The North Carolina Mason

March/April 2011

North Carolina Mason

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Page 2 Background checks underway By Ric Carter RALEIGH — As mandated at Annual Communication last September, the Grand Secretary’s Office has begun running criminal background checks on all petitioners for the degrees. Te required check is paid for by the petitioner who adds a non-re- fundable $15 to the lodge fees for the degrees. Each day a list of all the petitions certified by the office that day is forwarded to a company which does the checks. Tey use a number of Internet tools to look for issues that might concern a lodge considering a man for membership. Tey look at state court records and national criminal databases. Tey check residence histories and run social traces. Te results are returned to Grand Lodge the next day. Reports are returned to the petitioner’s lodge with the certified petitions. Te Grand Lodge takes no action based on the reports. Judge- ments are left to each candidate’s lodge and investigating committee. So, what is being seen so far? Most applicants are unsullied, but no day goes by without “hits” — results which may be warning signs about the suitability of a candidate. Some may be simple convictions for things long ago. Others, though, show misleading petitions. Some may show dis- turbing trends of many relatively minor charges with few convic- tions. One recent petition confessed to a felony conviction based on circumstances and poor judgement. Te report generated ran 36 pages of court history indicating a more extensive cause for concern. Again, these results are shared with lodge investigating committees for use as they see fit. Tere has been some surprise at the number of flagged reports returned. It is estimated by the Grand Secretary’s Office that one in five checks returns some reason for concern, sometimes a sim- ple charge later dropped, but with some frequency larger pictures of personalities not suited for our fraternity are seen. In this time of greater mobility, we are increasingly consider- ing petitioners we have not known for very long. Te background checks are furnishing a valuable tool to let lodges and their inves- tigating committees vote on new members with increased confi- dence in their actions. Taking Wine At a Festive Board, the Worshipful Master was taking wine with the brethren when he noticed that he had drained his glass halfway, he arose and called to the Junior Warden, “Brother Junior Warden, is this glass half empty or half full?” “Half empty, Worshipful Master.” responded the Ju- nior Warden. “Brother Senior Warden,” continued the Worshipful Mas- ter, “What is your answer?” “It is half full, Worshipful sir,” answered the Senior Warden. “Worshipful Brother Immediate Past Master, we should always hear what you have to say. What is your answer?” “It is both.” he answered with a wry smile and the Breth- ren responded heartily. “Ah-ha, very good.” said the Worshipful Master. Noticing the Tyler nodding off in the corner, the Worshipful Master thought he would challenge him and said, “Brother Tyler, what say you to all this? Is my glass half empty or half full?” “There is room for more.” he answered. — The North Carolina Mason March/April 2011 You’re invited Yard Sale and Raffle May 28 ABERDEEN — Roman Eagle 550 is having their Third Annual Yard Sale from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., May 28 at 11621 Highway 15-501 S. in Aberdeen. Donations for sale are accepted through May 25. Tickets are five dollars for Rem- ington 870 Shotgun raffle. Breakfast will be available on site. Spaces are ten dollars each. For details, contact Archie Beavers at or call (910) 639-4090. 35th Masonic District Picnic May 28 KINGS MOUNTAIN — The 35th Take the Masonic Pig Jig challenge RALEIGH — North Carolina’s largest Masonic gathering, the Carolina Masonic Pig Jig, is set for May 21 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, next to the new Exposition Center. Tis year’s event is again held in cooperation with North Carolina Ag Fest. Te state’s top barbecue competition between Masonic organizations will admit 40 teams this year. Tis cook-off is a one of a kind for NC Masonic organiza- tions. If you think your barbecue pig, chicken, or sauce is worthy of statewide bragging rights, then this is the place to come and claim your rightful crown. Several thousand hungry barbecue fans enjoyed the best Tar Heel barbecues here last year. Te competition has a couple of aims. It provides an atmo- sphere in which Masonry can shine and lets the public get a sense of the fun and enjoyment that we get from being Ma- sons, and it raises money for our charities. Tis year, the pro- ceeds from the Carolina Masonic Pig Jig will be donated to the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford and the Central Children’s Home in Oxford. Te Pig Jig hopes that your lodge, temple, valley, district, or order will take up the challenge to come, enjoy a great weekend of fellowship, and compete for barbecue title. Te entry fee for the contest is $200 and includes the meats that you will cook at the competition. Individual tickets to the competition are ten dollars, and your Masonic organization will receive a block of 30 tickets for your entry fee. You may use or resell these tickets to recoup your entry fee. Cooking begins Friday May 20. Eating the contest results be- gins at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 21, and goes on until the barbe- cue is gone. Tickets are ten dollars. As the food has run out the last couple of years, be there early. Tere are many other attractions that day at Got to Be NC festival including an antique tractor parade, a carnival, and lawn mower racing — it’s a mini-NC State Fair. Accept the challenge. Vie for the title. Help the kids. Enjoy great Masonic fellowship. For details visit and or call event coordinator Mike Sterling at (919) 272- 1353 or or 3356 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27609 More affinity lodges coming? Lodges are all about community. Once that community meant neighborhood, but in a highly mobile culture such as ours, lodge community can become something else. In recent years, we have come to embrace the affinity lodge. Reenactors at a raising at Waynesville 259. Affinity lodges base their community in a shared interest. Cur- rent affinity lodges include one interested in Masonic education (Wilkerson College 760), another interested in the Masonic Home for Children (Orphans 761), and a third in motorcycles (Knights of Solomon 764). Tere are dozens of such possibilities. Tere is talk of trying to establish two more in the near future. For years now Matthew Paris has been a Civil War reenactor and living historian. Te Cabarrus 720 junior warden wants to start a lodge with other such history aficionados. He already has a number of reenactors interested. If you are interested, contact Paris at . Past Grand Master Gerry Smith and Wilmington 319 Sec- retary Eddie Gaskins are talking up a lodge with a shared in- terest in classic cars. Contact Smith at or (252)726-5323. Early applicants will help define how specialized each lodge PGM Smith and wife Becky with their Model A Ford. • Resource Development (Funding Opportunities) — How do we identify and keep our fundraising and charitable efforts at the level necessary to protect our investments and enable us to pro- vide to those in need? I share these strategies and ask that you provide insights and sug- gestions as well. Please take time to discuss at your meetings, and seek out the district officers and grand line officers to share ideas. A new goal that we have set for ourselves will involve virtu- ally all the above topics. We want to showcase the great institu- tion that is the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford. For many years, a late Saturday in June, St. Johns Day at Oxford, was a red- letter date for North Carolina Masons. In recently years; how- ever, attendance began to decline, then two years ago the Shrine parades were no longer held. Tere are likely a number of reasons for the decline, not the least of which was the passing of Lloyd Young, who for many years was the wonderful volunteer icon who coordinated the activities. As we began to discuss options for this event with the Board of Directors and others, it was important to NORTH CAROLINA The Mason (USPS 598-260) is published bimonthly by Te Grand Lodge of AF & AM of North Carolina, 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27608. Tird class postage paid at Oxford, NC 27565. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Te North Carolina Mason, School Of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, Oxford, NC 27565. might be. Launching a lodge requires about 30 Masons to peti- tion to start the lodge. Both lodges will likely be traveling lodges, meeting in various locations around the state a limited number of times each year. Starting a new lodge is an exciting thing. If you are interested in living history or classic vehicles, this is your chance to be part of something special. BOTTOM LINE, from page 1 determine the interest and means to make this effort successful. It became a discussion of whether it would benefit the mission of the Home. Following many conversations, it was determined that the benefits were numerous, and that there was considerable interest. Special thanks are extended to Past Grand Master Dan Rice, Board chairman and an alumnus of the Home, for his lead- ership in this effort. It was decided that a fall weekend would be an ideal date, and to have various activities available would engage all interests. Plans are in the works for a parade, a barbecue cook- ing contest, a 5k and 10k walk/race, a golf tournament, and much more. I have even heard there are plans for bluegrass music. Look for more details in this NC Mason and on the web page. Plans are developing as this edition goes to print. Te date selected for this year is October 7–8, which coincides with the Homecoming weekend for the Oxford Orphanage Alumni. Is there any other group that would be more interested in supporting the Home? I also extend my special thanks to each of the Shrine potentates — Terry Hodges of Amran, John Sullivan of Oasis, and Bruce Grand Master William L. Dill Board Of Publication Gary R. Ballance Don E. Bolden Tomas A. Pope Jr. John A. Sullivan Hugh K. Terrell Jr. Editor Ric Carter Bullock of Sudan. Each of them offered very generous support and commitments as we discussed this opportunity and made the decision to move forward. At a recent district meeting, Chris Richardson, development officer and assistant administrator for MHCO, shared that our Home could accommodate at least 30 additional youth at a rela- tively small cost. Is there anything more important than providing support to youth in need? Te bottom line for this event in Oc- tober is to showcase, to raise awareness and an understanding of our members as well the community at large of the service that is provided at MHCO. An increased awareness, better understand- ing, and personal visits will also provide for improved fiscal sup- port. As the effort is so new, I’m not sure if we have decided to call it October at Oxford, Homecoming, or something else. Maybe you can offer a name that will capture the essence. Please commit to join us under the oaks in October. Help us grow this event. In the years to come, it will enable us to build support and provide service in the most meaningful way. THE MISSION OF FREEMASONRY IN NORTH CAROLINA IS TO RAISE THE MORAL, SOCIAL, INTELLECTUAL, AND SPIRITUAL CONSCIENCE OF SOCIETY BY TEACHING THE ANCIENT AND ENDURING PHILOSOPHICAL TENETS OF BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF, AND TRUTH, WHICH ARE EXPRESSED OUTWARDLY THROUGH SERVICE TO GOD, FAMILY, COUNTRY, AND SELF UNDER THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD WITHIN THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN. Good quality pictures, whether color or black and white, are essential for suitable reproduction. Te right to reject any submission not suitable for use is reserved. Pictures will be returned to the sender only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Submissions and other correspondence should be sent to the editor at PO Box 6506, Raleigh, NC 27628 or Each North Carolina Mason is a subscriber to Te North Carolina Mason. If you know a member who is not receiving the paper, please send us his full name, his complete address and the name and number of his lodge. Masonic widows receive Te Mason free upon request. Subscriptions are available to others at a rate of five dollars per year. Subscription inquiries and address changes only should be sent to: Te School of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina 27565. Reproduction of articles by Masonic organiza- tions is permitted with proper credits. Opinions expressed are not necessar- ily those of The North Carolina Mason, the Grand Lodge, or Board of Publication. Masonic District is hold- ing its Second Annual Picnic here at Patriots Park, corner of Mountain and Battleground. Tings kick off at 3:00 p.m., with the Chili Cook-Off judging at 4:00 p.m., with the meal being served at 5:00 o’clock. Tey’ll be serving barbecue ribs, and barbecue chicken, with plenty of sides. Tere will be special food for children. Tere will be plenty of fun attractions including a water bouncy slide and fun house. Kids should dress for water fun. For informa- tion contact Max Brooks at (704) 363-2699 or (704) 482-4903. Wilkerson College Lodge Wilkerson College 760 travels around the state and presents usually public educational programs. Details and contacts may be found at . June 11 RALEIGH — Raleigh 500 hosts at 4:00 p.m. Author Michael A. Halleran presents “Te Better Angels of Our Nature - Free- masonry in the American Civil War.” August 13 FAYETTEVILLE — Phoenix 8 hosts at 11:00 a.m. PGM Tom Gregory presents “The Symbolism of the Cross in Freemasonry.” District meetings continue Grand Master Lewis R. Ledford plans to visit about half our districts this year. His meetings start in early March and will fin- ish in early June. His meetings will be similar to the area meetings of the past few years. Pre-meeting meals are scheduled for 6:15 p.m. with the tyled meeting starting at 7:00 p.m.. District officers and the grand master will be received with usual honors. Date April 12 April 13 April 14 April 27 April 28 May 9 May 23 May 24 May 25 May 26 June 1 June 6 June 8 District 12 17 15 35 7 39 41 Lodge St. John’s 1 Bladen 646 Cary 198 Shelby 744 Zion 81 8 Widow’s Son 519 Biltmore 446 Junaluskee 145 38 Dunn’s Rock 267 37 26 1 30 Bakersville 357 Salem 289 Eureka 317 Statesville 27 Location Wilmington Elizabethtown Cary Shelby Trenton Roanoke Rapids Asheville Franklin Brevard Bakersville Winston-Salem Elizabeth City Statesville You may make your lodge’s reservation for the meeting with your district deputy grand master or host lodge secre- tary. Please be considerate of the host lodge. Make your res- ervations for dinner at least seven days before your scheduled meeting. It is very frustrating to try to plan for a meal when reservations have not been made. Your lodge will be respon- sible to pay for all meals reserved. Those who have not made reservations should not expect to eat. In case of inclement weather, meetings will be cancelled in accordance with local schools cancellations. If a meeting is can- celled, the host lodge and district deputy grand master will be notified. Your lodge may cancel its stated communication to at- tend your district meeting. Information will also be posted on the Grand Lodge web site: . Tis schedule was the schedule as of February 2, 2011. Changes may be neces- sary. Please consult your lodge for updates. NC Mason Deadlines Issue Deadline January/February ..........................January 1 March/April ...............................March 1 May/June ....................................May 1 July/August ...................................July 1 September/October ....................September 1 November/December ..................November 1 Ric Car ter photo

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