Why I Became a Freemason
Bro. Bill Reed
Freemasonry, to me, was a mystery when I first joined. I joined at a period in my life where I was at a crossroads. I like to say that Freemasonry found me, not the other way around. I joined the fraternity in 2016 to become a better person, to give back to my community, my country. I served 14 years with the military, and am currently employed as a 911 dispatcher.
Freemasonry has become a large part of my life. I thoroughly enjoy the historic and philosophical aspect of our Craft. From the written history of our English brethren, to the origins and mythos surrounding our Craft, to the philosophical teachings of our brethren and the many great minds throughout history, to the architectural and masonic symbols “hidden in plain sight” — I love it all.
There is also the fraternal aspect of the Craft. Knowing that no matter where you go, you will have a Brother there. No matter what our political, religious or professional backgrounds are, we all “meet on the level” and share that common bond. I make it a point to always introduce myself to a Brother in public when I “recognize the signs,” those signs usually being a shirt, a hat or ring — or in my case, a patch on a motorcycle vest — that is Masonic in nature. You never know whom you may meet!
There are many paths within Freemasonry. From charities, to appendant bodies, to the more esoteric side of our Craft, to simple camaraderie. There is no one, set path for a traveling man. Each chooses his own journey. And that journey may change over time. There is a saying that you get out of Freemasonry what you put into it. I would argue that you get back tenfold what you put into it. It is a labor of love, for many of us. And, to join us in the quarries and share in our labor, all you need do is ask.
My Road to Masonry
Bro. Marc Broussard
The roads to Masonry are myriad and many unpaved. Mine was like a two track thru the woods. I imagine all of our travels there took many twists and turns through the journey. Mine started in a refinery in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I had a good life going, recently married and both of us working high-paying jobs in the construction industry. This was in 1977. My foreman was a local Mason whose Masonic ring was the only way one would know it. One day I asked what it was all about. He was a bit recalcitrant about discussing much about it, and that only increased my curiosity. I went to the library and checked out a book about Masons, and then my wife informed me that her Father was one also. So, after reading the book and talking to my father-in-law and my foreman, I filled out the application, and the rest is history. I was raised in Lodge #1, Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1979.
Since then I went on to take the Scottish Rite classes in Tucson, Arizona in 1981 or ’82. I crossed the burning sands in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1986. I have spent my life on the road — a real “travelin’ man.” After my wife was killed in a car wreck in 1980, and after some necessary down time, I found that I already had a place of refuge from my pain: The Lodge.
The Masonic order, when I’m active, has been a constant source of comfort to me. I walk into a lodge, sit down, and peace literally descends on me. I feel all the issues, so profound in my life, so distracting, recede into the background when I watch the square and compasses take their position on the Bible. Then my mind drifts to what I am feeling, and that can only be described as comfortable — like I belong here. I know the Masonic history somewhat. I am aware of what the Masonic order does and means to our society with all its permutations and agendas. But for me, it is a place to cast my thoughts adrift and let them bring me the feeling that, in this lodge and all it means, I feel the most like myself. I thank my Brothers all the time for making me feel so welcome and accepted. Free and Accepted!