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From The South - J.W.

Each evening that I have had the privilege of sitting in the south this year, I have deep feelings of appreciation and gratitude to those that have helped to guide my Masonic journey so far. I have been very fortunate to have great mentors along the way that have supported and encouraged my learning and challenged what I thought was possible to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time.

It wasn’t long ago that I only knew the square and compass as general symbols of the “lodge”, as I only knew it growing up with my father and grandfather being Masons. I would see it passing in a bumper sticker or a ring, but never knew any of the history or the reach of what the “lodge” really was or what the fraternity was all about.

The summer into fall of 2021 answered those questions and more as I advanced through the degrees and was raised in September of 2021. I fondly recall working on learning and memorizing oaths and obligations for each degree during study cigar sessions with my dad to recite them back to Brother DePoe during the next mentoring session. Learning and understanding how everything fits together to tell the story of life within the lodge and the allegory to life outside of lodge provided a great foundation to build upon lodge work and work within myself.

 I was fortunate to participate rather quickly to help fill in floor spots during the end of 2021 and was appointed Pursuivant for 2022. Seeing stated meeting mechanics from the back of the lodge as well as degrees and schools further enriched the quick learning process and helped to pull everything together for a new Mason. That process was accelerated even quicker with being fortunate enough to be elected Junior Warden for 2023. I know for certain I have more to learn for this year and for the years to come, but I look forward to continuing my Masonic journey and the camaraderie with the brethren that it entails.