Three, five, and seven
3 5 7
From Ed Halpaus, Grand Lodge Education Officer.
Number 182 – November 01, 2010
This publication, while it is printed with the permission of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of A.F. & A. M. of Minnesota, contains the writings and opinions of Ed Halpaus and is not in any way the opinion of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.
Dear Masonic Student,
We have another excellent paper from our good Brother Ken Baril in this issue of T.F.S. It has often been said that we should be careful to regulate our conduct when in Lodge and out in public as we travel through life because we are the representative of Freemasonry to those we meet and interact with. But we should be careful of our conduct for another reason too: Each of us is a representative of our respective families, and we want to be good representatives of our parents and everything they have taught us. Brother Baril’s following paper points this out beautifully. I’m certain you will get a lot out of it.
MY DAD, MY BROTHER
By Ken Baril
My Dad, Joseph Baril, was born in Joliet, Canada, on Feb. 5, 1885. When he was five years of age, his family moved to Holyoke, MA. He continued to live there and was educated in their public school system. When he was 22 years old, he moved to New Haven, CT. and lived there for the remaining portion of his life.
His Masonic career began when he petitioned Adelphi Lodge No. 63, A. F. & A. M. located in New Haven. He was initiated on January 6, 1925, passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft on January 13, 1925, and was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on February 24, 1925. He was very active in that Lodge until he developed glaucoma. At that time, medical knowledge regarding this disease was not as advanced as it is today and because of the ignorance of how to treat this condition, my Dad became blind.
Throughout his years in darkness, he always maintained his sense of humor. In 1929, when the depression hit this country, my Dad did not have the financial resources to continue to pay his Lodge dues. Unfortunately, he was not alone. Because of this situation, he was dropped for non-payment of dues. He was a Mason not in good standing until 1962 when I decided to make the necessary arrangements to have him re-instated. This was my Christmas present to him: his paid up dues card. He was ecstatic. The years came and went, and as many times I had asked him to accompany me to my Lodge, he always said that he would be embarrassed because he could not work his way in. I assured him that it would not be necessary for him to be upset, as I would assist him in remembering the necessary criteria for him to enter. Time seemed to fly by, and then one evening, while I was preparing to go to Lodge, the phone rang and my Mom said that Dad would like to go to Lodge with me. I was extremely happy and proud, because I could finally sit in Lodge with my Dad. I rushed to finish getting dressed and drove to where they lived, which was only a few blocks away. As I walked into the living room, there he was. His suit, which still appeared to be stylish, although he had it since the early thirties, his white shirt, and his ever present, bowtie. My Dad hated conventional ties.
I assisted him out to the car, and helped him into the front seat. He seemed to be a bit more relaxed and as we rode and he turned to me and said, “You know, son, this is quite an honor for me to sit in Lodge with you this evening.” That is when my eyes began to tear. I said, “Thanks, Dad, I appreciate that. Your Brothers in Lodge will be very happy to see you, many for the first time.”
We arrived at Lodge, about forty-five minutes before we opened and I parked the car. We only had to walk a very short distance until we arrived at the flight of five steps that led into the lobby. I had to hold onto him firmly as he was weak and had a problem with his balance. I began to help him up the stairs and when we got to the fourth step, I could feel his body slowly becoming limp. I gently sat him down leaning him against the railing, and I began loosening his tie and collar button. He had a slight smile on his face as he leaned against me with his hand extended for that final, friendly, and brotherly grip, whereby one Mason may know another, in the darkness as well as in the light. One of my Brothers called for an ambulance. By the time the ambulance arrived, my Dad was already on his way to that Celestial Lodge on High. My Dad, my Brother, died in my arms.
I know my Dad loved me; he told me so, many, many, times. He also told me death is just another door to life.
He told me not to grieve when the time comes, but to go on, and that in me he lives, and in the dark twists of night where dreams make all things possible, I see him.
I never did get to sit in Lodge with my Dad, but I know that in the Celestial Grand Lodge Records, his name will appear, and it will show that my Dad, my Brother, Joe Baril, did attend Lodge that night. I will uphold my Dad’s name with dignity and honor. His blood runs deep within me. I can do no less!
S. K. B.
Words to live by: “One night a father overheard his son pray: ‘Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is.’ Later that night, the Father prayed, ‘Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Son wants me to be.” Anonymous
From the Great Light of Masonry: “So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” James 1:4 NLT
Please remember: if you would like to participate in the latest Masonic Monday Question, please go to http://www.lodgebuilder.org and click on the Lodge Education forum. When you have an answer send it to email@example.com the Masonic Monday Question for the week of 11/01/10 is: What is the real end and aim of all Masonic labors and ceremonies?
“You must rouse into people’s consciousness their own prudence and strength, if you want to raise their character.” Marquis De Vauvenargues
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With “Brotherly Love”,
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Seek to mentor a Brother Mason: It’s good for him, it’s good for you, and it’s good for Freemasonry!