[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

Message-Id: <1DB5656C6E10D211B8060060B068A81D04924E25@plnt015.comm.mot.com>
From: <Dietzman Dale-EDD001>
To: "'dryfoo@mit.edu'" <dryfoo@MIT.EDU>
Subject: Your Question
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 16:26:30 -0500

Dear Brother Dryfoos,

I don't know if you are still collecting responses to "Why I became a Freemason", but I will offer you my response anyway. I did not became a Freemason because of family traditions, though there is nothing wrong with that, or because of perceived advantages that might come my way because of membership. I became a freemason because of the examples (to steal a phrase from the Marines) "of a few good men".

As a teenager, I was one of those 'over-achievers' who are generally regarded as 'nerds' by the general run of the herd. At the same time, I was only marginally a member of the 'nerd-crowd' itself. I was, rather, a 'lone wolf', and a very lonely period of my life it was. During my junior year in high school I was approached by a senior I was acquainted with, concerning joining the Order of DeMolay. While I did not immediately join, I became aware of the existence of DeMolay, and later on, I did become a DeMolay.

My DeMolay Chapter Dad was, to me, a shining light of what a Mason should hope to become. He was an educated, cultured, gentle, and humane man. A man who had time to listen to a teenager who needed to talk about his problems, even if he had no constructive advice to give about some of them. Just having someone whom I trusted to listen to me was more valuable than anything money could buy.

Among the adult workers of DeMolay there circulates a little card that says:

One hundred years from now, no one will care
How much I made, what kind of car I drove,
Or what kind of house I lived in, but
The world may be a better place,
Because I was important in the life of a young man.

If ever there was a man who was important in the life of a young man, Wor. Charles A. Scott was that man, at least with respect to me. And I suspect many others! Because I wanted to be such a man myself, and knowing that Dad Scott valued Masonry as he valued few things in life, I followed him into our gentle Fraternity. Because I was a DeMolay, I was not as surprised as many newly made Masons are by the forms and ceremonies, or by the Brotherhood I found on the other side of them. I had experienced much the same thing within my DeMolay Chapter, and it had made a significant difference in my life.

I have tried hard to "pay forward" to the succeeding generations of young men, and to the Masonic Fraternity, through my active adult support of DeMolay, those things I will never be able to "pay back" to Dad Scott, and those other men, who gave their time, talent, and treasure to the building of future leaders of the Fraternity and of the world. Truly is DeMolay a quarry in which some of the 'rough ashlars' of the future are chipped out of the undifferentiated matrix of young manhood. I have often felt like a dwarf asked to fill the shoes of giants, as I have become a Chapter Dad myself. Over the years, I have been asked to serve as State Director of several programs for DeMolay in Florida, and I have done my best for each of them. Some of the young men I have been privileged to serve have let me know that my efforts have not been entirely in vain.

I became a Mason, because some men who quietly became my heros (and larger than life to me, though they would deny it) were Masons. I have striven to emulate them. I can not think of a better reason.

On the walls of my Lodge hangs an anonymous little quotation. Some people attribute it to Thomas Jefferson. It says:

If we work upon stone, it will perish.
If we work upon brass, time will efface it.
If we rear temples into the heavens,
they will crumble into dust.
But if we work upon the fabric of immortal souls,
if we imbue them with principles,
And a just fear of their Creator,
we shall have built a Work which brightens Eternity.

So mote it be.


Dale Dietzman
Hillsborough #25, F&AM
Tampa, Florida

A Follow-up

Subject: Masonry Question
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 16:57:27 -0400
From: "Dietzman Dale-EDD001" <EDD001@motorola.com>
To: <masonry-ask@mit.edu>

Wor. Brother Dryfoos,

Much has happened in my life since I sent you my essay for "Why I Became a Freemason" back in 2000. I have become a Plural member of Pompano Lodge #263 F&AM, and this year, by the will of the Craft, I find I am in the Chair of King Solomon.

My suggestion for addition(s) to your web page, which remains the best overall source on Masonic material I know of, are as follows:

1. The section on the Recognition of Prince Hall Masons as regular should be updated, to include the fact that 41 US Grand Lodges now recognize one or more PH Grand Lodges as regular, and the progress of this recognition should be tracked. This is a great improvement in the character or our "regular" Grand Lodges , in my opinion.

2. A new section on the actions of US Grand Lodges in returning to the original practices of permitting Lodge business when open on "other than the MM Degree" would be pertinent, too.

According to my best information, in 2000, 12 US Grand Lodges has acted in the affirmative on this issue (see the link), and I am informed by creditable sources that the number is now over half of US Grand Lodges have returned to a more traditional concept, in line with the rest of the Freemasonic world. I would be interested to have up to date information to use in trying to move the Grand Lodge of Florida in that direction.

Respectfully and Fraternally,

Dale Dietzman
Hillsborough Lodge #25, Tampa, FL
Pompano Lodge #263, Pompano Beach, FL

Link to an informative paper: http://bessel.org/firstpprold.htm

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