A Joyful & Talented Installation



Officers to be Installed

I attended my good friend’s installation as Master of Stockyard Lodge No. 1244, Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM, Worshipful Michael Cote. Brother Cote was the Grand Lodge of Texas Grand Musician until this year. He is the only Grand Musician who has not been a piano or organ player. Cote has his own Music Company and band and performs all over in many different venues.

In an age when Masonic membership and Lodge participation are fading, Brother Cote put on a truly heartwarming example of the Masonic community coming together to celebrate Freemasonry! That is something near and dear to my heart. If we celebrate our Freemasonry, we encourage others to join in and inspire the Craft to new heights. This in an open Installation where the public can come and can be a very important means of attracting new Brothers.

Michael Cote Installed as Master

Brother Cote asked the current Grand Musician, Past Master Carl Chalfant to install him and the complete line of officers. Chalfant came all the way from Houston to do this for his good friend. Chalfant is a well-known piano player and can really tickle the ivories when it comes to Honkey-Tonk music, although he is well versed in all styles. In addition, well known Fiddle player and another old friend of Cote, Brother Tommy Hughes, who is a member of Glen Rose Lodge No 525 and a member of the Michael Cote Band, attended the installation.

DeMolay was represented, most notably by Brother Michael Cote II who is Master Councilor of Malvern Marks Chapter in Fort Worth and District Deputy State Master Councilor of District 2 of the Texas DeMolay Association.

Brother Michael Cote II is escorted into Lodge by Sister Kendal Clark

Rainbow was represented, most notably, by Sister Kendal Clark, the Texas DeMolay Sweetheart as well as the Grand Treasurer of the Grand Assembly of Texas.

DeMolay Brothers presented the colors to the Altar, US Flag and Texas State Flag and we all recited the Pledge of Allegiance to both. The Rainbow girls escorted each officer to be installed into the Lodge Room as their name and office was announced.

Also present were a large contingent of Eastern Star Ladies who prepared a nice selection of light food and Iced Tea.

DeMolay presents the Colors


Rainbow Sisters








Two presentations were made to the newly installed Worshipful Master. Sister Clark performed the Gavel Ceremony below. She did a fine job and all from memory and showed her outstanding qualities as a leader.

Worshipful Michael Cote, this gavel I hold in my hands is the age-old symbol of the authority of this office.

When you accept this gavel, you will accept all its wrappings. These wrappings, just like the color stations, are seven in number. They are invisible. You cannot see them, but they are just as real as the gold and the enamel that cover the wood (or plastic) of which this gavel is made.

The first of these wrappings is that of responsibility. This Assembly is now your responsibility. Your responsibility is to see that it thrives and grows while you are in office.

The second wrapping is that of loyalty. Members of this Assembly will without doubt be loyal to you, but it is far more important that you be loyal to them.

The third is that of love. Just as you have been reared in love, let that same love flow from you to all members of this Assembly. Love is like a pebble dropped in a still pond. The waves of love will radiate from their origin and will spread to encompass everything and everyone around you.

Then there is the wrapping of humility. Do not be overly proud, for you occupy this office, not by your work alone, but by the efforts of all those assembled around you.

The next wrapping you will find is the wrapping of those twins that always go hand in hand, justice and fairness. Just as a judge wields his gavel with those two great virtues in mind, so must you always strive to be fair and just.

And then, down underneath, you will find the innermost and finest wrapping of all is that of reverence. Our entire Order is founded on God. Without Him, you can do nothing. With Him, there is nothing you cannot do.

It is with deep humility, and yet with great pride that I now present, this gavel to you.


Sister Kendal Clark presents newly installed Master with his gavel








The second presentation was by yours truly:

I am Freemasonry
by Ray V. Denslow

I was born in antiquity, in the ancient days when men first dreamed of God.

I have been tried through the ages and found true.

The crossroads of the world bear the imprint of my feet, and the cathedrals of all nations mark the skill of my hands.

I strive for beauty and for symmetry.

In my heart is wisdom and strength and courage for those who ask.

Upon my altar is the Book of Holy Writ, and my prayers are to the One Omnipotent God.

My sons work and pray together, without rank or discord, in the public mart and in the inner chamber.

By signs and symbols, I teach the lessons of life and of death and the relationship of man with God and of man with man.

My arms are widespread to receive those of lawful age and good report who seek me of their own free will.

I accept them and teach them to use my tools in the building of men, and thereafter, find direction in their own quest for perfection so much desired and so difficult to attain.

I lift up the fallen and shelter the sick.

I hark to the orphan’s cry, the widow’s tears, the pain of the old and destitute.

I am not church, nor party, nor school, yet my sons bear a full share of responsibility to God, to country, to neighbor and themselves.

They are freemen, tenacious of their liberties and alert to lurking danger.

At the end I commit them as each one undertakes the journey beyond the vale into the glory of everlasting life.

I ponder the sand within the glass and think how small is a single life in the eternal universe.

Always have I taught immortality, and even as I raise men from darkness into light, I am a way of life.

I am Freemasonry.

Past Master Frederic L. Milliken makes his presentation

Past Master Frederic L. Milliken makes his presentation







Past Master Frederic L. Milliken makes his presentation


Installation picture

The installation being over we posed for pictures and retired to the dining room for fun, food, and fraternalism





While dining, Past Grand Musician Worshipful Michael Cote, present Grand Musician Brother Carl Chalfant and Brother Tommy Hughes entertained us with some real down home music. Cote sang “King of the Road” and many of us joined in to sing along with him.

Cote, Chalfant and Hughes entertain in the dining room

All that was left was the cutting of the cake, the thank yous and the hugs and the promise to never forget the good time had by all and then making the intention of gathering again with Stockyard Lodge No 1244.



I lingered as long as I could not wanting this moment in time to end. Alas, all good things must end, UNTIL YOU DO THEM AGAIN.


Wor. Michael Cote’s music company and band can be accessed on the Music Company website: http://www.michaelcotemusic.com/ and his Music Face Book page: https://www.facebook.com/MCoteMusic/







Two Great Moments, Two Great Weeks

First I had the opportunity last week to speak at Lyles Middle School in Lexington, Massachusetts to the classes of a Lodge Brother who teaches history at the school.  I managed to talk to four periods of combined classes, my subject being the first battle of the American Revolutionary War in Lexington, Massachusetts . I traced the development of the Minute Men from 1643 to 1775 and showed what a pivotal part they had to play in the early days of the Revolution before a standing army was conscripted.

A good resource on the subject is the book,

THE MINUTEMEN, The First Fight: Myths And Realities Of The American Revolution,” by former General John R. Galvin who went on to become an ambassador with the U.S. State Department and then dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Interwoven with the story was my own personal journey.

I spoke to the students about being born and brought up in Lexington, about being a member of DeMolay in Lexington and marching in the Patriot’s Day Parade, about joining Freemasonry and the Paul Revere Colonial Degree Team where I took the name of William Munroe, a Freemason who was a Sergeant in the Lexington Minutemen and who was stationed on an all night watch through the night of April 18, 1775 on the Lexington Green.

Six days later I attended one of the most intense Lodge meetings that the Pride of Mt. Pisgah #135, Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas has held in its existence.  Pride of Mt. Pisgah is building a brand new Masonic building of its own, moving out of rented quarters when it is completed.

The land was purchased about six months ago but the red tape took a little while to make the transfer a reality.  Now that hurdle has been accomplished  we were able in this meeting to get down to concrete assignments and to plan a time frame for the raising of the building.

The Master had been busy between Communications handling permits and city of Dallas paperwork which is monumental.  He also had been busy completing 501(c)3 paperwork and I drew the assignment to help finish completes this application as well as proof read it and making any last revisions.

We will be building a steel building and we voted at our meeting to accept the architectural plans and materials purchase to frame the building.  Assignments were handed out to get bids on a general contractor, electrician, plumber etc.  Much of the building will be sweat equity.  We are going to be doing a lot of the inside work ourselves. So I can see many days of hard labor ahead of us. We have set a September ground breaking date and a January completion date.

But there is one thing I am sure of.  All the wages will be paid and none will go away dissatisfied. This story is far from over and you will be reading many serial follow ups to our progress. As this small Lodge takes upon itself a task that is all consuming and far reaching I ask for your prayers that this project will have a fruitful ending.

emblem of industry

The Clinton Presidential Library In Pictures

While not a Freemason, President Bill Clinton did however spend some time as a member of the DeMolay.

Clinton was initiated into Hot Springs Chapter in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1961, where he served as Master Councilor. He received the Chevalier in 1964, and the Legion of Honor in 1979. Clinton was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame on May 1, 1988.   Saying of DeMolay:

“For sixty-nine years, the Order of DeMolay has prepared young men to become better citizens and leaders for our country. My DeMolay experience gave me the confidence to develop my skills as a speaker, team member, and leader, and then to realize and accomplish my dreams. I will always be thankful for the guidance given to me by my friends in DeMolay. ”

More on Clinton’s time in DeMolay.