[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 11:52:13 -0400
From: "John Mango Jr." <jmango@pwdc.org
Subject: Why I Joined Freemasonry
Message-ID: <916D17D00102464FAECA425ECB73E78D0319FE71@pwdc-mail.pwdc.org>

Why I became a Freemason? Good question and though there are more than a few reasons, the one that stands out the most is because when I was a young teenager I worked at a storein Darby PA named Cain's. The manager and eventual owner was a Mason and he took me under his wing. He went to my parents and told them he is a Mason and that he saw in me the qualities of a Demolay, the young men's branch of Masonry. He put up the initiation fee and was my Masonic Sponser.

I went and was part of the original group of Lansdowne Chapter Orderof Demolay. I met some incredible people that night. Some were businessmen, some were general contractors and they all welomed me as if I was there own son. There were a total of 5 of us, Brad, Bud, Don, Paul, and I, who over the years still keep in touch. We were close, and the kind of friends who not only would have gone where ever to help get the other out of trouble, but the ones who would have been there in the first place getting into whatever mess together.

I decided while I was still young that I wanted dearly to be part of the fraternity that has such strong ties between the members. There have been opportunities for me to join many different groups and I compare them to Freemasonry. I have yet to find any that meet the standards set forth by Masonry. The quality of men accepted to this group is of the highest level. Does that mean there are no problems or disagreements? No, ofcourse not. Like in any family there are disagreements, there are those within the fraternity who ae more difficult to get along with than others, but I have found there are far fewer of them in Masonry than in any other organizations.

Yes, there were alot of great men who were Masons, there still are. That's not a reason to join, the reason to join is because you want to be part of a grand and noble group of men who are interested in taking good men and helping them become better under the premise "Brotherhood of Man, Fatherhood of God"

I suppose I should go back to the original question, why I wanted to join Freemasonry. If you go back to the first paragraph you'll see I mentioned the owner of a store I was working at. I admired him greatly and looked at him as part of my family. I wanted to be able to say that I am in the same fraternity as him and that I could call him Brother.

Since joining my Lodge I have been very active, and progressed through the leadership roles within the Lodge. I am now a Past Master of the Lodge and love to help aspiring officers learn the required work to continue their journey through Masonry.

I have an interesting story about the ring I wear and I'd like to share it with you. There was a member of my church who was also a member of my Lodge. I knew he was a Mason for a long time by the ring he so proudly wore. He wasn't one of my sponsors, but he was pleased to see that I had petitioned the Lodge. His name was Harold Pugh and he was a 50 year member.

Since he was rather old he could not get out to the Lodge very often. I offered to give him a ride to and from the meetings in which I received the degree work. He told me that he would take me up on the offer for my 3rd. The Sunday for my Raising rolled around and I told Mr. Pugh at church that I would pick him up if he was up for the ride. He told me he would call and let me know that day. The day came and I got no call from him.

When I went to the Temple that night I was met by the organist from my church who is also the organist for the Lodge. Before we went in he told me that Mr. Pugh died that day at 12:00 noon, and that the time of day would become very important in my understanding of Masonry. He was right, that night I found out the significance of high 12.

Mr. Pugh's funeral service was that Saturday and I went. After the Masonic service and the Church service I was getting ready to get into my van and go home. Mrs. Pugh whom I've know forever called me over and asked if I had a ring yet. I told her no I was going to look at some next week when I get paid. She told me that before Mr. Pugh passed away he said he wanted me to have his ring. I told her that I thought she should keep it as Masonry was such a big part of his life. She told me that he wanted me to have it and since there were no other children in her family who are Masons she would love for me to wear it.

Needless to say, I told her I'd be proud to wear it and thanked her for it. Mr. Pugh was a small man and had small fingers. Consequently his ring only fit my pinky finger. Mrs. Pugh told me to take it and have it enlarged to fit my ring finger but I told her that I would wear his ring, same size and all in memory and honor of him.

I have a 4 year old son. I take him to all the Masonic functions I can and include him in every way possible. He already tells me he wants to be part of my Lodge when he is a grown up because he wants to be with his dad and his dad's friends. When he decides to join me in the fraternity I will pass this ring on to him and tell him the story I just told you. The ring is oevr 50 years old now and is worth more to me in pride and honor than anyone can pay for. I was given a Past Master's Ring this year as I just came out of the East, but I won't wear it. I still wear that old ring left to me by a Brother Master Mason. I don't think there will ever be anything I can be given or buy that will be of more value to me than that ring. I hope this helps answer your questions, it has been my pleasure to share this with you.

John J. Mango, Jr.
Planning and Development Associate
Parent Center for Reunification
(215) 557 - 2805

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