Sent: Friday, December 17, 2010 12:51 AM
Subject: Please Get The Missle Back In Orbit
Most Worshipful Randy,
You gave me assurances in the past that you wanted input from the Craft. I won’t be able to call you for a couple days because as you read this I’m in surgery at Ruby for a third spine procedure, this time fusing discs C3/4 and C4/5. I fully expect to return to an active life, but just in case, I ask you to please consider doing the following positive things for West Virginia freemasonry.
Most Worshipful, your Masonic year has started off on the wrong, although legal, foot. You were kind enough to explain this to me after the Masonic funeral was not permitted. You are no doubt aware of the negative reaction across West Virginia to your decision. Would it have been better to be a Grand Master, exercise that authority to recognize the WV Code but allow the final request of a Brother in good Masonic standing a last request. The deceased was not at fault because he was an Ohio Mason. The respect for the Grand Lodge of West Virginia has no doubt been diminished in the eyes of other Jurisdictions with whom we have fraternal relations. Even our own members have hung their head in shame over refusing the service. This negative reflection on West Virginia can be corrected.
The Court has determined that no West Virginia member can be expelled without a trial and Frank Haas, Dick Bosely and Jason Blankenship were therefor illegally expelled. You told me, sitting in your barn, that regardless of the Court’s decision, you and the Grand Lodge would abide by it. You are in the position to “man up,” heal Haas, Bosely and Blankenship immediately. Then the issue of Frank being initiated, passed and raised in Ohio becomes a mute issue. Once that is done, you can “man up” again and issue an Edict reestablishing fraternal relations with Ohio. Then West Virginia Masons can cross the river and restore their relations with Ohio brethren. We can perform a Masonic funeral service without question. You then become a hero in the eyes of West Virginia members and the fraternity universal. Yes, you might find disfavor with the Committee judging your actions but the Craft will support YOU. Surely you don’t want to face the embarrassment in October, 2011 of being another Grand Master booed in Grand Lodge.
Show us what it takes to be a true Mason: correct the errors of the past and restore some sense of confidence in our Grand Lodge, be positive, exercise your authority, correct the illegal actions, and begin your program of educating the Craft. Your task isn’t going to be easy but some time it must be done or surely the Grand Lodge of West Virginia will lose its prestige and fail. We will not have prospects asking to become a member of the fraternity. Likewise, we will be hesitant to desire our family and friends to become Masons.
I’m sharing this appeal with some of my closest friends. I want you to have the best year of your life but unless YOU take control of this missle that has fallen out of orbit, you’re going to personally and fraternally suffer. Most Worshipful, please give my thoughts your careful consideration. I ask you to do what is in the best interest of West Virginia Masonry:
* Heal Haas, Bosely and Blankenship immediately
* Restore fraternal relations with Ohio immediately
* Demonstrate to the Craft that you represent us and have our best interest
foremost in your mind and heart
Most Worshipful, this letter is from my heart. You can see by the hour at which it was written how much West Virginia Masonry is on my mind. I have not consulted with anyone, even my closest friends. I didn’t draft/edit my words. You offered to hear me out. You have given me good, wholesome advice in the past. Those I’ve copied are among my most trusted friends and no doubt they’ve bailed me out of trouble in the past. But, by darn, I feel compelled to stand up, to man up, for the best interest of West Virginia Masonry. I’ve traveled far and wide, and have seen the good works that Masons have done. If a change of our Code is necessary, just tell me or any of the friends I’ve listed. You’ll find us as willing to follow as you are to lead.
Harold E “Phil” Phillips, PM
Aurora Lodge 43, Newburg
and responses from some of the Brethren about Brother “Phil’s” open letter to Grand Master Randy B. Martin
Date: Friday, December 17, 2010, 8:24 AM
A loud AMEN to what you have written. I pray that our Grand Master will carefully consider what you have written and correct the path of this errant missle. I believe that this will help restore unity to this Grand Lodge.
Don Peterson, PM
Sent: 12/18/2010 9:11:19 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Re: Please Get The Missle Back In Orbit
A loud AMEN from me as well Brother Don!!
As I stated in an e-mail to the members of Morgantown: “I have and always will be honored to know Frank as a man and a mason, and to have served as Junior Grand Deacon under his wing. Never have I met a better mason, never will I apologize to anyone for the support I have, and will continue to give him. My wife and kids care deeply for him and he will forever represent to us, “a just and up-right mason” and a symbol of the great flower Freemasonry could be if allowed to blossom and grow. It is sad that he suffered so much trying to be a voice for the craft.”
I went to Charleston for one day and got to hear some of the testimony, including the testimony of judge Soa, one of the tellers. That, in itself, proved there was a lot of misinformation and deceit presented to the brethren of WV as reasons the reforms were removed. I wish everyone was able to see and hear what I heard that day.
I do believe Randy was there for all the testimony and I pray he will lead this grand jurisdiction in a positive direction for the remainder of his term. I expressed my disapproval with him about the funeral situation here in Morgantown for the father of Greg Straub, PM of Morgantown Union #4, another sad day for WV Freemasonry.
I know Randy to be good fella, and I am sure his heart is heavy with all that has happened. I believe him when he said he did not know what was going to happen that night when he went to Wellsburg. I’m sure he has a lot of soul searching to do….
He, because of listening to all the testimony, is the first GM to know “all the facts”, let us hope and pray he uses that information, along with the judicial decision, for good purposes.
Jay Guminey PM
Sent: 12/21/2010 9:38:45 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: RE: Please Get The Missle Back In Orbit
I agree with what you have stated 100%.
I hope that Most Worshipful Brother Randy B. Martin will recall the Masonic meanings and lessons as are taught us in the three degrees of Masonry which we all undertook as Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and finally as Master Masons. For then he will surely make use of the Masonic Trowel to again spread the cement of Brotherly love and affection with which to again reunite the brethren of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia into a society of friends and brothers.
Ray Kane PM
Riverside Lodge No. 124