August 22nd having been scheduled for Entered Apprentice degree work, I was gratified to greet many dedicated brothers willing to participate in the ceremony. It seems Harmony Lodge has been having a run of bad luck when it comes to its officers having to attend to business and/or family matters which render them unable to attend regular or special communications. However, on the other hand, I have had the good fortune to have been able to call upon other brothers who are more than willing to step up and give of their particular talents and knowledge.
Brothers Brian Bruce and Jim Outlaw served as Stewards; Brother Clint Holmes sat in the Junior Deacon’s chair; RW Brother Charles Weickhardt, PDDGM, sat in the West because of Brother Christian Sherbert’s absence due to ill health. Brother Sherbert came to prepare the meal, but had to leave early. Brother Jeff Light, Treasurer of Port Royal Lodge 242, was gracious enough to sit in our Brother Johnny Harvey’s chair; and WB Henry Chambers, PM, has been sitting in the South as our Junior Warden pro tem. It is only right and proper to extend to these Brothers a heartfelt THANK YOU for their fraternal and wholehearted cooperation and support.
A special vote of thanks is due to Brother Wayne Holsopple, PM of Port Royal Lodge 242, for his giving of the Apron Lecture and Brother Joe Giunta, PDDGM, for yet another eloquent Degree Lecture.
July was a crowded month with one regular communication and two degree workings and August looks to be no less hectic. On August 29th, Deputy Sheriff Jordan Lee Glass, will have passed from the degree of an Entered Apprentice to that of a Fellow Craft. His companion in law enforcement, our Junior Deacon, Martin Thomas, delivered the Working Tools lecture while I conducted the proficiency examination. Thanks to Richard Bruce as the Steward and RW Brother Joe Giunta for his Spiral Stairs Lecture. RW Brother Charles Weickhardt served as Chaplain.
Howard R. Harris
As a courtesy reminder, please note that 2013 dues were due in advance by December 31, 2012. If you have not yet paid your 2013 dues, then you are in arrears and are in danger of being dropped from membership for non-payment. Any brother who fails to pay his dues on or before October 31, 2013 shall stand automatically erased from the roll. This action is mandated by Masonic law.
Please check your records to see if you are current. I would be happy to assist you if you have any questions about your status. Please contact me by phone, email or post office.
Paul S. Griffin, PM Secretary
What is Jurisdiction?
1. Refers to the State. The Jurisdiction of Massachusetts – the Jurisdiction of Oregon – means the Grand Lodges and all the individual lodges of those States.
2. Refers to the power of the Grand Master. He has jurisdiction over all the Masons in his State whether they are members of his lodges or sojourning Masons from other Grand Lodges.
3. Refers to the territory over which a lodge has control as far as applications are concerned. Often in rural districts, jurisdictional lines are tightly drawn, so that no lodge accepts applications from men who live within the territorial jurisdiction of another lodge. In cities, “concurrent jurisdiction” is usual, any man being free to apply to any lodge within the city limits.
4. Refers to the power a lodge has over its rejected candidates; the right to give, or withhold, permission for rejected material to apply elsewhere. Penal jurisdiction, as this is sometimes called, varies in different Grand Lodges. In some, it is perpetual; in others, it lapses after a certain length of time.
What is Dispensation?
A dispensation is a permission from the Grand Master to do certain things otherwise forbidden by law. A Grand Master may grant a dispensation to shorten the time between degrees, to admit more than the statutory number of candidates at one communication, to form a new lodge, etc. In general he cannot give a dispensation which sets aside either the laws of the Grand Lodge or the by-laws of a particular lodge, except as set forth in the Book of the Law, Constitutions or Code of the Grand Lodge. In some Grand Lodges the Grand Master’s power is so great that he can set aside almost any law; there are one or two examples, for instance, of a Grand Master’s employment of the dispensation to make a Mason of a blind man, but such use of power is rarely attempted and is usually frowned upon by Grand Lodges.
[One Hundred One Questions About Freemasonry, The Masonic Service Association, 2003]
Howard R. Harris
Worshipful Master & Newsletter Editor
Guardians of the Gates
Appointment upon an investigation committee is a signal honor; your Master has confidence in your good sense, your loyalty and your freedom from prejudice. He believes that you will faithfully discharge the most important Masonic duty he can give you.
Masonry wants positive, not negative, virtues. It is not enough that the applicant hasn’t been caught and jailed yet; he must be the kind the law doesn’t want! It is not enough that he have no enemies; he should have friends and many of them. But it is not necessarily a point against a man that he has enemies; it is for you to decide whether such enmity is justified by character and actions which might be prejudicial to the Lodge.
Among the good reasons for wishing to be a Mason are: a sincere desire to help others; a respect and veneration for a fraternity which has been beloved by so many great and good men; a patriotism which would follow in the footsteps of Washington; a love for one’s fellowmen; a desire to be with many friends in activities which they enjoy; a hunger to follow where a father, uncle or blood brother has gone; a desire to secure the moral and social welfare of loved ones.
The Committee member should keep two matters constantly in mind: to some extent, on him depends the future reputation of the Fraternity as a whole; every good man he approves and who is elected, strengthens it; every poor citizen whom he lets slip by, injures the whole Craft
Then he must remember this: his Lodge is his Masonic home. To a man’s family home he invites only those whom he likes, approves, trusts. In his Masonic home he should wish only those to come of whom he approves, trusts, likes.
He has responsibility to his Grand Lodge and the whole Fraternity; he has responsibility to his Mother Lodge and his immediate circle of brethren.
Make your investigation alone, unaided, without reference to the other committeemen. Make your search promptly. It is not fair to the applicant or the Lodge to dilly-dally about it. If you can’t serve, say so. If you do serve, serve well, serve whole-heartedly, serve promptly.
You will be well paid. A Master’s Wages await you when you shall have done your work. Paid not in any metal coin, or anything of material value, but in the finer coin of consciousness of honorable and responsible duty well done, the inner happiness which comes when you may truly say to yourself: “Masonry has been helped forward by my work,” the knowledge that your Lodge is a better Lodge because you have paid back, in small measure, at least, the interest and the labor your brethren invested in you.
The committee on investigation, appointed for the purpose of giving to the Lodge first-hand Masonic know-ledge of the character, abilities, attainments and general reputation of applicants for the degrees, is the most important committee work a Mason can do!
“. . . And Give Them Proper Instruction.” The Masonic Service Association, February, 1988
Christian E. Sherbert
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