Category Archives: Lodge Events

2016 Scottish Rite Service Awards

Among those receiving service awards in 2016 at the Valley of Covington, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, are Brothers Garry Kelly and Ed Tanner from Elvin E. Helms No. 926. Both of these esteemed Brothers have served 50 years in the Scottish Rite.

signal-2016-10-22-180738
Pictured above, Brother Ed Tanner, KCCH (Knight Commander, Court of Honor) receives his 50-year certificate from Brother Roger Barnett, SGIG, Orient of Kentucky.
signal-2016-10-22-180921
Pictured above, Brothers Garry Kelly and Ed Tanner, KCCH, pose with Brother Roger Barnett, SGIG, Orient of Kentucky, and the other Brothers in attendance receiving their 50-year service award.

217th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky

The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F&AM held its 217th Annual Communication October 17th and 18th at The Galt House in Louisville, KY. Most Worshipful Brother Todd Jones, member and Past Master of Fleming No. 112 and Favorite No. 581, was elected Grand Master. Most Worshipful Brother Todd is shown here displaying his famous camouflage tuxedo jacket.

mwgm_todd_jones

Worshipful Brother Kevin Schneider, member and Past Master of Bradford No. 123 was named District Deputy Grand Master for District 18. Congratulations Brother Kevin! We look forward to your year as DDGM.

ddgm18_kevin_schneider

Right Worshipful Brother Geary Laird, member and Past Master of Shawnee No. 830 (and a frequent visitor to District 18) was elected Grand Junior Warden.

Kentucky Masons placed over 1,100 bicycles in elementary schools across our State as incentive awards for perfect attendance. As he promised, outgoing Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Cloyd J. Bumgardner, rode a bicycle at Grand Lodge to celebrate this significant achievement. Stephen L. Pruitt, Commissioner of Education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, thanked the Grand Craft for implementing the bicycle program and for its positive impact in Kentucky schools.

signal-2016-10-21-064227

 

Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton represented our Lodge at this historic communication. Our Lodge received the Grand Master’s Excellency Award in recognition of the Lodge’s accomplishments in the 2015-2016 year. Legislation presented by our Lodge giving Kentucky Lodges the option of opening and transacting business on any of the Three Degrees in Masonry received a majority vote and was laid over for a final vote at the 218th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in October of 2017.

Delegates to the Grand Lodge also approved a recommendation of the Fraternal Relations Committee permitting intervisitation (but not dual membership) with the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Kentucky and its subordinate Lodges. Delegates also approved recognition of the Grand Lodge of Estonia. Visiting Masons from Prince Hall Lodges or the Grand Lodge of Estonia should be vouched for or tried in the same manner as all visitors. Approval of both recommendations is effective immediately.

Worshipful Brother Dan Kemble was appointed to the Grand Lodge Committee on By-Laws.

Worshipful Brother Dave Cassesa, current Master of William O. Ware Lodge of Research No. 999 and an honorary member of our Lodge, was appointed to the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Education.

October 2016 Stated Communication

Brothers and guests of Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 met on October 11 for the Lodge’s stated meeting. Brothers Adam Gross and Sammy Meyerratken provided a fine chicken dinner for the evening meal.

Our featured speaker for the evening was Ms. Shelly Hoxmeier, Director of the Family Resource Center for Kelly Elementary School. Ms. Hoxmeier thanked the Lodge for the bicycles donated to Kelly Elementary as attendance incentives and for the annual fund raising that we do to provide Christmas for certain students at the school. Ms. Hoxmeier informed the Lodge about the purpose of the Family Resource Center and about her duties as Director. Ms. Hoxmeier’s presentation provided some very timely and penetrating insights as to the challenges faced by students and school staff. Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton presented Ms. Hoxmeier with a Certificate of Appreciation for her services to the students of Kelly Elementary School.

Join us on the evening of November 8, 2016 for our next stated meeting. Dinner will be provided by Brother Mike Boffemeyer. Business will include nomination of officers for 2017. Our featured speaker for the evening will be Worshipful Brother Marc Rosen, Past Master of Poage No. 325 and former member (and chairman) of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky Committee on Appeals.

October 2016 Article by Brother Todd E. Creason

We invite you to click the link below to visit The Midnight Freemasons blog and read part 1 of this series by Illustrious Brother Todd E. Creason. The series focuses on what you can do as one Brother to bring Masonic Education back into our Lodges.

That Ashlar Ain’t Going to Chip Itself: Part 1

Todd E. Creason, 33°, FMLR is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.  He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. He is the author of the From Labor to Refreshment blog.  He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754, where is currently serves as Secretary.  He is the Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.  He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.  You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org

2016 Outdoor Raising

Brothers from every Lodge in District 18 and one Lodge in District 19 gathered this morning at Hershell Freeman’s farm for the purpose of conferring the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on 8 Fellow Craft Brothers, including Brother Sammy Meyerratken of Elvin E. Helms No. 926. Most Worshipful Grand Master Cloyd J. Bumgardner presided over the first section, assisted by Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master Todd Jones, Right Worshipful Grand Junior Warden Gary Rose, Grand Senior Deacon Craig Lindon, and Grand Marshall Denver Rose. Our Grand Lodge Officers did an impressive job. Most Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful Elected Grand Lodge Officers, and Worshipful Appointed Grand Lodge Officers — we thank you all for being with us this morning and for your excellent work!

Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master Dan Kemble, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky assembled and directed an all-star cast to portray The Legend of the Temple.

The Master Mason Slide Lecture was given by Brother Owen Huff of Colonel Clay No. 159. The GHS and MMWoD Lecture was given by Worshipful Brother Ken Rodgers of Golden Rule-Covington No. 109. The Master Mason Charge was given by Worshipful Brother Adam Gross of Elvin E. Helms No. 926. The Address was given by Worshipful Brother Ed Tanner of Elvin E. Helms No. 926. The Canadian Charge was given by Worshipful Brother Mel Kinser of Elvin E. Helms No. 926.

After comments by our newly Raised Brothers and those in attendance the floor was given to our Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master Dan Kemble, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky for his closing remarks, during which he was presented with an Honorary Membership to Bradford No. 123.  Elvin E. Helms No. 926 was closed in peace and harmony at 4:00pm.

img_20160924_163921328
Our eight newly Raised Master Masons. Left to right, they are: Adam Larkin, Boone-Union No. 304; Adam Neace, Bradford No. 123; Kent Means, Bradford No. 123; Matthew Waters, Alexandria No. 152; Sammy Meyerratken, Elvin E. Helms No. 926; Hampton Quigley, Golden Rule-Covington No. 109; Brian Carroll, Good Faith No. 95; and Kevin Surface, Golden Rule-Covington No. 109.
img_20160924_164032470
Our Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master shortly after being presented with his Honorary Membership to Bradford No. 123.

September 2016 Stated Communication

The Brothers of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 met again in Stated Communication for a busy and productive evening of Masonic Brotherhood. The first order of events this evening was to hear the Fellow Craft Proficiency of Brother Sammy Meyerratken. To the expectations of everyone present Brother Sammy did a fantastic job and is now officially eligible to participate in the District 18 Outdoor Master Mason Degree which will be held on Saturday, September 24 beginning at 10am at Hershell Freeman’s farm, located at 440 Ripple Run Road, Verona, KY. As an added bonus, the Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky will be conferring the first section.


Next, we were honored to have Illustrious Brother Bill Lorenz give his presentation on Magic Squares and Magic Numbers for our educational program.

melancholia-1514
Page 1 – Melencolia I is a 1514 engraving by the German Renaissance master Albrecht Dürer. It is an allegorical composition which has been the subject of many interpretations. One of the most famous old master prints, it has sometimes been regarded as forming one of a conscious group of Meisterstiche (“master prints”) with his Knight, Death and the Devil (1513) and Saint Jerome in his Study (1514).

 

Page 2
Page 2
Page 3
Page 3
Page 4
Page 4
Page 5
Page 5

Following his presentation, the Brothers of Elvin E. Helms No. 926 had a presentation to make of our own. Illustrious Brother Bill Lorenz was made an honorary member of our Lodge.

Pictured above, left to right: Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Ernie Stratton, P.M., Master; Illustrious Brother Bill Lorenz.
Pictured above, left to right: Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Ernie Stratton, P.M., Master; Illustrious Brother Bill Lorenz.

Pictured above, left to right: Ernie Stratton, P.M., Master; Bob Bradford, P.M.
Pictured above, left to right: Ernie Stratton, P.M., Master; Bob Bradford, P.M.

Worshipful Brother Bob Bradford submitted a Petition for Affiliation at our August Stated Communication. At tonight’s Stated Communication he was elected unanimously to membership at Elvin E. Helms No. 926. Brother Bob, we’re looking forward to putting you to work!


We are half way to our goal for the Kelly Elementary Christmas Fund. Keep up the great work Brothers, but remember time is running out. If you like to support this annual charity of our Lodge, please contact our Secretary, Worshipful Brother Ed Tanner by clicking here.


img_20160913_220015846
Pictured above, left to right: Vern Gregory; Tom Roundtree; Ernie Stratton, Master; Brad Drew, Master of Latonia No. 746; Chuck Yokum; and Ira Brockman. Not pictured: Lee Onkst.

Last but not least, the Brothers from Latonia No. 746 visited with us this evening to claim the traveling gavels. They had six members present in total, four of them Scottish Rite Masons as well. If you would like to claim the District 18 Traveling Gavel or District 18 Scottish Rite Traveling Gavel for your Lodge, they can be claimed at the next Stated Communication of Latonia No. 746 on Thursday, October 6. Latonia No. 746 serves a fellowship meal at 6:30 with their Stated Communication following immediately at 7:30.

September 2016 Visit to Crittenden-Dry Ridge No. 694

img_20160910_205531304
Pictured above, left to right: Greg Bowen, Treasurer; Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Louis Fields, P.M., Chaplain; Jacob Fields, Master; Darren Wilson, Masonry Matters Committee, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Bobby Griggs, Grand Junior Deacon, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Calvin Crupper; Chuck Givin, P.M.; Robby Ratliff, Secretary.

Brothers from Elvin E. Helms No. 694 visited Crittenden-Dry Ridge No. 694 in Stated Communication for a special occasion. Worshipful Brother Bobby Griggs, Grand Junior Deacon, Grand Lodge of Kentucky was in attendance to present the 400th Kentucky Mason to pass the Constitution Quiz, District 18’s own Worshipful Brother Chuck Givin, with his Constitution Scholar’s lapel pin. Brother Griggs noted that the level of participation in this program has far surpassed what had been hoped for and as a result we can all expect a new Constitution Quiz for the 2016-2017 Masonic year. Congratulations to all of our Constitution Scholars!

September 2016 Visit to Hebron No. 757

img_20160906_204813532

Two Brothers from Elvin E. Helms No. 926 accompanied our District Deputy Grand Master for District 18, Worshipful Brother Dan Kemble, to Hebron No. 757 for their September Stated Communication. As usual, a great time was had by all. Also in attendance were Worshipful Brothers Bill and John Dettor. Brother John Dettor, the Masonic Homes of Kentucky Ambassador to District 18, gave us a brief update on the goings-on at the Masonic Homes of Kentucky campuses and made a presentation to Worshipful Master James Phillips.

Pictured above, left to right: Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky; Worshipful Master James Phillips, P.M.; Mel Kinser, P.M., Chaplain; Adam Gross, P.M., Senior Deacon.

2016 Widow’s and Awards Dinner

Elvin E. Helms Lodge No. 926 celebrated its 2016 Widow’s and Awards Day Dinner on Saturday, August 13, at the Petersburg Community Center. Members and guests enjoyed barbecue chicken provided by the Lodge and prepared by Holly Kemble. An array of sides and desserts were provided by other members of the Lodge.

IMG_20160813_135438351

We had a great turnout for this year’s festivities. Some of the group are pictured above.

IMG_20160813_135404641

Our featured chef, Mrs. Holly Kemble.

Four of our widows were able to join us for the event:

IMG_20160813_140617633_HDR

Ms. Marilyn Peters.

IMG_20160813_140702006

Ms. Debbie Wood with Worshipful Brother Travis Bush.

IMG_20160813_140626837

Ms. Patricia Hogan.

IMG_20160813_135226588

Ms. Wanda Walston.

IMG_20160813_135556427

Worshipful Brother Travis Bush was presented with a plaque commemorating his service as two-time Master of our Lodge.

IMG_20160813_135600999

IMG_20160813_144645543_HDR

Last but not least, Worshipful Brother Adam Gross won the split-the-pot. He donated his winnings to the Kelley Elementary Christmas Fund.

August 2016 Stated Communication

It was another great night in Petersburg this Tuesday with lots of visitors and lots of upcoming activities.

As a reminder, this Saturday, August 13 is our annual Widow’s and Awards Dinner, held at the Petersburg Community Center, 6517 Market Street, Petersburg, KY 41080, beginning at noon and ending at approximately 3:00pm. As usual this event is open to everyone who would like to enjoy the occasion with us as we honor our widows and present service awards.

The traveling gavels did their job this evening and we had a full house with visitors from Grant No. 85, Good Faith No. 95, Demoss No. 220, Burlington No. 264, Boone-Union No. 304, Wilmington No. 362, Crittenden-Dry Ridge No. 694, and Hebron No. 757. Worshipful Brother Eric Creech of Good Faith No. 95 claimed the District 18 Traveling Gavel for his Lodge while Worshipful Brother Andy Canafax claimed the District 18 Scottish Rite Traveling Gavel for Grant No. 85.

The next opportunity to claim the District 18 Traveling Gavel for your Lodge will be at the next Stated Communication of Good Faith No. 95 on Friday, August 26 at 7:30pm. The next opportunity to claim the District 18 Scottish Rite Traveling Gavel will be at the next Stated Communication of Grant No. 85 on Thursday, August 11 at 7:30pm. Thank you to all of the Brothers in District 18 for keeping these traveling gavels traveling!

IMG_20160809_211308610

Pictured above, left to right: Worshipful Brother Andy Canafax, Master of Grant No. 85; Worshipful Brother Eric Creech, Master of Good Faith No. 95.

IMG_20160809_211543768

Pictured above, left to right are the four Brothers from Good Faith No. 95 that visited us this evening: Worshipful Brother Bob Lainhart, Treasurer; Worshipful Brother Ernie Hughes, Junior Steward; Worshipful Brother Eric Creech, Master; David Bird, Senior Warden.

IMG_20160809_211632415

Pictured above, left to right are the two Scottish Rite Brothers from Grant No. 85 that visited us this evening: Worshipful Brothers Tommy New, Chaplain; Andy Canafax, Master.

Last but not least, Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton passed the Constitution Quiz and received his Constitution Scholar pin from Worshipful Brother Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky.


The education program for the evening was presented by Worshipful Brother Adam Gross and featured two papers.

From the NSW Freemason, December 1992 (Australia), Author Uncredited

The Art of Tubal-Cain
Masonry and Metallurgy

We, as Masons, know Tubal-Cain is depicted as a blacksmith. We do not know when he lived, but probably in the days when primitive man used tools of stone or flint to work naturally-occurring pieces of gold, silver, copper and meteoric iron into weapons, tools and ornaments for use in war or peace. At some stage, man utilized fire to liberate metals from their ores, and there came that magic moment, some thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia, when copper ores bearing tin were smelted; this first alloying of metals launched the Bronze Age, a great step forward in this ascent of man. This early metallurgy promoted the first explosion in international trade, as bronze coinage formed a novel means of exchange, and the cradle of civilization in the Eastern Mediterranean area thus spread to Europe.

There is a definite metallic streak running through our Masonry. We were divested of money and metallic substances even before we entered the Lodge. In the Sectional Lectures, there is a strong allusion to extractive metallurgy with the mention of chalk, charcoal and clay as the emblems of freedom, fervency and zeal. Clay is our ‘Mother Earth’, providing both the metals and the refractories to contain them at high temperatures; from charcoal, we derive the heat energy to smelt and refine them; and from chalk, the flux to alloy with the gangue and separate it from the ore.

What of metals today? My career as a metallurgist has embraced the casting, working and fabrication of metals. Today’s readers may be interested in a short description of the five principal methods of shaping metals.

1. Casting involves making a mold, a cavity of the shape required, in a plastic material, usually sand, and filling it with liquid molten metal; it constitutes the foundry industry,

2. Working includes forging, rolling, extrusion, rod and wire drawing, and pressing in many ways. Both casting and forging to shape date from the days of Tubal-Cain.

3. Machining is only about 200 years old; generally, it includes turning, boring, milling, shaping and grinding, and is a finishing process for work-pieces first cast or wrought to a rough shape.

4. Fabricating by assembly and joining, such as bolting and riveting (the Sydney Harbor Bridge is a good example), welding and brazing, and soldering.

5. Powder Metallurgy is a spectacular development of the last 50 years, and involves the compacting of metal powders in a die, followed by sintering at a high temperature to crystallize them into union; many parts can be produced by mass production methods, ready for use without machining.

If Tubal-Cain were the first artificer in metals, his disciples today are known as tool engineers, who provide the expertise to design and devise the machines, methods and tools to be used. It is not surprising that nearly all the Working Tools presented to us in our Craft Degrees are essential tools in the fabrication of metals; one cannot imagine a tool engineer without the benefit of the pencil and the rule, and the square and the compasses.

Metals run like shining threads through the whole tapestry of human history; besides the invention of coin age, they have played a critical role in the invention of printing, the harnessing of steam and the internal combustion engine, the discovery and use of electricity, the achievement of powered flight, and the advent of nuclear energy.

The art of Tubal-Cain, now called metallurgy, is unfolding the secrets of nature and science. The GAOTU provided the materials in the firmament, and man’s inspired fashioning of them by tools, is, I hope, stamping our work divine.


The second paper presented was written by Brother John Hubbell, Sharon Lodge No. 327, McLean, VA.

Thoughts on Masonry

While thinking about what to do for this program, I considered many possibilities. As you know, there are a ton of resources out there full of fascinating lectures and works on Masonry. Our own library downstairs is full of them. Rather than repeat what I’ve read, I thought I’d talk about some of the revelations I’ve had about Masonry in my “vast” experience of two years as a Master Mason. I’ll say at the onset, these are my own ideas, and certainly don’t necessarily represent the official positions of Masonry.

Why we don’t recruit.

I am the product of two people who, among other things, were both psychologists. My mother’s favorite joke was, “How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? One! But the light bulb has to want to change”! To me this explains in large part why we don’t recruit and in fact why it would be self-defeating to do so. If we are to have a hope of achieving our stated goal of making good men better, first those good men must want to change. The most valuable lessons in the world, forced on someone unready or unwilling to hear them are wasted. Conversely, the simplest lesson passed on to someone willing to hear it and seeking self-improvement can change that person forever.

A small anecdote. A Mason I know was recently up for a very big promotion and, during the interview process, the owner of the company told him that when he had been hired originally, the owner had thought of him as competent but unremarkable. However in the last year, the owner was amazed at the change in him. Other managers and employees had noticed as well and that his improvements across the board were the reason he was being given the promotion. The owner asked him what had been the genesis of the big change. My friend’s only response, the only thing he could think of which fit the timeline, was that he had become a Mason. In a later discussion he asked me what could be so magical about Masonry that his co-workers and superiors could see so remarkable a difference. My thought and my answer to him was that while Masonry had certainly given him some impressive tools, he was the one who had made the most important step to becoming a better man. He had chosen to do so.

The Many Layers of Masonry.

If any of you have seen the movie Contact with Jodie Foster, or (being a fan of books, I’ll say) better yet, if you have read the book by Dr. Carl Sagan, you might remember that the core element to the plot is the message they receive from outer-space. This message at the beginning seems to be just the repetition of non-random number groups, but as the people in the story dig deeper into the message, they find out that there is video and sound imbedded in the signal. They dig deeper still and find there are schematics and mathematical formulas, some of which are beyond our understanding.

How does this relate to Masonry? I think that Masonry is like that message. If you want this just to be a simple fraternal organization, it can be. If you want to dig a little deeper, you can learn as much of the ritual as you wish and try to understand the lessons behind them. If you want to really dig, and look at our ancient history, dive into the incredible amount that has been written by Masons attempting to learn whence we came, and perhaps where we are going, you can do that as well. Perhaps you will be that Mason who finally finds that secret word which was lost forever at the death of our Most Excellent Grand Master Hiram Abiff. Masonry seems to be, limitless. And perhaps that is the point. We will find as much as we are willing to seek and work for and maybe, as much as we are ready to understand.

Why we are here and what it means to be a Mason.

For me the oft asked question of, “Why are we are here?” is no longer a question. I believe we are here to live, learn, grow and help others do the same. Masonry, what we teach, how we interact and what we profess to believe has reinforced that belief. In the Entered Apprentice Degree we show new Masons that we care little for their material success in this life. In the Fellowcraft Degree, we admonish them to walk uprightly in their several stations in life, and in the Master Mason degree we remind them that Master Masons should spread the cement of Brotherly love and affection, that this will unite us into a Temple of Living Stones. There are numerous other examples, but just about everything we do as Masons helps us become better men, and helps others to do the same.

Belief in Higher power.

Yes, we require it so you have something on which to base your oath, but also, if you don’t believe in a “Higher power” you must think yourself the top of the food chain, and since the stated purpose of Masonry is to make good men better, if you think you are the best there is, there’s not much we can do for you.

Importance of Mentorship

We could print out ritual and catechisms and hand them to the candidate with instructions to learn them; while they might learn the information, there would be no bond, no spread of brotherly love or affection. In the mentor/student relationship, the student spends energy to show up and learn and the instructor spends energy to show up and teach. The student sees that both of them are spending energy, and I think that helps show the importance of what is being taught. In the Master Mason lecture there is a passage which I think is applicable, “Thus was man formed for social and active life. The noblest part of the work of God.” The increased depth of friendship between student and mentor, where not just the ritual or catechism is taught, but also side lessons, and sometimes just friendly conversation, to me proves the value of process.

The beauty of imperfection.

While we seek to learn ritual and degree catechisms perfectly and be able to return them perfectly in Lodge, I’ve learned the importance of the imperfections as well. When returning my Master Mason’s catechism, I so wanted it to be perfect. My wife years ago labeled me a “closet perfectionist”; a label which I originally dismissed, but as with many things my wife has said, I had to ultimately agree with her for the same reason I always do. She was right. While returning the catechism, I was doing it perfectly and was so proud of myself when I then hit a section which is ironically the same in every degree and screwed up. As is often the case in situations like this, a heartbeat after I made the mistake, my brain, while sitting on the sidelines listening to my mouth said, “Wait! What did you just say!?!” To which the other half of my brain replied, “Doesn’t matter, you just blew “perfect”. Oh well, nothing to be done but back up and prove to yourself and everyone else you really aren’t a complete idiot and say it the right way this time and move on.” I did, and the rest of the return went well. After the lodge had closed, I was in the kitchen licking the wounds of my pride (yeah I know, I take the whole pride in perfection thing too far) the Worshipful Master of the Lodge, Mike Pierce, came into the kitchen and complimented me on how well I’d done with the examination. Since that Closet Perfectionist thing was still in control, I said something to the effect of, “It was good, but it wasn’t perfect.” Worshipful Pierce then said something which changed my whole perspective on things. He said, “It was good because of the mistake, not in spite of it. You saw the mistake, backed up and took another run at it, proving to us, and more importantly to yourself, that you really did know the correct words, and then, you moved on.” Not to make too big a deal of it, but that was an earthshaking moment for me. Not to be perfect? Unheard of! But that was just one more moment in my Masonic journey of personal growth. It forced me to think of all the good and valuable things in the world which would not be so, without imperfections. What would a gold ring be without the added impurities which give it the strength to be durable? I don’t know, but pure gold makes for a good investment, but crumby jewelry. What would steel be without the impurities which give structural steel the strength to support a sky scraper? I don’t know, but I know I wouldn’t want to walk in a city built with it. I could go on with examples both obscure and minor, but I will close this by saying I want you to imagine the most beautiful sunrise or sunset you have ever seen. Hold that image in your mind. Think about what makes it so stunning, the different hues and reflections, the light and colors bouncing off everything. Now take away the clouds.


The presentation was concluded with the Virginia Presentation Volume version of the Closing Charge.