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TRUE MASONRY: TRUE STORIES II

This is a series of true stories exemplifying the best virtues of Freemasonry. These stories were submitted by Freemasons from around the world. They provide an insight as to what it means to be a Mason. We hope you will enjoy them.

These stories are reproduced with permission of the author, Brother Tim Bryce and "Freemason Information" at http://www.freemasoninformation.com/


TSUNAMI RELIEF

I got to know Bro. Joseph Hardin, Master of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 18 F.& A.M. (Tennessee, USA) through the Internet forum for the movie "National Treasure" in November 2004 and early December 2004. After communicating with him for a couple of weeks via e-mail, I was preoccupied with work and did not e-mail him until the end of 2004. Then the tsunami struck.

Bro. Joe knew that I was from the affected area, but he didn't know that Singapore, though within the Ring of Fire and surrounded by many badly affected countries, escaped unscathed. So, it was a relief when he found out that I was okay. Hence the title of my e-mail to him - "Relief (in more ways than one)."

The long and short of it was that through e-mail communications alone (we have never met in person, nor have we called each other on the phone), he was able to raise $1,000 (US) for relief. Eventually, we sent the donation to a Lodge in Thailand which is part of our District (District Grand Lodge of the Middle East). Thailand was badly hit by the tsunami.

What struck me most about this episode was the spontaneity of it all and the Brotherly love and trust. Joe and I have not known each other just one month before this incident, yet we acted like we have known each other for life. Such is the beauty of True Masonry.

Quah Soon Tong, PM
Lodge St Andrew, No. 1437 S.C. (Scottish Constitution) Principal Z,
Chapter St Andrew No. 748 S.C. Singapore

CAR TROUBLE

I was returning home from the Metro Airport in Detroit, having taken my daughter there so she could visit her mother in Charleston, SC. On my return home to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, I had a problem with my car where I had oil coming out from under the right rear wheel area. This problem ultimately saw me sitting at the side of the road. Using a cell phone, I called 911 and an hour later a tow truck pulled up. I was hooked up and he took me to a rough looking truck garage in the town of Port Huron, Michigan.

I asked the truck driver how much the tow was and he said $100.00. I resigned myself to the fact that I really had no choice but to do what I did as I had to get off of the highway. My car was taken inside the garage and jacked up. It turns out that the problem was a combination of things but it boiled down to being a tire that I needed to get me home. I asked if they had a used tire that they could put on the car and that I would go to my own garage in Sarnia on my return home.

While the car was being fixed, there was a stocky fellow, with a gruff disposition, who came up to me and, pointing at the back of my car at my Masonic emblem, asked, "What's that?"

I told him that I was a Mason. He broke into a smile, said, "Me too!", shook my hand and welcomed me to his garage. After the work was done, I went into his office and asked if I could use the phone. You see, I only had $65.00 Canadian on me at the time and I had to call home for someone to come over to Port Huron and pay the rest.

The gruff guy asked, "How much do you have on you?"

I responded that I had the $65.00. He said, "Close enough. Can't have a Brother stranded now can we?" at which time he took the $65.00, threw it on the desk and walked me outside to my car. He wished me a safe trip home with a handshake.

The Brethren are everywhere.

W:.Bro. Paul J. Pinel,
F.C.F. Secretary,
Liberty Lodge No. 419 A.F.& A.M.
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

MOVING DAY

In the spring of 2004 I had to relocate a retail business and move the inventory, fixtures and equipment. I had mentioned this casually to a couple of Masons before a regular meeting a few days earlier. I had already lined up movers to come in and take care of it.

On the morning of the move, totally unexpected and unrequested, Brother Jim Van Sant pulled up an hour before the movers arrived, and backed his trailer to the door. Brother Jim then took it upon himself to take apart all the computer, phone and electrical device connections, take them to the new location, and reinstall everything. What a great favor! And a great brother!

David Ross
Pickens Star Lodge No. 220 F.& A.M.
Jasper, Georgia, USA

HURRICANE KATRINA

My wife, my three month old son and, myself had evacuated from Gautier, Mississippi to the Dallas Area to escape Hurricane Katrina. Upon my arrival, I e-mailed some of the surrounding lodges to look for some fellowship. All three lodges responded and welcomed me to their lodge as though I was a member of their lodge. I was invited to several floor schools to show me how "Texas does it" and to help me with my proficiency. They received me with open arms and made me feel as though I was among my home lodge in Mississippi. When my wife wanted to gather aid items to take back to Mississippi, the lodges immediately rose to the occasion. Those three lodges provided so much stuff that I had to take a trailer load to the Salvation Army Hurricane Relief Collection Center so the excess could be used to help the evacuees from New Orleans in the Dallas area. My thanks goes out to the Estelle Lodge No. 582 A.F.& A.M., Grapevine Lodge No. 288 A.F.& A.M. and, Hurst Lodge No. 1387 A.F.& A.M. who truly taught this, then newly passed, Fellowcraft what relief, charity and brotherly love really means. It just goes to show you that, no mater where you are, you are among welcoming and helpful Brothers.

William "Jeff" Lucas (FC)
Singing River Lodge No. 633
Gautier, Mississippi, USA

OPRYLAND

During Christmas, 2004, M:.W:.Louie King, PGM, his wife Alice, my wife Dot and myself spent Christmas at Opyland in Nashville, Tennessee. One day we were on a tour bus going downtown, the tour director pointed out we were passing a Masonic Lodge. When we stopped for a tour, I took the tour director aside and pointed out the Lodge was actually the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Tennessee and that all the Masonic Lodges in Tennessee were under the Grand Lodge. As the bus drove back by the Grand Lodge Building, the tour director slowed down and said he made a mistake, that all Masonic lodges belonged to the Grand Lodge.

Another night, we were coming back from a show and I heard the bus driver talk on his two way radio. he was talking to one of his drivers and refereed to him as "Brother." After everyone was off of the bus, I started to talk to the driver. I said I noticed that he called the other driver "Brother." He answered the he liked to travel, mostly East. He was a Past Master of his Lodge in Nashville. When I came into the Hotel, M:.W:.King said that I either had met a Mason or was going to make one.

R:.W:. Floyd Horton, PDDGM
Florida, USA

THE RING

I was initiated an Entered Apprentice in a Lodge here in Florida but due to some medical problems (I have MS) I had to step aside from my travels for a while. When I was ready to continue, my Lodge had sold their old building and had moved away, leaving me high and dry in my journeys. In the meantime, I was also involved in a historic reenactment group where I am a senior member in the art of historic sword play and as such I have private students. One of these gentlemen came up to me and told me that he was a Past Master of a Lodge up in Indianapolis and offered me any help that he could give me. Some time later he came up to me and told me to hold out my hand and then dropped three Masonic Rings in my hand and told me to pick one. As there was only one that fit he proceeded to give it to me and after making sure that he was serious I accepted the ring with the assurance that I would not wear it again until I was raised as a Master Mason.

Time went on and I was invited along with anyone else that was interested to an open session of a Masonic Education at a local Lodge about the Templars moving from France to Scotland after the destruction of the order. After the class was over I was introduced to the Chaplain to whom I shared my tale including my problem with MS whereupon he introduced me to a Brother who was in a wheel chair due to advanced MS and I was told that if I was interested the Lodge could help me with my degree work to get past the MS.

Now to the rest of the story as it were. I started back on the road East and in about six months I was raised a Master Mason by my friend who had given me the ring and, true to my word, I hadn't worn the ring since it was gifted to me. I handed it back to "Chet" so hat he could give it to me in Lodge after I was raised and when he gave it to me he told me that it had been his father's ring and since he had no son's of his own he would like me to have it so the ring could continue to hold meaning to a Brother in the fraternity. I still have and wear that ring to this day.

Michael Wurster
Nitram Lodge No. 188 F.& A.M.
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

BECAUSE I AM A MASON

I would hope that most of us would do our best for anyone. At the Festive Board following my initiation, one of the speakers told the apocryphal story about the chap who's car got stuck in a flood on his way to a lodge meeting. A passing farmer stopped and towed him clear of the water, on shaking hands to thank him the driver noticed a familiar grip. "Oh, I see," he said, "You saw my black tie and briefcase and helped me because I'm a Mason - thanks."

"No my good Brother," the farmer replied, "I helped you because I am a Mason."

(Name withheld by request)
London, England, UK

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