Your Masonic Journey ... Masonry is Work
Your Masonic Journey ... Masonry is Work
By Dwight M. “Mack” Sigmon
My Brethren, on Sept. 29, I stood before you and expressed my gratitude for being elected as your 166thGrand Master of Masons in North Carolina. I still struggle to find the proper words to adequately express how honored I am to have been given this extremely important responsibility. This is a humbling experience and one that I take very, very serious. I would like to thank Most Worshipful Robert E. Gresham Jr. for the confidence he had in me as his selection as the Junior Grand Steward for 2012. Most Worshipful Gresham, you can be assured that I will do my best not to let you down.
As I began this journey in late 2011, I told you of my commitment to serve in each place and station, driven by the same dedication and devotion with every appointment and election that I had been privileged to have served. I am hopeful that by the grace and guidance of our Almighty Creator, I can continue to meet and even exceed your expectations as Grand Master. It has always been my goal to serve any position in which I have been elected to or appointed to the very best of my ability and in such a manner that it would leave that position better than when I started. Those who I now follow have set the bar extremely high. My commitment to meeting and exceeding this goal remains for this my final and most important station.
I look forward to serving the Masons of North Carolina as we begin this journey together and I stress the word together.Since many of you may not know me, I feel it is important to know your grand master. The September/October issue of The North Carolina Masontouched on part of my early beginnings in our fraternity. I was raised on July 22, 1975, and became a member of Catawba Lodge #248 in Newton, NC. Since I became a Mason in 1975, I developed an immediate love of the ritual. I became a certified lecturer for the first time in 1977, served as District Deputy Grand Lecturer from 1979-1981, and Master of my lodge in 1980. Beginning in 1983, I began traveling with my work. I regretfully let my certification lapse, one of my very few regrets in life.
After 20 years, in 2003 I became active again. This coincided with the same time as my best friend, the one who introduced me to this fraternity in early 1975, also became active again. His oldest son petitioned our lodge and I was asked to sign his petition and to give his third-degree lecture. I replied that it had been almost 20 years since I had last given a lecture, to which I was bluntly told to relearn it. I started the process and to my amazement, with some dedicated effort, I was able to not only learn that lecture again, but four months later I was recertified as a Class “A” Certified Lecturer. I began studying the ritual with more meaning and passion.
At that time, as an older Mason, my studying of the ritual was different. As a younger Mason, I focused more effort on memorizing words. However, as an older, hopefully more mature Mason, I began to focus more on the meaning of the lessons of our various degrees. During the past 15 years, I have concentrated more on a combination of the various Masonic rituals in combination with my Book of Faith to improve my life. I strongly feel this has made me a better man and Mason. Though my life, like many, will always be a work in progress, I am confident that the more I focus on the lessons of our many rituals, my self-improvement journey as a Mason will continue to advance in a positive direction.
I urge each of you to evaluate what impact our ritual lessons are playing in helping to shape your life and actions. I believe it is a privilege to be a part of the world’s greatest and oldest fraternity, the greatest self-improvement program available in the world today. Remember, in today’s world, someone is always watching, including and more importantly the Supreme Architect of the Universe -- that “All Seeing Eye” represented so vividly throughout our fraternal bodies. Our forefathers left us a fraternity to grow and prosper and we can only attract the best men if they clearly see the true character of what we represent as Masons.
We will begin our district meetings in a couple of months. It should come as no surprise that much of my message will focus on our various Masonic ritual lessons. As Masons, each of us have a responsibility to set an example to others as how we should live our lives and how we should treat others. Over the past several years, we have experienced difficult and divisive times. Our Masonic rituals are full of reminders of exercising a wholesome respect of others even if we experience disagreements.
We are reminded in the charge to a newly installed Master to practice outside of our lodges those duties which are taught in it. When we do this, we not only become the example for others to follow but more importantly a potential attraction of what others may be looking for to become better men.
The way we carry ourselves is our best method of advertisement. In one of our Masonic degrees, we are taught that Life is a School, Masonry is Work. It is not easy to always live our lives as our many lessons teach but that, my brethren, is what sets us apart from all other organizations.
I look forward to serving as your grand master for the ensuing year and having additional discussions on being the type of Mason we say we are.