The North Carolina Mason

January/February 2009

North Carolina Mason

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The Mason NORTH CAROLINA Official Publication of e Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 134 Number 1 Oxford, North Carolina January/February 2009 The BoTTom Line By Dan C. Rice Grand Master Masonic charity Ric Car ter photos see STEWARDS, page 4 see INSTALLATION, page 4 My goal as grand master is to make every North Carolina Mason aware of the charitable obligations that each brother assumes when he becomes a Mason. It is a very simple program designed to raise the aware- ness of the charitable work of other Masons, lodges, and districts in North Carolina. Masons are givers — not takers. Builders, not demolishers. is is my personal observation from the Orphanage, a place many of you may never be able to reach in your hearts and minds. You may not be even be able to understand. My years as a student at Oxford Orphanage have allowed me to stand back and watch the Masons for almost 50 years. I know that there are good men who are Masons. ere are some not so good men who carry dues cards. My assessment is that there is a much higher percentage of good men in Masonry than in any other organization that I know of. From an Oxford Orphanage alumnus' viewpoint, the Masons are giants among all other men. e Masons who visited the Orphanage while I was a student there were actual targets for us orphans. We preyed upon them like they were lambs. ey came to the Orphanage with a huge soft spot in their hearts for us. e Orphanage children became their tour guides, and we showed them around the campus. Our goal was to find a way to get some of their money out of their pockets and into ours. Usually, we managed to get a few dollars each week from some unsuspecting Mason. In the early 1960s, a dollar was a huge amount of money. You need to remem- ber that a Coke or a candy bar was a nickel, and there was actually penny candy such as Mary Janes and Kits. In a quiet moment several years ago, in my mind's eye, I was replaying my life as a student at Oxford Orphanage, and it oc- curred to me that we had never once fooled any of the Masons. ey had simply wanted to help us out of love. ey had been on to us the whole time. Yet they played along. We thought we had cleverly hustled them. It is amazing how the realizations of life's truths slowly come to us over the years. From a very early age I saw Masonry in action. I saw good men give of their resources to help other people's orphaned children. ey gave unselfishly and enthusiastically. ey gave out of love, and they did not complain or make excuses not to give. ey gave with a smile, and it seemed to make them happy to be able to give to others. at is what moved me to want to be like them. Several years ago, a man I was talking to about a fund-raising task mentioned that everyone had to learn to give to others. He said that it was unnatural and counter-instinctive to want to hand over hard earned money or resources to someone else. He said that your mind could and would always find reasons to keep ev- erything for yourself. He said that all it took was for one person being vocal in a negative way to kill the spirit of giving for the whole group. ese people he classified as discouragers and said that they exist in every group. On a personal note, every time that I have tried to do something really good for others, someone or something will rise up and try to stop me from getting it done. It seems to me that the evil forces in this world use good people to stop good things from being done. North Carolina Masons have two absolutely great homes. One is for needy children and one is for older adults that need either physical assistance or financial help. Both of these facilities need the support and prayers of every NC Mason. God's work is being done at both places in a very special way. Do they have issues and problems? Sure they do, and so do all of us. Can you imagine a home with almost a 100 children of all ages without any problems? What about caring for 275 elderly folks who have varying degrees of need, both physical and financial? Are they trouble free? Abso- lutely not! But they are doing God's work in a big way, and they certainly need and deserve our prayers and support. Please do not allow yourself to fall prey to being a discourager. Instead, choose to be an encourager. Offer your support and help making these two great homes even better. When each of us became a Mason, we assumed the responsi- bility of helping others in need. My hope is that we can all learn to give with enthusiasm and with love to those less fortunate. ere are so many people hurting in today's world that we have no trouble finding ways of helping others daily. One of the secrets of Masonry is that when a brother does help others, he soon forgets his own problems and is better able to live his life with a smile and find true happiness. By Ric Carter OXFORD — It was a big homecoming and an extraordinary graduation when Masonic Home for Children alumnus Dan C. Rice was installed North Carolina's 156 th grand master of the An- cient, Free and Accepted Masons here on November 22. Masons and alums gathered in the Chapel at the Masonic Home to cel- ebrate the occasion and send their friend and brother on his way. While he may have first arrived on the campus as a frightened nine-year-old, it was a successful businessman and a Mason who has reached the penultimate office of the Craft who strode to the altar that day to take his oath as grand master. He is the first graduate of the Home to become grand master. Rice's line journey began when he was appointed grand stew- ard by William G. Mathis shortly after he was elected grand mas- ter in 2000. Mathis, as installing officer, was there again to assist his appointee in beginning the final act of his progression through the Grand Lodge line. It was Mathis who administered the oath of office to each of the men who will serve in 2009. Prince Hall Grand Master Milton F. "Toby" Fitch Jr. was in- stalling chaplain. Don Sizemore and Tommy Jones were installing marshals. Don Kehler was installing secretary. On November 22, 2008, Dan C. Rice became the 156 th grand mas- ter of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina. Here, he introduces himself. I was born in Warren, Ohio, February 7, 1950. I was the third of four children born to Alvie Rice and Mabel McBee. In 1957 my dad deserted my mother and the four Rice children in Greenville, Indiana, and he disappeared. My mother moved back to her people in Mitchell County, North Carolina. She died unexpectedly less than a year later. Bakersville Lodge 357 spon- sored all four of the Rice children to go to Oxford Orphanage. We arrived at Oxford Orphanage on March 5, 1959. I stayed there until 1968 when I graduated from the Orphanage high school. e records of my behavior while at Oxford are now pro- tected by HIPPA Rules, so I guess I am safe. e Grand Lodge gets two new grand stewards this year, due to the resignation of Grand Steward James L. Medlin. Dan Rice, the new grand master, appointed Bryant D. Web- ster. en Grand Master Dave Cash, in consultation with Rice, appointed A. Gene Cobb to fill the vacated seat. ey are the newest additions to the Grand Lodge line, the progressive of- ficer chairs that mark the path to be- coming grand master. Bryant Deleron Webster was born to Deleron and Mary Webster Octo- ber 8, 1969. He was raised on a small farm in Durham County. He double majored in English and political sci- ence at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and gradu- ated with honors from the UNC Law School in 1994. Webster married Janet Lee Baldwin in 1997. ey currently make their home in Asheville with their seven-year-old daughter Amy. Webster practices law with the firm of Stone and Christy in Black Mountain. He is a member of Biltmore Baptist Church 2009 officers take their stations Rice comes Home to take office Debbie-Claire Rice led the Pledge of Allegiance at the installation ceremony. Grand Secretary Walt Clapp, right, makes plans with Installing Marshals Tommy Jones and Don Sizemore. Past Grand Master Bill Mathis, who appointed GM Rice to the GL line, was installing officer. see RICE, page 4 Rice becomes grand master New stewards point to the future where he and Jan teach Sunday School. He is on the Executive Board of the Daniel Boone Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He contributes extensive time to the Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyers Project which fur- nishes free civil legal help to the poor. Webster was raised in 1999 in West Asheville 665, now Nichols-West Asheville 650. He served Nichols- West Asheville Lodge as master in 2005. He is currently their treasurer. He served multiple terms on the Board of WhiteStone (Masonic and East- ern Star Home). He was chairman of the Compliance Committee which steered the Home through threaten- ing financial problems. He is currently chairman of the Grand Lodge Code Commission. Webster enjoys his mountain outdoors and listening to bluegrass music. His hobbies include reading, exercise, yard work, and managing a small herd of cattle he keeps on his farm. Bryant D. Webster A. Gene Cobb Jr. Ric Car ter photos Dan C. Rice

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