Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why I became a Mason, and what I have received.

Your question is quite valid, and important. Nevertheless, it is difficult to answer. Men join the Gentle Craft for many reasons. Family tradition, is one. My father and both of my Grandfathers were masons, my uncle (deceased) was a 33rd degree Mason.

Masonry offers men many things, a chance to associate with good men from many different religious and educational backgrounds, fellowship, brotherhood, and a chance for self-improvement. While not a charitable organization, there are opportunities for charitable service. Masonry and the appendant organizations affiliated with Masonry, contribute about $2.6 million dollars per day, to various charitable and philanthropic causes in the USA.
I joined, because of my family tradition, but most especially because men I knew and respected were Masons. Most masons do not realize it, but they are the best advertising the Fraternity has.
During the last 26 years, I have received many things from Masonry. Camaraderie, instructions in ethics and morality, great frienships, and meeting some of the finest men I have ever known. I have sat in lodge in Paris France, with men who risked concentration camps for being Masons. I have sat in lodge in Moscow, Russia, with men who risked being sent to Siberia, for being Masons. I have attended lodge in the very room, where George Washington was made a Mason, in Fredericksburg Virginia.
Masonry enabled me to join the Shriners, and I have transported children to our hospitals for medical treatment. I transported a child, who was born with spina bifida, and his family had no medical insurance. He had to have twenty operations before he was two years old. The costs exceeded one million dollars, and the Shriners paid the entire costs.
Different men receive different rewards from being Masons. We refer to these rewards, as the “wages of a Master Mason”. The wages vary with the individual, and his particular Masonic experience.
I am now assigned to a desolate mountaintop Army base, in Afghanistan. Myself, and the Masons here, are going to establish a traveling military lodge, and continue on with the Masonic tradition, here on the “roof of the world”. Dictators and tyrants have sought to crush Masonry, for centuries. Our lodge will meet, in the very face of terrorism, continuing on with the tradition of religious tolerance, and freedom.
Masonic lodges have met on US Army posts, since Valley Forge. Our lodge has met in the trenches of France in WW1, and on the battlefields of Germany in WW2. We met in Korea, and in the jungles of VietNam. Our lodge met in the desert of Iraq, and now we continue, here on this rocky escarpment, under the mortar fire of the very terrorists who planned the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Hope this answer is helpful to you.


eric said...

very nice, I enjoyed the read. Your a great guy Charles, hope to meet you in person one day. I am the guy in Kosovo you are trying to help out, I wanted to read about the craft and your postings are a great place for information.

David Medinets said...

a moving portrayal. my father is a mason but never talked about it.

Anonymous said...

well i think that the masons havw done some great thing for this world,well me to hoope one day to become a mason...........

Charles E. Martin said...

If you are interested in becoming a Mason, the procedure is not difficult. Please email me directly at cemab4y@hotmail.com and I will help you contact a lodge in your area, and assist you in getting into Masonry.

Anonymous said...

Whats up dude

It is my first time here. I just wanted to say hi!

willieray@nc.rr.com said...

Charles, Your post was excellent and most informative. I have been a Mason for over 40 years, served in 1986 as Master of Fellowship Lodge #265, Tampa, Fl GL of Fl, F&AM, in 1989 as Grand Standard Bearer American Flag with the American Canadian Grand Lodge of the United Grand Lodges of Germany and in 2009 as Master of Mt. Olive Lodge #208, Mt. Olive, NC GL of NC AF&AM. It has been a wonderful Masonic journey. I have attended over 130 lodges around the World and still visiting. I have Grandson in the US Army at Ft. Hood, Tx scheduled to come over there in Sept of this year. he has expressed an interest so look forward to seeing him as a Brother soon.
Willie Ray Starling, PM, PGLO

Anonymous said...

Brother Charles,
I really enjoyed your Blog read. I am Willie Ray Starling, PM Fellowship Lodge 265, Tampa Fl, PM Mt Olive Lodge 208, Mt Olive, NC, PGLO of the American Canadian Grand Lodge of the United Grand Lodges of German.
My Grandson is station at Ft Hood and is interested in joining a Lodge there. He has just arrived a few months ago and is in training for deployment to Iraq in Aug. His Name Chris Starling, I have put him in contact with WM Rob Walters of the Killeen Lodge and they will take care of him. I understand they have a couple of Lodges in Iraq, do you know anything about them?
Way back in 1969, was when I joined and it is one of the best things I ever did, sorry I waited so long to start.
Willie Ray Starling,PM

Alek Mikhail said...

This is amazing and inspiring. Thank you so much.