From the East
Our stated meeting was held on March 3rd after a fantastic meal prepared by Eastern Star and opened on the Entered Apprentice Degree. The meeting was attended by several special guests including MW Craig Gross and our newest MM Brother Carl Warren. His MM Degree was held on February 24th and we congratulate Brother Carl on being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason! He anticipates giving his proficiency in open lodge in April! We also greeted MW James Williamson, PGM of Ohio and sadly had to say goodbye until next year as he is returning to Ohio. Jim has been regularly attending our meetings and his presence will be missed.
Many of you may remember that WB Jean~Claude Malterre challenging the lodge in December to fund the purchase of an AED machine and donated $50 toward the challenge. I am please to say that $1250 was donated by other bodies that use our building on an AED that was purchased for $1175! The extra funds will be held for replacement of the battery and pads that must be done on a bi-annual basis. The unit has been mounted near the medicine cabinet between the kitchen and rear doors with an overhead sign. Thank you WB Jean~Claude and all that donated for helping turn this idea into reality! A short video was shown in lodge to help everyone become familiar with its use. This has caused the Scottish Rite to discuss AED purchase for their building. This goes to prove what the power of one Brother with a good idea can do!
Several mock-ups of the John Wayne memorial coin were shown and a vote was held on the designs and to order 300 of the coins for sale. Below are the designs selected with a final cost of $1240.20 ($4.13 for a 1.75” coin). We will vote on the selling cost of $15 or $20 dollars after the coins arrive tentatively at the end of April. Even at a selling price of $15 the lodge stands to make $3259.80 for our general fund. We anticipate having them in time for the May stated meeting and will also sell them at Grand Lodge.
The bust of John Wayne will have a replica of his signature under it.
Our training for the month consisted on a video on 6 of the ancient landmarks (and the AED video) and the closing gavel fell at 8:23PM.
Dates to remember:
March 21st 5 PM
Career days at the Southgate Academy. Several Brothers will be talking to the youth about their respective careers. The school has many underprivileged youth and this is a great chance to let the kids know there are job opportunities out there for them. Contact WB Bil Hole (579-0665) if you are interested in attending.
Downtown 86 is hosting a cigar and Whiskey night at the Shrine. A local vendor will have some quality cigars for you to purchase and the bar will be open. We anticipate have some of our Phoenix Brothers down so it will be a good night come and enjoy some fellowship (and you don’t have to drink or smoke to attend).
Grand Lodge Leadership Conference in Casa Grande. I have attended this for many years running and it is always a great opportunity for learning and fellowship with Brothers from throughout the state. More information is available on the GL website.
Ap 18th 8-11AM
Pancake breakfast at our lodge. We will sponsor a free pancake breakfast at our lodge for the neighbors surrounding the lodge and we have invited underprivileged youth and their families from JB Wright Elementary School. Many of you may remember their principle addressing us last year and talking about how many of the families struggle to feed their children over the weekends when the school food programs are not available. Please plan on coming down and helping with this worthwhile event. Donations will be taken with all proceeds going to Masonic Youth Groups. I will have volunteer signups at the April stated meeting.
The 50th anniversary of Br. John Wayne’s raising to MM. We will have a celebration at the lodge including food, drink and movies of the Duke. Again this will be open to all so mark your calendars now. (Note date change to July not June!)
An effort is being made to move through the business of lodge and get to interesting education ASAP. The entire meeting took just under an hour so
I respectfully encourage you to get off your butts and get to lodge!
And as always, if you have any problems with the building, complaints, suggestions, ideas or just want to talk I am as close as the phone 477-9324
WB Albert Pike wrote “Toleration, holding that every other man has the same right to his opinion and faith that we have to ours: the liberality, holding that as no human being can with certainty say, in the class and conflict of hostile faiths and creeds, what is truth, or that he is surely in possession of it, so everyone should feel that it is quite possible that another equally honest and sincere with himself, and yet holding the contrary opinion, may himself be in possession of the truth”
These words ring so true. They seems to be especially important to me as we watch our country prepping up for another election cycles. The Craft teaches us to subdue our passions. May we ever be mindful of this lesson! May we use the Craft to help us apply this to our lives both inside and outside of the lodge! Our fraternity is unique as it brings men of all walks of life together on the Level. We are a representation of the entire world. We sit in Lodge with Brothers of different political, social, and religious backgrounds. We are taught to view each man as equal to ourselves. We must carry on these lessons into the world outside the Lodge.
We must be the example for the rest of the world to emulate. This can only be done if we apply these lessons to our daily lives. To many times we see strife and conflict between people who have opposing viewpoints. Simply watch the news and we have example after example of man attacking his fellow man purely for holding a different mindset. Do not let yourself, or your Brother, fall into his trap of hatred. We are all one race.
As Mason’s we believe in improving this world. Making it better for all who fall us. Each one of us should remind ourselves of this every day. Drive the change we would like to see spread across the world… the hope and dream of true brotherly love.
As I sit here and reflect upon the major changes in my life that I am currently navigating, I keep going back to an essay I read last year that I shared with the lodge on the 24 inch gauge. My thoughts keep drifting to how different my days will look now and how I will want to spend more time with my family and be the best father that I can be. With so many demands on my time, which at times can feel quite heavy, I can see how people would come to the determination that they no longer have time to devote to the lodge and Freemasonry. As I reflect on why I started the journey to become a freemason, I come to the conclusion that at this important time, I will need the support of my brothers more than ever. In my desire to be the best father I can be, I need to make sure that I continue to invest in myself and in my journey to take myself from a good man to a better man. I see this as an investment in my family as well, because I cannot take care of and provide them with what they need from me, if I am not taking care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually.
As an individual and lodge, I believe we have the responsibility to be talking to our brothers, reaching out to both the familiar and those we have little or no contact with, building deeper, trusting relationships with them and letting them know that we are there to support them in both word and deed regardless of circumstances. We are bound by the oaths we took on our sacred altar to show our newer brothers that we are to be counted on if they fall on hard times or are going through a rough patch in life. Most importantly, we must provide them with something of value knowing that value is quantified on an individual basis and comes in many forms. That value may be as simple as a kind word at the right time, an attentive ear, instructive tongue or the willingness to correct the irregularities of a less informed Brother. How are we helping to make them better men, and, how is this an investment in themselves? They must do the work, but we have committed to guide them, give them the tools necessary and I believe most importantly, to help them find their goal their light at the end of the tunnel. Without a goal, we lack purpose and struggle to find focus and meaning in our work. We expect and challenge them to be a better man, but what does that mean? How is it quantified? One of the most impactful and motivating things any one of us can do is help a Brother uncover what they want/need for both themselves, and from us and Freemasonry. Every brother’s pathway to becoming a better man differs from our own, and when done properly, becomes a deeply personal and meaningful journey. We need to ensure that while the dark shadowed wings of time continue to beat, our limited time here is being used to better ourselves and helping our brothers better themselves.