The North Carolina Mason

March/April 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 2 Oxford, North Carolina March/April 2009 Ric Car ter photos see BOTTOM LINE, page 2 The BoTTom Line By Dan C. Rice Grand Master The pursuit of the Masonic secrets While working at the Oxford Or- phanage Print Shop as a student in the 1960s, I heard about Masonic secrets. I had no clue what they were, but I figured they had to be something really big if all those men joined Ma- sonry to find out what they were. e Print Shop boys had to set the type on Linotype machines for the Orphan's Friend and Ma- sonic Journal and for the Grand Lodge Proceedings. at meant we were exposed to all the Masonic editorials and stories from those days. I read them all knowing that somewhere in that paper was the first clue to obtaining the Masonic secrets. During that period, the Orphanage was in a building program replacing all the original buildings that had been built around 1890 to 1900. at meant that there were a lot of cornerstones being laid on the campus. Laying a cornerstone by the Masons was always a solemn occasion which required the attendance of all the Orphanage children. We had to put on our Sunday best and stand very quietly while the Masons went through the cor- nerstone ritual. I can still remember them lined up on stage with their corn, wine, and oil. I never had much use for the corn and oil, but I sure wanted a sip of that wine. e cornerstone ceremony gave me a chance to observe, up close, a Masonic ritual. I watched for any clue of their hidden secrets, but found none. After graduating from the Orphanage, I found myself in a his- tory class at UNC/Chapel Hill studying the French Revolution under a Dr. Caldwell, who took a particular interest in me. e class was given a list of books from which to do a written report. Dr. Caldwell did not let me pick from the list but instead as- signed me the book Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike. Many of you know the name Albert Pike. He is considered a giant among Masonic writers and was a very smart and interesting man who led a very colorful life. e book is a comparison of the world's religions and is intertwined with Freemasonry and its principles. I read the book (which was the hardest book I have ever read) and did my report. Dr. Caldwell gave me an incomplete and asked me to reread the book and do another report at the end of the sum- mer. I felt that he was a complete jerk, but I did what he asked, and he gave me a B+ the second time. Years later I found out that Dr. Caldwell was a past grand master of our Grand Lodge. I had no clue at the time, but he was pointing me in the direction of the Masonic secrets by having me to read the book a second time. At UNC, the library was full of books about Freemasonry both around the world and in North Carolina. I feasted on these books, knowing that I would stumble upon the Masonic secrets somewhere in the stacks at the old Wilson Library. I searched thoroughly, knowing that they had to be there somewhere, but what I got instead was a broad based knowledge of the principles that Freemasonry was built on such as friendship, morality, and brotherly love. e secrets were not to be found. During this period, the Vietnam War was raging, and the world seemed to go crazy. Drugs, war protests, campus violence, and a general attack on the establishment took place. Integration was happening, but not smoothly, Russia invaded Czechoslova- kia and crushed them, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were shot down. Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and many other rock stars died of drug overdoses. For a boy who had grown up in a conservative country town orphanage, the world seemed totally crazy. I lost track of the search for Masonic secrets and just tried to survive in a world of constant change. It was only after I had married and had children that I again began to search for the Masonic secrets. By this time, I had gained just enough sense to realize that a good place to actually find them was in a Masonic lodge as a brother. I petitioned Bula 409 in Burlington and began my Masonic journey. I can still remember the apprehension on the day of my initiation. e subtle light and the first appearance of the lodge room after being brought to light is forever etched in my mind. I was most impressed with the Fel- low Craft Degree as it explained where a man was to get further instruction. en came the Master Mason Degree, and I was very pleased that several men who had nurtured and directed me at the orphanage came to the degree. Eli Reagan, who was the disciplinarian at the Orphanage, ac- tually raised me, and I could see tears in his eyes. You have to understand that he was a tough old man and had whipped me constantly for ten years when I was at the Orphanage. As the assistant administrator, he actually managed the employees and took care of the Orphanage campus while Administrator A. De- Leon Gray raised money across the state. A boy that the cottage counselor felt needed a better whipping than she could administer was always sent to Mr. Reagan on Mondays. I somehow found myself in his office every Monday morning for my whipping. One Monday, to his shock and to my surprise, my name was not on By Ric Carter EDENTON — On December 13, Masons and Sons of the American Revolution assembled here to honor a hero of Ameri- can independence and North Carolina Freemasonry. Just two days before Samuel Johnston's 275 th birthday, the gathering saluted our first grand master and one of our ear- liest governors. e ceremonies were held at Johnston's grave on Hayes Plantation here, just a few hundred yards from Unanimity 7. Members of both organizations met at the lodge before the assembly and returned there for a reception after the honors were concluded. Melvin Hawkins, president of the northern Albemarle Chapter of the North Carolina Society Sons of the American Revolution, welcomed the crowd of 100 or so history buffs. NCSSAR President Sam Powell also had remarks about he honoree. e keynote for the day came from Past Grand Master Jerry R. Tillett. A direct descendant of the John- ston's sister, Ann Cope Mueller, shared family thoughts of their ancestor and thanked the assembly for honoring him. e NCSSAR then presented the series of wreaths they use to memorialize their heroes. Flowers were presented by several chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and National Society of Colonial Dames. An SAR marker was installed at Johnston's grave site. OXFORD — e tradition of Masons celebrating St. John's Day at the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford goes back at least 100 years. Looking at records back to 1910 shows that St. John's Day has changed many times during its history. ere were brief hiatuses for world wars, the Depression, and po- lio. ere were wonderful addi- tions such as the Shrine parade, live music, and the leadership of our departed friend Lloyd Young, "Mr. St. John's Day." e year 2009 will mark an- other year of change, bringing back some of the traditional aspects of early St. John's Day celebrations. On Saturday, June 27, the Masonic Home for Chil- dren will host an open house for Masons and Eastern Stars, their families, and friends. Visitors may once again tour many differ- ent homes and facilities, includ- ing the residences, the School of Graphic Arts (Print Shop), and Cobb Center museum. e day will begin with a stated communication of Or- phans 761, the Masonic lodge which meets on campus and was chartered with a specific goal of raising money to sup- port the children. All Master Masons are welcome to attend. Soon after the lodge meeting, a special St. John's Day service will be held in the York Rite Chapel, conducted by Grand Chaplain George L. Tyre. The old is fresh again St. John's Day set for June 27 Jean and Harvey Evans stroll the campus at an ear- lier St. John's Day celebration. For this year's celebration, tours will be conducted by resi- dents of the Home. Some residents will set up cottage booths, allowing the children to sell food and gift items with proceeds benefiting their respective cottages. A special "Legacy Tour" of By Chris Richardson By Tim Berly Samuel Johnston was born in Dundee, Scotland, on December 15, 1733. In his third year, his parents came to Onslow County in North Carolina. He was educated at Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut from 1750–53. At the age of 21, Samuel came to Edenton, then a small village of no more than 500 inhabitants, yet an important in- dustrial, political, and social cen- ter of the Albemarle region. Johnston read law in 1753, was appointed clerk of the court in 1755, and licensed as an attorney in 1756. In the spring of 1765, he purchased Hayes Plantation where he and his family would live for the next 30 years. Johnston served in the first four Provincial Congresses, which met in August 1774, April 1775, August 1775, and April 1776. After John Harvey, president of the first two con- gresses, died in May 1775, Samuel Johnston was chosen to preside over the third. On April 4, 1776 he was again chosen as presi- dent of the Fourth Provincial Congress, which met in Halifax. ey unanimously passed resolutions, including one to authorize North Carolina's delegates to the Second Continental Congress then meeting in Philadelphia to vote for independence from Great Britain, as well as encourage delegates from the other colonies to do so. is made North Carolina the first colony to empower its Markers placed on Johnston's Edenton grave First grand master's birthday saluted Flags, historians, Revolution descendants, and Masons gathered at Johnston's grave. Samuel Johnston — early governor, first grand master see JOHNSTON, page 4 see MARKER, page 4 GM Rice speaks about Johnston. Ric Car ter photo campus will be conducted by Home alumnus, Grand Master Dan C. Rice. He will be high- lighting the places and people special to his life at the Home. e tours with the residents will be conducted throughout the day following the service in the chapel. e Home will serve a bar- becue and chicken lunch in the dining hall for Masons and Eastern Stars and their families. ere will be souvenirs for sale, and other activities for the fam- ily. Special events are expected. An updated schedule of events will be posted on the Home's website in April. All our Masonic friends and families are encouraged to make the trip and spend a day visiting our children's home, one of the few Masonic children's homes remaining in the United States. For more information, please call (888) 505-4357 or visit the Home's St. John's Day web- site at . We hope to see you and your lodge brothers and family on June 27, 8:30 o'clock a.m. to 3:00 o'clock p.m. for St. Johns' Day 2009.

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