisdiction and elsewhere, the transactions of the lodge have a tendency to become simply monetary in the receiving of fees and the paying of dues and bills, and monotonously ritualistic in the conferring of degrees. Te consequence is reluctance to attend the meetings unless some particular friend is receiving his degrees, or some new officer is filling his place for the first time, and a tendency to be- come non-affiliates. Te candidate, when he has learned the cat- echism of the three degrees, supposes that he has learned all there is of Masonry as he sees no systematic effort at further research or instruction, counts the cost, feels disappointed, and is apt to place our glorious institution on a level with the other mercenary, ben- eficial fraternities which he has joined, whose rituals also contain moral and religious teaching. Surely, if a candidate is duly and truly prepared for each and all of the three degrees, and is properly conducted from station to station, at which preside officers duly and truly prepared in their hearts to receive him, he cannot but be deeply impressed with the grandeur and magnificence of our beloved order. Te great danger is that the ritual learned by rote memoriza- tion will be delivered by rote, and will not be felt by the candidate any more than it is felt by the coach. When we take a man’s money and do not do our very best to impress upon him the sublimity of the great principles of our order, and at each step of his journey endeavor to burn into his soul, heated with continuing brotherly love and affection, the beautiful veiled moral teachings of our or- der, we have not given him value received. Te impressions that he may have received will vanish as the shadow of a fleeting cloud. So our impressive ceremonies, gone through in a cold and matter-of- fact way, will have but a vanishing effect; but burn our inspiring lessons into the receptive and inhabiting candidate, in the white heat of enthusiasm, solicitude, and brotherly love, exemplified in noble words and noble actions, and the impression will be upon that soul when it at last appears before the great white throne. see BOTTOM LINE, page 2 century. It was the first reinforced concrete skyscraper built in North Carolina. Tat building still stands and see SIGN, page 4 see GRAND LODGE, page 4 Don Floyd, above, is seen at work on the old sign. At right, is the sign’s new outpost in the Grand Lodge museum area. Ric Car ter photos

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