Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Knife and Fork Degree

I got a kick out of this on our weekly newsletter from elpasomasons.net, I hope I never get this degree! ;)

- The Knife and Fork Degree -

I do not attend the meetings
for I've not the time to spare.
But every time they have a feast
You'll surely find me there.

I cannot help with the degrees
for I do not know the work.
But I can applaud the speaker
and handle the knife and fork.

I am so rusty in the ritual that
It seems like Greek to me.
But practice makes me perfect
in the knife and fork degree.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Masonic Funeral Service

Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth are Masonry’s principle tenets and what better example than what I experienced yesterday at the Masonic funeral of a Brother who was flown in from Seattle. He had no family or friends in El Paso and only El Paso Masons along with the U.S. Army attended his service. Brother Robert Clifton Melius passed away at age 88. He served in World War II, received the Purple Heart and was a Past Master of Mount Moriah Lodge in Germany, as well as being a member of St. Johns Lodge #8 in Seattle and of Ionic Lodge.

What really touched me was the fact that his Lodge Brother Ken, flew down to El Paso and arranged for him to be buried at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery as Brother Melius had wished. I was touched to notice that there was quite an age difference between Ken and Brother Melius. And to see that Ken, a young man in his 30’s would take the time, effort and money necessary to ensure that his Lodge Brother’s wishes were carried out is what Freemasonry is all about. I have never witnessed such commitment and dedication to another person outside of one’s own family as I did yesterday. After the service, Ken invited us for breakfast at a local diner where he shared with us the fact that Brother Melius thought that no one would care to come to his funeral, that they would just dig a hole in the ground and put him in it. Well that wasn’t the case. Over a dozen El Paso Masons should up and performed what I thought was a beautiful and respectful service. I felt so proud to have become a member of this great Fraternity and have never felt like I did something so “right” in a long time. What was equally rewarding was to see the look of gratitude and amazement on Ken’s face as he got out of his rental car at the cemetery and saw all of us there. I get a kick out of all of the conspiracy theorists after going through an experience like this. It’s easy for people who do not have a clue about something, to fear it. Anyway, that’s a topic for another day.

Bob's Memorial ws published on St. John's #9 website
Robert Clifton Melius - 1/15/19 - 12/24/07

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another EA Degree

Yesterday I had the opportunity to witness the initiation of a new young Brother. It was interesting to see the whole ritual from another perspective, and witness the nervousness and anxiousness followed by that particular feeling of joy and accomplishment once the degree is conferred. I felt proud to be able to attend a lodge meeting opened on the EA degree and wear my apron while feeling like part of the team for once, rather than the lonely candidate seeking acceptance.
This degree was performed at the El Maida Shrine Temple, which provided me with the opportunity to meet Brethren from two other lodges in El Paso and tour the amazing facility while getting a glimpse of this other appendant body of Freemasonry called the Shriners of North America.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to the quarries!

I was contacted by my coaching Brother and will resume my preparation for my EA proficiency tomorrow. I missed not being in contact with my Brethren during the holidays. But it's a new year and I'm ready to go at it as full speed as possible, considering family, work and school. I'll keep you all posted!