I had the great priviledge last night of visiting the community of Oblong, Illinois, and speaking at a Past Master's dinner at Oblong City Lodge No. 644. It's a good two hour trek for me, and I don't get down that way very much. But it's a great community, with super friendly people. And what a fanatastic group of Masons I met at that Lodge--and so many young officers. It's good to see that Freemasonry is thriving in the community of Oblong, Illinois. Well worth the drive down.
I don't speak as much as I used to--I was a little out of practice. Instead of giving my usual Past Master's Dinner schtick, I wrote something brand new from beginning to end. They seemed to enjoy it. I thought what I'd written at the end was pretty good. I'd never thought of Past Masters in quite the way I'd looked at it towards the end of my presention, and once I began seeing it that way, I wrote these few paragraphs in a couple minutes. Words don't often come that easily for me when I'm writing speeches--it's usually a battle to get enough on paper to fill the space. But this came very easily, and that's usually an indication I've stumbled onto something interesting. I thought I'd share it with you.
It went like this:
"As we all know, our
Fraternity is not about hats, it’s not about rings, it’s not about chairs, and
it’s not about jewels and aprons. Past
Masters know that better than anyone else.
It’s not about us either. It’s
about giving. It’s about learning from each other. It’s about friendship and
becoming better men. As a Past Master,
your conduct serves as a model for those that come after you. And because of you, this Fraternity has
lasted nearly 300 years in its modern form.