Friday, July 31, 2009

Past Grand Masters

Today is one of those special days I will remember long after I have completed my term as Grand Master. I crashed a party of Past Grand Masters at the Gil Mor Manor in Morgan Minnesota where PGM Bill Tiffany (1968) lives.

You will see a photo of those attending: Front row, Verne Long (1972), Bill Tiffany (1968), Tom McCarthy (2009). Back row, Don Flood (1985), J.V. Christianson (1997), Lois Tiffany (baker of WONDERFUL pies!), John Peterson (1981), Sam Dickenson (1980) and Don Sether (1986).

I sat like a quiet mouse at the end of the table, and listened to all the wonderful stories of picky monitors, wrong answers given during the ritual, PGMs no longer with us. Thanks to Sam Dickenson who made the original phone calls to get these fine Masons together!

J.V. did a poll around the table and calculated that there were 418 years of Masonry in that room. Wow!

PGM Bill reminisced that he was in Shanghai, China after the war, and attended a lodge there as a Seaman First Class. The brothers initiated a candidate that night - a general in the Chinese army. Bill noted that we do, in fact, meet on the level!

Don Flood told of attending a Masonic function in Japan after the war and being invited to a room in the lower level of the building - a conference room with a long table. He was invited to sit in a certain chair, and when he had, was informed that was the chair used by Admiral Yamamoto when he planned the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Verne told of being called by Grand Master Clyde Hegman, who asked if he'd be a District Representative. GM Clyde said he'd call back in a week, and then gave PGM Verne advice he recalls and lives by to this day: Never turn down the opportunity to serve, You'll be the loser.

PGM Bill won't be able to join us this coming Monday noon for a Past Grand Masters' lunch, but this afternoon has whet my appetite for more stories from the Masonic leaders that have set the table for Minnesota Masonry today.