Freemason Tim Bryce.

Uncommon Sense in Business

Common sense is no longer common in the work place (and some lessons for Masonic Lodges).

Probably the main reason why Scott Adams’ “Dilbert” comic strip enjoys the popularity it does is because it is a clever parody of the corporate world. It now appears in hundreds of newspapers around the world. As readers, we can relate to the corporate situations the characters are put in and the inevitable results. What is considered logical and practical is often sacrificed to suit petty personality traits. The underlying theme in the strip is that common sense is not common in the corporate world.

I have assembled a list of items as found in business and compare and contrast how they should be applied in practice (common sense) versus how they are applied in reality. This provides some interesting insight into the philosophy of our corporate culture. Who knows, this might be nothing more than fodder for Scott Adams.


Common Sense: Impressions make a difference as people react to our appearances. How we dress and act send subliminal messages to the people we meet and work with, but we must be wary of facade; an actor rarely assumes the characteristics of the people they portray. The same is true in business; looks will carry you for a while but you have to be able to produce results in order to achieve the confidence and respect you desire.

Reality: Appearances and conduct are no longer considered important. A lot of managers are grateful simply because employees show up for work on time. Slovenly looks are often not disciplined accordingly. Our appearances also influence behavior; if we look bad, we typically lack respect for ourselves and others and treat them accordingly; looking better promotes pride and self-respect.


Common Sense: Our perceptions, right or wrong, dictate our actions. Whether we perceive a situation correctly or not is irrelevant; we will act according to how we see a situation. Knowing this, we should make every effort to correctly interpret a situation so we make the right decision and take the appropriate action.

Reality: We see only what we want to see. Little effort is made to clarify a situation and act on impulses.


Common Sense: The brain should be fully engaged in order to strive to achieve.

Reality: Companies establish working environments that do not stimulate thought. They prefer to have human robots as opposed to encouraging people to exhibit a little initiative.


Common Sense: The only good business relationship is where both parties benefit. The intent should be to create “win-win” situations where both parties prosper, not just one. This promotes cooperation and trust.

Reality: Its a dog-eat-dog world out there. Most companies have little regard for vendors and customers, let alone partners. “Win-lose” situations are still the norm today.


Common Sense: Talk and write to communicate, not to impress. An eloquent vocabulary tends to alienate as oppose to recruiting support for your argument. As such, it is important to know your audience.

Reality: Pompous speeches using a seemingly cryptic language does, in fact, impress people. Your audience may not understand what you are talking about, but they will be buffaloed into believing you. Don’t have any new ideas? Just change the vocabulary and make people believe you have invented a new idea.


Common Sense: All companies have a culture, a way by which their people think and behave. In order for new employees to succeed, they must adapt to the culture or face rejection (e.g., people refusing to work with them).

Reality: New people care little for the thinking and behavior of others. They believe they know better and act like loose cannons.


Common Sense: The customer is treated like a king. By providing excellent service, the customer will offer referrals (new business) as well as repeat business.

Reality: The customer is treated like sheep. By creating bureaucracy, consumers have learned not to expect too much and realize objections are exercises in futility. By vendors creating an aura that their products are “state of the art,” people will react like Pavlov’s dog and purchase the latest gizmo upon its announcement (usually sight unseen).


Common Sense: Business decisions should be based on sound logical facts, such as a Cost/Benefit Analysis with “return on investments” and “break even points.” People are typically not afraid of taking a risk if the facts are presented to them clearly.

Reality: Business decisions are based on emotions with an appeal to the frailties of the human ego, e.g., greed, stature, perks, etc. Politicians and marketers have known this for years, which is why Government initiates actions based on polls as opposed to what is really needed. People are not afraid of taking risks since they know liberal government bankruptcy laws will bail them out in case of failure.


Common Sense: If something is important, write it down. By doing so, we are providing the means for companies to carry on in the event of a catastrophe or a turnover in personnel.

Reality: Rarely is anything written down, particularly designs as it is considered a waste of time. Without documentation, people such as engineers promote job security; e.g., they cannot be fired since they maintain the designs in their heads.


Common Sense: Information is not synonymous with data. Information is the knowledge or intelligence required to support the actions and decisions of a business. People act on information, not data. Data is the raw material used to produce information. Consequently, data should be cataloged so that it may be shared and reused to produce the necessary information.

Reality: Information and data are treated as being synonymous. Rarely is data shared and reused outside of a single computer program. As a result, data redundancy runs rampant in business causing end-users to question the integrity of information from which it is based.


Common Sense: Tell the truth; if you don’t you’ll eventually get caught in a lie which could potentially cost the company business.

Reality: Lying is considered an acceptable form of behavior. In other words, say or promise anything to secure a contract. Let the corporate lawyers figure out later what to do if entanglements ensue.


Common Sense: Lead by example. Never ask someone to do something you are not prepared to do yourself. This will earn you the respect of your workers.

Reality: Most managers have little sensitivity for the type of work their people have to perform. In fact, they prefer a master/slave relationship thereby elevating their ego.


Common Sense: Create an environment that empowers employees and treat them like professionals, thereby giving them a sense of purpose. An empowered employee will be more dedicated and loyal to the company.

Reality: Promise recruits anything, sweat them, then let them go at the end of the assignment. Let us also not forget, employees will jump from job to job. Free-agency saw to that.


Common Sense: Insist on a clean work environment thereby forcing employees to be more disciplined and organized. By doing so, it will be easier to find and manage things, such as products, parts, and paperwork.

Reality: “A cluttered desk is the sign of a brilliant mind” is the normal cop out. By maintaining a pigsty, it is harder for managers to find out what the employee is up to.


Common Sense: Plan and set goals, but recognize that change is constant. As such, it is necessary to be flexible to adjust and adapt to changing conditions.

Reality: Plans are often cast in concrete thereby making it impossible to accommodate change. If a change is requested, blame the developers of the plan. Oh yea, don’t forget to print plans on fancy paper so it might impress others.


Common Sense: Treat problems, not symptoms. To get to the root of a problem, work backwards until you come to the starting point. Still can’t find it? Work forward, from start to end. Better yet, have a second pair of eyes look it over.

Reality: Treat symptoms, not problems. Apply Band-Aids where tourniquets are really needed (thereby pacifying the situation for the moment). Companies tend to develop a punchlist of symptoms and than take a shotgun approach to diagnosing them. Further, corrections are rarely delivered for free but, instead, are issued as updates (for a price).


Common Sense: Build quality into the product during development. By breaking the development process into stages, the product can be reviewed and inspected in increments. By doing so, it is rather easy to backup and correct the problem upon discovery. A quality-built product requires less time to maintain and, as such, reduces maintenance costs.

Reality: Companies inspect products after they have been built, normally by people unfamiliar with the processes and tools used to create the product. The rationale here is that it is seemingly cheaper to discard a product afterwards as opposed to during the development process. The cost of quality is normally bundled into the price of the product, thereby customers assume the price for corrections, not the company.


Common Sense: Share and reuse parts of products. By doing so, it reduces development costs and promotes integration between products. Further, it simplifies maintenance of products through the use of standardized parts.

Reality: Sharing and reuse is avoided (primarily due to the “Not Invented Here” phenomenon). Consequently, considerable redundancy ensues, both in terms of parts and the labor required to redesign each part. The resulting overhead is buried in the price of the product.


Common Sense: The best solutions are the simple solutions. Complicated solutions add to the expense of a project or a product (as well as the time to develop them). Do what is practical, not necessarily what is elegant.

Reality: Companies tend to prefer complicated solutions since they tend to pacify inflated egos or as part of a shell game in marketing the product. Complicated solutions inevitably add costs to the product (as well as markups).


Common Sense: A team of players can outperform any individual effort. As such, companies should be promoting teamwork and a spirit of cooperation.

Reality: Companies offer rewards for individual initiative (not teamwork), thereby resulting in a spirit of competition as opposed to cooperation. The thinking here is along the lines of “natural selection” as contained in Darwin’s theory of evolution whereby the individual with the strongest characteristics climbs to the top of the heap.


Common Sense: Technology should be applied in business on a basis of cost effectiveness. An elegant solution to the wrong problem solves nothing.

Reality: Technology is purchased by companies to “Keep up with the Jones” or as a status symbol. Rarely is it ever purchased for practical business purposes. Companies have been so conditioned to purchase technology, it is like taking their morning vitamin pill; a habit they believe is good for them. This train of thought is so pervasive today that technology often supersedes management. In other words, we do not try to manage our way out of a problem, we throw technology at it instead (this way, when something goes wrong, we can blame the technology).


Common Sense: Do your own work. Give credit where credit is due.

Reality: Piracy is an acceptable form of behavior. It is quite common for employees to take intellectual property from one company to another as they move from job to job. Let the lawyers fight it out if a problem ensues.


Common Sense: Stay focused on the work product (the result or deliverable) and doggedly see something through to completion with your best effort, thereby creating pride in workmanship. Further, accept constructive criticism so that we can learn and improve. Our goal, as employees, is to become craftsmen in our area of expertise.

Let us also not forget that everything begins with a sale. Without a sale, there is no customer service, no development, nada.

Reality: People will only work on those items they deem important, in no particular priority. Further, people like to “rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic” and, by doing so, try to make things look better on the surface than they really are. This is usually done by juggling the books. Companies avoid tackling major projects for two reasons; first, they no longer possess the management skills to accomplish the work, and second; rewards and systems of remuneration are based on a short-term mentality.


Common Sense: Since the inception of our company in 1971, the underlying theme in our methodologies and writings is the recognition of the vital role the human being plays in business. You have heard us say on numerous occasions:

* Everything begins and ends with the human being.
* Systems are for people
* Business is about people, not numbers.
* Information is for people, not for the computer.
* We accomplish projects through people.
* Our corporate slogan: “Software for the finest computer – the Mind”

Knowing this, there should be greater respect for the human spirit and, as such, we should be sharpening our people skills as opposed to our technical skills. Technology will always have a role to play, but humans should never become subservient to it.

Reality: The human element is too often overlooked or forgotten. Technology is having an adverse effect on our social skills. For example, we can now electronically contact just about anyone anywhere on the planet, but we do not know how to effectively communicate or work with others. Some people believe the ideal business is one run totally by machines and not by people, thereby affording us more leisure time, a sort of “business in a closet.” But as long as we have people as customers, people as vendors, and need people to execute projects, we should always respect the dignity of the human spirit.


Some would suggest the Common Sense items listed above are naive concepts; that business doesn’t work this way. They are probably right, but then again, this is what makes “Dilbert” so funny. We all look for Common Sense in the work place, but are no longer surprised when things go awry. Consequently, these Common Sense items are considered “Uncommon” in today’s world.

I’ll close with one final Common Sense maxim admonished by my grandmother years ago which I have always found to be true, “In every person’s life, you must eat at least one spoonful of dirt.”

First published: September 18, 2006. Updated 2019.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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The Expectations of a Millennial Freemason

An Interview With Brother Justin Jones

Freemasonry, in many cases, is now in the hands of Millennial Masons and Millennial Masons are not settling for “this is the way we have always done it.”

Last month (February 2108) we featured the interview of Brother Rhit Moore – HERE. Brother Moore, barely 40 years old, told us that Millennials in Freemasonry seek value and that they are seeking something MORE. In their pursuit of something more with a value the worst thing you can do is waste their time, he says. Brother Moore also gave us what his Lodge has done to become vibrant, successful and growing.

This month we feature another Millennial Mason, 34-year-old Brother Justin Jones. Brother Jones tells us it doesn’t have to be this way. He tells us that he entered Freemasonry with high expectations into a Lodge where both his Grandfather and Father still belong. But after completing his Master’s work he left Freemasonry in disillusionment. Only by the constant urging of his father did he return.

Brother Justin Jones

You might remember if you followed Brother Moore’s story, that he too left Freemasonry only to return at the urging of his father. In Brother Moore’s case, he returned to be inspired by the work, and in Brother Jone’s case he returned to be inspired by the writings of many like-minded Masons who had traveled his journey, especially the publication Laudable Pursuit. He became a sponge for the writings of those who showed the way to Masonic improvement.

Both these Millennial Masons talk about the disconnect with the way Lodges were run by Masons their grandfather’s age. Youth, by nature, has vigor and drive to set the world on fire and Age tends to say – been there done that and let’s not rock the boat but keep doing things the way we have always done them. This is a natural clash. The older generation is resistant to change. However, change is life, and he who desires to freeze the world in its present state forever will soon find himself alone and cut off from the rest of the world.

This Masonic withdrawal from the world and its change are what is primarily responsible for the dwindling number of Masons in the USA. It leads to Lodges that Jones tells us really don’t do anything. They don’t want to do anything. They gather for boring business meetings and the fellowship of coffee and stale donuts after which they leave as fast as they can. Or they turn themselves into a Service Club financed by fundraisers to keep dues low. Instead of concentrating on how to make good men better they become the servant of the profane.

Jones tells us this about Masons from years gone by:

“When we volunteered our time we didn’t do it in our aprons. We didn’t wear our jewels to the city council meeting, and we didn’t pass out petitions at the church potluck. Still, people knew these men were Freemasons, and it was witnessing these community leaders embody the noble tenants of our fraternity that often compelled many to turn in their petitions.”

Into that milieu stormed Brother Justin Jones.

Once his eyes were opened to the possibilities of what a Masonic Lodge could be, he has not stopped in his quest to inform any and all who will listen that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Jones started with a Masonic Blog, followed by a Facebook Page and finally a YouTube channel. They are all titled “Masonic Improvement.”

In his Blog post “The Lesson Of The Garden Club” and his video “Why I left Freemasonry” we can see the frustrations of the Millennial Mason and why many leave as fast as they are initiated. In his three-part Blog series on Lodge Culture, he lays out how to change the deadly spiral Freemasonry finds itself in. He talks about Lodge Mission Statements, vision, and goals. He explains the difference between a Lodge’s Climate and a Lodge’s Culture and recounts the experience in his first Lodge where as Master he changed the Climate but not the Culture. Jones is a firm believer in continuous improvement that a Lodge must continually reassess where it is going and what it is accomplishing.

He tells us,

“Continuous improvement requires buy-in from the majority of stakeholders, a goal to strive for, and a way to measure progress. In our organization we often see leaders making important decisions with no buy-in from the membership and goals are often general or non-existent”

Some of the titles from Jones’ other Blog posts will give you an idea of where his thoughts are:

  • The Chamber of Refraction
  • Dues That Still Don’t
  • Beginning With The End In Mind
  • Masonic Improvement: Creating A Vision and Goals
  • The Progressive Line, How It Can Improve Your Masonic Lodge (Or Not)

And Videos:

  • Millenial Apprentices: The Next Revolution In Freemasonry by Samuel Friedman
  • Simple Concepts That Will Improve Your Masonic Lodge
  • 2 Thoughts On Continuous Masonic Improvement
  • The Importance Of Having A “Why” For Freemasons and Masonic Lodges
  • A Look At The Past: The Lost Art of Masonic Retention

Jones is not just influenced by Masonic writers. Stephen Covey inspires him. And he recently posted these thoughts on his Facebook page:

I’m currently rereading “Laudable Pursuit” (read it here and this quote really resonated with me:

“The harder we have to struggle for something, the more precious it becomes.

Somehow, in sacrificing, we prove to ourselves that what we’re
seeking is valuable. This holds true when we’re pursuing membership.

Sacrifice locks commitment. As people strive to make it through rigorous selection standards and work to prove their worthiness, they persuade themselves that being a part of the group matters.

Initiation rites – like high walls and narrow gates of entry – build
commitment to the group through making acceptance hard to come by.

Being allowed to join becomes something special. An achievement. A privilege. And it creates a sense of exclusiveness.

Belonging doesn’t count much if almost anybody can drift in or drift out of your group at will. If it’s easy to join up, then leave and return, only to leave again, commitment can be hard to find.
Initiation rites also create a common bond of experience that unites all who make it through the ordeal. A strong sense of “we-ness” comes from having gone through a common struggle. This identification with the group
feeds commitment.

Finally, stiff criteria for admission cause the weak-hearted to de-select themselves. They opt out after weighing the costs. For them, the rights of membership aren’t worth going through the rites of Initiation.

The benefit?

People with low commitment never get inside.

The greater the personal investment in getting accepted, the more one builds a stake in the organization. This means you should make membership a big deal. Let people pay a price to join.

That guarantees commitment at the outset, and also makes it easier to build commitment later on.

Make membership hard to come by, and commitment comes naturally.”

— Price Pritchett

Firing Up Commitment For Organizational Change
(Pritchett & Hull Associates, 1994)

Brother Justin Jones in the embodiment of what Millennial Masons are expecting from the Craft. Take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly.

Fort Worth, Texas Masonic Temple

The Secret Of A Successful Masonic Lodge

Fort Worth, Texas Masonic Temple

How is your Masonic Lodge doing?

Is it dying? How many candidates have you raised in the last year? Have you analyzed what you are doing wrong and what you are doing right?

How is your retention? Do you raise Brothers that never come back? Or are they gone after about three months?

Are you raising Masons that shouldn’t be there just because you hastily gave them a petition? Are you raising Masons who are applying before they are ready to accept what it means to be a Mason? Are you raising Masons that do not fit into the peace and harmony of your Lodge? Do you have a really good Investigating-Petitioning process that screens out those that won’t fit and those who will quit?

Do you have a good mentoring system, not only for those who are going through the degrees but Master Masons in their first year and beyond if needed?

Brother Rhit Moore

Meet Brother Rhit Moore who suffered through three meltdowns of his Lodge before he got wise. Brother Moore will explain to you what he and other committed members of his Lodge implemented the fourth time around to create a successful Lodge. He will explain how his Lodge raises 20 to 40 new Master Masons every year who stay.

Brother Moore doesn’t have a magic wand. He learned what needed to be done the hard way. But he and other members of Fort Worth Lodge learned from their mistakes and kept on trying. Now they have a system that works for them and Fort Worth Lodge is in a new renaissance.

Maybe you need to watch the video above!

Fort Worth, Texas Masonic Temple

Freemason Tim Bryce.

The 80/20 Rule

80-20 Rule,Pareto's Principle,work,workload
Wilfredo Pareto

Also as a follow-up to my last article I was asked why it seemed only a handful of people always carried the workload of a Lodge. This is not uncommon and is found in everyday life as well. It is commonly referred to as the 80/20 Rule or Pareto’s Principle

Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist who observed in 1897 that 80 percent of the land in England was owned by 20 percent of the population. Pareto’s theory thereby relates to the ratio of input to output; e.g.:

twenty percent of your effort produces 80 percent of your results.

From a time management perspective, it means that 20 percent of the people are normally responsible for producing 80 percent of the work.

As a manager or Worshipful Master it thereby becomes important to recognize your core 20 percent workers and concentrate your attention on them. It also becomes important to devise new means to squeeze out the remaining 20 percent of the work from the 80 percent who do not actively participate. This is not to suggest that the 80 percent doesn’t care about the Lodge, but that they simply have different priorities right now and may even be living far away from the Lodge. However, they should be periodically reminded that there is more to supporting a Lodge than just paying their annual dues.

With the 80/20 Rule in mind you must also be sensitive to a by-product resulting from it: petty jealousy.

Since the 20 percent performs the work, they are thereby deserving of the accolades for performing it. Inevitably, it is not uncommon for small minded individuals from the 80 percent to feel slighted and jealous of those doing the work and receiving the recognition. Such petty jealously should be overlooked and the person forgiven, unless something more malicious is involved, such as character assassination of which there is no excuse. The manager must carefully squash this behavior before it has an adverse effect on your 20 percent. If not, the 20 percent worker will question why he is working so hard if he is only going to be the object of ridicule and humiliation. If your 20 percent begins to believe they are “Damned if they do, Damned if they don’t” in their assignments, then nothing will be produced and your 80 percent work effort will plummet.

The 80/20 Rule is an interesting phenomenon that every Worshipful Master must be cognizant of in order to effectively put the Craft to work with proper instruction for their labor.

Keep the Faith.

Freemasonry From the Edge
Freemasonry From the Edge

by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
“A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry”

NOTE: As with all of my Masonic articles herein, please feel free to reuse them in Masonic publications or re-post them on Masonic web sites (except Florida). When doing so, please add the following:

Article reprinted with permission of the author and FreeMason Information

Freemason Tim Bryce.

Bryce’s Masonic Planning Seminar

I first wrote this article for back on March 11th, 2007. We tried it in my own Lodge shortly thereafter with remarkable results. The Craft was able to voice their opinions in a controlled environment, thereby stimulating participation and attendance, and helped officers adjust their plans for the Lodge. I hope you find this as beneficial as we did. This article is also included in my book, The Freethinking Freemason – Collected Masonic Works of Tim Bryce.

Shapeth Up and Geteth thy Act Together.

From time to time I get asked to speak on a variety of subjects pertaining to Freemasonry (my personal favorite is to talk on subjects related to “True Masonry”). I also hear from a lot of frustrated Brothers who want their Lodges to finally address the true problems they are faced with as opposed to passing the buck another year (and to another corps of officers). To this end, I offer the following planning seminar you can implement yourself (after all, I can’t be everywhere). I have used a similar format for business meetings and seminars over the years.

For this type of session, the moderator is more of a facilitator as opposed to preaching his own personal points of view. The intent is to stimulate thought in terms of ways of solving Masonic problems as a collective whole, engage the group and overcome apathy. As such, it is primarily intended for a single Lodge, but could easily be applied to larger groups, such as districts, zones, etc. Chapters of allied and appendant Masonic bodies might also find this applicable as well.

Critical to success is the right venue: this is something that cannot be performed in a couple of minutes, but rather as a special meeting, either at a called communications, or perhaps a special after-breakfast, lunch, or dinner session. Whatever venue you select, the session should be properly promoted in order to get the group dynamics you want. For example, you may want to bill this as a brainstorming workshop, a Lodge conference, a think tank, or whatever to attract both the workers and the casual sideliners of the Lodge. Again, this session is geared to force the participants to think and hopefully act.


Ideally, this should be conducted as a roundtable discussion so the participants can see one and other, but a classroom or Lodge room setting will also work. The moderator (facilitator) will be summarizing the results for all to see and, as such, use either a blackboard or flip chart, or perhaps an overhead projector and screen. In addition to the moderator, he will need an assistant to help tabulate the paperwork.

A sign-in sheet is also required, for people to PRINT their names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. This will become important later on when asking for volunteers. Five small slips of paper (index card size) and pencils should be provided to each participant.

Read: Three Types of Masons

Selecting the moderator is important. Although an elder from the Lodge can perform this duty, perhaps an outside Brother who is unbiased may be more suitable (which is where I come in). I do not recommend a sitting Lodge officer to lead the session as he may influence the outcome; nor do I recommend a sitting Grand Lodge officer, such as a District Deputy/Inspector, as they represent the interests of the Grand Lodge and not the Craft Lodge. Ultimately, the person selected as moderator must be someone the Lodge respects, trusts, and cannot be intimidated or browbeaten.

Now for the actual seminar itself:


As with all great and important undertakings, begin the meeting with a blessing to deity and a pledge to the flag. Such formality sets the tone for the meeting.

The moderator should be introduced by the Worshipful Master, along with an explanation of his Masonic background. The moderator then explains his role as facilitator, not teacher. Basically, the moderator is there to lead the discussion, govern the meeting, and summarize results; nothing more.

Next, the moderator describes the purpose of the seminar which is to collectively brainstorm to find new and imaginative ways to improve the Lodge (with the keyword being “collectively”). Stress the need for participants to express their opinions candidly and openly; all suggestions are welcome and no idea should be considered irrelevant. But it should be made clear to the attendees that this will be the time to express their concerns over the direction of the lodge (time to speak up or shut up). Discourse should be conducted Masonically (respectfully and professionally). It is strongly suggested the moderator govern by gavel. Please keep sidebar discussions to a minimal and, ask attendees to stand up when addressing the group, not to ramble and get to the point.

The seminar is structured in a particular way. Without structure, the meeting could easily get out of control quickly and be counterproductive. Basically, attendees will be given small slips of paper where they will be asked to answer specific questions. Their answers should be brief. Attendees will then share their answers with the group and the moderator will draft a summary answer for each question which the group will vote to accept (majority rule).


Attendees should prepare brief answers to the following questions. Please note, these questions should be asked one at a time (not all at once).

What Does Freemasonry Mean to you on a Personal Level?

This first question is a good icebreaker and the answers may be somewhat startling to attendees.

Typical answers include:

  • Brotherhood
  • Camaraderie
  • Networking
  • Community Service
  • Support Network
  • Education
  • Morality
  • etc.

More than anything, this question is designed to get the attendees to open up a bit and start thinking. It also gives them a framework for answering the remaining questions candidly and honestly.

Have each Brother read his answer aloud and afford him an opportunity to briefly explain himself.

Devise a summary answer the group can agree to on a consensus basis (vote to accept it).

Provide a Brief Definition of What Freemasonry Is

Have each Brother read his answer aloud and afford him an opportunity to briefly explain himself.

Here you will start to see how the Lodge perceives Freemasonry, right or wrong.

You’ll hear answers like:

  • Club
  • Nonprofit group
  • Fraternity
  • Society of friends and Brothers,
  • etc.

As moderator, you are trying to define the Lodge’s focus. Ask attendees to clarify their responses if necessary.

As moderator, allow some dialog here for attendees to articulate their answers. It is important to arrive at a precise definition. This is also useful to clear up some misconceptions about what Freemasonry is (and isn’t). You can also utilize the free ebook What is Freemasonry? to stimulate the discussion.

Devise a summary answer the group can agree to on a consensus basis (vote to accept it).

Provide a Brief Definition of the Purpose of a Masonic Lodge

This is a good follow-up question to the last. Many people take their Lodge for granted and do not think about its purpose. There will be those who feel a Lodge is nothing more than a social venue, others will see it as a meeting place (if so, “What kind of meetings?”), and yet others believe it is intended to propagate the philosophy of the fraternity. In reality, there is no “right” answer. Again, it comes down to the perception of the Lodge.

One clever question the moderator can pose here is, “Suppose you didn’t have this Lodge building; would you still be a Masonic Lodge and, if so, what would your activities include?” This, of course, is intended to get the attendees to think beyond the physical implementation of the Lodge and focus on its purpose.

Devise a summary answer the group can agree to on a consensus basis (vote to accept it).

What are the Three Highest Priorities Facing your lodge Today?

Now that we have defined what Freemasonry and a Masonic Lodge is, we can now concentrate on establishing the top priorities of the Lodge. Inevitably, this will lead to an interesting dialog of the problems of the day, but as moderator, encourage them to think beyond problems but to also consider opportunities. Also, try to differentiate between problems and symptoms. In many cases, people confuse the two. Your intent is to properly define true problems.

Inevitably, you will hear things such as: membership, harmony, politics, finances, maintenance of the Lodge building, Masonic education, administrative concerns, relations with Grand Lodge, etc. In fact, you may develop a long laundry list of problems/opportunities to be addressed. The hard part will be to force the group to agree on the top three priorities.

Devise a summary answer the group can agree to on a consensus basis (vote to accept it).

What Should be Done to Address these Priorities?

After the top three priorities have been established, you are now asking the attendees to devise a strategy to address them. At this point, do not try to solve the problem definitively; by doing so, you may end up wasting a lot of time. Instead, your intention is to simply set the wheels in motion (such as establishing a committee to address the priority). Also, do not put the full burden on the Lodge officers to implement the strategy but, rather, encourage group participation as well.

Devise a summary answer the group can agree to on a consensus basis (vote to accept it).

Who is Willing to Stand Up and Make this Happen?

This final question sounds rather simple but such histrionics are useful for applying peer pressure on the attendees to literally get off of their duffs. Inevitably, all of the attendees will stand in support of the conclusions (after all, they wrote it). But now and then you will find a couple of stick-in-the-muds who refuse to stand. This is rare but in this event, the Lodge officers should meet with the individual separately to determine what problem, if any, the person may have.


Distribute a critique sheet to all attendees at the end of the meeting to evaluate the seminar. Keep it simple and to the point; for example:

  1. What was the MOST VALUABLE part of the seminar?
  2. What was the LEAST VALUABLE part of the seminar?
  3. Grade the Moderator’s performance (1-high to 5-low).
  4. Would you recommend this seminar to other Lodges? (Yes/No)
  5. Other comments and observations.
  6. Provide room for their Name.

The critique sheets should be reviewed by the Moderator and pertinent Lodge officers, particularly the Worshipful Master.

The Moderator’s final task is to write a follow-up report for the Lodge Officers which summarizes the five questions, and allows the Moderator to add any pertinent concluding comments and observations. The answers produced by this seminar may very well be an eye-opener to the Lodge officers who may be operating and leading the Lodge along a different path. This seminar will either reaffirm the Lodge is going in their direction or that a new course should be charted. The officers would be wise to heed the report as it represents the perceptions of the Lodge overall and not just a couple of people. Nonetheless, the Worshipful Master will steer the Lodge as he sees fit. However, should he decide to move the Lodge in a totally different direction, he should recognize he may not have the support and cooperation of the Craft. Following the seminar, the Lodge officers would be well advised to do some soul-searching; should they continue on their current path without the support of the Craft or go in a new direction?

Bottom Line

This seminar is useful for establishing common ground on the problems and opportunities facing the Lodge and how to best address them. As humans, we tend to have different perceptions and interpretations of a problem. Seminars such as this are intended to clearly define the problems in terms all can understand and accept, thereby providing the means for getting everyone to row in the same direction. Further, it sends a message to the Craft that their voice is not irrelevant and that everyone has a role to play. If people believe their voice is heard, they will be more inclined to cooperate and work. As such, apathy is thwarted and teamwork promoted. In other words, we can finally get people “who can best work and best agree.”

Keep the Faith.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company(M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

For Tim’s columns, see:

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Copyright © 2007, 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Freemason Tim Bryce.

Support Your Local Sheriff


– and all other Law Enforcement Officers (LEO). How can we show our appreciation?
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Law enforcement officers (LEO) have had a rough year. Between their normal duties and responsibilities, which vary greatly and can be dangerous, they have had to deal with riots, such as in Baltimore and Ferguson, threats by the Black Panthers, Nation of Islam and Black Lives Matter, and officer executions. I like to believe the American public overall supports our men and women in uniform; only the “crazies” want to see them destroyed so anarchy can flourish. Perhaps it is time for the “Silent Majority” to reaffirm their support for the police and sheriff departments around the country. One might ask, “What can I do to show my support?” Plenty. Here are a few ideas:

First, why not buy an officer a cup of coffee or breakfast? The only danger here is that it might be construed you are trying to bribe the officers for small favors. To overcome this problem, buy a gift card for coffee or breakfast and anonymously donate it to your local police station. If you give cards to the sheriff or police chief, I’m confident they would distribute them equitably.

Another movement catching on, particularly in our northern and western states, is the “Coffee with a Cop” program whereby a civic organization or a radio station arranges for citizens to meet with law enforcement officers at a coffee house. This provides an opportunity for residents to ask questions and share concerns, and in the process, build relationships. These “Coffee with a Cop” events are catching on rapidly. Buying a cup of coffee may seem like a small gesture, but on a cold morning it is very much appreciated, as is the support from the public.

Second, for many years, our local Masonic Lodge has held a program for “Deputy of the Year.” Working through the sheriff’s office, a deputy is selected by the department to receive recognition. The Lodge then hosts a dinner where the deputy and his/her spouse are recognized for their service and given a small token of appreciation. The deputy then makes a few comments thanking the group for the award and recognizes the support of his family and unit. It is a very touching and appreciated award.

Third, Christmas is approaching and I know of schools who have invited the family and friends of law enforcement personnel to a special holiday program featuring choral units. Both children and adults particularly enjoy such personal entertainment.

I’m sure there are dozens of other ideas you may have to thank law enforcement for their efforts. It doesn’t have to be a lavish affair either. Just a genuine expression of gratitude, such as young students writing “thank you” cards to local police, or invite LEO to meet and talk with students. A simple hand shake will also do.

Maybe the best way to show your appreciation is to simply obey the law. In this day and age where the nation has been exhibiting a general lack of respect for law and order, it would be refreshing to see people abide by the law. In the process, it would make the job of a law enforcement officer a lot easier.

No, LEOs are certainly not perfect, but we must remember, they are human and are on our side. They are the ones we call when we are in trouble or need protection. It’s a dangerous job, which is why an occasional “thank you” works wonders in cementing relations between the community and law enforcement.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

For Tim’s columns, see:

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

The Multi Talented Masonic Graphic Artist Brother Ryan J. Flynn

There is a new Masonic graphic artist on the scene and he is on fire! Brother Ryan Flynn, Senior Deacon of Ancient York Lodge No 89, Nashua, New Hampshire has designed two stained glass windows for his Lodge building. And it all started with an E-Mail.

“The Building Committee is looking to do some decals for the windows in the east. I mentioned your name. It’s time to do your thing.”

Flynn’s business partner and friend Brother Chris Busby knew that he had the right man for the job. So these two, working with Past Master Robert Bianchi of Nahua’s other Lodge, Rising Sun No 39, created two windows in plastic in five weeks. The artwork was all Flynn’s and when they get the funds to put it into real stained glass that will also be the work of Flynn.  Not just a designer and artist, Flynn has also a deep understanding of the art of making stained glass windows.

It will be quite an improvement on the immense shutters that cover the windows now and make the Lodge look like a building trying to survive an imminent hurricane. “Those dingy old shutters have never been opened since I was raised a Master Mason here 3 ½ years ago”, quips Flynn. “ Let there be light, beautiful light, is our new motto.”

Flynn has been an artist since childhood and has the credentials, the education and the experience to spread his wings now in this new found Brotherhood of Freemasonry.

“I have been artistic ever since  I could remember, but when I went to High School at Lexington Christian Academy, my teacher and mentor Chip Vanderbrug really implanted the love of art into my heart. That coupled with another amazing teacher of history, Dr. Watts, I came out of high school loving history and art and eventually went on to get my Bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts  in Fine Art and Graphic Design.  While I was in school I loved to study about symbology, numerology and architecture. It became a hobby of mine. In 2006 I studied at the Univeristy of Richmond in Florence, Italy for a summer. While I was studying painting and architecture there I didn’t realize it but I was learning the beginnings of Freemasonry. I learned of the guilds of stone masons who worked together and trusted one another to create the architectural masterpieces of the Renaissance, and how they would learn from the ancients about geometry and science, yet only shared the knowledge with other members of the guild. So when I was approached to design these two windows I was eager to implant the lessons of art history and numerology into them.”

It’s one thing to be an artist but it’s another to have the knowledge of the Craft to actually create something that is relevant. Flynn is not a one dimensional person. He combines a knowledge of history, numerology, religion, ancient symbols and sacred geometry with his art and design. And he has the ability to manufacture art, a person of great creativity who also has the abilities of practical application. How many artist’s do you know who can also make a stained glass window?

Here is how it all came together:

“I was facing two windows, and I knew immediately that I wanted to express the two types of masonry, speculative and operative. The colors used would be Blue for Blue Lodge, Purple for Grand Lodge and incorporate red, historically, the most brilliant, expensive glass color. (due to it being made with gold).  The window space was a 108 x 44 rectangle but I knew I wanted to make it an arch. The border of the window would be 3 levels, with 8 medallions in them. 8, numerologically speaking represents eternity (hence, if you take a number 8 and rotate it 90º, it becomes the infinity symbol.)”  

“The operative masonry window would be in the north window. It would have the square and compass being illuminated by the light of deity. The compass would have a 24 point star behind it with a circular border consisting of 32 sections.  Surrounding  would be the icons of the 5 Masonic organizations that have met in the building –  York Rite, Scottish Rite, Eastern Star, Rainbow and DeMolay and these would be done in circles with borders that have 32 sections. In the medallions around the border are 8 symbols from the master mason degree.”

“The light shining down has a ratio connected to it. Many people do not know that 3,5 and 7 can be used to make Euclid’s 4th problem. By combining the circles in a particular way, it creates a specific angle that would be used to show the beam of light. I have attached a diagram here that outlines that.”

“Underneath the compass, lies 2 sprigs of acacia, with 32 total leaves.”

“On the bottom, I have placed the 2 columns on each side, with the masters apron, and the unfinished temple below. In the temple, the top, unfinished level lies large blocks. This is historically accurate for the ancient temples and ziggurats of ancient times, large unfinished blocks were placed to hold walls and arches in place before finishing pieces were added for aesthetic values.”

“Another feature I wished to use was the use of linear perspective when drawing the bottom half of the windows. As I mentioned before, in Italy I had studied the Italian architectural wonders of the past. My favorite person who I studied was Filipo Brunelleschi, who arguably started the Renaissance by spending his time observing the works of the ancients and dedicating himself to learning about geometry, physics and math. One of his lesser known contributions to mankind was the discovery of linear perspective, a way of organizing  mathematical points on a  2 dimensional plane that mimic 3 dimensional objects. This type of drafting was used to draw the mosaic floor and temple structure.   On the bottom, celebrating the two blue lodges that use the temple, have been placed Ancient York No 89 and Rising Sun No 39.”

“The south window’s theme was speculative masonry. The top is nearly identical, with the exception that the square and compass stand alone. Below, I placed the 3 tenants of Freemasonry written in Latin –  Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, surrounding figures representing –  Faith, Hope and Charity, with charity above all else. Each stand on a pedestal consisting of 3, 5 and 7 steps with the corresponding titles of what they stand for written on them.  Above the figures rises an arch with the working tools of Freemasons inside the bricks.”

“The figure of faith, on the left, stands holding her hands clasping a candle. As we learn in the EA history, faith was traditionally represented by two hands joined together. This is my way of incorporating that into the windows. Symbolically speaking, fire or light was a traditional representation of faith going back to times immemorial. Some of the most ancient religious structures in the world such as the tombs of Knowth and Newgrange Ireland were built to channel and deliver light onto the selected few who sought it. Thus, I included the lit candle into the figure of faith. Traditionally, the colors of red and  purple  were used to symbolize faith.”

“Hope, stands looking up in the traditional pose of hope, with the hand covering the breast. This pose was traditionally used in paintings and other depictions of the Annunciation in Christian art as well as in Greek and Roman art depicting the gods. She stands with her anchor by her side. Along with Masons representing hope with an anchor, the Hebrews and Christians use it as well, based on the book of Hebrews.  She stands wearing blue, the color of hope, which was thought to go back to the times of ancient seafarers that would hope for blue skies and easy sailing.”

“Charity stands center, above all others. She is clad in green and brown, the earth colors, which symbolize harvest and plenty. She stands handing out grain from a basket,  looking out at the viewer. I wanted it to look like she was challenging us to follow in her footsteps and be as charitable as possible.”

“Finally, on the bottom of the window, the words “Behold how good and pleasant it is for men to dwell together in unity,” one of my favorite lines from ritual.”

This multidimensional, multi talented Mason is already looking ahead to the next project for his Lodge,

multidimensional and multi talented because he is also a student of hieroglyphics. And that expertise will translate into 3 large clay tablets depicting the 3 Degrees in Freemasonry stylized to mimic Egyptian hieroglyphics.

But first he must get the stained glass design made into actual stained glass windows. And that is going to take money.

“This project was an amazing experience to partake in. I have been looking for a way to use my talents for something bigger than myself, and Masonry seems to be giving me the opportunity to do so. I hope I can work with my Lodge for more opportunities to produce artworks that will bring in funds for charity and others. I have many other ideas that I think will help me help Lodges to really make a difference in this world. And  hope other Lodges will contact me to do this. I feel it is my civic, Christian and Masonic duty to use my talents to help out as many as I can, and God willing, these windows will be just the beginning of my Masonic journey.”

Why I Am A Mason – Mouth To Ear

Brother Ernest Borgnine passed away on July 8, 2012 at the age of 95. He was raised in Abingdon Lodge #48, Grand Lodge of Virginia in 1950. Here in his own words are his thoughts on Freemasonry.


By Brother Ernest Borgnine, 33˚
Member of Abingdon Lodge #48 Virginia USA

Brother Ernest Borgnine

Brother Ernest Borgnine

In 1946, I traveled with a friend down to a little town called Abingdon, Virginia, to see what the Barter Theatre had to offer. It offered nothing except hard work and board. My friend, not accepting the work they offered him, stayed one day – I stayed five years. In that time I grew to love the town and all it offered. The people, in particular, were simply marvelous.

Occasionally I would be assigned to go down to the printing shop and get posters made for the upcoming shows at the Barter Theater. One day, in talking to the owner of the print shop, one Elmo Vaughan, I found that he belonged to the local Masonic Lodge, No. 48, in Abingdon. My father was also a Mason and had advanced to the Thirty-second Degree in Scottish Rite Masonry, and I told this to Elmo. He was pleased, and sensing his pleasure, I asked him if maybe I could join. He said nothing, continuing his work, and a short while later, I took my posters and left.

The next time I saw Elmo, I asked him again about joining the Masonic Order – again he said nothing – and again my work took me away. We became good friends and finally one day I passed by and again I asked if I could join the Masons. Instantly, he whipped out an application and I hurriedly filled it out. I didn’t learn ’til later, that in those days, you had to ask three times.

I was thrilled! Not only was I going to be the first actor ever in Lodge No. 48, but I could just imagine my father’s surprise when I would spring the old greetings on him! I wanted only to surprise my Dad – and was I surprised, when after I was made an Entered Apprentice, I found I had to remember everything that happened to me at that event and come back and answer questions about it!

I was assigned to a dear old man of about 92 years of age who, I felt, must have been there when the Lodge first started. He was really of the old school – and he started me out with the foot-to-foot, knee-to-knee and mouth-to-ear routine of teaching.

Besides doing my work for the Barter Theater and a little acting to boot, I was also going to that dear Brother for my work in Masonry. I would tramp all over those lovely hills and work on my “Whence came you’s” and one day – oh, one fine day – I stood foot-to-foot with my Brother and answered every question perfectly! I was ecstatic! I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to get to Lodge to show my ability as an Entered Apprentice.

After I quieted down, that dear Brother said, “You’ve done fine, but aren’t you really only half started?” I couldn’t believe him! I knew my work; what else was there? He said “Wouldn’t it be better if you knew all the questions too?”

I couldn’t believe my ears! All that hard work and only half done? He gently sat me down foot-to-foot, knee-to-knee and mouth-to-ear and taught me all the questions. That didn’t come easy, because I was almost doing the work by rote, but with careful listening and by really applying myself, I was soon able to deliver all the questions and answers perfectly!

The night that I stood in front of the Lodge and was asked if I were ready to answer the questions of an Entered Apprentice, I respectfully asked if I could do both – questions and answers. I was granted that wish and later found that I was the second man in my Lodge to have ever done so! I am truly proud of that, never having demitted, I am still a member in good standing in Abingdon Lodge No. 48.

I tell this story not for the merit it might gain me, but to tell you that learning the Entered Apprentice obligation taught me a great lesson in acting as well: that before I ever attempt to do a part I should work, rehearse, feel, almost live that part to know what I am talking about!

As I’ve advanced in Masonry, I have found we are an elite group of people who believe in God, country, family and neighbors. We work hard to help our fellowman; and through our charitable work, such as support for the Childhood Language Disorders Centers, we have made it possible to help many children grow Into good American citizens. We should always be proud of the Order we belong to. Where in all the world do you find so many great men and Brothers who have helped the whole wide world? But – we are hiding our light under a bushel basket!

Recently I attended a dinner for a friend, and I ran across a Brother who identified himself in a hushed voice. I asked why he spoke in a whisper when talking about Masonry, and suddenly I realized he wasn’t the only one who had ever done that. I speak out loud about Masonry to everyone! I’m proud of the fact that I belong to an organization that made me a better American, Christian, husband and neighbor; and all it took was a little self-determination by going foot-to-foot, knee-to-knee, and mouth-to-ear!

Across the Atlantic Masonic History In The Making

Opening the PHA Grand Session

Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas

Something that doesn’t happen every day of the week, no something that doesn’t happen every year, no something that doesn’t happen every decade…let’s put it this way. When was the last time you heard of a Grand Master traveling thousands of miles to another Continent to establish a Lodge under its jurisdiction (excluding military Lodges)? Well that is exactly what the Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas, the Honorable Wilbert M. Curtis has done.

An invitation was extended to Grand Master Curtis from a group of Masons, lead by Brother Louis Metan, from Cote d’Ivoire, Africa to organize and consecrate a Lodge there in the Prince Hall family under the jurisdiction of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas.

On February, 7, 2012 Grand Master Curtis with a delegation of Prince Hall Texas Grand Officers arrived in Cote d’Ivoire to perform this mission.

The Texas Prince Hall Junior Grand Warden and Grand Historian, Frank Jackson, who was among the Brothers that made this historic trip tells us:

“Cote d‘Ivoire is a West African country with a surface area of 322,462 km, bordered on the northern part by Mali and Burkina, on the west by

gift, tablecloth, presentation

The Gift of Table Cloth

Liberia and Guinea, neighbored to the east by Ghana and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. The population of Cote d‘Ivoire is estimated at 21,058,798 inhabitants in 2011. The political and administrative capital of Cote d‘Ivoire is Yamoussoukro (the economic capital is Abidjan), the official language is French and the currency is the franc CFA. The country is also a member of the Economic Community of West African States (E.C.O.W.A.S.).”

Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas Grand Session 2012

The Brothers of Cote d’Ivoire selected as the name of their Lodge Roots Lodge UD.

Again Jackson informs us:

The Brothers of Cote d‘Ivoire chose the name Roots Lodge to symbolize the indomitable connectivity between Africans on the continent and Africans in the Diaspora.

Bro. Metan said, “The name Roots, is taken from Alex Haley‘s famous book, and is representative of men of African descent all over the world. Roots is a rallying name in which they all recognize themselves. Its powerful symbolism is sacred and spans time and space in answer to the distant call from our forefathers, who used similar symbolism with the adoption of the name African Lodge. The adoption of the name, African Lodge, in that time, was a call to Mother Africa from where they expected blessings to flow for the success of their ambitions. Likewise, the Brothers of Roots Lodge U.D. believe that the bond of union is established from now on between Africans worldwide and across centuries, provided that they use the Square and the Compass and are righteous.”

“This name also reflects the beginning of our Work, its roots. We pray that the originators and those that follow increase in the wisdom of the Sacred Law. The roots are also symbolic of a very strong African tree, the Iroko, under which we, like our ancestors pray for so many spiritual intercessions. On the banner the Iroko is white, to express the ingenuousness of our ambition and its capacity to progress forward in a perpetual cycle of accomplishment that never stops. The Master Mason‘s work never stops. The Iroko tree, super-imposed against the sun represents the dawn of a new day and more light. So this is how one must read our banner: the wisdom resides at our work, supported by Strength and adorned in Beauty. May we always express the fact of this boundless dream,” said Bro. Metan.

Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Texas line, 2012, Roots Lodge

Grand Master Curtis with the Roots Lodge Brothers

Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas Opening

Roots Brothers at the Installation

Before leaving, Grand Master Curtis extended an invitation to Worshipful Master Metan and the Brothers of Roots Lodge to attend the summer Grand Session of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas, June 21-24, 2012 and to perform the opening ritual for the Grand Session which they accepted.

On Friday June 22, 2012,  Roots W.M. Louis Metan and his officers opened the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas’ 137th Grand Communication performing the ritual in the French language. As Arkansas Prince Hall Grand Master Cleveland Wilson was later to say, “I didn’t understand a word they said but I could follow exactly what they were doing.” The largest attendance of a Texas Prince Hall Grand Session in many a year gave the Roots Brothers a standing ovation that seemed as if it would never end.

Throughout the four day Grand Session the Brothers from Roots attended all the functions of the Grand Lodge, its business, elections and all the social functions, the festivals and banquets.  Whether at breakfast at the host hotel or during a break at Grand Session one by one Texas Brothers would engage them in conversation and exchange a token of brotherly love and affection. The language barrier didn’t exist for we all spoke the Masonic language, that understanding that only Brothers of the Craft can share.

Gift of Dacshiki

Grand Master Curtis in his Allocution announced that Roots lodge UD was no more. Grand Lodge had voted to charter the Lodge as a full working Lodge. Now it was Roots Lodge #656 of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas. And he announced that Roots Lodge would be taking back with them a dispensation to open a second Lodge in Cote d’Ivoire. Soon he said there would be a third Lodge consecrated. This all follows a master plan. Three Lodges can come together to form a Grand Lodge. Someday in the near future there will be a Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Cote d’Ivoire.

candle presentation

Presenting a special candle at the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas Opening 2012

The last day of the four day Grand Session was the Tri Installation of officers of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas, The Heroines of Jericho and Eastern Star. At the very end W.M. Louis Metan made a special presentation to Grand Master Curtis. First of all he thanked all the Brethren for the great hospitality of the Grand Lodge. Having immersed themselves in the brotherly love and affection of all the Texas Brethren he said that he and his delegation were leaving with much joy and inspiration. He said that they all had listened, watched and learned from this experience and that they had received helpful information that they would take back to Cote d’Ivoire to use in Roots Lodge.  Lastly he presented Grand Master Curtis with gifts of the flag of Cote d’Ivoire, a special candle, a Dashiki and a tablecloth for Mrs. Curtis.

There remained nothing left to say but “au revoir mon frère.”

En français:

Continent au continent Histoire maçonnique dans la fabrication

Quelque chose qui ne se produit pas chaque jour de la semaine, aucune quelque chose qui ne se produit pas chaque année, aucune quelque chose qui ne se produit pas chaque décennie… nous a laissés la mettre de cette façon. Quand la dernière heure vous avait-elle lieu des milliers de déplacement entendus parler d’un maître grand de milles à un autre continent d’établir une loge sous sa juridiction (à l’exclusion des loges militaires) ? Jaillissez est exactement qui ce que le maître grand de Prince le plus adorable Hall Grand Lodge du Texas, Wilbert M. Curtis honorable a fait.
Une invitation a été prolongée au maître grand Curtis d’un groupe de maçons, avance par le frère Louis Metan, le d’Ivoire de Cote, d’Afrique pour organiser et consacrer une loge là dans la famille de prince Hall sous la juridiction de Prince le plus adorable Hall Grand Lodge du Texas.  En février, 7, 2012 le maître grand Curtis avec une délégation de prince Hall Texas Grand Officers sont arrivés dans le d’Ivoire de Cote pour exécuter cette mission.

Le gardien de Texas Prince Hall Junior Grand et l’historien grand, Frank Jackson, qui était parmi les frères qui ont fait ce voyage historique nous dit :

Le Ivoire de Cote d est un pays d’Afrique occidentale avec une superficie de 322.462 kilomètres, encadrée à la partie nord par le Mali et Burkina, à l’ouest par le Libéria et la Guinée, neighbored à l’est par le Ghana et aux sud par l’Océan Atlantique. La population du ` Ivoire de Cote d est estimée à 21.058.798 habitants en 2011. La capitale politique et administrative du ` Ivoire de Cote d est Yamoussoukro (le capital économique est Abidjan), la langue officielle est française et la devise est le franc CFA. Le pays est également un membre de la communauté économique des états d’Afrique occidentale (E.C.O.W.A.S.).

Les frères du d’Ivoire de Cote choisis comme nom de leurs racines de loge logent UD. Encore Jackson nous informe :

Les frères du ` Ivoire de Cote d ont choisi les racines de nom logent pour symboliser la connectivité invincible entre les Africains sur le continent et les Africains dans les Diaspora. Bro. Metan a dit, « les racines de nom, est pris du famousbook du ` s d’Alex Haley, et est représentant des hommes de l’origine africaine partout dans le monde. Les racines est un nom de rassemblement dans lequel elles toutes s’identifient. Son symbolisme puissant est sacré et enjambe le temps et espace en réponse à l’appel éloigné de nos ancêtres, le symbolisme semblable whoused avec l’adoption de l’adoption africaine du nom Lodge.The du nom, loge africaine, dans ce temps, était un appel pour enfanter l’Afrique d’où ils se sont attendus à ce que les bénédictions coulent pour le succès de leurs ambitions.

De même, la loge U.D. de racines de Brothersof croient que le lien de l’union est établi dorénavant entre les Africains dans le monde entier et à travers des siècles, à condition que elles utilisent la place et la boussole et soient justes. » « Ce nom reflète également le début de notre travail, ses racines. Nous prions que les créateurs et ceux qui suivent l’augmentation de la sagesse de la loi sacrée. Les racines sont également symboliques d’un arbre africain très fort, l’Iroko, sous lequel nous, comme nos ancêtres prions pour tant d’interventions spirituelles. Sur la bannière l’Iroko est blanc, pour exprimer l’ingénuité de notre ambition et de sa capacité de progresser en avant dans un cycle perpétuel de l’accomplissement qui ne s’arrête jamais. Le travail principal du ` s de maçon ne s’arrête jamais. L’arbre d’Iroko, superposé contre le soleil représente l’aube d’un nouveau jour et de plus de lumière. Ainsi c’est comment on doit lire notre bannière : la sagesse réside à notre travail, soutenu par force et orné dans la beauté. Pouvons nous exprimons toujours le fait de ce rêve illimité, » a dit Bro. Metan.

Avant de laisser le maître grand Curtis a prolongé une invitation à Master Metan adorable et les frères des racines logent pour assister à la session grande d’été de Prince le plus adorable Hall Grand Lodge du Texas, 21-24 juin 2012 et pour effectuer le rituel d’ouverture pour la session grande qu’ils ont acceptée.

Vendredi 22 juin. 2012 racines W.M. Louis Metan et ses dirigeants ont ouvert le prince Hall Grand Lodge de communication grande du Texas la 137th effectuant le rituel dans la langue française. Car prince Hall Grand Master Cleveland Wilson de l’Arkansas était plus tard pour dire, « je n’ai pas compris un mot qu’ils ont dit mais je pourrais suivre exactement ce qu’elles faisaient. » Le plus grand assistance de Texas Prince Hall Grand Session pendant de nombreux année a donné aux racines des frères une ovation debout qui a semblé comme si elle ne finirait jamais.

Dans toute la session grande de quatre jours les frères des racines ont assisté à toutes les fonctions de la loge grande, ses affaires, élections et toutes les fonctions de social, festivals et des banquets. Si au petit déjeuner à l’hôtel de centre serveur ou pendant une coupure à la session grande un Texas Brothers les engagerait dans la conversation et échangerait une marque de l’amour fraternel et de l’affection. La barrière linguistique n’a pas existé pour nous tout le rai la langue maçonnique, cette compréhension que seulement les frères du métier peuvent partager.

Le maître grand Curtis dans son allocution a annoncé que la loge UD de racines n’était pas plus. La loge grande avait voté pour affréter la loge comme pleine loge fonctionnante. Maintenant c’était la loge #656 de racines de Prince le plus adorable Hall Grand Lodge du Texas. Et il a annoncé que la loge de racines rapporterait avec elles une dispense pour ouvrir une deuxième loge dans le d’Ivoire de Cote. Bientôt il a dit qu’il y aurait une troisième loge consacrée. Ce tout suit un programme-cadre. Trois loges peuvent venir ensemble pour former une loge grande. Un jour dans un avenir proche il y aura Prince le plus adorable Hall Grand Lodge d’Ivoire de Cote.

Le dernier jour de la session grande de quatre jours était la tri installation des dirigeants de Prince le plus adorable Hall Grand Lodge du Texas, les héroïnes de Jéricho et étoile orientale. À la fin W.M. Louis Metan a fait une présentation spéciale au maître grand Curtis. D’abord de tous il a remercié tous les frères de la grande hospitalité de la loge grande. Après s’être immergé dans l’amour fraternel et l’affection de tout le Texas Brethren il a dit que lui et sa délégation partaient avec beaucoup de joie et d’inspiration. Il a dit qu’ils tout avaient écouté, observé et appris de cette expérience et qu’ils avaient reçu l’information utile qu’ils prendraient de nouveau à Cote le d’Ivoire pour employer dans la loge de racines. Pour finir il a présenté le maître grand Curtis avec le drapeau de Cote d ” Ivoire, des cadeaux d’une bougie spéciale, d’un Dashiki et d’une nappe pour Mme Curtis. Enfin, il a présenté le Grand Maître Curtis avec des cadeaux du drapeau de la Côte d’Ivoire, une bougie spéciale, un Dashiki et une nappe de Mme Curtis.

Là non resté rien laissé pour dire mais « frère de lundi de revoir d’Au.


Fred Milliken,Freemason Information,The Beehive

The Ultimate Masonic Lesson

Recently I had the joy of instructing a class of our newly raised Master Masons.

Going over “what’s in the book” is vitally important and we did that. But equally important is to teach what is not in the book, what is not part of the curriculum per se.

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For me that means teaching the new recruits that Freemasonry is a non judgmental, non confrontational, tolerant, peace loving fraternity. That doesn’t mean that we will accept evil, immorality or injustice. What it does mean is that as Masons we need to refrain from criticizing another lifestyle, another culture that is legitimate and acceptable in the eyes of God.

Every Lodge room is a haven of peace where harmony prevails and where no harm should come to any Brother. Nor should any be subjected to racism, slander, cussing, berating or other vulgarities.

As Masons we check our guns at the door. We also check our argumentative attitudes, the chip we may have on our shoulder, the cause du jour we may be promoting and the path of immortality we may believe is the one and only true way.

That does not make us a bland, superficial society, however. We stand firmly by the religion common to all faiths. Freemasonry is not a religion but it does promote and instill in its members those tenets of morality common to all religions without prescribing a particular path. It also stands foursquare for justice. Just looking at the Four Cardinal Virtues – Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice should give anybody an insight into the character of Freemasonry. For this reason we talk about the Universality of Freemasonry.

This is the ideal of Freemasonry. Ideals sometimes get sidetracked. Such has been my criticism of some Southern Mainstream Freemasonry that blackballs African Americans, non Christians and foreign speaking people. Freemasonry was never organized to be an all White, Christian only, Protestant only, English speaking only, born in America society. It is inclusive of all peoples of good character who profess a Faith.

Practiced as it should be, Freemasonry brings together Brothers of different races, religions, creeds, cultures, economic circumstances and political persuasions all under one roof. It brings them together in the pursuit of truth, peace, justice and brotherly love and affection. It’s not what divides us that is important, it’s what we have in common as children of God, a God, however interpreted, who wants us to recognize the fact that we are all one and that in His eyes we are all His children, that is of the utmost importance.

The lessons of the Craft are not complete until we have instilled in each and every Brother that the Lodge is an oasis of peace, that harmony and accord are its modes of operation resulting in a universal society where we are all one.