The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2009

North Carolina Mason

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The Mason NORTH CAROLINA Volume 134 Number 3 May/June 2009 Page 8 The North Carolina Mason May/June 2009 In this issue of The NC Mason page 1 The North Carolina Mason The Grand Lodge of North Carolina, AF&AM 600 College Street Oxford, North Carolina 27565 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED NON-PROFIT ORG. AUTO U.S. POSTAGE PAID OXFORD, NC 27565 PERMIT NO. 56 We set the plaque for Rich- mond County's courthouse. page 1 New space telescope named for NC Mason. page 5 Masonic news from around the globe. Ric Car ter photos page 8 A blue ribbon casket for a Dunn Mason. see APRON, page 5 By Ric Carter RALEIGH — "I never lived in a house I didn't build myself, and I'm not going to stop when I'm gone," says Grady Hunter, a 75-year-old member of Palmyra 147 in Dunn. Grady was talking about his wood- working project that earned a North Carolina State Fair blue rib- bon last October. Grady is talking about his own coffin. Grady's life has been intertwined with Masonry. He joined a Mason- ic lodge in Dunn back in October 1967 and served as master of Palmy- ra 147 in 1974. He was an operative mason for more than 40 years, lay- ing brick until his "knees gave out." He started GLH Builders years ago in Dunn, and moved to Raleigh in 1979. Hunter retired about eight years ago and now continues to do rental maintenance work to keep himself busy. In looking at mass produced cas- kets, Hunter decided that he could do a better job and make something that had more meaning. He made his casket of walnut wood he felled him- self. He beefed up the cushion in the bottom for better "comfort." He even threw in some ideas from Freemasonry. He avoided "miner- als and metals" by not using metal handles on the box. Instead, he had the box rest on a canvas support with rope handles. His funeral plans call for a canvas committee, not pallbear- ers. He plans to be "laid out" with a trowel in his hand. Grady recommends that if you attend his funeral, bring a snack. He has planned the program, complete with his video-taped eulogy to himself. e service will be in three sections: private/personal, Masonic, and pa- triotic. ose wanting a remembrance of him will not take a flower from his pall, but a scrap of wood left over from Grady's coffin project. Hunter became a minor celebrity through his un- usual Handicrafts and Hobbies award-winning coffin. He appeared on WRAL television, the Tarheel Trav- eler television feature, the News & Observer, and on Jay omas's national radio show. Grady is now entertain- ing the idea of building custom caskets for others. By Speed Hallman HILLSBOROUGH — A Masonic apron worn by Eagle 19's secretary 186 years ago was presented early this year to the original owner's great-great-great- great-great nephew, who serves as lodge master this year. e apron belonged to George Mulholland Johnston, Eagle's secretary from 1823 to 1825. It was left to the lodge by Jack T. Dossett, a mem- ber of Eno 210 in Durham and an honorary member of Eagle 19. Dossett died in January. John C. Schrader, Dossett's executor, and Bryan Reckless, members of Fel- lowship 687 in Durham, presented the apron to Eagle Lodge Master Bill Winecoff at the lodge's Janu- ary 27 meeting. Winecoff said his ancestor's apron will hang in a place of honor near the secretary's desk. e white lambskin apron, mounted in a frame, is trimmed with gold fringe and features an image of a Masonic lodge sur- rounded by colorful Masonic symbols. It is identical to the "McCauley Apron" in UNC's North Carolina Collection. at apron is believed to have been worn at the laying of the cornerstone of Old East, UNC's first building, in 1793. Grady takes life and death on his own terms Eagle Lodge heirloom is home Hunter's proposed pose for viewing. Grady Hunter's casket won a blue ribbon at the State Fair. Tyler Robbie Riley, Senior Deacon Doug Stevenson, and Master Bill Winecoff examine Eagle's relic. The Johnston apron NC's two grand lodges held their first joint meeting to set the cornerstone of Richmond County's new courthouse. You can learn more about the historic event on page one of this issue of The North Carolina Mason.

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