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October 2000

BY Guest Sojourner- RWB Michael A. Himes- Jr. Grand Deacon (State of Ohio)

   Silence and Circumspection

          I have become aware of a trend in all of our Masonic meetings, one which I feel is very detrimental to our craft.  I am referring of the lack of respect shown by those who insist on carrying on a conversation on the sidelines while the business or work of the evening is taking place.  How many times have we seen a degree portrayal disrupted or interrupted by brethren who feel that their own personal agenda is more important than that of the presiding officer?  How often have we seen the rank and title of our Deputies and Grand Officers ignored as someone talks while our dignitaries address the room?  How can we impress on our candidates the dignity and solemnity of the work when they can’t hear the work over the buzz of conversation?  How much longer must this go on?

          Several years ago, after attending a Lodge inspection, I wrote a poem about this problem.  Although written with the Lodge in mind, all you have to do is substitute the name of the Masonic body you are visiting in the appropriate place, and the meaning will be the same.

I think that I shall never see
A Lodge room that is whisper free

For as the Master bravely strives
To bring new light into the lives

Of candidates, both young and old
With lessons through the ages told

Yet on the sidelines members feel
A sordid tale they must reveal

And so to men on left and right
They talk and talk throughout the night

With words that simply cannot wait
Who cares about the candidate?

And then the Master’s vocal cords
Are strained as he shouts out his words

His lecture’s perfect, line for line
Retelling lessons most sublime.

Too bad the candidate can’t hear
The words we pass from mouth to ear.

Remember, brethren, one and all
Your talking casts a heavy pall

On all our beautiful degrees,
So quiet down, we beg you, please!

          Brethren, if we act as we would wish others would if we were presiding, or if we were a candidate, then our meetings will be more enjoyable and productive for everyone.


Michael A. Himes

**RWB Himes is currently serving the Grand Lodge of Ohio as the Junior Grand Deacon
Mike is a very active Mason. He is a Past Master of Northbend Lodge #346,
Past President of the 1st Dist. Officer's Assoc., Past Sovereign Prince of Dalcho Council Princes of Jerusalem (AASR) & a 33rd Deg. Mason.  Mike also is a Past Dist. Deputy Grand Master of the 1st Masonic District. He is also active in the York Rite Bodies.  There is more, this is just a small sampling to let you know this Brother is a very BUSY Mason.  All of us at Hanselmann Commandery want to thank RWB Himes for taking some time out of that busy schedule to contribute to the Soapbox.  I am sure h you'll see a few more in the future.

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