Monday, September 20, 2010

2nd Annual 41st District Barn Degree

The barn degree was a great success. We had Brothers from every Lodge in the District, GA, and even PGM Berry Rigdon there to enjoy the food and fellowship. Stay tuned for the dates for next years event!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

1st Annual 41st District Picnic

The first annual picnic was a great success and a lot of fun for all who came. Highway 76 Bluegrass from Blairsville, Ga provided some great music, and the smoked pork was spot on as usual. We missed a lot of our friends and Brothers from the surrounding Lodges....but, this was the first year....and we know it takes time to catch on!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Historical event during Master Mason Degree

With less than 1% of the Masons in North Carolina being certified as lecturers the odds are astronomical for the longest serving certified lecturer and the latest person to be certified at the same degree are astronomical. But it happened Saturday evening, August 28, 2010 at Robbinsville # 672.

When Robbinsville’s newest brothers were raised, Worshipful Brother Kelley Hooper the longest serving certified lecturer in the history of North Carolina Masonry and Charlie McCowan who earlier that day was certified for the first time were both in attendance along with the District Deputy Grand Lecturer. You could say Brother Charlie who is Master of Andrews # 529, WAS the most recent certified, as he was the last person out at the examination of new lecturers a few hours earlier that day.

Pictured, left to right are WB Charlie McCowan, WB Kelley Hooper, and WB Jack Long, District Deputy Grand Lecturer of the 41st District. All three participated in the degree this evening. Some history to go along with this picture: Several years ago Brother Hooper signed the necessary paperwork for Brother Jack to be examined, and Brother Jack signed Brother Charlie’s paperwork. A fine example of “paying it forward.”

Also pictured are Robbinsville’s newest Master Mason’s, Brother Greg “Peanut” Grindstaff and Brother Jarrod Sellers.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What happened to Demolay in WNC?

When I was a young teenager, Demolay was going strong in this area, and so was the sister organization, the Rainbow Girls. For whatever reason, both organizations seemed to fade away.

As a former law enforcement officer and a paramedic, I went into the schools
enlightening our youth on the dangers of Methamphetamine. It was alarming to see the hands raised when I posed the question, “How many of you have used meth, or personally know of someone who uses meth?” No class range from the sixth grade through the twelve was immune from hands being raised. Plus, go to any high school today and you will see an increase in teenage pregnancy.

In today’s culture, if we don’t help our youth find meaningful and moral activities to keep busy, many times the activities they choose on their own have life changing, unwanted, or deadly consequences. Almost every week in our weekly newspapers, there is a young adult or teenager who has died because they made unwise choices.

Demolay is our opportunity to touch the lives of our youth, the opportunity to give them a healthier choice of lifestyle, to prepare them as leaders of tomorrow, and to plant the seeds which may eventually keep our organization growing for years to come.

Some famous individuals who were once part of the Demolay include: Paul Harvey, Neil Armstrong, Mel Blanc, Ernest Borgnine, Roy Clark, Terry Bradshaw, Pete Rose, Walter Cronkite, Walt Disney, Buddy Ebsen, Dan Rather, Paul Harvey, NFL QB’s Danny White and Fran Tarkington, Willard Scott, John Wayne, Mark CAlawy (AKA Undertaker from WWE), and the worlds tallest man Robert Waldow. The list goes on to include Governors, Presidents, Congressmen, Astronauts, TV personalities.

IN 2008, during my first year as District Deputy Grand Master, we attempted to get Demolay resurrected in our district. A handful of interested men attended an informal meeting at Clay Lodge, where representatives from Demolay came and gave us a presentation on the organization. I know for a fact, the seed that was planted then has not died; it has just not been given the opportunity to grow, and there are some brothers like Jason Chastain from Clay 301 wanting to see it sprout and grow. Demolay has been invited to the upcoming 2nd Annual Barn Degree, and we are awaiting word on whether they can come or not. Hopefully they can, and in the meantime be thinking about what you can do to help revive this organization.

Together, we can make a difference.

I’ll close with this quote from Judge David Gray Ross who is over the Federal Office of Child Support, and too was a member of Demolay, "As a young boy who had lost his father, the interest taken in me by the men of DeMolay provided encouragement, leadership, and opportunities which, in hindsight, seem impossible. The vision of the Order of DeMolay kept me focused on the truly important things in life and taught me a morality which remains with me today. As the Director of our Nation's primary support system for America's alienated children, I am mindful of the old adage that says, 'as the twig is bent, so grows the tree.' We must join together to bend our children toward what is right and good and necessary to make them productive citizens of the future."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Brother Bob Wolfersteig, PM, PDDGM, PDDGL

Robert Frederick Wolfersteig, was born on Easter Day, March 31, 1919 and on June 7, 2010 he came to the end of his toilsome journey, dropped the working tools of life and entered Celestial Grand Lodge above.

“Bob” as we all called him served the 41st Masonic District with great pride and had the honorable distinction of being both the District Deputy Grand Master and later the District Deputy Grand Lecturer of the 41st Masonic District of North Carolina. He was a member of our fraternity for just over 46 years. He was initiated, passed, and raised in 1964. In 1991 he demitted from Benevolent N0. 3 in Millidgeville, GA and was admitted to Clay 301 in Hayeville, NC.

He was Professor Emeritus of music and Department of Music Chair at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Ga. He studied at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio, Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. and finished his music doctorate at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

For the past 18 years he was an adjunct professor of music in the Tri-County Community College in Murphy.

He won the National Organ-Playing Contest and was the recipient of a Fulbright Study Grant at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin, Germany, where he studied with Michael Schneider; organ building and design with Karl Schuke and harpsichord with Sylvia Kind.

With all the above accomplishments in in vast musical career, some of which many of us will not be able to remeber; a few of us however, us will fondly remember watching him scramble to locate locate the hidden key, unlock the grand organ in the majestic York Rite Chapel at the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford, and giving us a private recital in 2008. This was most likely the first and only time “Phantom of the Opera” was played inside those hallowed walls.

He held memberships in the American Guild of Organists, American Theatre Organ Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda, MENC and was past master of his AM & FM Lodges in Macon, Ga. and in Hayesville 301. He was secretary of the Blue Ridge Mountains Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

He was elected to the Order of Kentucky Colonels. During the Korean War he served as a chaplain’s assistant in the United States Navy and is a member of VFW.

He is survived by his wife, Eloise; a daughter, Patricia Albritton; and granddaughter, Kendall Albritton; as well as cousins in New York and Arizona. He often told how his daughter would sometimes introduce him as Doctor and explained how her father worked on "organs."

Interment was June 14 at St. Clare’s Episcopal Church Memorial Garden, Blairsville, Ga.

Brother Bob was one of those rare Masons who left a mark on our fraternity which will be remembered by many for years to come. He will be greatly missed. I just wonder if he has found the key to Heaven's organ yet? Probably!

Friday, May 14, 2010

WB George Long

George R. Long, 87, of the Snowbird Community in Robbinsville, NC, died at C.J. Harris Hospital on May 13, 2010, surrounded by his family. George was a lifelong resident of Graham County. He was born on June 16, 1922, the first child of the late Luther and Lillie Long. Raised on West Buffalo, he lived for a part of his early life at the Hooper Bald with Cotton and Mabel McGuire before being drafted into the US Army in 1942. He served in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy during WWII. Returning from the war to West Buffalo, he helped support his younger brothers and sisters by working on the family farm and logging on Santeetlah Creek. On October 3, 1947, he married Nettie Stewart, daughter of Tillman and Lenora Stewart, his wife of 62 years. He worked for Burlington Industries and United Furniture until he retired. After retiring, he farmed and was the manager of the Cemetery Commission of Graham County until his death. George’s interests in life started with his family. In his younger days, he was an avid bear and boar hunter. He always raised a large garden in which he always sought perfection. He was an active cattle farmer on west Buffalo until free ranging was stopped. George was active with hunting dogs and raised bulldogs. He was a 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge #672 in Robbinsville, NC and was active in all aspects of Masonry. A very involved member of the Democratic Party, he was always interested in politics. In every activity, he made friends and never met a stranger or anyone he could not strike up a conversation. George is survived by his wife Nettie Stewart Long; his three children, Joe and wife Diana Long of Clemmons, NC, Jack and wife Brenda Long of Robbinsville, NC, and Janie and husband Mark Mundy of Cornelius, NC; his grandchildren, Michelle Long, Joshua Long, Joanna Long, Brittany Tincher, and Courtney Long. He is predeceased by his mother, Lillie Campbell Long, his brothers, Frank Long and Carl Long, and his sister Maudie Hill. His surviving brothers and sisters are John, Lincoln, Olen, and Jay Long, all of Robbinsville, NC, and Lenora Kolac of Lanham, MD, Mabel Pridemore of Point of Rocks, MD, and Gladys Thein of Apex, NC. He is survived by numerous nieces and nephews from both the Long and Stewart sides, who he loved and maintained relationships. Visitation will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm Monday, May 17, 2010 at the Townson-Smith Chapel. A memorial service will be at 11:00 am Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at the Townson-Smith Chapel, where Military Rites will be conducted by Eller Rogers Post 192 and Carringer Webster VFW Post 8635 and Masonic Rites will be conducted by Robbinsville Masonic Lodge 672. The Reverends Burlin Aldridge and Micky Stewart will officiate. The family will have private graveside services at Carver Cemetery at a later time. Townson-Smith Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements. An online register is available at

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt at Marble Springs #439

Marble Springs #439 held its 20th Annual Easter Egg Hunt this past Sunday afternoon at the old Coats-American Plant in Marble. WM Carl Palmer started the Easter Egg Hunt just as he did with the first one 20 years ago this year...coincidentally the last time he served as Master. The Lodge would like to thank Mr. Charles West of Wells&West for the use of the property, as well as Mr Andrew Reichman for the donation of the eggs. There have been LOTS of special boys and girls who have dyed, decorated, and hunted the eggs over the years. Special thanks goes out to them and all who have faithfully assisted.

Here is a list of all the prize winners:
Marble Spring Lodge #439 Easter Egg Hunt 2010
1.Colton Reid-$50.00
2.Briania Nichole Downs-$20
3.Carley Graham-$15
4.Nichole Crisp-$15
5.Brayden Jefferies-$10
6.Kaylee clayton-$10
7.Mathew Huskins-$5
8.Autumn Miller-$5
9.Austin Plemmons-$5
10.Lilly Plemmons-$5