The North Carolina Mason

November/December 2010

North Carolina Mason

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NORTH CAROLINA Volume 135 Number 6 The Mason Official Publication of Te Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Oxford, North Carolina November/December 2010 The parking lot before the lodge consecration had a different look as the chartering members gathered for the ceremony. Knights of Solomon 754 will travel Motorcycle lodge consecrated By Ric Carter CHARLOTTE — North Carolina has a new lodge. Knights of Solomon 764, granted a charter at our September Annual Communication, was consecrated here at Charles M. Setzer 693 on October 21 by Grand Master William L. Dill. Knights of Solomon Lodge is an affinity lodge, that is one which is made up of men who share some special interest; in this case motorcycles. Grand Master Dill opened the lodge in ample form before proceeding with the ceremonial presentation of the charter and installation of its first officers. About 50 Masons witnessed the historic event. see KNIGHTS, page 4 KoS Lodge officers take their oaths. Bikers pull in $25,000 The Ride makes it through lucky 13 CHINA GROVE — Eureka 283 held its 13th Annual Charity Ride to the Masonic Children’s Home in Oxford September 11. Each year members of Eureka collect sponsors and donations to raise money for the Masonic Home for Children. But they don’t stop there. Charity Ride organizers Jerry Edwards and Doug Earnhardt put together a great day of cruising. Te Ride has become, perhaps North Carolina’s most successful Masonic fund- see RIDE, page 4 New lodge opportunities Knights of Solomon lodge is an affinity ldoge for people interested in motorcycle. Tere are numerous other oppor- tunities for creating affinity lodges in the state. Two are cur- rently being talked about by groups of Masons. NC State University lovers Students at NC State University look to resurrect an old tradition. In 1921, student Masons on campus could join a group called Square and Compass, provided they were Master see NEW LODGES, page 4 Grand Master Dill led the pack out of Raleigh. THE BOTTOM LINE Awaiting start time, bikes line a still dark street in China Grove. A contract of character By William L. Dill Grand Master How often have we heard a non- member remark, “I have never been asked to join the Masonic Fraternity, but I have been asked to join about everything else?” Tis leads us to remark that a person desiring to become a mem- ber of the Masonic fraternity must not wait in vain for someone to ask him to join, because to be asked would be contrary to the rules, regulations, and all customs of the Craft. It is, however, somewhat different after he has once been identified with the Craft and has become a Master Mason. Masonically it is generally supposed, by some at least, that once he has been admitted to the fraternity, he is proper material for advancement. But, someone may say that times and conditions change, and this is bound to materially affect institutions. Tat may be correct to a certain degree, but if the tenets of the Craft are unchangeable and strictly adhered to, there will not be any great difficulty if men are worthy and unusually well qualified on the occasion of their initiation. And 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 numeri- cal; the rock bottom foundation on which the structure is built is CHARACTER, and he who has lost sight of that attribute, has notably failed, not alone for himself, but for his own lodge and the fraternity at-large. Fifty years ago 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 general 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 because the Masonic institution is secret, it is not tolerant. How absurd! How often have we witnessed 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, and this was clearly set forth in an article in the Hebrew Standard and is as follows: “Masonry asks of its members’ obedience to certain defined principles and well-established lines of action that require them to act with honor, justice, and humanity; but it requires neither blind allegiance to itself nor any performance of service contrary to the individual conscience, or in conflict with the duty and re- sponsibility of good citizenship. “Nothing can be demanded of any member of the Craft that is in violation of those fundamental obligations, indeed, his per- sonal independence is recognized in many ways, and all along the line of his Masonic advancement he is told that his primary duty consists in his being faithful to himself, his country, and his God. “He finds laws and principles clearly laid down, definite cours- es of social and moral obligations marked out, and he promises an observance thereto; he promises to obey the common 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 form of government 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 regula- tions not only of its own, but also demands honest obedience to the law of the state, excludes no one from its benign influence, nor dictates to its followers to what other orders or societies he may or may not belong. “Masonry enforces obedience, but it is obedience with a freer conscience, the obedience of a free man. Masonry stands above all for universal truth and universal 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; will enjoy the fellowship of others and whether or not they have realized their ambition, of having been enrolled somewhere in the Masonic fir- mament, 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? Consider the degree of Master Mason as a contract. “Did you ever stop to think that in receiving the degree of Master Mason you have entered into a contract?” It is a contract with men to be a man. You have taken upon yourself pledges and obligations which, in the world of business, you would never think of break- ing 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 because 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, the remark, “I have never been asked to join the Ma- sonic Fraternity,” will become even more significant, because, 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.” Ric Car ter photos

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