Monday, April 28, 2008

Royal White Hart Law of 1765 Ammnedment to the CODE


There are several amendments to the CODE being proposed at the upcoming 2008 session of Grand Lodge which are fodder for deep discussion. I’ll try to touch on a few of them before we meet in September. As such, one of the proposed amendments to the CODE which we will vote on at Grand Lodge 2008 is one which will allow the opportunity for each individual Lodge to make a change to their by-laws when in comes to balloting on any issue that requires white balls v/s black cubes.

If passed, it will allow each subordinate lodge to change their by-laws to include a provision known as the “Royal White Hart Law of 1765”.

The “Royal White Hart Law of 1765” was first uncovered by the historian who recorded our first 50 years, and recorded it in “Launching the Craft.” (see The RWH Law of 1765 was published in the Royal White Hart Lodge by laws of that period.

In a nut shell, the way it will work is if there are two of fewer black cubes dropped during balloting on a candidate, the Master of Lodge will ask the brother(s) who dropped the black cube(s) to stand and state their reasons for doing so. If they stand, (and I say “if” here) and state their reasons, then the eligible lodge members present will vote, by a show of hands on the validity of the reasons stated. If a majority of the members present find the reasons valid, the vote shall stand. Remember, a show of hands works on the simple majority principal (51% majority). If the brother(s) who dropped the single or two cubes refuses to stand and state their reasons, then their ballots are nullified.

I try to look at the pro’s and con’s of any important issue which comes up. I want to share my thoughts on this issue. First of all, I wish to point out and emphasize that by voting for this, it does not require each and every lodge to follow the rules set forth in the royal White Hart Law of 1765.

Let’s first examine the negative side if a lodge should consider if they decide to adopt it. There could be the possibility of a brother having to embarrass himself should he be required to stand and state his reason(s) for dropping the black cube. Hypothetically thinking here, consider “Mr. AB” has sometime in the past had a extra-marital affair with the wife of “Brother CD.” This information is not public knowledge, as “Brother CD” and his wife were able to work things out and kept it a secret. Now it comes to pass that “Mr. AB” petitions the lodge where Brother CD is a member. “Brother CD” can’t excuse himself from balloting, and he must decide whether to ballot with a black cube or a white ball. Balloting with the white ball could be a true sign of forgiveness, but by balloting with the black cube “Brother CD” faces the possibility of bringing embarrassment upon himself among his brothers by having to disclose this dark era in his life. Brothers if the latter happens, I truly and most sincerely hope we can and will “keep the secrets of a Worthy Brother Master Mason.”

Now, to consider the other side of the coin - GRUDGE VOTING. How many times have you singed a petition only to see it rejected for one black cube? We never really know who dropped the black cube, and in all reality we may have a suspect in mind. But we must remember the person who has done this, HAS THAT RIGHT, no matter how disappointed we may feel. How often do we suspect black cubes are used as “grudge” votes against the officers of the lodge? Has the use of the black cube been used to prevent someone of a particular political party from joining - I would dare say, “Yes”. How often does an individual come to you, the one who signed his petition and say, “Was so-and-so there? I didn’t figure I would get past him because my grand-pappy and his grand-pappy got into a fight in the third grade over a game of marbles and our families haven’t gotten along since!” I personally know of one individual who has petitioned my lodge several times but never got it. I’ve always suspected he didn’t get due to the nature of his job which required him to make some very difficult decisions that affected many. Should he ever become a brother among us, he would make a great Master Mason. By adopting the “Royal White Hart Law of 1765, “ lodges may slow down “grudge” voting.

In either of the above arguments, we should always remember that when we stand before the alter and the ballot box, we are judging whether this individual could become “a true a faithful brother among us.” We should also consider that we are voting “for the good of Masonry” and “voting to make good men better.” Keeping those two great ideas in mind, we should base our decisions on issues which would constitute Masonic Offenses against someone who is already a member of the craft, and not petty grudges.

This proposal to the changes of the by-laws comes to us by a lodge which is currently experiencing a period where almost every person who petitions is being rejected, and it is not only hurting the growth of that particular lodge, it reflects on our entire fraternity. As you know, many lodges in our great fraternity (including some in this area) have experienced spells where no one was able to get voted in.

Remember, by voting for this change, it does not allow the individual lodges to invoke the “Royal White Hart Law of 1765” whenever they wish; it will allow subordinate lodges to add to their by-laws, which take time to change. Plus, as I stated before, it does not require each and every lodge to follow the rules set forth in the royal White Hart Law of 1765, only those who choose to adopt it into their by-laws. We will not vote on this issue as whether our individual lodge(s) are in favor of the old law, but we are voting on the ability for lodges who wish to change their by-laws in order to promote growth and prevent grudge votes to do so.

As I mentioned before, this is “fodder for discussion” so please add your thoughts and feelings on the proposed amendment, and how it will help of affect your lodge should it pass and your lodge decides to adopt it. This blog site is for everyone, so please join in on the discussions



Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26th York Rite Convocation/Open House a great success!

The April convocation of Franklin Chapter #95 York Rite Masons was held Saturday the 26th at Montgomery Lodge. All Master Masons in District, as well as their famalies were invited for a great meal, time of fellowship, as well as an educational program on York Rite Masonry.

Mitch Arrowood(Companion Captain of the Host) prepared his signature porkchops which were greatly enjoyed by all. Beans, and potatoes were prepared by High Priest Henry Hiss and his wife Marge. A salad, banana pudding, and a pineapple upside down cake was prepared by Patty Jean O'Day, wife of Scribe Companion Tom O'Day. Other Companions provided additional side dished which were enjoyed by all as well.

After the meal, formal introductions were given by HP Henry Hiss and Most Illustrious Grand Council Steward David Cashion and Grand Master of the Second Veil Right Eminent Dennis Hurst gave greetings from their respective Grand York Rite bodies. Companion Randall Simmons also gave an invitation for all to attend the York Rite Summer Assembly to be held in Maggie Valley this coming July.

A short video presentation was then given to all present explaining the York Rite and its place in Masonry. Guests were then excused and the monthly convocation was brought to order as usual.

Companions sharing some fellowship before the meal.

Companion Tom O'Day presents a petition to newly raised Master Mason Andy Liakos.

A great time of food and fellowship enjoyed by family and friends.

Pleanty of food was enjoyed by all present.

These 2 ladies joined to pull a fine meal together.

Companion Matthew Neely prepares the video.

York Rite membership certificates are presented.

Congratulations are given.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What is Freemasonry????

This great video was emailed to me by Bro Andy Liakos a member of Montgomery #426. If you have someone who has questions about Masonry and they are computer savvy, have them to watch this video. Enjoy!

Great Video explaining the York Rite!

Monday, April 21, 2008

POORMANS SUPPER at Sonoma lodge


May 24 2008 11AM till 7PM
Sonoma Lodge #472

This is a fund raiser in memory of our:
Brother Kenny Warren

Brother Kenny passed away on April 21st from liver cancer. We had planned this in his honor and to help his family with expenses. Kenny was a dispatcher with the NC Highway Patrol Troop G.
His Friends with the Highway Patrol have set up a fund in Kenny's honor with the State Employees credit union it is in his wife's name. If you would like to help the family and can not make the poormans supper send it to:

PO Box 97
Waynesville, NC 28786

Angie Warren
Acct. #60423228 They will appreciate any help.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pictures taken by NC Mason Editor Ric Carter during Shuler degree.

Openng a Lodge of Master Masons.
2 points being well received.
Between sections.
The lecture being given by Right Worshipful Charles Cathey.
A look from the West.
A heartfelt thank you from a newly raised Master Mason.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master closing Lodge.
Heath's dad and Most Worshipful David Cash share a handshake.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Masonic Grave Markers


I know this isn't anthing specific to Masonry in WNC but I felt compelled to share these pictures. A favorite past time of mine is walking through old cemeteries and viewing old grave markers, especially markers unique in shape or design.
Today, while in Nashville, Tennessee, I came across these two and I had never seen any like these before. A close look at the one lying flat will show the Eastern Star emblem near the head, with a woman's name. Below her name and above the S&C are the words "Her Husband". On the other I looked around for the "weeping Virgin" which should have been standing over the broken column, and time behind her counting the ringlets of her hair, but never found either.
As I find more unusual Masonic themed monuments, I'll try to share them with all. If any of you come across similar stones, send me pictures.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pictures from the Shuler Degree

Here are some pictures taken by Worshipful Dave Cashion during the conferral .

Oxford trip 2008


As of last evening, there had been a total of 26 seats reserved for the trip on June 7th. As I mentioned, a minimum of 30 seats was our goal in order to cover fuel costs. In reality, I would like to see a minimum of at least 40 to ensure we can cover the rising cost of fuel, but if 30 is all we get, I may have to drive a few extra trips this summer for no pay.

We still have about 10 weeks to go before we reach the cut-off, but please don't wait until the last minute to reserve your seats. You can take your wife or girlfriend (but not at the same time). Send your reservation request and payment to me @ 281 Atoah Circle Robbinsville, NC 28771

I'll update this blog as I get the reservations in.



Monday, April 14, 2008

The 41st District welcomes Most Worshipful David Cash!

What can I say? It was a great meeting! The evening began with a wonderful meal provided by the women of Junaluskee Lodge...and ended with refreshments afterward. WM Jim Egan opened Lodge and then recieved DDGM Jim Hyde and then Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in NC Brother David Cash. Reports were given by DDGL Jack Long and DDGM Hyde. A commemorative knife was presented to Most Worshipful Cash by Right Worshipful Senior Grand Warden Thomas Boduch of the great state of Tennessee. MW Cash then recognized several other dignitaries and special guests. Reports were given on both the Oxford Childrens Home and MESH. MW Cash then gave an inspiring message entitled "Look at your feet"....which delighted the Breathern present! I for one felt privileged to have been there.


A Great meal was enjoyed by all...especially MW Cash!

Brothers Preston, Brian, and Andy share a laugh before the meeting!

Brothers Preston Cabe and Mark Parker share a moment after the meeting with MW Cash!

DDGM Hyde and MW Cash pause for a photo!

MW Cash thanks WM Jim Egan for the warm hospitality shared by he and Junaluskee#145.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Brothers.....I need your participation!

Please sign up and comment on each blog entry. There maybe some info I missed, a correction that needs to be made, or a suggestion I need to know about. The only way this Blog can be the best it can be for Masonry is to have each of you involved. My emal address is . Email me your pictures and newsworthy Masonic events, so they may be recorded and shared by all. Your help is greatly appreciated!!!! Thanks!!!

Montgomery#426 to hold Picnic/Open House

Montgomery Lodge#426 of Ranger, NC will hold its annual Lodge Picnic/Open House on May 24th beginning at 5pm. There will be hamburgers, hotdogs, and all the fixings to eat, as well as live bluegrass music provided by Brother Chip Siller and his band the Wayfaring Strangers. Everyone is invited!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Junaluskee Lodge carries home braggin rights!

Below is an email I recieved from DDGM Jim Hyde detailing the hand off of the new School of Instruction "Golden Trowel" award. I'd like to personally applaud DDGM Hyde and DDGL Jack Long for this great idea!

Here are the pictures I was telling you about.

In an effort to encourage an increase in participation at the School of Instruction, I came up with the idea of presenting the lodge with the most members present, a special "braggin' rights" trophy. This is an idea I took from watching the University of Tennessee Volunteers and the Kentucky Wildcats football teams battle over temporary ownership of an antique whiskey keg each fall.

This information was not shared with the lodges in the 41st District until after the roll of the craft was called at the school of instruction. I, along with 41st District DDGL, Jack Long presented to WM Jim Egan, and the brothers of Junaluskee 145 the "Golden Trowel" award during our school of instruction on March 15th.. The gold-tone trowel is imbedded in a 50 pound block of polished granite, on which is engraved a Square and Compass.

The basic rules for this incentive are simple.
The members actually present at the roll call takes home the trophy; no stragglers are counted.
In the event of a tie, roll call will be called at the closing of the school of instruction and the lodge in the original tie who still has the most members still present will be the winner. If there is still a tie, the DDGL will institute a coin toss.
The trophy must be returned at the following school of instruction and presented to the Lodge which comes with the most members.
In the event District lines are ever re-drawn, the district for which the location of the western most lodge in the state is set determines where the award stays.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Special Demolay exploration meeting to be held!

DDGM Jim Hyde has arranged a special demolay exploration meeting to be held at Clay Lodge #301 on Saturday May 17th at 4pm. The meeting will be a time of discussion concerning forming a Demolay Chapter(s) in far Western NC. Everyone interested is urged to please attend.

41st Grand Master's meeting @ Junaluskee Lodge

This coming Monday night April 14th with a meal at 6:30 and Lodge opening at 7:15. If you haven't RSVP'ed Junaluskee Lodge and sent in your meal fee...please do and try to attend. MWGM David Cash is an excellent speaker and a joy to be around. Hope to see you there.

York Rite Chapter convocation to be held at Montgomery#426

The monthly convocation for Franklin #95 YR Masons will be held Saturday, April 26th at Montgomery Lodge. A pork chop dinner prepared by Mitch Arrowood and myself will begin at 6pm. We will open Chapter at 7:00 and afterwards will invite everyone in for a short education program on the York Rite. Everyone is invited along with their wives or significant others. It would help for all who are planning to email me so I can get a feel for numbers to prepare for. My email address in . Or, you can add your comment at the bottom of this entry. Thanks, Derek Cheek.

1st Annual Ramp Festival held by Cherokee#146 was a GREAT success!

I sat in Lodge at Cherokee#146 last night. According to the preliminary numbers reported by Sec. Burgess, it was a huge success. WM Ron Ledford thanked all the members, businesses, wives, and friends who contributed so much in helping put the dinner on. The Lodge also unamiously voted to give the Eastern Star Chapter a $1000 donation in appreciation for all their hard work and effort. Junior Deacon Shane Crawford nominated his dad...PM Steve Crawford to spearhead the effort for next year....since Steve was instrumental in the cooking of all the great food. WM Ledford also thanked Herb's Pit BBQ for their quick response in providing some back up BBQ when the supply on site ran low.

Cherokee Lodge also voted to send $500 to the GL of Tennessee earmarked to benefit the famalies of 5 Masons who lost their lives in the tornadoes there last month. 1 Petition for degrees was read and elected for degrees, and 1 petition for affiliation was also voted on and approved. WM Ledford also announced the degree for Bro Heath Shuler and plans were made to carpool to the conferral.

Congressman Heath Shuler to be raised!

On Saturday April 12th at 1pm, Bro Heath Shuler of Bryson City(Oconee Lodge)will be raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. The conferral will be held in the Fine Arts Bldg on the campus of Swain Co High School. This meeting will be tyled similarily to Grand Lodge...with the showing of a current dues card and the pass. I urge each and every Master Mason to attend this historic event. It is not everyday that you get to attend the raising of a sitting US Congressman. So, please make repirations to attend.

Welcome WNC Masons!

I am glad to say that Masonry is alive and well in WNC. We have seen lots of exciting things happening in our respective Lodges. We've been initiating, passing, and raising new members.....having lots of visitation between Lodges, and doing new and innovative fundraisers at a good clip. That is what inspired me to do this Blog. I want all Masons involved to be a part of what each and every Lodge in WNC is doing. We can all share in each others triumphs, and support in times of need.

But, I will need EVERYONE'S help! I expect emails, phone calls, and pictures from each and every function your Lodge is involved in. Whether it is a BBQ, open house, Shrine parade, civic function, or death of a Master Mason I need and want to know about it. If you have an interesting story concerning Masonry, or happen to hear of a newsworthy event please let me know.

Also, I want ALL Lodges to be involved. I want to hear from ALL of you. As a Mason who loves to hear what my neighboring Lodges are doing, I for one highly anticipate being able to share with others the great things we are all doing to further the Masonic cause. This blog can become a valuable archive that will contain articles which will become Masonic history. I want us all to be a part of that. Lets become a part of what is "Good for Masonry"!