From The East

Brethren,

This is not goodbye.

It is, however, my last Trestleboard message as Master of the Lodge for a time. I have been so honored, (three times, even!) to serve as Master of this Lodge and I will always hold this time and experiences very close to my heart and etched in my memory. I think of all of the degrees we did this year, (did we really do 7 Master Mason degrees?!) and have been honored to be a part of all of them. I do feel quite lucky to have made it all the way through the transitions and increasing responsibilities inherent to the Officer’s Line to eventually become Master three times, (at first, I wasn’t sure if I’d even make it once!).

I’ve found, though, that the Master’s role is not as difficult as I had initially anticipated: the memory work, the public speaking, and “being out there in front of everyone”, were all great personal fears that I had before coming into the Line. Fortunately, I have found that Masonry is a great, supportive community that encourages everyone in its ranks to do his best (mind you, not be “perfect”, just do one’s “best”) and that in itself was so very helpful to me in my personal growth. I cannot thank everyone enough, in the Lodge, and Masonry in general, for the change in me that I have felt over the years.

I am looking forward to next year’s Officers Line and our new Master, Worshipful Dennis Mahoney, who brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge. As I transition from the Master’s podium, I am confident that Worshipful Mahoney will be a great Master and lead our Lodge to bigger and better endeavors next year!

So, transitions are a very good thing and I can say with confidence that this is not goodbye, but “See you soon!”

Sincerely and Fraternally,

David Patterson, PM
Peninsula Masonic Lodge #168

From The West

To all Brethren and our Masonic Family,

What’s in your wallet?

You carry with you a card, 2-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches in size. Some of you consider this as one of your most precious possessions.

What is it? Is it perhaps your ATM or credit card?
I am referring to your Masonic Lodge dues card.

For some Masons, dues are simply the annual assessment to maintain their membership, with a portion going to the Grand Lodge, a portion for charitable purposes,
and a portion for their local Lodge.

There is little question that Masonic membership entitles you to any and all the rights and privileges of Freemasonry. Your paid-up dues card is your passport to Freemasonry throughout the world and affords you the ability to visit other lodges or join appendant Masonic bodies. The card represents your right to attend meetings, participate in its business and in the governance of the lodge, to serve on committees, to hold any office to which you may be elected or appointed, to vote, to ballot, to sponsor candidates, and so forth.

It is important to remember that every right is accompanied by a parallel duty. Beyond the cash fees, dues should include attendance, support and involvement especially in our Lodge labors. We are called to attend Lodge functions, actively and enthusiastically participate in ritual, share our knowledge of Masonry with our brethren, get involved in the discussion of issues concerning our Lodge and our Craft, and so on. We must, in addition engage in activities od our Masonic District. Our labors and responsibilities are not to be confined to the tiled Lodge alone, for a Mason must radiate the qualities of his Craft. Its light must shine in his home, in his business, in his community. We are bound by duty to work for the progress of country and mankind.

As stated by Brother Albert Pike:
“We are not born for ourselves alone, and our country claims her share, and our friends their share of us. As all that the earth produces is created for the use of man, so men are created for the sake of men, that they may mutually do good to one another.” Morals and Dogma, P.120

Fraternally
Dennis Mahoney PM

From The South

Brethren,

It is December already. We are almost done with the year and getting ready for next year’s challenges. Personally, I look forward to figuring out my new responsibilities as a Senior Warden, although I had fun being the Junior.

As Shakespeare said about December in the play “As You Like It”: “Men are April when they woo, December when they wed.”

Since prehistoric times, the winter solstice has been a significant time of year in many cultures and has been marked by festivals and rituals. It marked the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is seen as the middle of winter, but today it is seen as the beginning of winter.

The solstice has been a special celebration of the annual cycle for many cultures dating back to Neolithic times. Astronomical events were often used to guide activities, the sowing of crops and the monitoring of winter reserves of food, for example. Many cultural mythologies and traditions are derived from this.

The pagan Scandinavian and Germanic people of northern Europe celebrated a twelve-day “midwinter” (winter solstice) holiday called Yule. Many modern Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree, the Christmas wreath, the Yule log, and others, are direct descendants of Yule customs. Scandinavians still call Christmas “Jul”. In English, the word “Yule” is often used in combination with the season “yuletide”, a usage first recorded in 900. It is believed that the celebration was a worship and interpreted as the reawakening of nature. The Yule (Jul) particular god was Jólner, which is one of Thor’s many names. The stories of modern-day Santa Claus are based on this myth.

Julblot is the most solemn sacrificial feast. At the Yule blót, sacrifices were given to the gods to earn blessing on the forthcoming germinating crops. The tradition of Yule blót was eventually integrated into the Christian Christmas.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Hjalmar Nilsen