[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

From: John Daut <pineilse@swbell.net>

Date: Sun, 06 Dec 1998 20:48:42 -0600
From: John Daut <pineilse@swbell.net>
Subject: Brothers

I wanted to send you a copy of a letter I wrote a couple of years ago. I believe you will understand, and if it or any part can be used.

To; Mr Wheeler Neil Daut
C/O The Celestial Lodge
December 1, 1993

Dear Dad,

I haven't talked to you in a long time. Let's see, it was on the 18 day of April 1982, the day before you died. I'm not sure if this way will work, but it's the only way I know that may work. I can only hope that you can read this letter over my shoulder as I type and know what I would love to tell you in person. Not an awful lot has changed in the 11 years since you passed on, except we are all older. There has been one major event in my life however that I wanted to share with you. I have finally learned the primary secret of Freemasonary. If the teachings of Christ had never reached these shores, living up to the masonic teachings would be the best way to get to heaven.

Do you remember how excited you were when you became a Freemason way back in the 1940's? I still do. Your enthusiasm for attending lodge meetings always let mom and I know how much enjoyed your lodge and the fellowship of your brother masons.

I remember how excited you were when you were raised to the Master Mason's degree and how you rushed home that night with your white lambskin apron. Somehow, the idea of being excited about something for you to be buried with, escaped me at the time.

I remember how excited you were when you went into the Scottish Rite and came home to tell us that you were now a 32nd. degree Mason. You bought a 32nd. degree ring and wore it with pride. You even bought the 2 volume set of Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry to learn more about the craft. I guess I always knew that you wanted me to become a mason, but somehow I always fought against the idea. People (non masons) always told me, "Hey, if you're one of them Masons, you got it made. You can really go up in the world, get promotions and everything." Somehow that always turned me off. I guess I was young and had ideals. I wanted to get ahead on my own, without someone giving it to me.

In 1960, in the first job I had with the City of Houston, a new supervisor (a Mason) reassigned me to work in his office and used my expertise about the department and my abilities to revise the operation of the department. After the work was finished and he had the credit for the increased efficiency, I was reassigned back to the streets and the supervisor brought the only Mason in the department to work on the inside. It not only hurt, but it proved to me that "those people" were right.

By 1974, I had long since transferred to a different department and been promoted first to a foreman, then to the supervisor over 90% of the department. My supervisor, a Mason, had promoted me over the Masons in the department. This changed my views on Masonry and I filled out a petition for the Mysteries of Freemasonry that year. As you probably know, for various reasons (including money) I kept delaying and never turned it in.

After your oldest grandson, John Neil became a Mason, I could see the same excitement I his eyes that I used to see with you. His eyes asked why aren't you a Mason dad? The answer was simple. Hey, I'm in sixty four years old, and it's to late for me to start something like that. But, I was still interested and read a number of books including "Born In Blood". I was very impressed by what I read.

Sometime afterward your youngest granddaughter, Becky, got married, I asked her husband Pete why he hadn't ever became a Mason. His answer was simple, no one had ever asked him to "join". I did know enough to know that he would never be asked. For some reason I took it upon myself to convince him that he should think about becoming a Mason. That's when he pulled the big one on me. "I will if you'll go in with me," he said. What better way could I help my daughter and her husband through life than by saying OK...

John was overjoyed when I asked him to get petitions for Pete and me. I know now that you would have been also, if I had asked you.

Anyway, that's what I wanted you to know, I was raised to a Master Mason in the Cedar Bayou Lodge #321 Texas in December, 3 months before my 65 birthday. Then the next July, I went through the Scottish Rite and received the 32nd. degree. Not to long after that, I was initiated into the Shrine. And, not to long after that I a dual membership in the Humble Lodge #979 Texas.

I have to admit that when I started learning the work as an Entered Apprentice, it was just a bunch of words that I had to learn to get through the degrees. By the time I begin learning the master's work, it happened to me. Somehow, as we progressed, the words grew into sober-minded concepts and those concepts evolved into an inspiration for a new outlook on life. Now I wish it could have been at the Cade Rothwell lodge, with you, those many years ago, but somehow I think maybe you know that.

Your Son and Belated Brother in Masonry

John W. Daut

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