The North Carolina Mason

January/February 2011

North Carolina Mason

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NORTH CAROLINA Volume 136 Number 1 The Mason Official Publication of Te Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Oxford, North Carolina Ledford is new grand master On December 4, Lewis Ray Ledford became the 158th man to serve as grand master of the An- cient, Free and Ac- cepted Masons of North Carolina. Te installation followed his election to the of- fice at our September Annual Communica- tion. Ledford was born in Marion, North Carolina to Stokes Rube and Norma Street Ledford July 16, 1954. Raised in Mitchell County, his childhood Lewis R. Ledford Grand Master in the shadow of Roan Mountain helped burn a love of our natural landscape into his imagination. His life has been spent protecting that landscape for others and teaching them the joys of their natural heritage. As part of that journey, he earned a bachelor of science in biology at Appalachian State University in 1976 and a fellows designation from the Natural Resources Leadership Institute at NC State University in 1999. While a student in Boone, Ledford began seasonal work with North Carolina State Parks. After graduation, he briefly taught school before returning to State Parks. He was a ranger at parks in Wake, Wilkes, Burke, and Yancey counties before taking his first superintendent’s job at Mount Mitchell in 1979. In five years, he became West District superintendent, and later super- intendent for Park Operations and Construction. In 2003, he was named director of NC State Parks and Recreation, the first person in the state to hold the position after advancing from an entry-level ranger position. As director, he has presided over significant Parks expansion and improvements including the creation of parks at Hickory Nut Gorge, Haw River, Carvers Creek, and Mayo River. He also devel- oped innovative approaches that brought famous, previously private see LEDFORD, page 4 Hallman joins the line Grand Master Lewis R. Led- ford’s September appointment of Charles Speed Hallman as grand steward makes Speed the new- est addition to the Grand Lodge line. His December installation makes him the junior man in line to become grand master of North Carolina. Hallman was born April 18, 1960 to Charles Franklin and Anne Dixon Speed of Marsh- ville, NC in Union County. He is a 1982 graduate of the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After graduation, he worked 2011 GL leaders take office RALEIGH — While Annual Communications of the Grand By Ric Carter Ledford’s path to the day began when he was appointed Lodge of North Carolina were long held at the same time and location as meetings of the state legislature, so far as is known, December 4 was the first time our officers have been installed in the Capitol building. In a ceremony repeated many times in the history of our state, Lewis Ray Ledford became the 158th man in our 223-year history to serve as grand master of Masons in North Carolina. Te ceremony was held in the old House Chamber in the southern wing of the Capitol’s second floor. grand steward by then Grand Master Charles Lewis shortly after he was elected grand master in 2002. Lewis was the in- stalling master, and helped launch his appointee’s year in the East. Lewis was assisted by Installing Chaplain Joseph K. Tran- sou and Installing Marshal Tomas W. Gregory (PGM). Te Knights of St. Andrews served as ushers. NC Senate Majority Leader Harry C. Brown welcomed the crowd, and the NC State Parks Color Guard presented the colors. Flutist Erin Munnelly played “America the Beautiful” after the Pledge of Allegiance. Installing Grand Chaplain Joey Transou knelt at the al- tar and offered a prayer for this officers’ term. PGM Lewis administered the oaths and charges to the various officers as PGM Gregory presented their jewels of office. Past Grand Master William H. Simpson (who appointed Lewis to the line) presented the grand master’s apron. There were several flute selections by Ms. Munnelly. Te Grand Lodge officers installed were Grand Master Lewis R. Ledford, Deputy Grand Master Robert E. Gresham Jr., Se- nior Grand Warden Dewey R. Preslar Jr., Junior Grand Warden Dalton W. Mayo, Grand Treasurer Clifton W. Everett Jr. (PGM), Grand Secretary T. Walton Clapp III, Senior Grand Deacon Douglas L. Caudle, Junior Grand Deacon Bryant D. Webster, Grand Marshal A. Gene Cobb Jr., Grand Steward Jimmie B. Hicks Jr., Grand Steward C. Speed Hallman, Grand Tyler Larry B. Tompson Jr., and Grand Chaplain Paul F. Kelly. Other ap- pointive officers who are not installed were Grand Historian Mi- chael W. Brantley, Grand Lecturer Dwight MacLauchlin “Mack” Sigmon, Grand Orator A. B. Swindell IV, and Judge Advocate James R. Stevens. Te Grand Lodge was opened earlier in the day by members C. Speed Hallman Grand Steward in the Washington office of Con- gressman Bill Hefner. He next worked as director of the Appa- lachian State University News Bureau, earning a master’s degree from Appalachian while employed there. He returned to UNC-Chapel Hill in 1994 to work in development see HALLMAN, page 4 THE BOTTOM LINE Passion and competence in history and future By Lewis R. Ledford Grand Master In history and future, our success re- lates to passion and competence! First, as I begin this Masonic year, let me express my appreciation. I am indeed honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the 158th grand master of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina. I would also like to express appreciation for all those who par- ticipated in the 223rd Installation of the Grand Lodge Officers on December 4, 2010. What great attendance as we began our 223rd year of Freemasonry in North Carolina in the historic set- ting of the Old House Chamber in our State Capitol — the first time in this location. Like Washington, DC, our State Capitol in Raleigh has had a close relationship with Freemasonry in its his- tory. Today, it seems that virtually every bust, statue, monument, and exhibit has a specific connection to Freemasonry. From the statues of the first president and the large painting of President Washington that was saved when the preceding capitol building burned, to the statues of the three presidents from North Caro- lina, to Governor and first Grand Master Samuel Johnston, to the Mason who sculpted the first casualty of the Civil War, a North Carolinian, there are indeed many Masonic connections. Some 44 Freemasons have served as the governor of North Carolina and three of those also served as grand master. I encourage you to take time when you are in Raleigh to tour and enjoy the history of our state and fraternity that is on display here! As a part of our research for the installation planning, Ric Carter, the assistant to the grand secretary, put together a very in- formative diagram and Masonic location reference that we will be pleased to share. [It is printed in this issue, page five.] An example includes the two Masonic cornerstones at the northeast corner of the Capitol. Te first was placed at the beginning of construction on July 4, 1833. Te second one was placed during the centennial celebration. It is time to start planning for another at the bicen- tennial of our Statehouse in 2033. Also, when you are in Raleigh, take time to visit your Grand Lodge facility on Glenwood Avenue about three miles west of the Capitol. While there, view a 400-year-old painting of the building of King Solomon’s Temple thought to have been painted by Va- sari, or see the encased Italian porcelain of the Lord’s Supper that was shipped to Raleigh in a taxi from New Orleans. Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code and other novels may reference Freemasonry’s se- crets, but know that this porcelain piece has its own mystics and legends. While at the Grand Lodge, enjoy the large murals that: • depict Colonel, Governor, and Grand Master William R. Davie laying the cornerstone at UNC Chapel Hill’s first build- ing, a building that in conformity to Masonic usage has ever since been known as Old East; • portray Provincial Grand Master Joseph Montfort, the only grand master of and for (ALL) of America; • represent the establishment of the Grand Lodge of Tennes- see by North Carolina; • illustrate the storied history and service provided by our Homes for the aged and young, the Masonic and Eastern Star Home and Oxford Orphanage, now known as WhiteStone, A Masonic and Eastern Star Community, and the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford respectively; • describe more of our two centuries of history. Freemasonry in North Carolina has a storied history and much on which to reflect. Our fraternity has a bright future with some 46,000 AF & AM members in North Carolina. Trends in recent years indicate that we may even see an annual membership in- crease this year! Tose of you who know me are likely aware that I have spent a career with the park system of North Carolina. Our state is well known for its iconic natural resources and the stunning and diverse beauty of its great outdoors: the highest mountain in eastern Amer- ica, the highest sand dune on the Atlantic seaboard, the world’s sec- ond oldest river, and many other superlatives and accolades. North Carolina has also been described as one of the three most botani- cally diverse states in the country. In recent years, we have had great support for advancing our cause for conservation and environmen- tal education. Examples include the addition of Chimney Rock, Grandfather Mountain, the 3,000 acres of the Stillman Rockefeller summer home, and more to the state park system. When I’m asked about this success and/or talk with our parks staff, I often share that in any endeavor there are two key traits that are vital to success. Tose are having passion and being competent. It is vital to believe in what we are doing – that we have that true inner desire – and to be knowledgeable and capable to perform the work. We must always seek to improve ourselves – working to have the full toolbox, to “sharpen the saw” if you will. Being passionate and competent also serves Freemasonry well as evidenced above in our storied his- tory. I am sure that as you read this you can think of leaders of your local lodges who exude these traits. Our Grand Lodge’s Wilkerson College and the Wardens Bootcamps are great examples of work- ing to “improve ourselves.” As I met with the district officers of our fraternity during November in five meetings across the state, I was see BOTTOM LINE, page 2 of Statesville 27 who temporarily took the chairs of office to open and close the formal communication. Tose pro tempore officers were: R. Kevin Combs as grand master; Grover R. Lackey, deputy see INSTALL, page 4 Top, the view from the gallery to the House floor below just before the entrance of the new officers. Left, the NC State Parks Color Guard presents the flags in the old House Chamber. January/February 2011 Ric Car ter photos

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