Sunday, January 2, 2011

Past Master....a Bitter Sweet Title

On Thursday night this week my reign of terror term will end and the oriental chair of "Old St. Johns" will be occupied by another and I will officially don the title and mantle of a Past Master. I can now join the succession of men who can sit on the side lines and complain about how it was back in my time.
Oh they were the good ol' days.
In the days leading up to the election of the lodge I had been asked by a number of Brothers both senior and junior if I would remain in the East for another year and I told them all, if I were elected again I would certainly serve, although I would not put myself out as a candidate because of the amount of time it has taken away from my family. In the end it turned out to be quite an interesting night because for the first time in a long time no one knew who the three principal officers were to be. The progressive line was not in order and when the dust settled my Senior Warden was elected to lead the craft for the ensuing year (much to even his dismay as he wanted me to remain also) by a narrow margin.
So..... at our next stated communication he (my SW)will be installed and I will be uninstall-ed so to say and I pass on to history.
My year saw many popular changes and many things that may have been endured only because of my force of will. I believe I adhered to the utmost the landmarks of our order and used my time as Worshipful Master to lead my lodge and not sit in a chair until the next man would endure it. At times I know there were a few who did not want a Master that led, they really liked the ones who went through the motions, did some degrees, and generally did not stir the pot. There were also those that loved every minute of my term and were very, very sad to see it end.
I felt as if a weight had been taken off my shoulders and pinned to my chest instead. I poured my heart and soul into the lodge as I had been doing since I first joined it, but for one year it was mine and it shined like the top of the Chrysler Building! I can only hope that some of the things I fought for and all of the things that I introduced will remain but there is no certainty in things. I will do my best to mentor my successor and I hope with all hopes that he can continue the success we have all worked so hard for.
It will be a bitter sweet night on Thursday and it will be tough donning the mantle and title of a Past Master.

Jeez......  I'm complaining already!

9 comments:

Charles Tirrell said...

Congratulations on a year well done! Hopefully you'll find the reflection done while in "retirement" to be fruitful and that your lodge will benefit from your continued wisdom. I tend to think that you can judge a past master based on the ratio of meetings he attends after his term to the amount of times he stands up and speaks in lodge. A lodge always needs its past masters, preferably sitting down and being silent until asked ;)

Tom Accuosti said...

That's not the way we used to write blog posts in *my* year...

3M, congrats on having had an excellent year. Our best wishes for St. John's - and for you - in 2011.

The Millennial Freemason said...

Bravo Worshipful Brother. Congrats on your hard work and you'll discover your niche.

Nick

Paul Chapin said...

Personally I think two years is great, I enjoyed my second year, by then I was in the groove. Problem is that it makes the eventual transition more difficult especially if the following Master doesn't match the energy you put forth. As you said many Masters simply occupy the seat.

I had the opportunity to serve my affilate lodge as Master for two years as well so I did four in a row. So this year feels real strange sitting on the sidelines but I have the satisfaction of seeing the results of my labors by watching my affiliate lodge perform at a high level.

But yes it is tough to ride when you have been driving especially when you enjoy and embrace driving.

Quarryman said...

Congrats Brother. I wouldn't about retirement. If your Lodge is like mine, either you will find plenty of committee work to do or there will be another opportunity for service in the East. Best wishes!

Worshipful Master said...

I will be joining you on St. John's day by also becoming a has-been. However, I look at it differently.

While it will mean less attendance at EVERY function, it frees up my time for other things. I can now continue to learn the final two lectures. I can assist the Grand Lodge. I can write the myriad of education lectures running through my head. I can write a book to help suffering lodges get their intellectual spark back. And the list goes on.

But most of all, I can help my future Worshipful Masters. Past Masters carry the Sextant as the symbol of their office. As they have proven to be masters of the working tools, they are now given the sextant, the tool of surveyors and navigators. What better tool for those who should be there, not to make the decisions for the WM, but to survey the craft and the landscape of freemasonry and provide navigation information of the Master so that he can make the most informed decision.

Worshipful Master said...

I will be joining you on St. John's day by also becoming a has-been. However, I look at it differently.

While it will mean less attendance at EVERY function, it frees up my time for other things. I can now continue to learn the final two lectures. I can assist the Grand Lodge. I can write the myriad of education lectures running through my head. I can write a book to help suffering lodges get their intellectual spark back. And the list goes on.

But most of all, I can help my future Worshipful Masters. Past Masters carry the Sextant as the symbol of their office. As they have proven to be masters of the working tools, they are now given the sextant, the tool of surveyors and navigators. What better tool for those who should be there, not to make the decisions for the WM, but to survey the craft and the landscape of freemasonry and provide navigation information of the Master so that he can make the most informed decision.

Worshipful Master said...

I will be joining you on St. John's day by also becoming a has-been. However, I look at it differently.

While it will mean less attendance at EVERY function, it frees up my time for other things. I can now continue to learn the final two lectures. I can assist the Grand Lodge. I can write the myriad of education lectures running through my head. I can write a book to help suffering lodges get their intellectual spark back. And the list goes on.

But most of all, I can help my future Worshipful Masters. Past Masters carry the Sextant as the symbol of their office. As they have proven to be masters of the working tools, they are now given the sextant, the tool of surveyors and navigators. What better tool for those who should be there, not to make the decisions for the WM, but to survey the craft and the landscape of freemasonry and provide navigation information of the Master so that he can make the most informed decision.

M.M.M. from the North Eastern Corner said...

WM-Thanks for the well timed comment, I needed that.