For the Good of Masonry
Message from Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee
Chairman WB Roger Nelson is largely responsible for the superb tv spots featuring interviews with more than 100 Washington Masons. The results have been very positive and set a new standard for the way in which we tell our story to the public.
Good of the Order.
Recently WM Thornton, VWB Carmel and I attended the joint District 18 and District 19 “District Meeting” in Kelso Washington. It was noted that there were 56 Masons in attendance and it was also pointed out that, 56 was the number of singers of the Declaration of Independence. This gave us a visual of what it might have looked like at that historic event. The irony was not lost on this single event. Both Grand Master Warren Shoben and Right Worshipful Charles Woods commented on the future of Masonry by quoting two of the Presidents of the United States.
First was RWB Woods who felt that there was a bright future for Masonry if, we as Masons remember a lesson taught by President John F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961. In his speech he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. RWB Woods turned that profound statement around by saying, “Ask not what Masonry can do for you, ask what you can do for Masonry”. He explained that by following this simple rule, we can continue to prosper for the good of Masonry.
Secondly, was Grand Master Shoben who, like RWB Woods, feels that Masonry in Washington is progressing well. He too quoted an American President to support his point. He reminded us that in November 1863, President Abraham Lincoln was invited to deliver remarks at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which later became known as the Gettysburg Address. After visiting the great battlefield of Gettysburg, he changed some of the words in his original speech, and carefully chose words that would have everlasting meaning commemorating that event. President Lincoln said in part, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here”. GM Shoben reminded us that we as Masons, should never lose sight of those few words, for it sums up the future of Masonry everywhere. If we can leave an everlasting positive image on mankind of Friendship, Morality, Brotherly Love and Charity, Masonry will never die, and they will never forget what we did here.
Over the days of writing and revising the Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln had found the words that proclaimed his own dedication to the survival of the democratic government. Those carefully selected words remind me of our teachings and how the words used in Masonry must have been as carefully selected to ensure that all future generations would understand the true meanings of their commitment to mankind.
As a side note, a powerful and emotional impulse while giving the Gettysburg Address prompted President Lincoln to add the words “under God” to his speech when they are not found in his written delivery text. Because of him, “under God” is incorporated in the Pledge of Allegiance today.
Free Lunch Raffle
Due to the generosity of a Brother Mason, $100 was donated to kick-off a promotion for our weekly get-togethers. Each month a name will be randomly drawn, and that member will receive a
free lunch. All they need do is show up for one or our Wednesday luncheons and collect. The offer is good for one
year so if you are a “Snow Bird” or are out of town for any number of reason you will have time to collect your prize.
February’s lucky Mason is Brother Aris Kotek from Longbeach
Washington. Congratulation Brother Kotek and we know we will see you at lunch soon..
From the East
First let me congratulate Patrick Webb on having won the state ritualistic competition and repeat what I had said for the Chinook Observer.
“Speaking on behalf of Occident Lodge No. 48 we’re all very proud to have our lodge represented and our member win this competition. The prize being the honor of opening the Grand Lodge of the State of Washington’s afternoon session in June. This is a great honor for Patrick and correspondingly for Occident Lodge.
I’m not surprised that Patrick won the ritual competition as I have sat with him in Lodge for many years and I know his ritual work is perfect. I also know, having been involved in this type of competition before, it is not just enough to be letter perfect, but you win with your presentation. Patrick’s thespian experience, having participated in plays put on in Astoria by “The River Theater” and “Partners for the PAC” have given him experience in where to place emphasis and where to place appropriate pauses, this coupled with his British accent make his presentations memorable.
I am at the same time reminded of a comment by a Canadian friend of mine who was from North London. We were having lunch together and the waitress commented on what a lovely accent he had and in true British humor he responded, “I don’t have an accent, I am English”. Patrick can lay claim to that same distinction.
Congratulation, Patrick for a job well done and an honor fairly won.”
For those who haven’t heard there will be no stated meeting in June as the meeting date interferes with Grand Lodge and according to the Masonic code we cannot hold a meeting.
As a result, we have a lot of things to discuss at this May stated, including our summer picnic. We also must schedule a 3rd° and will have completed a 2nd° before the meeting in May.
I also have something I wish to discuss. We used to have 3-inch-wide, blue velvet cloth Jewel Collars trimmed in white. After our merger with Gavel Lodge we started wearing the round blue cord collars and jewels that were used in the Gavel Lodge. I made a search for the older collars as I think the wide cloth collars were much nicer than the cord ones which are showing their age and badly frayed. I was unable to locate our old collars but was told they had been taken and given to Vader Lodge.I have talked with several brothers and I’m not quite sure how they ended up in the Vader Lodge, but it was done without the concurrence of the lodge as far as I know as I have no recollection of this having ever been discussed in open lodge. Even if there had been, a decision should not have been made before a comparison as our old ones are nicer then the Gavel ones.
I talked to the master at Vader Lodge and he confirmed that they do have our old collars and is willing to return them if we so desire. Although I cannot see us as a lodge giving the cloth collars to Vader I do not think it is right to ask for them back.
As for the three principal officers Walt Twidwell gave the Lodge his metal chain collar he has worn for years to be used by the Master and last year Ron Robbins purchased, as his gift for the Lodge, matching heavy metal collars for the two Wardens. That means we need an additional ten (if you include the musician) for the other Lodge offices.
I looked at the cost of buying new chords for the ones we have from Gavel. They would cost us about $10 apiece. Buy new class cloth collars depending on the width and color this would cost us between $25 and $35 apiece. Or we could metal chain collars with blue velvet padding that would match or come close to matching the three we have for the principal officers. These would cost about $75 apiece for the lighter metal imported ones and $250 each for those heavier made in the USA. All prices from J.P. Luther.
I have been fretting over this for several months and would like to get the issue resolved. I went on line and on E-Bay found a set of 10 new collars from a foreign Masonic wholesaler that look like a good match for the three principal officer’s ones. I am sure they are the imported variety sold by J.P. Luther and although things on the web are often misrepresented the photos looked good. I ordered them and have attached the jewels, so they are ready for the stated in May.
This is my gift to the Lodge Brethren as a thank you for all your help during my year as master.
Mike Thornton Worshipful Master
Occident Lodge No. 48 F & A.M.
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Washington
Bikes 4 Books (Meets 2nd Wednesday
January thru May at 11:00 am just before
lunch and as necessary after that date,
works with budget committee)
Chairman - Dick Rodlun
Members – Walt Twidwell, Ed Cox, Jim
Citizenship Awards (Meets as necessary
starting in March and works with budget
Chairman - Mike Carmel
Members – Ron Robbins
Scholarship Awards (Meets as necessary
and works with budget committee)
Chairman – Mike Carmel
Treasurer – Art Herring
Member – Dick Rodlun
Long Term Planning Committee (Meets in
January of each year until plan is ready
to present to Lodge and works with
Chairman – Dick Rodlun
Members – Ron Robbins, Michael Carmel,
Mike Thornton, Patrick Webb
By Laws Committee (Meets in January of
each year until by laws are
edited/confirmed complete and ready to
present to Lodge)
Chairman – Patrick Webb
Members - Mike Carmel, Ron Robbins
(Meets 1st Wednesday of each month at
11:00 am just before lunch and receives
input from Temple Board, Bikes 4 Books,
Citizenship Award, Scholarship, and Long
Term Planning Committees. Proposed
budget due on or before February
Chairman – VWB Sherman Richmond
Members - Mike Carmel, Patrick Webb,
Ron Robbins, Mike Thornton, James
Finance Committee (Meets 2nd
Wednesday of each month at 11:00 am
just before lunch, presents financial
synopsis at each stated meeting)
Chairman – Senior Warden
Members – Junior Warden, Secretary
IAW Article IV, By Laws Occident Lodge
48 The SW, JW and Secretary shall
compose the Finance committee
Audit Committee (WMC Sec 14.14 BL)
(Meets 3rd Wednesday of January at
11:00 am just before lunch and as
necessary until audit is complete)
Chairman – Sherman Richmond
Members – Ron Robbins, Art Herring,
Temple Board (Meets at 7:00 1st
Thursday of each month just after dinner)
Chair: Dick Rodlun
Secretary: Patrick Webb
Treasurer: Les Moore
Trustees: Mike Thornton, James Houlton,
Milton Parham, Ed Cox.
Interested Party - Worthy Matron Donna
District 18 Lodges
Woodland-Kalama No. 17, 1st Tuesday
Castle Rock No. 62, 3rd Monday
Kelso No. 94, 2nd & 4th Tuesday
Occident No. 99, 1st Thursday
Longview No. 263, 1st & 3rd Thursday
District 17 Lodges
Grays Harbor No. 52 (Hoquiam), 2nd & 4th Tuesdays,
Wynooche No. 43 (Montesano), 3rd Monday
Little Falls No. 176, 4th Friday
Nearby Oregon Lodges
(all meet at 7:30 p.m.)
Evergreen No. 137 (Seaside) 1st Tuesday
Gateway No. 175 (Warrenton) 1st Wednesday
Seaport #7 (Astoria) 2nd Wednesday
From the West
Beautifully written ritual, with specifically selected words and a predictable, orderly cadence, is at the core of our Masonic fraternity. Other groups in our country perform outstanding work for charities and to support our badly funded schools. All demonstrate patriotism in their ceremonies. Some, like Grange and Odd Fellows, have similar opening/closing verbal exchanges and even confer degrees.
But none has our ancient Masonic rituals, which are our link with antiquity, our precious bond with the past. These rituals may have existed in some format during the decades before,
but there is clear historical evidence that they were codified between 1723 and 1813 as my countrymen argued over the number of degrees, which password went with which, and all the minutiae that scholars have picked apart in the years that followed.
The words “sacred trust” are over-used, but that’s our mission. We carry these rituals forward to those who follow, whether Free & Accepted, Ancient, Emulation (one of a dozen British versions) or others. For each jurisdiction, it is the “right and only” work; thus, it is incumbent upon us to learn it with accuracy and deliver it with clarity — in an atmosphere of sincerity.
I have been trying to broaden my Masonic repertoire beyond one lecture and one charge. Recently I had the opportunity to learn some extra parts of the Masonic ritual in order to participate in the state ritual competition. Only folks who serve as wardens but have never served in the East are eligible to take part. There are three rounds of competition.
I had an able and tireless coach in Doug Puckett, our district deputy, who was Washington’s state champion ritualist many years ago. His skill and patience were extraordinary; Jim Mack also kindly assisted in my preparation work. Two other Ilwaco ritual experts, Sherman Richmond and Dobby Wiegardt, have inspired me with the depth of their understanding. My work as a coach to our fine newcomer, Beau Morrow, also helped, because it took me back to the source: the cipher and monitor. (I also wanted to mirror his zeal for learning.)
At the Wenatchee Masonic Center April 15, I participated in the championship round of the state ritual contest. Four other finalists also drove many miles in the pouring rain to compete. Afterward, I discovered my best suit was so badly stained by perspiration that I had to have it dry cleaned.
Some have kindly commended my ritual work for the precision of my diction. My Mum is squarely to blame for that. She had watched “My Fair Lady” many times, so when I was a little boy she insisted I always spoke properly, pronouncing my consonants and never slurring words like the fictional London flower-seller at the beginning of the movie.
It took 50 years, but Mum’s guidance finally paid off.
As a reward, your Occident 48 representative will have the honor of gaveling open a session of the Grand Lodge in June. While it will be a proud individual moment, I will be representing you all — the good brothers of the best lodge in Washington.
Br Patrick Webb Senior Warden
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