Why did you become a Freemason?
From: Paul Austin <huckfinn@VNET.IBM.COM>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 97 19:17:37 EDT
Submission: Why I became a Mason
I knew one Mason when I was a boy - Pete James, my parent's neighbor.
I don't recall much about him except that he was always kind to us, cut
down an old tree for free, and was specially friendly toward my eldest
brother, Tony. He talked endlessly about the Adirondacks and the
peaceful Summers he spent there. These spotted impressions stayed with
me, and even after he died, Mr James occupied his own place in my
As I grew older, I began to realise what he represented - a void in
my life and (I felt) in many others. There seems to be a general lack
of decency among people today, but he had that decency that I was
striving to have and inspire in others.
I met other Masons as I got older. A friend of mine's father is a
Mason, and immediately after I met Mr. Villard, he reminded me of
Mr. James. A more definable thing that I noticed about Bruce's dad was
that he liked me in spite of my appearance, which my friend Bruce was
surprised at; Bruce was certain he would take a cool attitude toward my
long hair and earrings. But Mr. Villard could see past that and
recognised that I was a decent human being.
Mr. Villard lent me a book on Masonry after I expressed a passing
interest in it's symbols. I studied metaphor and symbols in college and
I was intriqued by the lessons of the plumb, the level and the square.
It was then that I decided to become a Mason.
I asked another aquaintance and Mason for help. His name was Paul
Gregory. When he asked my why I wanted to do this, I said that I felt
there was a lack of cultivated good nature in people, a lack of
leadership, and a lack of brotherhood and under- standing in people. I
wanted to have those qualities and show their worth to my friends for
everyone's benefit. He explained that that was a perfect reason to want
to become a Mason.
Since then I have passed to the degree of Fellowcraft. I have not
learned all that I can from Masonry, and I am sure the journey will
never end. But I know now that I am in the company of the people for
whom I was searching. Tolerant, kind men, working together in
brotherhood for peace and understanding, acknowledging and acting on the
belief that we are all of us God's children, and that we should act in
such a manner that when we finally meet our maker - whoever that may be,
however we believe it to happen - that we will stand upright and face
him with the knowledge that we have earned the dignity and right to do
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