The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2011

North Carolina Mason

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NORTH CAROLINA Volume 136 Number 3 The Mason Official Publication of The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Oxford, North Carolina May/June 2011 Hiram 40 Treasurer Ron Page and his granddaughters cut the ribbon to launch the 2011 Triangle Walk to Defeat ALS. ALS Walk with a Masonic friend By Ric Carter MORRISVILLE — Ron Page was the classic worker Mason. He served Hiram 40 as master and later as treasurer. Whenever the lodge barbecued to raise money for charity, he was there lending a hand. When Grand Secretary Walt Clapp asked Ron to chair An- nual Communication, Ron promised him ten years. He gave 15. Just last year, Ron had the barest hint that something was amiss with his body — maybe a little carpel tunnel problem or some aggravation of aging. But, the problems didn’t level off, they got worse. After much testing and deliberation, doctors told him he had a motor neuron disease. Finally, they said, “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis” — Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a disease of the motor neurons, the connectors between the brain and the muscles. When the disease strikes, the victim’s muscles no longer respond to the orders of the brain. Even- tually, the unresponsiveness extends all the way to breathing. Ron and his family stepped up to fight the fight. They did what they could to find people who could help them cope with their new bur- den. One of the places they found help was with Masons host their legislative brothers By Ric Carter RALEIGH — A number of members of North Carolina’s legislature are Masons. Our Grand Lodge and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge hold a reception for them annually. For this year’s session, the reception was held April 5. They were hosted in a restaurant near the legislative offices. A few other governmental leaders who are Masons were also invited. The reason for the get-together is twofold and simple. First, Senator Bob Atwater, retired Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, and State Geologist Jim Simons chat at the reception. THE BOTTOM LINE Historical Facts About Our Ritual By Lewis R. Ledford Grand Master Brethren, It has been very enriching and enjoyable meeting many of you at the district meetings this spring as we have spoken about being passionate and com- petent as Freemasons. We have spoken often of our heritage. In that regard, I thought you would find the following article of interest: Developments in the second quarter of the eighteenth-century By Kent Brinkley A large gap exists today in our historical knowledge of what was transpiring with English Masonic ritual development during the critical period between 1730 and 1760. During this thirty- year interval, apparently lodge practices and ritualistic conven- tions changed dramatically; slowly coalescing into the more mod- ern ritualistic forms that would be more recognizable today. These changes can be discovered by making a comparison between the published English Masonic ritual exposures by Samuel Pritchard in 1730, and those that came after 1760; a close examination of which clearly indicates that some significant and dramatic chang- es had taken place over the preceding three decades. The most glaring and obvious changes during that period in- cluded changes in the placement of the wardens within the lodge room (i.e., from having both wardens seated together in the west to the junior warden being placed in the south), changes in the placement within the lodge room of what we refer to as “the Three Great Lights” and “the Three Lesser Lights” (which, up until then, were simply thought of as “candles”), the differences in the place- ment of a candidate’s hands as he was taking his obligations in all three degrees, different ways the apron was worn for each of the three degrees, and the appearance of the deacons as lodge officers. The formation of the two rival Grand Lodges in London had, in fact, created two distinctly different ways of interpreting specu- lative Freemasonry; ritualistic trends and practices that, in fact, still remain a part of our common Masonic heritage throughout much of the world today. A major English exposure was called The Three Distinct Knocks. It purported to portray how most Antient Lodges practiced the Masonic ritual of the three degrees during the second half of the eighteenth-century, and was probably im- ported into England by Irish Brethren. It is in this particular ritual exposure that we find the first ap- pearance and descriptions for the raising and lowering of the war- dens’ columns, the first indication of the different arrangements of the compasses and square in the different degrees, the earliest description of the procedure for “Calling Off” from labor to re- freshment and “Calling On,” as well as the earliest description of an installation ceremony of a new master. The next English ritual exposure to appear, Jachin and Boaz, published in London in 1762 by Goodall, was representative of what was then the predominant style of ritual workings by a large majority of Modern lodges. By then, many, if not most, of the Modern lodges had started to include deacons in their ritual workings. It was perhaps even more significant in that Jachin and Boaz was the first exposure to introduce the following elements that were, by then, present within the Moderns’ ritual working. It listed the necessary qualifications for a candidate, the inclu- sion of formal opening and closing ceremonies as we know them today, the inclusion of ceremonies for going from labor to refresh- ment and refreshment to labor, a description of proper methods of preparing candidates for all three degrees, different obligations for each of the three degrees, the first appearance of passwords, circumambulations, and working tools being symbolized, the first mention of lessons on Charity, a description of methods of apron wear in each degree, and the traditional history of the third degree was given for the first time. From an examination of this particular exposure, it is clear that the first section degree ceremonies had evolved considerably be- tween 1730 and 1760. The intellectuals in both rival grand lodges began to have more of an impact on the philosophy and sym- bolism being taught in the Masonic ritual. This was done by the formal lecturers publishing their respective, interpretive, versions of the Masonic lectures; the first of them being Rev. Wellins Cal- see BOTTOM LINE, page 2 we thank them for their service to the citizens of North Carolina. Second, we give them the opportunity to recognize their fellow Masons in the legislature. While they talked a little politics (after all, that is what they are doing in town), most of the conversation was much more social. They smiled and chatted. Officers from both grand lodges were there to personally say, “Thank you.” Our Grand Lodge Annual Communication was linked to meetings of the state legislature in our early history. When our Grand Lodge was formed in 1787, it was in Tarboro during the see LEGISLATORS, page 4 the ALS Association. To help make sure that others got the same assistance they did, Ron and Sue Page gave back by organizing a team for the annual Walk to Defeat ALS. Reaching out to Hiram 40 to participate brought a big response. It was such a big re- sponse that Ron’s Jam’n Jellys and Jams (his see WALK, page 4 Ric Carter photos At right, Page was very proud as he claimed the prize for Most Walkers. Below, a portion of the more than 2,000 people who walked April 2 to help defeat the dread killer ALS. Grand Master Ledford and Senator Andrew Brock discuss the matters of the day. Ric Car ter photos

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