Friendship Masonic Lodge held its 7th meeting of its 104th year on July 11. Despite high temperatures and tough traffic we had a good turnout, with Brothers making their way from Beaverton to join us for the night as well as another young man who is just beginning to inquire into the Masonic Fraternity. With this cast of characters July did feel just a touch like a Wes Anderson film. As usual, our evening began with light conversation over cold water and soft drinks prior to dinner being served at 6:30. Our Junior Warden (who himself was absent due to an extended summer road trip with his wife) decided to give our usual cook the night off, and instead made arrangements with the premier Portland soul food venue, Poshine’s Cafe de la Soul.
Amongst the wide range of agenda items we worked through in the meeting, we were proud to make Bro. Jimmie Jaimes a full member of the Lodge by a unanimous ballot for affiliation. The Worshipful Master immediately sent the Junior Deacon to share the good news with Bro. Jaimes, but alas, he and his son had to leave before the voting was complete. Brother Jaimes was subsequently, individually called the following day by every brother who was at the meeting, congratulating him. Before asking our Entered Apprentice Masons to retire from the Lodge to the Library, the Worshipful Master read a few pieces of Thoreau for their benefit. He enjoined them to discuss how these ideals are manifested in Freemasonry and in their own lives.After our Brother EA’s left to have their discussion we were left speechless by Brother Patrick Reilly’s outstanding performance in his examination on the Master Mason Degree. Immediately after the Worshipful Master declaring Bro. Reilly proficient the entire Lodge burst into a unanimous standing ovation for his manifest commitment. In keeping with the traditions of Friendship Lodge Brother Reilly followed his examination with a talk on his research into and reflections upon the lessons of the MM Degree. This talk, titled “Mortar and the Trowel” will be added to our site’s Library section soon – so stay tuned. Brother Reilly was particularly pleased to earn himself one of our Education Challenge Coins for his effort and wanted to use his fifteen minutes of fame to encourage another Brother to go next.
As it turns out our EA’s side conversation in the library while we completed business in the Lodge served as a great opening to our usual focus conversation of the evening. This time themed on the question of what is required of a person for them to be a friend to someone. Great answers came from all corners: the most compelling being listening and assuming positive intent. The conversation ranged for several hours more, drawing us into another set of questions.
Just what is different about the friendships Masons have with each other that isn’t there in other kinds of friendships? I’m infinitely pleased that everyone in my Lodge isn’t just nice to each other, doesn’t just make an effort to get along; but that we all genuinely befriend each other. This begged the question: “What is Masonic Friendship”? Which promptly drew a chortle from Bro. Reilly, followed by his saying, “do you mean the Friendship Masonic”?