The following article was written by Bro Donald Drake and appeared in the December 2014 issue of the Maine Mason.
Just under a year ago I was raised to a Master Mason at Tyrian Lodge #73 in Mechanic Falls. In that time I have jumped into many aspects of Masonry. As many before me, I had a desire to learn what Masonry is about. I had a Grandfather who was a Mason and died long before I thought about becoming one. My mother was a Rainbow Girl, and after many talks with her about what it entails, I got the usual reply; “I can’t really tell you what it is all about, you will have to find out for yourself.” During that time I found out that a friend of mine was a Mason. So I asked him what it was about. In very vague answers, he hinted at some of the aspects of Masonry, careful not divulge much, but enough to entice my curiosity to ask about joining. So I did. The following is brief synopsis of what it has been like in the past year and a half since I was accepted and then raised to a Master Mason.
Since being accepted, I have jumped at every opportunity to learn more about what it is to be a Mason. Since becoming a part of Tyrian Lodge, I have had nothing but an exceptional experience. Every single person in our lodge is open and inviting. This made the comforts of joining much easier, as I was delving into my Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and finally my Master Mason degrees. Learning lessons, working through my cipher to try and figure out what I was reading and understanding the purpose of what was written. I had an elder brother that helped me to translate things when necessary. I can say I had no idea what to expect with each degree, but I was very glad to finally watch from the sidelines after going through them. It didn’t take long for me to want to participate and be more involved. As our new Master was getting ready to take his place this past year, I was asked if I would like to take a chair. I jumped at the chance. Thankfully it has had few speaking parts, as I sit back and try to memorize everyone else’s parts during lodge. I have tried to absorb everything around me for my future positions in the lodge. Knowing that I will be jumping a chair next year I will need that knowledge sooner than I thought.
I have had the chance to work on many other groups and events in our lodge. Bikes For Books, Strawberry Festival, Masonic Building Association meetings, and many other lodge related events that I participated in were so much fun. I can say that every one of these events have been such a benefit to our community. I have visited a few lodges now to watch how other lodges perform their degree work. It has given me ideas for when I finally make it to Worshipful Master.
The brothers involved genuinely care about what is going on around them, and strive to help out anyplace they can. I have no way to really explain to others about what it means to be a brother and part of the Masons. It’s not an easy thing to do because there are so many different aspects of being a Mason. The more involved you are, the more you get out of it. I guess my quick answer to people asking about it is; Masonry is a great philanthropic organization that benefits the community, and through that, other peoples lives benefit in many ways. I joined because of an inherent wonder about what it was, and because I had family that were involved in Masonry in the past, and I liked the idea of continuing that tradition. I hope to instill the same values that have become part of my life in my own children, and when they are old enough, to ask them to join this great fraternity I am proud to be part of.
The last things I have done of great importance this past year was joining Kora Shrine over the Summer with two very close brothers of mine. It was a great event at Summer Ceremonial. My brothers and I had an exceptional time with our wives and everyone there. We were fortunate enough to meet some very great people. We have now started on our next journey of Masonry as Kora Shriners.
Bro. Donald Drake