The North Carolina Mason

January/February 2010

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 135 Number 1 Oxford, North Carolina January/February 2010 see DILL, page 4 see INSTALLATION, page 4 The BoTTom Line By William L. Dill Grand Master Masonic education: exposure or learning? see HICKS, page 4 As all are by now aware, I spent my career as an educator. ere is no way to get away from it, therefore, my major em- phasis this year will be concentrated on education. Not just the typical Masonic education or teaching of the catechisms, but all aspects of educating the total Mason. Whether it is through mentors or coaches, a Masonic friend, or a more formal approach such as Wilkerson College I will be traveling this jurisdiction with great interest for how we as Masons are addressing this issue. In the charge of the Entered Apprentice degree we tell the new Mason, "During your leisure hours, that you may improve in Masonic knowledge, you are to converse with well-informed brethren, who will always be as ready to give, as you will be to receive, instruction." is instruc- tion is not to end with the conclusion of the Master Mason de- gree nor with the conclusion of the catechisms. e leadership of each lodge has not only a responsibility to provide qualified coaches for candidates but also instruction for every member of the lodge. We each, kneeling at the sacred altar of Freemasonry, professed a desire to pursue light in Masonry. Now, granted that response was whispered to us, but after hours of study each of us should decide if this is really what we want. "Freemasonry, a beautiful system of morality, veiled in al- legory, and illustrated by symbols" is by far the most powerful statement concerning our beloved f raternity. It is no wonder that it is the most ancient society in the world. Imagine men through the ages clinging to principles of morality, brotherly love, relief, duty, commitment, and the list continues. It teach- es men how to live their lives. is is exactly why the education of our members cannot stop with the last catechism, the memorization of ritual, or simply a topic of interest presented at a stated meeting. Please do not misunderstand, I have always been a strong supporter of Ma- sonic education programs at stated meetings. We have always had them, and they certainly have a place within our efforts to educate. ese are well and good but nowhere near enough. Freemasonry is so much more. We must do more than expose members to Freemasonry — we must cause the learning of Freemasonry. I use the terms ex- pose and learn because I can still remember those days, while teaching a class of high school students, my subconscious ques- tion was: Are my students learning or am I only exposing them to this material? I still have this thought when I present Masonic education in lodge, teach in Wilkerson College, or speak at a function. If our only goal is to get finished with a catechism and get the next degree so it is behind us, we have missed the true secret of Freemasonry. If our only goal is to get raised and move on never to return to the Blue Lodge, we have missed the true secret of Freemasonry. I think often of two ladies, each of whom shared with me their thoughts on Masonry. e first told my wife right after I was raised, "Don't worry, he'll attend a few meetings, the novelty will wear off, and he will be just like the rest of our husbands and quit going." e second approached me as I was leaving my first Past Mas- ters' and Ladies' Night. Her husband had just received his 25-year award, and she remarked, "is is some club you men belong to. My husband hasn't been back to the lodge a single time since he was raised. Masonry hasn't had any affect on his life, and you have a special dinner to honor him." I have never forgotten either of these women. Freemasonry is so much more, and the responsibil- ity is ours to see that it is. ere is certainly no need to reinvent the wheel. ere are in- cidents of quality Masonic education taking place across our ju- risdiction. Enough cannot be said for the efforts of our Masonic Education Committee in recent years. Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to discuss this topic with Dan Weatherington cannot help but go away excited for more light. Any who have spent time in conversation with me on this topic can attest, eventually, I will mention the Master Craftsman program offered by the Supreme Council, Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. is is by far the best program for the kind of Masonic education needed in our lodges. It is truly an in- depth study of Freemasonry and a positive vehicle to generate interest for understanding and enlightenment. Every person without exception who has taken on this program has glowed with an excitement not seen in them since the first night they arrived at the lodge. It is that kind of excitement that I want for every member in their pursuit of light in Masonry. Imagine if every member shared that level of excitement for the principles, tenets, and lessons of our fraternity. e potential is unlimited. Many of us like to talk about how we have grown through Freemasonry. Sure we have made lifelong friendships. Yes, we have learned some ritual and seen some legends. Have we learned the lessons? Have we kindled and nourished what being a Mason truly means? e choice really is simple — either we stand and live as Masons, or we continue to devolve into a group of men playing in a boy's club. As I begin the year as your grand master, I invite each of my brothers to accompany me on this journey. Let us together ensure, not just a future for our fraternity, but fulfillment of the goal to make good men better. NEW BERN — On Saturday, November 21, in a ceremony repeated many times in the history of our state, William Lynn Dill became the 157 th man in our 222-year history to serve as grand master of Masons in North Carolina. He and his officers were installed at a 10:00 a.m. gathering in the auditorium of the New Bern Masonic Temple. Dill's line journey began when he was appointed grand steward by then Grand Master Jerry R. Tillett shortly after Tillett was William L. Dill is the 157 th man to be grand master in the 222-year history of the Ancient, Free & Accepted Masons of North Carolina. e son of Wil- liam Lloyd and Ev- elyn I. Dill, William L. Dill was born November 2, 1952, just before a twin brother. He was an active Boy Scout attaining the rank of Eagle and being inducted into the Order of the Arrow in 1968. He gradu- ated from New Bern High School in 1971. He married Margaret Carol Gurganus of Washington, NC in 1976. ey have three sons William (executive chef, Pinecrest Inn, Pinehurst), Charles (dining manager, New Bern Golf and Country Club), and Marcus (MBA graduate student, East Carolina Uni- versity). Son William has a wife, Stephanie, and a son, Paxton. Dill attended East Carolina University getting degrees in In- dustrial Technology and Education Administration. He was a member of the professional honorary fraternity Epsilon Pi Tau. A lifelong educator, Dill taught drafting and design, construc- tion technology, and photography until becoming an assistant principal at his high school alma mater in 1985. He served as principal there before becoming director of Workforce Develop- ment for Craven County Schools and later principal at Grover C. Fields Middle School in New Bern. He was named Craven County Schools Administrator of the Year in 1992 and again in At the September meeting of the Grand Lodge of North Caro- lina, Grand Master-Elect William L. Dill appointed Jimmie B. Hicks Jr. steward in the Grand Lodge of- ficer corps. It taps him as the junior man in line to become grand mas- ter of Masons in North Carolina. Hicks was born May 29, 1965 in New Bern. He received a bachelor of science degree from North Car- olina State University in computer science in 1988 and his juris doctor in law from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1991. He currently practices law in New Bern. He is counsel for several local governments including Craven, Pamlico, and Jones counties and the towns of Pollocksville, Minnesott Beach, Cove City, Bridgeton, River Bend, and Dover. Jimmie Hicks Jr. was raised a Mason November 21, 1990 in St. John's 3 in New Bern. He was master of the lodge in 1998. He has served Grand Lodge as a member of the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence and as judge advocate. He is a key member (irty- ird Degree) of the New Bern Scottish Rite Bodies. He is also a member of Sudan Shrine. Dill becomes grand master Hicks takes his place in the line 2010 officers assume their new roles elected grand master in 2001. Tillett, now as installing officer, was again there to assist his appointee in beginning the final act of his progression through the Grand Lodge line. Tillett administered the oath of office to each of the men who will serve in 2010. Tillett was assisted by Installing Chaplain David R. Cash (PGM), and Installing Marshals Pete Thomas (PGM) and S. Frank Noble (PGM). Installing Grand Chaplain David Cash knelt at the altar with Dill and offered a prayer for the beginning of his endeavor. e ceremony was very similar to the one you have likely seen in your own lodge. All the officers took an oath to serve his office and the Grand Lodge well. Each was then charged and presented the jewel of his office. e Grand Lodge officers installed were Grand Master William L. Dill, Deputy Grand Master Lewis R. Ledford, Senior Grand Warden Robert E. Gresham Jr., Junior Grand Warden Dewey R. Preslar Jr., Grand Treasurer Clifton W. Everett Jr. (PGM), Grand Secretary T. Walton Clapp III, Senior Grand Deacon Dalton W. Mayo, Junior Grand Deacon Douglas L. Caudle, Grand Marshal Bryant D. Webster, Grand Steward A. Gene Cobb Jr., Grand Steward Jimmie B. Hicks Jr., Grand Ty- ler Johnny C. Surles, and Grand Chaplain Dennis By Ric Carter Down from top, PGM Dave Cash of- fers his prayer for Dill and the incoming Grand Lodge officers. Dill's son, Bill, and grandson, Paxton, watch the ceremony from the wings. The wives of the new of- ficers are escorted into the auditorium. Ric Carter photos William L. Dill Grand Master Jimmie B. Hicks Jr. Grand Steward

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