At the Grand Lodge Session conducted on May 8th, M: W: Brother Woody D. Bilyeu, P.G.M. announced his retirement at the end of his current term, and advised that he would not seek reelection as Grand Secretary. I hope you will join me for a collective "thank you and job well done" to Brother Woody for his almost seven years as Grand Secretary. I wish for him the best of times ahead.
I must also inform you that Mary Farmer's, our accountant at the Grand Lodge, last day was also Saturday, May 8th. Her departure caught many, including me, by surprise. The transition into my role as Grand Secretary, with the aid of M: W: Brother Bilyeu, is going well, albeit slowly. However, without our accountant, you may find your calls and emails going unanswered to that office. This is being addressed, and until such time as a replacement is found, I ask for patience and understanding.
I have enlisted the aid of Hebert and Carbo, our CPA firm, to handle the accounting portion of our Grand Lodge, where our bills are paid, checks are deposited, and proper postings are made within our accounting software. Many specific items, i.e. invoicing for background checks, inquiries of a specific nature, etc., are not under the scope of my agreement with our CPA. Basically, they don't answer the phone or emails. I will have Mary's emails and telephone calls eventually routed to Michelle and Kim. They both will attempt to handle your questions, but you must remember and understand neither of them dealt with the accounting side of the Grand Lodge on a regular basis. My office number is (318) 443-9615 (direct) or (318) 443-5610 extension 1003. Voice mail, and eventually your call, will be forwarded to my cell phone (318) 218-7616. I want to caution you about my cell phone. You may hear a greeting from Google asking for your name and reason for your call prior to it connecting to me. Answer the prompts ,and the screening will notify me. If you text to my cell, please identify yourself, so I will know to whom I'm receiving the text. My email address is email@example.com. Correspondence to that address is eventually forwarded to my "Gmail" address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was very familiar with I-49 between Shreveport and Alexandria prior to being elected as Grand Secretary. Within the last two weeks, I have gotten intimately familiar with every crack, pothole, and imperfection of that interstate highway. The bumps in the road and the bumps during this transition are expected. Thank you for your vote of confidence and thank you for granting me the privilege of serving as your Grand Secretary.
Why Am I Wearing a Life Jacket in the Library?
The Editor, Gar Pickering
In celebration of the launch of National Safe Boating Week 2021, I wore my life jacket to work today at The Grand Lodge/Louisiana Masonic Library & Museum on "Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day".
79% of boating deaths are due to drowning, and 86% of those victims were not wearing life jackets*. That is a lot of preventable deaths with such an simple solution. So, make a float plan and leave it with someone, and wear your life jacket.
Boat safely brethren!
*Figures are from the U.S. Coast Guard's 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics, the latest record of reported boating accidents in the U.S.
Tidings From Louisiana Lodges
Key Stone Masonic Lodge No. 213
Honesty and Integrity Award 2021 Winners
Key Stone Masonic Lodge #213, in the Spring Semester each year, recognizes high school Juniors who are persons of Honesty and Integrity. Receiving awards at Block High School for 2020 were Cometric Wright and Ja’Haley Wilkerson; and at Sicily Island High School for 2021 were Jimmy Wayne Parker and Taylor Michelle Wilson.
The award winners were nominated by the faculty, staff, and administrators at each high school and honored by Key Stone Lodge #213 this past week. Key Stone Lodge #213 Worshipful Master W. Rush Fitzwater presented each winner with a framed certificate signed by the Grand Master & the Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana as well as the Worshipful Master & the Secretary, Key Stone Lodge #213 along with with a Freemason "Honesty and Integrity" key.
Assisting him was Key Stone Lodge #213 Past Worshipful Master Allan K. Bean who spoke about the importance in life of a reputation for Honesty maintained through the Integrity of actions.
He added that for each of the students earning this prestigious award you would easily know things they have done that would cause you to say, “Now, there are honest young persons, let me tell you what they did”.
Master Key Stone Lodge #213 W. Rush Fitzwater; Block High School Winners: Cometric Wright and Ja’Haley Wilkerson; Past 4th Masonic District Deputy Grand Master and Past Master Key Stone Lodge #213 Allan K. Bean.
Master Key Stone Lodge #213 W. Rush Fitzwater; Sicily Island High School Winners: Jimmy Wayne Parker and Taylor Michelle Wilson; Past 4th Masonic District Deputy Grand Master and Past Master Key Stone Lodge #213 Allan K. Bean.
Feliciana Lodge No. 31 presentsThe Day the War Stopped Reenactment
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Begins at 9:30am St. Francisville, La
On a hot June day in 1863, Union soldiers under the flag of truce came searching for fellow Masons in St. Francisville to bury their commander with Masonic honors. Confederate Masons, put aside their differences and stopped the war for a short time to honor the higher calling of brotherly love.
For those who want to try the jambalaya it is $5 for a wrist band and you get to try all the competitors and vote for the People's Choice Award.
Louisiana Grand Commandery Accepting Nominations
for Upcoming Minster Holy Land Pilgrimage Program
Do you know a Pastor who has never been to the Holy Land? Nominate them to be considered by the Louisiana Grand Commandery for a paid-for pilgrimage to deepen their knowledge of the Bible.
The Knights Templar Holy Land Pilgrimage is a program related to the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America, with the mission to send credentialed Christian Ministers on a Biblical study and historical / cultural immersion experience who would not have the opportunity otherwise.
In this program, the various State Grand Commanderies of Knights Templar sponsor Christian Ministers on an expenses paid study pilgrimage in Israel for 11 days. We do not solicit applications. Local ministers are invited by individual Commanderies of Knights Templar to consider the possibility and a nomination form is submitted. Each state has its own process for selection. Selection of sponsored ministers from each state must be registered by September 30. This is a fully packed itinerary and a physically aggressive program that involves 5 -7 miles of walking many days, often uphill or up steps and on uneven surfaces The KNIGHTS TEMPLAR HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE for Christian Ministers takes place in February of each year.
To nominate someone, contact your local Knights Templar Commandery, or contact Committee Chairman Rev. Brother Dennis F. Snoddy at email@example.com.
Have a lodge event to talk about? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any lodge photos or events to get them published here. Include the who, what, when and where information in your email.
Letters to the Editor
Write us a letter*. Tell us how you're doing as lodges begin to meet once again. Tell us what is is like to be meeting again. Send us a photo or two, or anything else you'd like to submit to The Louisiana Freemason!
Email email@example.com and "Send a letter to the Editor" just like the old days. Submissions will be considered for an issue of the Weekly eEdition so the brethren can see what you're up to.
*The Editor reserves all rights to publish any letter sent to him.