The North Carolina Mason

January/February 2018

North Carolina Mason

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Page 2 The North Carolina Mason January/February 2018 GAVEL, from page 1 under construction on King Street in Hillsborough. e building, completed in 1825, has been called one of the most architecturally significant structures in the state, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. e joist supported the dining room floor for 181 years, during which time the room served as a community meeting hall, a venue for concerts and lectures, and the site of countless Masonic functions. e floor was removed when it became structurally unsound, and Hallman saved pieces of several oak joists. Last year he asked Gregg Phil- lips, a gifted woodworker and past master of Eagle Lodge, to use the salvaged wood to craft a statewide traveling gavel that brought brethren together while showcasing his home lodge's history. Phillips produced a classic Masonic gavel and made a traveling case out of cherry and black walnut from the Bladen County homeplace of his wife, Carolyn. e gavel's journey began Jan. 29 when Grand Master Hallman presented it at his first District Meeting, held at Granite #191 in Clayton. e presentation occurred after the Mason's deadline, but the gavel's initial destination and its journey can be tracked through the Grand Lodge website and these Facebook pages: Grand Master of Masons of North Carolina, the North Carolina Mason and Grand Lodge of North Carolina A.F. & A.M. e Grand Master hopes the gavel will move quickly around the state before being returned to him at the annual communication in September. the new traveling gavel How to get your hands on WHO can claim the gavel ? Lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina AF & AM. T H E R U L E S When the lodge claiming the gavel at the Jan. 29 district meeting holds its degree, the lodge with the greatest number of visiting members present at that meeting and with a degree scheduled* will take the gavel back to its lodge. A visiting member may claim membership in only one lodge when visitors are counted. If there'is a tie, the lodge that has the earliest scheduled degree takes it, and if there's still a tie, the lodge that traveled farthest takes it. If a tie still exists, the lodge that has the youngest member in its visiting party takes the gavel. N o d e g r e e w o r k s c h e d u l e d ? If no visiting lodge has degree work scheduled, a visiting lodge may take the gavel with the following stipulations: • The lodge with the most visiting members may take the gavel. • In the event of a tie, the lodge that is furthest from the current hosting lodge takes the gavel. • If a tie still exists, the lodge that has the youngest member in its visiting party takes the gavel. The lodge taking the gavel must quickly take it to a degree within a reasonable distance and convey it to the master of that lodge. The lodge facilitating this transfer will be recognized along with the other lodges hosting the gavel during the year. e highest priority is to keep it moving! e Grand Master or DDGM may retrieve the gavel and move it to another lodge if it appears to be staying in a lodge. Only lodges that are willing to keep the traveling gavel in motion should claim it. * Degrees may be EA, FC or MM. Communications may be stated or emergent. e gavel will be used during the degree and will be presented to the lodge that claims it immediately before the lodge closes. No skip- ping out on lectures! When you claim or hand off the gavel, take pictures, post them on Facebook and email them to the Grand Master. Use It and Lose It! (In a good way) Watch the gavel travel! Then, let's celebrate! The hand-off e gavel's case contains rules for its transfer and a journal in which each lodge will enter the date it was obtained and the date it was surrendered, along with information about the degree and the name or names of the men who earned the degrees. Recording these details enshrines your lodge's degree work in NC Masonic history. Every lodge that takes the gavel must send a quick email to Grand Master Hallman ( listing the time and date of its upcoming degree ceremony. e GM will post the details on the Grand Master of Masons Facebook page and send them to the Grand Lodge for its website. at news will allow other lodges to attend. Look for these postings on the Grand Lodge and North Carolina Mason Facebook pages, as well. e lodge in possession of the gavel on Friday, Sept. 28, will present it to the Grand Master at the annual communication in Winston- Salem. e Grand Master will recog- nize the lodges that obtained and shared the gavel during the year. A list of lodges that held the gavel, plus details that lodges share in the journal that travels with it, will run in the September-October edition of the North Carolina Mason – along with a photo of the journal and the returned gavel. Questions? Contact Grand Master Hallman or the Grand Lodge staff. Now check out Facebook or the Grand Lodge site and go get the gavel!

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