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Master's Message

Henry L. Palmer Lodge #301 Free & Accepted Masons Wauwatosa, WI

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October's Surprise

Greetings Brethren & Ladies of Palmer!

It has been a remarkable fall here in Wisconsin, by all weather accounts summer is indeed over. We had a wonderful turn out for our Rose Celebration and Past Masters, 25/50 Honoree dinner. The food was splendid the assistance was wondrous and the guests were delightful. A special shout-out goes to the young ladies at Bethel 2 for all of their help in making the evening a spectacular one. Also a great thank you to Jaimie Unger for her discussion of empowering women in male dominated sports. Some of the evening’s highlights were the presentation of Brother Richard Fisher’s “Honorary Past Master” gavel, his picture has been added to our Past Masters’ wall and Bro. Robert Horton’s speech on the wonders of fellowship and Masonic brotherhood. Unfortunately not all of our honorees could be in attendance and we would like to present you with your certificates of service in person so arrangements will be made shortly.

One thing about Freemasonry that stands out for me is the fact that throughout the world I have brothers and friends from many walks of life that I would not have without the Blue Lodge. Because of Masonry we can size up someone at first glance because we know that they belong to a fraternity with high expectations. With that said I turn to the wisdom shared to me by my good friend Helmut Godejohann who handed me a gauntlet: he dared me “What makes you a Mason?” It is a question often asked by coworkers and passersby and the answer I give them is not exactly the same as the answer I give to a brother – and yet wholly different from that answer within the lodge. We are often quick to fall back onto a standard rhetoric either protected by ignorance or ritual. But one cannot fall back on either of these standards when asked this by a brother for they know these standards.

So brother to brother “What makes you a Mason?” Is it the giving of one’s self through charity and selflessness? Is it camaraderie away from the daily stressors of our chosen lives? Is it a deeper education within the mysteries of historical research and political manifest? Is it the depth of belonging to something greater than the sum of its parts? Or is it the pecan kringle and decaf coffee? These are the things I would like to discuss, flesh out from those brothers who have paved a path for me to swagger from. What stories and insight we must have in the shared collective of our brotherhood! We have seen some changes in the last few years with social networking via the internet – we are now more connected through time and space to each other than we have been and this allows for our stories to be heard. And yet we seem to be more distant with our own friends and families; and what of our own lodge? What of the histories and legends that exist within our temple? We need to hear these we need, or rather I would like to hear “What makes you a Mason?”  

For some of our brethren especially our newly raised and initiated this question will resound with a fervor of legacy, of honor, of tradition. As they begin their work, again we demonstrate that Masonry is about fellowship and good will which can often be characterized through good work. Our labors never cease we still have a couple of Master Mason degrees to confer, we will be looking towards passing some Fellowcrafts. Our annual Jr. Warden’s Chili cook-off is on November 15th. Brothers as always I will need your assistance as we progress with these degrees, we have many parts to fill from the rituals especially in our lectures. I often live the Tennessee Williams’ quote “I’ve come to rely on the kindness of strangers.” How so much more fitting to rely on friends and brothers. Our October Stated meeting is on the 24th at 7:00 pm this will be a time for our annual election of officers, I hope to see you in lodge.

In Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty

Khristian E. Kay, WM