My Journey

Discussion in 'Your Masonic Story' started by Matt Ross, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Matt Ross

    Matt Ross Registered User

    49
    25
    18
    Greetings Brethren!

    My journey begins in the summer of 2013. I had recently become interested in researching genealogy. At the time, the only interaction I had with the fraternity was through whatever I'd picked up from horribly made History Channel documentaries and internet Anti-Masonic propaganda. It's safe to say at the time one of the last things on my mind was joining Masonry.

    In my research, I found that my family contained many Freemasons spanning hundreds of years, one of which being my Great Grandfather, Raymond Theodore Alexander Ross. He was a 32° Mason out of West Virginia and he was also a member of the York Rite and was a Shriner.

    It was interesting to find someone so recent in my family history associated with the fraternity and after finding this out I asked my dad what he knew about his grandfather. He told me an epic story about how he had served in World War II at Pearl Harbor (where my grandfather on my mom's side also served) and how he came back and started his own plumbing business in West Virginia. I asked him about his connection to the fraternity and my dad told me that he was always very close with his brothers and he was heavily involved in the fraternity for the time he was in it.

    For a couple years that was as far as I went into it.

    In the summer of 2016, fresh out of high school, I decided I wanted to know what it took to join the fraternity.

    A theatre company a few friends of mine were a part of had a show going on at the local Masonic Lodge and I figured if anything, like any rented venue, there may be someone there who would be able to give me more information.

    On the way into the show I spotted a tall gentleman wearing a square and compasses hat and I asked him bluntly, "So what do you have to do to get involved with that stuff, anyway?" I said as I pointed to his hat. He smiled at me and answered kindly, "Ask one."

    A few months later that next fall, I decided I wanted to "ask". The trouble was, the only Mason I knew was one that had died many years before I was born. I had nobody to ask. So I did what any millenial would do. I turned to the internet. I emailed the lodge secretary letting him know of my predicament. About a week later I got a call from a different brother, introducing himself as Dakotah.

    Dakotah offered a tour of the lodge and a chance to learn more about Masonry. I took him up on his offer and a winter night in 2017 I met Dakotah at the lodge and he gave me a tour. I was surprised he wasn't an older gentleman like I had pictured most Masons being. At first I was hesitant to ask questions being I didn't know what was secret and what wasn't. Dakotah seemed to sense this in me and let me know that I could ask what I wanted and if there really was something he couldn't say he would let me know. I asked every stupid question I could think of and soaked up what I could. Little did I know at the time I was speaking not just with a random brother Mason who had agreed to show me around, but the sitting Worshipful Master of the lodge.

    Dakotah and I would meet multiple times throughout the end of 2017 and through 2018. In the fall of 2018 I decided that I had made my decision and that I wanted to petition the lodge. Dakotah graciously offered to sign for my petition and I submitted my petition to Battle Creek #12 in November of 2018. The petition was read and accepted. I went through my investigation in January of 2019 and in February of 2019 the lodge voted to allow me to go through the degrees.

    With now Past Master Dakotah as my mentor, I was initiated into the Entered Apprentice Degree on March 13th of 2019, Passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft on May 28th of 2019, and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on June 8th of 2019.
     
    Bloke likes this.
  2. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,304
    3,034
    133
    Lovely story!

    Freemasonry is not always easy - for lots of reasons. Work and family pressures making it hard to attend, sometimes a grumpy member testing patience, sometimes a lack of morale in a lodge, sometimes it is just freezing and hard to leave the comfort of home or a looming 4 am start the next day seems to make attendance impracticable. I have been making the effort for 16 years, rarely missing a meeting and I defend the date in my diary against all sorts of things, trying to make family, then work, then lodge the order of my priorities but also letting it be known at home that when I am in an office, I need to turn up to support the team and only pressing emergency and a momentous family occasion (or emergency) will divert me. I think only once in those 16 years since becoming a MM, I have put in an apology on the day (due to illness) and when I am unsure if I can perform the duties the lodge needs, I say "No" to accepting a job - but am willing to stretch myself (far) to help my lodge prosper. I must say, I think I have had two meetings I left not feeling much better about things and grateful I made the effort. One was around disharmony - and the other on the first meeting following the death of a very close friend and brother who left a big hole in our lodge - even leaving I did not feel invigorated, but I often wonder if I would have been able to do back the following month if I had not gone that night - it is certainly what the departed member, who was my proposer, would have wanted. He son didn't, and even though he remains a member, 4 years on he has never stepped inside the building; I might have been the same if I had not pushed myself on the first meeting following his death.

    I hope you are in a good lodge and get as much out of Freemasonry as I have, and are able to return the favour by supporting your lodge and the Freemasons around you.

    I wish you the best Brother !
     
    Matt Ross and Howard Giang like this.
  3. Howard Giang

    Howard Giang Registered User

    156
    36
    28
    Your life with Freemasonry is impressive Bloke.
    Also, when you advised to find a “good lodge”. What you meant by that? Are you talking about a physical structure or the institution of brotherhood? How a candidate would be able to know the affairs of the lodge from a few visits? Thanks.
     
    Matt Ross likes this.
  4. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,304
    3,034
    133
    A good lodge will be one that suits you.

    For some, it will mean a large membership, others, small. For me, I like a Lodge with a mix of young and old, experienced and new - but most of all, one which has a "can do" attitude with good morale and strong fraternal bonds where people connect outside meetings as well as at the regular meeting.

    As an applicant - I suggest you find one where there is a warm welcome, who follows you up and who seems to have people willing to take you under their wing and teach you about Freemasonry and support your journey in it.
     
    Matt Ross and Howard Giang like this.
  5. Howard Giang

    Howard Giang Registered User

    156
    36
    28
    Very well said Bloke. The concept is also what I would looking for if I were an application. It has to give a feeling like an extension of families with loves. Anyhow, I read some comments from other Masons on various forums complained or stressed that 80% of Masons paid dues and/or donated to charities; however, unfortunately they don’t show up to meetings. Anyway, you have a great record of attending, I don’t think I could ever beat that even if I start today.
     
    Matt Ross likes this.

Share My Freemasonry