10/02/2012 6:30 PM District Deputy Grand Master’s Official Visit
10/09/2012 6:30 PM Golden Trowel Award Night
10/20/2012 1-5 PM Gift of Life Blood Drive (Benefiting TSRHC)
10/30/2012 6:30 PM Halloween Party
11/06/2012 6:30 PM November Stated Meeting
11/10/2012 11:00 AM Veterans’ Ceremonial & Dedication of Flag Pole
11/20/2012 7:30 PM Rusty Nail Program (more on this next month)
12/01/2012 9:00 AM Richardson Christmas Parade
12/04/2012 6:30 PM December Stated Meeting
12/06/2012 ALL DAY Grand Lodge in Waco
12/07/2012 ALL DAY Grand Lodge in Waco
12/08/2012 ALL DAY Grand Lodge in Waco
Golden Trowel Award
Brethren, please join us on October 9, 2012 at 6:30 PM when we will honor the labors of Past Master Henry Urquhart with the Golden Trowel Award. This will be an open meeting.
On October 30, 2012, we will have pumpkin carving and other good, clean fun at the Lodge. We would welcome your attendance along with your family and friends.
It is that time of year again. Dues notices will soon be coming to your door. I know times are tight at my house, but I take solace in times past. Mark Carnes noted in Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America (Yale University Press, 1989), that in 1897 “the average lodge member spent fifty dollars annually on dues…; this at a time when the average factory worker earned just four hundred to five hundred dollars a year.” Just for perspective, $50 dues in 1897 would have the same buying power as $1,388.89 in 2012. Our dues are nowhere near that high today. I promise they won’t be anytime soon. But let’s keep those figures in mind.
The Scottish Rite Cathedral constructed in 1913 and the downtown Dallas Masonic Temple constructed in 1941 evince both monetary commitment and visionary leadership. Without commenting on the physical state of those two wonderful edifices, we must remember that these are the monuments that catch a non-mason’s eye and impress the young mason. They speak to a club of exclusivity that each of us wants to join. Perhaps the monetary exclusivity of Masonry is just a thing of the past. Perhaps that is a good thing; perhaps not. Nonetheless there is still exclusivity in Our Masonry.
Our Masonry promises a deeper meaning in life, family and God. The Entered Apprentice starts on his path because there is something tugging at his soul. He researches masonry on the internet and finds eloquent writings from Masonic scholars hinting at some esoteric knowledge to be gained from Our Masonry. Our brethren read about a brotherhood that has all but skipped a generation. We see hints of a community where brothers care for one another on a level that is so foreign to the way we were raised. We speak with a grandfather who recites stories of a time long gone. We learn of a community of brothers seeking knowledge. Yes, there are lessons to be learned; but they are veiled in allegory rather than spoon-fed to the masses. We must think and reflect to find the light. And we have 300 digital channels, HD TV, and YouTube to keep us occupied.
Gone are the days when the Scottish Rite auditoriums were jammed with hundreds of petitioners to witness the finest in state-of-the-art special effects. Our dues structure simply does not support such efforts. Instead, Our Masonry limps along barely in the black. Perhaps we are at the edge of a precipice. Perhaps we can either fall in or turn back. Perhaps we should redirect our energies. In any event, this is Our Masonry. We own it. It is ours.
Ours is the fraternity of Washington, Monroe, and Jackson. Ours is the fraternity of Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson. Our Masonry is the most universally respected and legendary fraternity in the world. We are associated with something exclusive and worth preserving. But only our efforts will keep it going.
Thank you in advance for your monetary contributions. Again, I know these are not the best of times for any of us. I would, however, also ask that you make a non-monetary investment. Invest an evening at your Lodge this year. For example, bring your children or grandchildren up for our pumpkin carving on October 30, 2012. Our Lodge is no Scottish Rite Cathedral, but it is filled with friendship and brotherly love.
Christopher D. Livingston, WM