Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Shoe Is Back

You can have your travel shoes... we'll take the traveling shoe. 
As I mentioned last week, it is that time of year again when many of us from Ardmore descended upon another lodge in the district. For me, I have attended this particular visitation in Conshohocken every year since becoming a mason. It has been an interesting trifecta of meetings with something different at each and every one.

The first year that I attended I was one of only a handful from my lodge sitting in the room. In fact, all of us in attendance from my lodge had only been masons for a couple of months at the time. We all wanted to be there and we were all striving to meet the requirements early on for the Master Builder Award. Someone had to stand up and represent the lodge so I found myself standing and speaking for the first time at a lodge meeting.

Last year was completely different. By then I was serving as secretary and had spent the previous few weeks making calls and trying to get as many brothers to attend as possible. For the second year in a row there was a reward at stake but this time it was far more important… this time we were all coming together to support and represent our lodge. By the time we left we had the traveling shoe in hand and the points in the books for the Grand Master’s Award.

This year we are doing all that we can to repeat our previous performance. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same amount of time that I did previously to be on the phone for a couple hours each day but we were all still able to come together. And it was a truly representative mix of brothers from the lodge as there were masons who had only been raised a few months ago and another who was celebrating 66 years of masonic service this month. Officers and non-officers alike were in attendance, working together, and walking out with the shoe as a lodge and with the much need points to possibly repeat in receiving the Grand Master’s Award this year.

It was also interesting this year compared to others in that there was more of a celebratory atmosphere in the lodge room last night. These official visitations can sometimes be a little rigid but this time around all the officers were very familiar with one another and have come to exemplify brotherhood. This allowed for a more relaxed but also more personal experience that brought in all the brothers in attendance as an inclusive peek into the close comradery that exists among worshipful masters in the district.

It was a perfect example of the fact that no two meetings are exactly the same and while lodges may be close in geography it can be a completely different experience in both. This is what really keeps me coming back and looking forward to attending meetings at different lodges. We all have our differences as individuals and as lodges but we are all part of one fraternity, a unified brotherhood. Some of us now just have an extra shoe.