Ennis Daily News

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by gortex6, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. gortex6

    gortex6 Guest

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    Masons set record straight
    Candie Beck-Adams, Community Editor
    02-23-2009

    When many people think of the Masons, images of movie scenes from “National Treasure” and “The Da Vinci Code” may come to mind. However, that image is just what members of the Ennis Masonic Lodge were hoping to change with the open meeting they held last week for the community.


    Lodge member and past worshipful master of the Ennis Lodge, Ken Hackney, said he hoped the meeting would help give people a clearer picture of what the Mason organization was really about.

    “There are a lot of ideas out there and while some of them are accurate, some are definitely not and we wanted to share who we are with the community to help clear up some of the misunderstandings,” he said. “We also wanted to dispel some of the rumors and myths that are attached to the Masons.”

    Hackney shared a history of the Ennis Lodge with those in attendance and dated the lodge to the same year the city was founded.

    “The city and the lodge were both founded in 1872 and we know that some of the city’s founding fathers were also members of the Masonic lodge and we are very proud of that history,” Hackney said.

    He also shared that the earliest date on record of the Ennis lodge being at its present location of 209 N. Dallas St. was in 1909. The lodge was moved several times prior to that date due to the destruction of buildings from fires.

    After Hackney’s introduction to the Ennis lodge, keynote speaker Elmer Murphey III spoke about the customs and practices of the Masonic lodge. He described the group as a simple organization of men that strive to be the best they can be and help their communities through their actions.

    “Talking about the Masons is a natural thing for me because it is my passion,” he said. “We are a simple group whose beliefs and so called secrets are based on the principles found in the Bible. All of our teachings can be found or read from there, but because we do not volunteer that information we have a reputation of being a secret group.”

    Murphey went on to explain that the Masonic group has the distinction of being the only corporate body that is allowed to form other corporations without the permission of the state. The group is a 501-C10 fraternity, which is a non-profit, individual corporation that only needs the permission of the Grand Lodge of Texas to form new lodges or corporations instead of the signature of the secretary of the state of Texas.

    For anyone wishing to join the Masons, Murphey outlined the three characteristics prospective candidates must have:

    • Candidates must have a belief in a supreme being.

    • The candidate must be a man of good character.

    • Candidates must meet on the level, meaning inside the group everyone is treated the same way despite social standings, race, religion, etc.

    After a candidate has made their petition to become a member, several members of the group lead an investigation into the character of the person making the petition. A visit is made to the person’s home and conversations with the candidate’s family are held. The members of the investigation give their report to the rest of the lodge and a vote is taken to either accept or reject the candidate from the group. All members cast a secret vote by placing either a white ball (to signify an affirmative vote) or a black ball (to signify a negative vote) inside a box and when everyone has voted the box is checked to see if there are any black balls. As long as there are less than three black balls, the petition is granted.

    Murphey attributed the recent influx of younger members to the organization to the fact that the group has remained the same since it’s inception and that the core principles of the organization remain intact.

    “I believe the rebirth of the lodge with younger members is because our principles remain constant,” he said. “Our traditions and values have remained the same and that is appealing to people. While times have changed and the world around us, our group remains steadfast in their beliefs and traditions.”

    The Masons are also known for their charitable work and strive to keep their affiliations such as the Scottish Rite Hospital free to any child that needs care. They also had an orphans and widows home in Fort Worth until 2005 when after 106 years of service, the last graduating class, the Mighty Mites, held commencement ceremonies. The group still has about 22 widows they care for at a facility in Arlington.

    The issue of why the group was still a men’s only organization was addressed at the meeting and other alternatives were given for women wanting to become affiliated with the organization.

    “Women are not permitted in our group because when the group was started its members were actual operative masons, which did not include women,” Murphey said. “Our traditions and beliefs have stayed constant to the original workings of the group and we remain a men’s group. However, organizations such as the Order of the Eastern Star is a counterpart to the Masons group and is a way any interested ladies can participate.”

    The group also has the Rainbow Girls of Texas, which includes girls that want to participate without needing a relative that is involved in the Masons group.

    For more information on the Masons group, visit the Grand Lodge of Texas’ Web site at www.grandlodgeoftexas.org.
     
  2. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice artical.
     
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Great article! Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. RJS

    RJS Guest

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    Good Stuff!
     

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