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Masonic Facts

Words from the Worshipful Master of Austin Lodge #12 A.F.&A.M.

Bro. Robert B. Dashman

May, 1999

 

 Brethren,

Most Worshipful W.M. “Mike” Gower, the Grand Master of Masons in Texas, was in Austin on April 3 for the annual Grand Master’s Conference. I am pleased to report that Austin 12 was one of a small number of lodges that earned the Lodge of Excellence award at that conference: we have now submitted the paperwork for Austin 12 to receive the Vanguard Award.

Brother Gower and his officers discussed many Masonic issues, one of which is the status of the Entered Apprentice lodge. They pointed out that Masonry has changed over the past several years: we no longer must get a waiver of jurisdiction if a brother who lives in Williamson, Hays, Burnet, or Bastrop counties wishes to join our lodge. We no longer require a candidate who satisfactorily presents his proficiency to the lodge a few weeks after the conferral of the degree to wait 28 days before the next degree can be conferred. We no longer deny an Entered Apprentice a Masonic funeral if he dies before advancing further in our craft. We have changed the rules on solicitation of new members, we allow certain fund-raising activities, and no longer require that the lodge be opened immediately before and closed after a Masonic funeral. These rules are all different from 10, 20, or 30 years ago, and show that Masonry can indeed change.

A presentation was made on the status of the Entered Apprentice: we call him “brother,” we tell him he is a “just and upright Mason,” but we do not treat him as such. There are many Grand Jurisdictions that do not treat the EA in this manner. The Grand Lodge of England is said to be our “Mother Lodge:” it has always conducted business in the EA degree. Early Masonic lodges in Texas conducted business in the EA degree: in fact, the vote to establish the Grand Lodge of Texas was taken in an EA lodge!

Your Grand Officers feel that Masonry in Texas would benefit if the status of the Entered Apprentice were expanded. In December, they will propose that various Grand Lodge committees (such as the Committee on Work, among others) spend the next year researching the issue, and present proposals at Grand Lodge in December 2000 to return the status of the EA to what it once was.

As you can imagine, no one can say for sure what those proposals will be. However, the general concept of the idea was this: lodges will conduct business in the EA degree. An EA will be a dues-paying member of the lodge, and will be able to vote on issues at the stated meeting. He would not be able to participate in a Fellowcraft or Master Mason’s lodge, nor would he be able to serve as an officer of the lodge or join one of the appendant organizations. Only a Master Mason would be able to do that.

As a Past Grand Master said, after making his presentation, “If a brother wishes to remain an Entered Apprentice, and participate in lodge activities as an EA, what is wrong with that?” Brethren, I think that is an excellent question. This issue will not come up again until later in the year. Until then, I offer the same suggestion to you that the PGM offered to those who attended the conference: “Let’s not be afraid to try something different. Don’t reach a decision today brethren. Just think about it.”

Many thanks to Mr. Jim Comer, who made an outstanding presentation to the lodge during the April stated meeting. Mr. Comer, who is an accomplished public speaker, stage performer, and writer, spoke to the gathered brethren and their guests on the topic of “Parenting Your Parents.” He told what he had gone through when, at the age of 51, he had to become a “parent” to his mother and father who were in declining health. I think I speak on behalf of all who were present that this was an outstanding talk that was enjoyed by all.

Thank you all for your continued support of Austin 12. I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on May 11.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Bob Dashman
Worshipful Master

Grand Lodge of Texas
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Austin Lodge #12 A. F. & A. M.                        

4220 Bull Creek Road, Austin, Tx. 78763

(512)454-8009

E-mail : Webmaster James McKissick

Updated 04/25/99

This site created November 3, 1997.