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Just a Page with Stories from Ed
 

 


12-14-2019

As a Master Mason I had the privilege of attending a Candlelight Degree at Sumner Lodge #334.

I had never attended a "Candlelight" Degree before and I was excited to attend.
When I arrived, most of the Degree team were there, the rest arrived and we sat down and had a very good meal before the Degree.
Upon entering the Lodge Room, there was no electric lighting turned on 
except for the light illuminating the Holy Book and the Letter G.
Lodge was opened on the 2nd Degree and an Entered Apprentice was passed to his Fellowcraft Degree.
As I was sitting there watching the Degree unfold, I noticed that the floor work, rod work and ritual, that was performed, was being done with a purpose...a purpose of Pride and Honor. 
These men, who were all fairly young, had taken the time to practice the complete ritual and made sure that it was done properly....and with the utmost respect for the Brother that was being passed to the degree of Fellowcraft.
Sitting there in Lodge during the ritual, with the flickering glow of the lamplight and candlelight, one could say that I was taken back into the bygone days before the discovery of electricity.
As the ritual continued, I sat there and thought to myself about the hardships that those previous Brethren had to endure to even attend a Lodge meeting in the bygone days....let alone the everyday ritual of life in general. 
These young men, whether they knew it or not, were paying homage to these Brothers that had gone before us.
During Lodge, I informed the Worshipful Master that I had seen quite a few 2nd Degrees at my Lodge, and other Lodges, and this one was the most impressive one I had experienced...and I meant that.
The Worshipful Master informed me that they, the younger Brethren, wanted the older Brothers to know that the Lodge, and Masonry, will be in good hands in the future and after seeing the dedication and pride that these young Brothers radiated during the Degree work, there is not a doubt in my mind that our Craft is in very good hands.

 

I just re-read what I had written and I started this off with "As a Master Mason 
I had the privilege of attending a Candlelight Degree at Sumner Lodge #334."
After the Degree work was concluded, Lodge was closed, and I was driving home, I realized it WAS a privilege to be able to attend, but, more importantly,
it was an HONOR to see the work that was performed there.

 

Well Done My Brothers.....Well Done.

Fraternally,
Ed Martin
Newton Lodge #216

 

 

 

Hello Brethren!
Well I have another story that is just impressing the heck out of me
and I need to share it with you all!
On October 26th, 2019 a few of us Mason's went to help out
Brother Rick Casteel and his wife Joni.
Rick has been 'under the weather' for quite some time now
and is soon going to be able to come home.
Some Brothers from the Valley of Danville Scottish Rite put together a crew to build Rick a ramp so it would be easier to access his home when the time came for his to return.
A member of Newton Lodge #216 was informed that this was going to happen and that help from our Lodge would be greatly appreciated.
Well, October 26th finally arrived and Lodge members started showing up to help.
It was raining some, but at the time I arrived, it wasn't too bad....but once the job got started the heaven's opened up like Noah was trying to get revenge!
As one Brother was saying "We're getting downwards rain, sideways rain and rain that is coming  up from the bottom!".
He wasn't kidding AT ALL!
Everyone was soaked and cold....but you know what? We had a pretty good time! Everyone was still in good spirits and we knew that no matter what, the ramp was getting built....A Brother and his wife need it and it was going to happen!
Well, after six hours and 2.81 inches of continuous "...downwards rain, sideways rain and rain that is coming up from the bottom!"....we decided to call it quits....no we didn't get it finished, but the floor of the ramp was there and it could be used.
We decided to come back on November the 4th to get the handrails on and finish up what was needed....and guess what? It DIDN'T RAIN while we were there, but as I was pulling out of Rick's driveway, it started sprinkling.
I just smiled and thought "Beat ya this time Noah!".

Godspeed on your recovery Brother Rick.

Here is a list that represents the Lodges of the 15 Brothers that built the ramp for Rick and Joni.

Ogden #754 at Ogden, Illinois
Urbana #157 at Urbana, Illinois
Olive Branch #38 at Danville, Illinois
Mahomet #220 at Mahomet, Illinois
Bridgeport Lodge #386 at Bridgeport, Illinois
Newton Lodge #216 at Newton, Illinois
St Anne Lodge #1092 at St. Anne, Illinois
West Salem Lodge #866 at West Salem, Illinois
Mattoon Lodge #260 at Mattoon, Illinois
Tolono Lodge #391 at Tolono, Illinois

Fraternally,
Ed Martin
Newton Lodge #216

 

 

Hello Brethren!
Another little story but with rare circumstances.....
Last Saturday morning on August 24th, 2019, I, along with several Brothers from Newton Lodge, attended a multiple 3rd Degree at the Toledo Lodge.
Like my first time at Toledo Lodge, the Brethren there were very Welcoming!
I met some new Brothers, and seen a few that I had already had the pleasure of meeting,  and I am always impressed on how visiting Brothers at other Lodge's,
that no one knows, are treated...
...with respect and dignity.
This is just a small, but very important part, of what makes Freemasonry great!

They had a pretty well packed house, with Brothers coming to help from other Lodge's, and, of course,  the two Fellowcrafts, who are actual brothers.

The first time I had been to Toledo Lodge was for a previous degree of theirs and I am always impressed when a set of Brothers do their degrees together.

After the slate was filled, the Degree got underway and those in attendance had the privilege of witnessing GREAT Degree work and a rare and proud part of Freemasonry come to be....a set of Brothers, raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, to be Masonic Brothers together in our great Fraternity of Freemasonry. 
Myself, and all Brethren, know this is an event that is not seen very often at all. 
I would like to Thank All the Brethren at Toledo Lodge for letting me witness this Degree!

I look forward to coming to more Degree work at your Lodge!

Also, I will tell everyone this.....the Brothers at the Toledo Lodge can throw down some VERY VERY FINE meals!

Again, Thank You for letting me witness this Degree!

Fraternally,
Ed Martin
Newton Lodge #216

 

August 11, 2019
 

Last eve me and the woman went to Charleston Lodge #35 and had a WONDERFUL Ribeye Dinner with all the fixin's!
There were around 80+ people in attendance.
Afterwards we watched 2 plays that were given in their Lodge Room.

"The Last Full Measure" play was about President Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address....and it was awesome!
First time I had heard the Gettysburg Address given outside of a classroom and Brother J.R. Thomas done an exceptional job portraying the President and the rest of the cast were right on cue and done an exceptional job also!

The "Memorial" play was about the Spirit of a Soldier 'returning' to visit his family....and it was done with such Honor and Respect that it actually made my eyes leak. 
Brother Seam P. McBride portrayed the soldier and done such an outstanding job that ANY actor would have been proud of this performance. The rest of the cast for this play were 3 ladies and another Brother and they all made this play heartfelt.

Also a big THANK YOU to the Directors of the plays, the Brethren at Charleston Lodge #35 and all those who made the dinner and plays possible.

If they do this again in the future, GO! 
Well worth the drive and the time.

Fraternally,
Ed Martin
Newton Lodge #216

 

 

August 7, 2019

Hello Brethren! 
I would like you to bear with me on this little story, if you don't mind.

I have always liked going to different Lodges and seeing people that I haven't seen in a while and to get to know Brothers that I haven't had the pleasure of meeting before. I also am proud to go to the Degree work and see new Brothers starting, continuing and finishing their Degrees....and every once in a while there is an event, (in regular Lodge or during the Degree work), that will forever be ingrained in my mind.

Last evening, on August 6, 2019, was one of those precious moments in time.

 I attended a 2nd Degree at the Winterrowd Lodge in Dieterich, Illinois.

 In my mind a Second Degree is a very important event that shows the Entered Apprentice the actual journey he has now embarked upon, and what he can achieve in continuing his journey.

It was a full house in attendance, with 3 Lodges represented during the Degree, and the Second Degree work went beautifully....the newly raised Fellowcraft did not make one mistake and the people performing the work did an outstanding job!  

After the work was completed, and the Brother was advanced to the Degree of Fellowcraft, the Worshipful Master then informed us that we had a Masonic Pin to Award to a Member.

I have seen several pins given to various Brothers over the years, but this one, to me, was very special.

As the WM and RWB walked over to present the pin, a Brother who I didn't know, was approached.

As the Brother stood to recieve his Pin, it was at that moment I was proud and totally amazed....but most of all, humbled.

RWB Doyne Winterrowd, who is soon to be 102 years young, was presented with his 75 Year Masonic Pin. 

RWB Doyne Wintrrowd was then given an appreciative, and very heartfelt, standing ovation by all those in attendance.

RWB Doyne Winterrowd had also served as Lodge Secretary for 34 years. 

I had to research to see what historic events RWB Winterrowd has lived through.

Think about this for just a few minutes, he entered this world when WWI was coming to a close and has lived through all the saddness and joys this world has endured since then.....and is still continuing to do so.
Once again, I was humbled.

Before closing the Lodge,  RWB Winterrowd stood and told the Lodge that it was the best work he has seen so far on a Second Degree.
And still, again, I was humbled.

Now I was going to say that I am sorry for being so long winded with this story, but NO, I am not. 

What I am, is proud.....proud to have been able to attend this Second Degree, at Winterrowd Lodge, to raise Brother Winterrowd to the Fellowcraft Degree, with Brother Winterrowd as WM during this Degree and proud to have met a Member of this Fraternity, RWB Doyne Winterrowd, that has been an Upright and Just Mason for 75 years...and still counting.

Fraternally, 
Ed Martin
Newton Lodge #216

 

 

The following story I wrote in the early 2000's. Sorry that I cannot remember the exact date. The Louisville Illinois Lodge has since closed.

Brethren,
Last evening I had the privilege and honor of attending the raising of a Master Mason.
As Every Master Mason knows, the raising of a new Brother to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason is, in itself, a solemn and beautiful ceremony. 
The Lodge I attended is situated above another building in this small, rural, south central Illinois town.... Louisville, Illinois.

We got to town and parked at the Town Square. The Lodge was located on the block south of the Town Square, facing north. We walked though a narrow alley and entered a small door. I noticed that the narrow stairway, leading up, had a lot of wear on the treads.  

Upon entering the Lodge there were a couple tables for the Brethren to relax at and when I went to get a drink of water, there was only one spigot above the sink. There was no hot water and I had to duck to get into the restroom, but, like the rest of the building it was neat, orderly and clean.
The Lodge itself was by no means new. I did not ask how long the Lodge had been there, but,  the furnishings attested that this was an old and well used Lodge. 
The floors were uneven, the carpet well worn and when a visiting Brother was asked to turn  on the ceiling fans, the switch gave him a jolt....and he promptly exclaimed "Someone else is going to have to turn off those fans!"

The Altar interested me very much. It was not large, but it was handcrafted and was intricately inlaid with small pieces of wood. It was one of the most beautiful Altars that I have ever seen. The Holy Bible was probably the newest item that I seen in th Lodge...well....except for the Brother that was there to be Raised!

The Officers of the Lodge were most friendly and very gracious for us being thre. I was informed that the Chaplain was 96 years young, the Marshall 79 years young and I observed that the Secretary used a cane. From what I gathered, the rest of the Officers are in their 70's and 80's. 

Even though it might take some of these Brothers a little longer to stand upright, I watched, with a deep and respectful pride, of the satisfaction that emulated from these Brothers as they readied themselves for the tasks they were about to undertake.
As the Degree was happening, one of the members of the Lodge told Brother Neil Richars to dim the lights. The 'switch' to dim the lights was a pretty good sized circular cast iron contraption that had a large handle sticking out of it. To dim the lights, one had to rotate the handle in a circular motion. When Brother Richars turned the handle a pretty large spark jumped off the contacts! (When I say large spark, I am talking 4-6 inches or so! I later found out it was a pretty old rheostat that was used back years ago to dim the lights.).
Brother Richars had a couple choice words to say and he then said "I am NOT touching that again!".
Instead of using a slide projector for the lectures, there was a wooden stand which has a roll of papers at the top, (similar to the retractable maps I learned from in school), and from the age of the paper, one had to very careful when they were unrolled. 

I have attended numerous Lodges, in the last couple of years that I have been a Master Mason, and I have learned something precious at every one. Last evening I again learned, but more importantly, felt, what Masonry teaches....it is not about how new the Lodge is, if it has all the comforts of home, if the carpeting is new, or even if the roof doesn't leak. It is about the Pride, the Respect and the Brotherly Love that is present there.

 These Brothers continue to go to Lodge and hold Offices because of the respect that have for Freemasonry, their Brothers and themselves. 

What I seen and felt last evening is something that I pray every Master Mason will experience at least once in their lives.
 

Fraternally,
Ed Martin
Newton Lodge #216