Letter: Glad Masonic Lodge donates; lodge can use more members

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2021

My family came from northwest of Albert Lea; however, some family still live in the area. So naturally, I was interested to read the news article: “Masonic Lodge makes donation.” I applaud the members of Western Star Masonic Lodge for making the donation to the Ecumenical Food Shelf. It is a most worthy project. I am a fifth-generation Freemason. I call it a “Friendship Society,” since very little is secret, beyond a “password” and thankfully nearly everyone today has a home computer or cell phone that has a password. The purpose basically the same: To ensure that only rightful people gain access. Nothing sinister. It just traces back to the ancient stonemasons who were illiterate. They couldn’t read or write, so they developed signs, symbols and words to prove that they were genuinely “the real McCoy.”

I applaud the charitable donations of all the Masonic groups I am fortunate to be a member of. I might add that Masons don’t outwardly solicit new members. We like good men of good character who believe in Almighty God (no precise litmus test as to denomination or faith), but men also improving themselves via the ethical lessons taught by degrees or steps, are welcome to inquire. Luckily I knew that, coming from a Masonic family. Many people also don’t realize that the Shriners are part of Masonry. All Shriners are Masons. But, not all Masons choose to advance to The Shriners. In short, our groups are always eager for new members and increased membership enables the good charitable and benevolent projects we do. It’s easier when more good men help each other. Many hands make light work.

In short, Masons help make places like Albert Lea better places to live.

James A. Marples

Longview, Texas