Jenks Lodge #24 F&AM
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The November meeting had a lot packed into it, plus I may have stretched it a bit to get the most out of it. I am sorry it ran so late. I hope everyone enjoyed the evening as much as I did. It was great having so many brothers present and the presentation given by W:. Ryan Flynn was both educational and entertaining.
As I take a moment to reflect I am reminded once again that my time in the east is setting. This was the last meeting in which I would open and close the lodge. This very message is the last one I have the privilege to write as Master of Jenks Lodge #24. It has been an honor to serve as Master of this lodge and I treasured every minute of it whether they were good times like last night, and the 150th or bad times like the passing of RW:. Brian Pickhover and W:. Denis “Dino” Courtemanche.
We accomplished many things this year that I am very proud of, from the first meeting in January to honor the past masters to this last meeting, the 150th, the new By-Laws, our increased participation in RI Freemasonry as a whole, the ritual work we do, the way we hold ourselves as Freemasons of this lodge, and I could go on and on. Our brother Mitchel Thomas exemplifies it best. He has orders from the Navy to move to Florida and as we talked he got a very serious look in his eyes and let me know that he was going to do his best to be the best representative of Jenks Lodge he could be. I know he said that because he loves this lodge and its members. He wants everyone to know what kind of lodge we are by his actions in life. This is further confirmation to me that we are doing something very special at Jenks Lodge. If you think we had a good year this year... just wait. I look at our officer line and I see men who are dedicated to improving on what came before. Men who are willing to admit mistakes and change course when needed not only for the endeavor in which they are engaged but to strive ever forward to be that perfect ashlar. Men who genuinely care for one another, the lodge, the craft, and their communities.
There are so many people I would like to thank but this newsletter is far to small to do so. I am going to make sure I thank two people specifically. First is my wife Stephanie because without her love, and support I wouldn't be the kind of man who could get elected to become a mason. It is sappy to say but she really does make me want to be a better man. Second, I want to thank W:. Bro Secretary Thomas M. Holton Jr. He got me interested in the craft, but not by advertising it or talking to me about joining. He did it simply by how he carried himself at all times in all manner of situations. I also want to thank him as Master of this Lodge for the past 10 years of work he has done to clear the path we all walk on today. His dedication, despite the complications life can bring, is further proof of his good character. Very much like RW Pickhover before him, W:. Holton is involved in some form or another in everything in the lodge. You can ask any Master of Jenks in the past 10 years and they will all tell you that Tom was an intergral part of their masonic journey and goals. On top of his secretary duties he is a contributing member of the Board of Trustees, the Lawton Home Board, the Ethan Place Board, The Finance committee, the 150th planning committee, the Eldon Goldenberg symposium committee, and has been Ritual Director for the lodge for the past few years including this year. Tom has been the kind of mason who doesn't say “no” to the lodge. He sees a need and fills it as best he can whenever asked. I know he is looking to scale back on some of his lodge duties so he can spend more time with his family. I know he has never asked or expected a thank you but he is very deserving of one Thank You Brother Thomas Holton. We could not have gotten here without you.
Yours in the Craft,
WM Stephan Saraidarian