The North Carolina Mason

November/December 2017

North Carolina Mason

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November/December 2017 The North Carolina Mason Page 3 A seven-member task force appointed by Past Grand Master Gene Cobb has begun studying gun raffles for fundraising within the Craft. e group has been directed to present a report to Grand Master Speed Hallman by July 1, 2018. Here is the full text of the directive: e following is not an order or an opinion, but a directive to begin study: A number of lodges have recently utilized raffles in their fund- raising activities. Firearms are a common prize in these raffles, commonly referred to as "gun raffles." ere are all kinds of credible and legal uses of guns that are consistent with basic beliefs of our Craft in areas of sport, recreation, protection, and defense. To even enter into a discussion or debate about these matters could be divisive because emotions and beliefs have become so polarized. May this not be so among us. In light of the recent tragic mass shootings, particu- larly the one in a church claiming 26 lives, eight from one family, and a teenage child of the pastor, it is time for the Craft to reflect and begin having wise, healthy, and effective conversation concerning "gun raffles" to determine what, if any, restrictions should be imposed on these raffles. Raffles have raised over $144,000 this year for our charities. Raffles provide an opportunity to demonstrate to the larger community the good work we do as Freemasons. As these raffles are a public presen- tation of our Craft, they must be regulated in a manner most befit- ting our core principles of friendship, morality, and brotherly love. e conduct and operation of everything we do must comport with the Code of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons (hereafter referred to as "the Code"), current Federal and State Law, and whatever is consistent with moral law. A task force is hereby immediately created for the purpose of: 1. Finding ways to better educate the Craft regarding firearms. 2. Interacting with our Masonic charities in ways that promote our principles, rather than political or religious positions or persuasions related to guns or raffles. 3. oughtfully studying the full breadth and scope of the issue toward being able to have healthy and effective conversation that reflects the gentle nature of our Craft rather than anything that could possibly be perceived as hostile. 4. Engaging in productive discussions on moral, legal, and Masonic implications of the issue toward whatever can provide best work and most agreement. is task force will issue a report at a time and in a manner to be determined, but no later than July 1, 2018, to the Grand Master and to the Annual Communication as he may direct. e Task Force will be convened by Bobby Rideout and members include Graham Pervier, Jim Medlin, Currie Pendleton, Tom Redmond, Dee Blake, and Howard Kahn. e committee shall elect their chairperson. Given under my hand and seal this the 14 th day of November 2017 in Sanford, North Carolina. Arnold Gene Cobb Jr., Grand Master Task force will study gun raffles by lodges Grand Master Speed Hallman has appointed Steve Norris, an accomplished and active 35-year Mason, to serve as Junior Grand Steward. "Every potential grand master's first major decision is the appoint- ment of a junior grand steward. It's a decision that influences the Craft for years to come, and it's one that we need to get right," Hallman said. He sang Norris' praises as he shared his appointment with the brethren gathered at Annual Communication. "Raised on his family's tobacco farm and a lifelong Methodist, he joined his local lodge at the age of 21. Four years later he was a certi- fied lecturer and was officiating at Masonic funerals. In 1986, he was named district deputy grand lecturer. He served as master of his lodge in 1989, and in 1991 he was named District Deputy Grand Master," Hallman said. "He is a member of the Scot- tish Rite and the Shrine. He has served our Grand Lodge as a member and chairman of the Board of Custodians, and serves as chairman of the Grand Lodge Committee on Membership. In 2012, he was elected potentate of the Sudan Shriners. He currently serves as president of the South Atlantic Shrine Association and as a member of the Executive Membership Committee of Shri- ners International." Norris was born June 26, 1961, in Conway, S.C., to the late Frank Mendel Norris, Sr. and Virginia Bishop Norris. He grew up on the family tobacco farm in the Hick- man's Crossroads community of Brunswick County. He has been a professional land surveyor 33 years, is a principal/ partner with Norris & Ward Land Surveyors, PA, and a partner in Crossroads Convenient Storage LLC. He is a member of Andrew's Chapel United Methodist Church and is married to Traci Riggsbee Norris. ey have three daughters. Norris was initiated, passed and raised a Master Mason in 1981 at Shallotte #727. He served as District Deputy Grand Lecturer from 1986-1991, District Deputy Grand Master from 1991-1994, and was Master of Shallotte #727 in 1989. at year, he also joined the Scottish Rite and crossed the sands of Sudan Shriners. Here are more achievements: 2000 Elected to the Sudan Shriners Board of Trustees 2004 Appointed to the Divan of Sudan Shriners 2012 Elected as Potentate, Sudan Shriners 2012 Elected 5th Vice President, South Atlantic Shrine Association 2014 Appointed Regional Membership Director, Shriners International (NC, SC,VA,KY, WV ) Reappointed 2015, 2016, & 2017 2017 Elected, Installed as President of the South Atlantic Shrine Association 2017 Elected Chairman, Board of Custodians Meet our new Junior Grand Steward

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