Tidings from the East
As this Masonic Year comes to a close and my time as Worshipful Master of Unity Lodge #18 ends, I would like to share with you some parting thoughts.
“The Master of a Masonic Lodge is invested with assume powers, prerogatives and responsibilities. None can be successful in governing his Lodge and moving that Lodge forward during the Masonic year without the support of the officers and members of the Lodge over which he presides.” Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You!” to each and every one of you for your support, aide and assistance during this past year.
Throughout its 103 years in existence, Unity Lodge
#18 has remained a strong Lodge. One of the reasons Unity Lodge #18 is strong is because we have Past Masters who work in the Lodge and who support the officers and who (remembering how they were helped) help the current Master and his officers accomplish the goals on their Trestle-board. In November, we had the honor of being seated among some of those Past Masters of Unity Lodge #18. I would like to especially thank those Past Masters who have been so helpful to me this past year. I hope to join their ranks soon. Now, with your indulgence, I would like to speak on the subject of the painful process of becoming a Past Master.
“Being the Master of the Lodge hurts. Each new Master talks about what they plan to do while in office as if the world and the lodge are at their feet, and both to be conquered."
"But neither ever is conquered. Every serious and sincere Past Master has done all he knew to make his the best lodge in the world. Most lodges are pretty good lodges at that, but they aren’t what they might be—if we were all perfect. As any Master's year slips along and he finds that the attendance isn't much better than it was, and the degree work just as lacking in beauty as it had ever been, so one finds that the process of becoming a Past Master hurts, and hurts badly."
"Most Past Masters are worth a lot more to the lodge as Past Masters than as Masters because of the lessons they learn while Master which they didn't know before. This is my goal; to be as helpful and supportive as humanly possible as a Past Master, when and if the need arises.”
Now a word to all newly elected Masters. “You can't make men over. All officers of a lodge are pretty fixed in their ways. They do the best that is in them to do. They are earnest, lovable, conscientious men. They struggle to learn the work, letter perfect. But God makes some men orators, and to some he gives a sing-song voice which would ruin the most beautiful words in the language; and we have our share of them. The newly elected Master of the Lodge won’t be able to change them, no matter how hard he may try."
“Still, we should all try. The officers should, do, and will try. But if we all succeeded in our straining after perfection, there wouldn't be any fun left in the world at all, or any glory in Masonry. In a perfect world, Masonry, would have no place. Since Masonry is in existence to make men better, if all men were at their best it wouldn't be needed.”
"No, it's a good thing for the lodge that any Master can't make his, a perfect lodge of perfect Masons. If he could, we wouldn't have any excuse for being. But if he didn't try, he wouldn't be the good man that he is."
“It is given to very few of us to set many stones in the structure of Masonry. We are lucky if we set one brick right—if, indeed, we can bring one stone which is good work, true work, square work; to the structure, and receive therefor a Mason's wages, we have done well."
“Most Masters of their Lodges won't succeed in making fifty more men come to the lodge this year than came last. They won't stage a degree any better than a dozen Masters before him have staged. They won't have any more calls for charity than many have had. They won't have any better candidates or any better taught Entered Apprentices or Fellow Crafts than others have had. They will just go along with the lodge, and guide it and direct it and do the best they can, but, unless one of them is the one man in a hundred, he won't do any more than all of them who trod that road before him could do.” Still, they most try!
“They will try: try earnestly, try hard, think, labor and struggle with their job. And at the end of the year, they will have set one stone in their lodge, at much cost to themselves. They will make themselves into good Past Masters, men who know their lodge, who understands its membership, who are able to think fast and work hard, men who love their order and their jewel. The one thing they can do best for their lodge is to make themselves into good Past Masters—and if they do that, they will find, in after years that it paid, even if it did hurt."
I wish the best of success to Worshipful Master Elect Denny Wilcox and his officers, in Masonic Year 2016 for a regular and well governed Lodge and to him and them blessings of the G.A.O.T.U.
In closing, let me end on these words. I consider myself indeed fortunate and am proud to be a member of this Lodge and look forward to becoming a Past Master of Unity Lodge #18, F&AM Masons of Utah in Masonic Year 2016. Thank you all, Brothers.
Ref. “On The Painful Process of Becoming Past Master”, Brother Carl H. Claudy,
In Brotherly Love,
F. L. “Jim” Lee, Jr.
Worshipful Master, Unity Lodge No. 18