The Waller Masonic Lodge
      #808 AF & AM   E-Newsletter

             December 2006

Lead Stories

We had a good year at the Civil War reenactment for 2006. Not a great year like last year, but good."

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The Master stood and looked at his Lodge,
The same old few were there,
The ones he knew he could depend upon
The work of the Lodge to share.

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For some time now, we have gone into our lodge rooms and told one another of our self-pride in being Freemasons and what Masonry has done for us.

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Why do candidates fail to advance after becoming Entered Apprentices?

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Accordingly, the Worshipful Master placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that the Lodge was dead. . .

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This Months Humor

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This Months Funnies

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The Famous Masons Series

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The "Old Tiler Talks" Series

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The Waller Lodge Christmas Party

December 12th 2006

The Party Will Start After A Very Short 5 Minute Stated Meeting At 6:30pm

A Message From The East
Worshipful Master "Wes" Mersiovsky

As I write this, the Leindo fundraiser is OVER! I have wanted to say that since we started talking about preparing for this year's event. I enjoyed almost everything about the fundraiser, but its so nice to not think about “do we have enough help, do we have enough food, did we buy too much food, is it going to be 100 degrees, or is it going to be 30 degrees and raining?”

The financial aspect of the event is not available at the time of this writing, but I feel like we made money for both lodges. It is an expensive production to put on, and a LOT of money went out to supply our efforts, but a LOT of money came back in.

Now, to answer each of those pre-event worries, we had the help. There were some times on each day that we could have used a few more hands, but all in all, you did quite well. I refuse to name each of the people who were there, for fear of accidentally forgetting someone, but I was there, and I saw your efforts, and I truly thank all of you. Just saying thank you is a lame response for what you did, but that is what I have, so thank you again.

Multiple trips to Sam's and other stores were necessary, and we still sold out of everything we had cooked on Saturday, and that was even before the late-comers, the ones who came to see the outdoors Master's degree, showed up looking for food. As far as too much food at the end of the whole deal, yeah, there was a little, but nothing that can't be used before it goes bad.

The weather couldn't have been better. Each day started off cool, warmed up just right, and no rain. If I could, I'd order the same weather for all our events.

While this fundraiser is still fresh on our minds, we need to critique it, trying to note what went right, finding ways to improve and make things even better.

I want to remind everyone about this year's Christmas Party, which will be on Decembr12th, the second Tuesday, the same evening as our stated meeting. I have asked the Eastern Star chapter to decorate the dining room. The lodge will furnish the turkey and ham, dressing and rolls, and the drinks. If everyone attending would bring a side dish or dessert, we will have a feast. Also, don't forget to bring a toy, or blanket, or food to give to those less fortunate than us. This is an opportunity for us to be generous to our neighbors. I hope to see you, and of course, your family, at the party.

Where's The Beef
A Few Thoughts From The Sidelines
By Corky

AT LIENDO PLANTATION OF COURSE. We had a good year at the Civil War reenactment for 2006. Not a great year like last year, but good.

The worker turnout was really good. On Friday we had 10 Brothers and 3 non Mason (kinfolk) volunteers. On Saturday we had 13 Brothers and 5 non Mason (kinfolk) volunteers. On Sunday we had 10 Brothers and 5 non Mason (kinfolk) volunteers.

For the first time in 6 years, being somewhat physically incapacitated, I was only able to work a Masonic information booth and record the events in movie and photos, For that reason, I had time to really observe what was going on around us.

We were very disappointed Friday, to discover, that most of the kids brought their own lunches. That did cut into our profits. We also had 2 food vendors set up next to us selling items, like funnel cakes, kettle corn, potato crispers, roasted corn and cotton candy. They also cut into profit pretty bad. Their lines were usually much longer then ours.

After working 8 or 9 reenactments and a couple of Spring Festivals at Liendo Plantation, our Lodges have gone from being semi-famous for bar-b-qued beef, to trying to be an imitation of “Jack In The Box”. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, just that we should reconsider our options for next year.

We have tried selling frito chili pie, burritos with chili, hot dogs, cheese burgers, turkey legs with varying degrees of success but Bar-B-Que sandwiches and plate lunches always seem to be our major sale items and source of profit. We really should consider the fact that we have people like Kenneth Harvey, Kelly Cox and Jimmy Zepeda who bar-b-qued chickens that people smacked their lips over and came back for more at Hempstead fund raisers. I would bet there’s a lot of customers at Liendo who don’t eat beef, that would love to have a bar-b-qued chicken half or chicken plate lunch. I did see a lot of people walking around with chicken on a stick.

Jimmy Zepeda and I had a short conversation about cutting back on the menu and selling some real Mexican food. For those who don’t know, Jimmy is an excellent cook especially with real Mexican cooking. We were not thinking about adding to the Lodge’s menu (actually it may need shortening), but dividing part of the tent and having 2 separate restaurants under one roof, a genuine Mexican Restaurant and a Bar-B-Que Restaurant. It is something to think about if Brother Jimmy is willing to provide his expertise in training helpers to cook and serve his specialties.

Another thing that struck me as “bad” is the appearance of our area and tent. The fact is that our has no personality. Look at some of the pictures. It’s almost like going into a dark cave. At one time we discussed decorating our area, such as having a couple of wagon wheels, old farm equipment, an old saddle, even some colorful signs with 2 or 3 specials advertised. Maybe even a weathered board “Rest In Peace” tombstone or two. I did notice the booth next door had a counter high, wide spaced, old board fence across the front of their counter and it looked pretty good. It also hides stored items.

How It Looked

How It Could Look  


The Master Stood And Looked At His Lodge

The Master stood and looked at his Lodge,
The same old few were there,
The ones he knew he could depend upon
The work of the Lodge to share.

But where are the many we've raised these years,
Who craved to be Masons true?
To whom we've given so much of our time
In degree work, guiding them through.

The Master stood and looked at his Lodge
And silently he thought:
Where have we failed that they're not here
In spite of the truth we taught?

Did they really want friendship and brotherly love
As they claimed when they knocked at our door?
Or did they just join, our symbol to wear,
And so won't come out any more?

The Master stood and looked at his Lodge
And said to the same old few:
"Come, Brothers, let's get them back -
Come, we have work to do!

And they went to work on the stay-at-homes,
And their efforts began to tell;
Old faces and new came out again,
And attendance started to swell.

The Master stood and looked at his Lodge,
No longer worried and blue;
His sheep were back in the fold again,
Sharing in the work ... we all must do.

From Brother George E. Malone
Secretary, Brevard Lodge No. 113 F.& A.M.
Rockledge, Florida, USA


Where Did They Go?

Why do candidates fail to advance after becoming Entered Apprentices? Answers to this question can provide much information which helps to understand the problems of declining membership and lack of interest in the activities of a Masonic lodge.

The question has been frequently answered by guess work or snap judgments. Recently, however, the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin undertook a serious study to find factual answers to the question. A Research Committee headed by Past Grand Master Edward W. Stegner sent out a questionnaire to 729 "defaulted Entered Apprentices" to learn the reasons for their failure to advance.

The results of that canvass are the body of this Short Talk. To the concerned Mason, there is much food for thought in this report.

In Wisconsin, a candidate is "in default" after he fails to advance within one year.

The questionnaire was sent to each individual with a letter over the Grand Master's signature, with a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the reply. Of the 729 men contacted, 204, 28%, returned the questionnaire - a surprisingly large response for such an inquiry. Even more significant is the fact the 190 responders signed the questionnaire, although that was optional. 155, or 77%, made personal comments or suggestions, which indicates that one out of five of the defaulted Apprentices still had considerable interest in the fraternal organization he had become a part of so briefly.

When ask what problems they encounter in completing the degree work, the answers were,

112 (55%) time involved
61 (30%) memorization
31 (14%) other activities
25 (12%) business or profession
15 (7 1/4%) personal attitude
10 (5% ) family
5 (2 1/2 % ) money
5 (2 1/2 % ) religion

The Masonic Funeral
Aurthor Unknown

A new Worshipful Master in a small Georgia town spent the first four days making personal visits to each of the members, inviting them to come to his first Lodge meeting.

The following Thursday the Lodge was all but empty. Accordingly, the Worshipful Master placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the Lodge was dead, it was everyone's duty to give it a decent Masonic burial. The funeral would be held the following Monday afternoon, the notice said.

Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the "funeral." In front of the Altar, they saw a closed coffin, smothered in flowers.

After the Chaplain delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his Brethren to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead Lodge.

Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a "dead Lodge," all the Brethren eagerly lined up to look in the coffin.

Each "mourner" peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look.

In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror.

Remember the obligation we all took my brethren and attend and support your Lodge!!!

This Month's Humor

Abe and Esther's Anniversary

Abe and Esther are flying to Australia for a two-week vacation to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

Suddenly, over the public address system, the Captain announces, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am afraid I have some very bad news. Our engines have ceased functioning and we will attempt an emergency landing.

Luckily, I see an uncharted island below us and we should be able to land on the beach. However, the odds are that we may never be rescued and will have to live on the island for the rest of our lives!"

Thanks to the skill of the flight crew, the plane lands safely on the island.

An hour later Abe turns to his wife and asks, "Esther, did we pay our $5,000 PBS pledge check yet?"

"No, sweetheart," she responds.

Abe, still shaken from the crash landing, then asks, "Esther, did we pay our American Express card yet?"

"Oh, no! I'm sorry. I forgot to send the check," she says.

"One last thing, Esther. Did you remember to send checks for the Visa and MasterCard this month?" he asks.

"Oy, forgive me, Abie," begged Esther. "I didn't send that one, either."

Abe grabs her and gives her the biggest kiss in 40 years. Esther pulls away and asks him, "What was that for?"

Abe answers, "Don’t worry, they'll find us!"

A Christmas Story

Little Leroy came into the kitchen where his mother was making dinner. His birthday was coming up and he thought this was a good time to tell his mother what he wanted.

"Mom, I want a bike for my birthday."

Little Leroy was a bit of a troublemaker. He had gotten into trouble at school and at home.

Leroy's mother asked him if he thought he deserved to get a bike for his birthday. 

Little Leroy, of course, thought he did.

Leroy's mother, being a Christian woman, wanted him to reflect on his behavior over the last year, and write a letter to God and tell him why he deserved a bike for his birthday.

Little Leroy stomped up the steps to his room and sat down to write God a letter.


Dear God:
    I have been a very good boy this year and I would like a bike for my birthday. I want a red one.
Your friend,

Leroy knew this wasn't true. He had not been a very good boy this year, so he tore up the letter and started over.


Dear God:
    This is your friend Leroy. I have been a pretty good boy this year, and I would like a red bike for my birthday.
Thank you,

Leroy knew this wasn't true either. He tore up the letter and started again.


Dear God:
    I know I haven't been a good boy this year. I am very sorry. I will be a good boy if you just send me a red bike for my birthday.
Thank you,

Leroy knew, even if it was true, this letter was not going to get him a bike. By now, Leroy was very upset.

He went downstairs and told his mother he wanted to go to church. Leroy's mother thought her plan had worked because Leroy looked very sad.

Just be home in time for dinner," his mother said.

Leroy walked down the street to the church and up to the altar. He looked around to see if anyone was there. He picked up a statue of the Virgin Mary, slipped it under his shirt and ran out of the church,

down the street, into his house, and up to his room. He shut the door to his room and sat down with a piece of paper and a pen, and wrote his letter to God.



The Famous Masons Series  

Glenn Ford

May 1, 1916 -

Born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Sainte-Christine, Quebec, actor Glenn Ford appeared in 106 films and several television series.

For his military service, he has received the French Legion of Honor Medal in 1992 for his service in World War II, the Medal of Honor, presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Medaille de la France Libre for the liberation of France, two commendation medals from the US Navy, and was inducted into the Vietnamese Legion of Merit.

More than half of his movie appearances were in westerns but Ford played equally well in light comedies and film noir, and was voted the number one male box office attraction in 1958. He was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame by the Western Heritage Museum in 1978.

Charter member:
Riviera Lodge No. 780, Pacific Palisades, California

Henry Ford

July 30, 1863 - April 7, 1947

Inventor and capitalist businessman, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line in his Highland Park, Michigan factory on December 1, 1913. The time to produce a Model T was reduced from slightly over twelve hours to 93 minutes.

Ford, paying significantly higher wages than competitors and reducing the workday to eight hours, was labeled a socialist while reinventing capitalism.

In November 1915 he organized the "Ford Peace Ship," a group of pacificist who sailed to Europe to attempt mediation. In 1918, he lost a campaign for the Senate.

His editorials in pThe Dearborn Independentp only confirmed the label of "ignorant idealist" given him by the Chicago Tribune.

By 1940, Ford had amassed a fortune in excess of one billion dollars, much of which he gave to charity through his philanthropic foundations.

Raised: November 28,1894
Palestine Lodge No. 357, Detroit, MI
Member: Zion Lodge No. 1

King Gillette

January 5, 1855 - July 9, 1932

The American inventor, King Gillette, introduced the safety razor to the market on September 28, 1901.

Gillette was part of a broad socialist movement in the USA in the 1890s, who wanted to use the profits from his safety razor to finance his beliefs in a new socialist system.

Raised: June, 1901
Demitted: January, 1904
Adelphi Lodge, Quincy, Massachusetts
Affiliated: April, 1909
Columbian Lodge, Boston

Masonry has Become an Island to Itself

For some time now, we have gone into our lodge rooms and told one another of our self-pride in being Freemasons and what Masonry has done for us. We have boasted to each other with great pride concerning the founding of our country by Freemasons. We have told and retold ourselves about all the famous men who were members of our noble Craft. But, in all this, we are preaching to the proverbial choir who sing in a church far removed from the mainstream of everyday modern life.

Simply put, Masonic organizations have become islands unto themselves, turned inward, and have lost appreciation and recognition in the non-Masonic world that they once so justly deserved and enjoyed.

Over the years, Freemasonry in this country has developed in directions many no longer consider vital to society. Yes, our many charitable organizations do give us some positive public exposure, but they do very little to communicate what our fraternity is or what it does. The Shrine Hospital network is far and away Masonry's greatest philanthropic institution as judged by public perception, but very few people outside the organization have any inkling that every Shriner is a Freemason.

In order to preserve our Craft and to carry it on to future generations as a positive vital force we, as Freemasons, need to make immediate and dramatic changes in our way of doing business, not in the Craft's philosophy and ritual, but in the way we practice that ritual and develop public understanding of Masonic philosophy. I do not understand how any right-thinking individual could seriously fail to grasp the fact that Masonry's reluctance to be actively involved in the communities and its lack of willingness to communicate with good men about the fraternity are the chief reasons for Masonry's inability to bring new initiates to its altars.

Specifically, what can we do? If we are to regain the lofty status we once held, we must become a recognizable part of the community Our real civic responsibility is to convince the world, by our actions, that we are Masons. We should do those things that provide leadership in improving the moral and emotional status of our environment. In fine, we should communicate, by our actions, the kind of public image that the whole world can admire and will wish to emulate.

The time is long overdue when the Masonic fraternity must come into the open with a revitalized public presence so all men may see that even in the cloud of present-day social confusion, there is one organization with strong and worthy ideals. We must plan an organized effort to seek out the good men of our communities and tell them what Freemasonry stands for and what it does. We need to communicate the idea that we are interested in them because of their quality as men and if they seek membership, that they will be welcomed.

Failure to communicate these things to the public can only contribute to our current membership decline and eventually place our noble craft among the greatest of extinct societies.

Old Tiler Talks
Masons, both young and old can still benefit from the "Old Tiler Talks" stories that started in 1921. It's funny how these stories (lessons) that taught our Masonic grandfathers, are just as significant today as they were 80 years ago. The book with with 70 of the "Old Tiler Talks" stories and 2 other Carl Claudy Masonic books may still be purchased from Temple Books

Book On the Altar
By Carl Claudy

From the Old Tiler's Talk - by Carl H. Claudy, The Temple Publishers

"I heard the most curious tale," began the New Brother seating himself beside the Old tiler during refreshment.

"Shoot!" commanded the Old Tiler.

"Friend of mine belongs to a midwest lodge. Seems they elected a chap to become a member but when he took the degree he stopped the work to ask for the Koran in place of the Bible on the Altar. Said he wanted to the holy book of his faith, and the bible wasn't it!"

"Yes, go on," prompted the Old Tiler. "What did they do?"

"The officers held a pow-wow and the Master finally decided that as the ritual demanded the 'Holy Bible, Square and Compasses' as furniture for the lodge, the applicant was wrong and that he'd have to use the Bible or not take his degree. And the funny part was that the initiate was satisfied and took his degree with the Bible on the Altar. I'm glad they have him, and not this lodge."


"Why, a chap who backs down that way can't have very much courage; I'd have had more respect for him if he'd insisted and if he couldn't have his way, refused to go on with the degree."

"All wrong, brother, all wrong!" commented the Old Tiler. "The Mohammedan initiate wasn't concerned about himself but about the lodge. He showed a high degree of Masonic principle in asking for his own holy book, and a great consideration for the lodge. This man isn't a Christian. He doesn't believe in Christ. He believes in Allah, and Mohammed his prophet. The Bible, to you a holy book, is to him no more than the Koran is to you. You wouldn't regard an obligation taken on a dictionary or a cook book or a Koran as binding, in the same degree that you would one taken on the Bible."

"That's the way this chap felt. He wanted to take his obligation so that it would bind his conscience. The Master would not let him, because he slavishly followed the words of the ritual instead of the spirit of Masonry.

"Masonry does not limit an applicant to his choice of a name for a Supreme Being. I can believe in Allah, or Buddha, or Confucius, or Mithra, or Christ, or Siva, or Brahma, or Jehovah, and be a good Mason. If I believe in a Great Architect that is all Masonry demands; my brethren do not care what I name him."

"Then you think this chap isn't really obligated? I must write my friend and warn him-"

"Softly, softly! Any man with enough reverence for Masonry, in advance of knowledge of it, to want his own holy book on which to take an obligation would feel himself morally obligated to keep his word, whether there was his, another's or no holy book at all, on the Altar. An oath is not really binding because of the book beneath you hand. It is the spirit with which you assume an obligation which makes it binding. The book is but a symbol that you make your promise in the presence of the God you revere. The cement of brotherly love which we spread is not material- the working tools of a Master Mason are not used upon stone but upon human hearts. Your brother did his best to conform to the spirit of our usages in asking for the book he had been taught to revere. Failing in that through no fault of his own, doubtless he took his obligation with a sincere belief in its sacredness. Legally he would not be considered to commit perjury if he asked for his own book and was forced to use another."

"What's the law got to do with it?"

"Just nothing at all, which is the point I make. In England and America, Canada and South America, Australia, and part of the Continent, the bible is universally used. In Scottish Rite bodies you will find many holy books; but let me ask you this; when our ancient brethren met on hills and in valleys, long before Christ, did they use the New Testament on their Altars? Of course not; there was none. You can say that they used the Old Testament and I can say they used the Talmud and someone else can say they used none at all, and all of us are right as the other. But they used a reverence for sacred things.

"If you write you friend, you might tell him that the ritual which permits a man to name his God as he pleases, but demands that a book which reveres one particular God be used, is faulty. The ritual of Masonry is faulty; it was made by man. But the spirit of Masonry is divine; it comes from men's hearts. If , obligation and books and names of the Deity are matters of the spirit, every condition is satisfied. If I were Master and an applicant demanded any one or any six books on which to lay his hand while he pledges himself to us, I'd get them if they were to be had, and I'd tell my lodge what a reverent Masonic spirit was in the man who asked."

"Seems to me you believe in a lot of funny things; how many gods do you believe in?"

"There is but one," was the Old Tilers answer, "Call Him what you will. Let me repeat a little bit of verse for you: 'At the Muezzin's call for prayer The kneeling faithful thronged the square; Amid a monastery's weeds, An old Franciscan told his beads, While on Pushkara's lofty height A dark priest chanted Brahma's might, While to the synagogue there came A Jew, to praise Jehovah's Name. The One Great God looked down and smiled And counted each His loving child; For Turk and Brahmin, monk and Jew Has reached Him through the gods they knew.'"

"If we reach Him in Masonry, it makes little difference by what sacred name we arrive," finished the Old Tiler, reverently.

"You reached me, anyhow," said the New Brother, shaking hands as if he meant it.

See You Next Month

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