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From the East

By Paul Rodriguez-Obrien — Master

Its with a heavy heart that this will be the last Trestleboard article I will write for some time to come. It being my 48th in a 4-year span. So, as I step down from Worshipful Master, I would like to speak of how you my Brothers and this lodge have made me a better man.

When I became a Mason, it was my desire to progress up the officer’s line, and from each chair, I learned a little bit more of what it meant to be a Mason. My confidence grew in public speaking and implementing organized events with your Officers in serving our lodge, and community.

I soon became a Senior Deacon. Which was a very rewarding chair to momentarily possess. Yes, I took the orders from the Worshipful Master, but I was his primary secretary or soldier. Through him, I directed all activity upon the lodge floor. The Second Degree work of that chair was a big challenge, very satisfying, and it would prepare me for the chairs still yet to come.

The Junior Warden chair was instrumental in learning how to schedule and host events and coordinate people and talents. This chair taught humility because you were serving your brethren, families, and assuring that everyone was enjoying the event you helped to produce with the help from the Junior and Senior Stewards.

As the Senior Warden, you are always watching for what the Worshipful Master may have missed or learning what works and doesn’t in preparation for your coming year. You setup your calendar of events, select your Officers, teams, and committees. At this point, you look at the officers below you and you realize you have a great team ready to support you and make things happen.

You finally become the Worshipful Master and you think, “Wow, this is more difficult than I thought!” So many things happening all at once. Your phone is ringing off the hook from brothers who would like to inform you of challenges, and ask for you to make decisions, “because you’re the Worshipful Master”.

You then make it halfway through the year, and it occurs to you that “Yes, I’m doing this.” Things are getting done. This stuff is working because I had already planned out on how my year would look. You are very busy. You have teams that extend your reach and who are also working on your goals for your year.

About this time, it hits hard as you realized that this wasn’t just my own journey. I’m on this journey with very good friends that I care for and trust. My Brothers. I’m watching them become better men, more intelligent, more self-esteem. And you realize that we are a strong united team, we are very successful, we are all making positive change, and we are building and forging this lodge forward, advancing faster and gaining more momentum. The guys behind you are all revved up, they’re putting themselves into a higher gear. They are getting ready to hit their Warden chairs, and soon become the Worshipful Master.

Then all of a sudden, you’re at the end of your year and you fall off the back side. You’re now a bystander to your own team. It’s a tempting thought to try to somehow keep a portion of that feeling. “Of course, I’m now fully qualified, and that newest Worshipful Master can sure use my new expertise in helping him. He would benefit from knowing how I did it in my year” thus reliving some of my glory through him. …No, that’s exactly the time when you need to step down. This is now his glory, his legacy. I helped build and sustain something, and its standing strong on good foundation, and its being well kept by those same guys who supported you, and it will continue to grow still by those again who will support them. And it’s a beautiful thing. And that’s the way it should be.

This is all a journey and we are all ships that sail together towards the common place. The best thing that has ever happened in my entire life was in becoming your Worshipful Master, and I want to thank you all, thank you for allowing me to take this journey, and I look forward to new and different roads as I continue to support this thriving lodge.

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