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From the Staff Officer

2017-2018 Cortland-Madison District Trestleboard

Click the graphic below to download an updated copy of the District Trestleboard for this year:

 

November 2016 GLSO Article for The Word

Brothers – I will keep this short as I am only allowed one manifesto a year, and that was last month-  On October 8th I was invited to Cazenovia lodge  # 616 for their new lodge open house and a sixty year apron and pin presentation to Brother Harry Spoor.  I was honored to be asked to participate in a major milestone of a Brothers life- the simple act of securing a sixty year pin to a  brothers collar and shaking his hand in congratulations left me in awe and in deep thought; how many Brothers in our small district have worn their aprons for fifty, sixty or seventy years ? How many in our craft worldwide ?  Brothers who are  humble, respectful and decent men, quietly leading their lives, and setting an example for generations of brothers to follow in the lodge; and in the world. To R.W. Jim Wightman-Harry Spoor and the Brothers of Cazenovia #616, thank you for the invitation, the hospitality and great conversation.

In my eyes, the best part masonry is not ritual or pomp and circumstance-it is traveling with Brothers- talking over coffee, meeting the families and laughing over the mishaps on the road -or in life- like trying to find a place to eat called the ” Bear Swamp Diner” on a trip to Jersey, and wondering if the techno geek who invented G.P.S. technology is playing a cruel trick on your tired body and rumbling  stomach- left turn-right turn- Bridge out -you can’t get there from here-sorry; days like this, spent with brothers I consider family are the best.

Godspeed- travel safe-

Bart

2016-2017 Cortland-Madison District Trestleboard

Click the graphic below to download an updated copy of the District Trestleboard for this year:

 

2016-2017-trestleboard-color-v4

 

October 2016 GLSO Article for The Word

First-  I would like to thank the Brothers from Hamilton lodge # 120- who gave us their lodge for the masters chair training in July, made us coffee and most of all made us feel at home.  I also thank the  brothers in our district for their support and attendance.  A second masters chair training session will be given later this month for those  brothers who could not attend in July.

Second- I have heard the catch phrase ‘ making good men better, ‘ when prospective brothers have asked what is we do in masonry. I believe this is true, at the same time I wanted to have a solid answer as to how we made good men better without sounding like I was trying to sell Amway products or starring in an infomercial for the newest style zesty wipe cloth guaranteed to be strong enough to pick up spilled coffee, gasoline, small pets and the occasional escaped elephant from the local zoo. I found the answer while trying to answer a request or challenge made by the R.W. Sandy Samson at a Scottish rite event.  Brother Sandy told all of us new to Scottish Rite to look around the room and ‘ Get to know each of these men as your brother ‘;  to me, this was a major request.  Not only was the room large, but there were a whole lot of brothers in attendance.  Some men use the word brother as a loose term or slang.  I have never believed in this-  to call a man Brother is serious to me.  Very few men in my life before masonry were considered my brothers.  This was reserved for child hood friends, some of which I  have not seen in years but  know are still there when life throws a curve and the adversity and weight are to much to handle alone. The others are men who I worked with in an unforgiving environment and I knew were there when things turned ugly, even at great  personal risk to themselves. [sort of like my wife Patty, only she is better looking than my brothers]

A brother knows your secrets, your faults, your shortcomings and your fears- the reason he earns this title; the most important in masonry, is because he guards them zealously to protect you from pain. He tells you things you do not want to hear- your shortcomings-your back slides- and that the color or style of your underwear is unacceptable- { GRAND LODGE ROOM MATES } .  He tells you the truth – even when it hurts, and he risks the loss of friendship temporarily because being your brother, and being honest with you is more important than being the type of friend who tells you what you want to hear. That type of sunny day friendship  leads us  toward the rough ashlar and away from the perfect, as our heads swell from believing ourselves godlike while our thought process becomes more egocentric and our morality and humanity shrink.
 

What we do in masonry is to promote acceptance and cognitive process.  We accept each other and meet as equals- regardless of personal religion, skin color, politics or the amount of money in a mans pocket.  We value fortitude, prudence, temperance and justice- virtues that are being quickly forgotten and passed over for participation trophies and video games in a global society where morality has been traded for political capital. We look toward the future and promote a better world by giving to; and supporting our fellow man.  What we do in a nutshell is to promote hope- through the Masonic research center, Child I.D. programs, and the multitude of charities the individual brothers are involved in and contribute to.  In the safe haven of our lodges the truth can be spoken by a rich or a poor man- the word of both men is given equal weight because his integrity and pure heart have nothing to do with cash flow.  In short form- we make the world a better place through our existence; a small ray of light on the horizon of a hostile world.
 

We accomplish this feat by example.  Through the example of the worth, and moral fiber of our families-our contributions to our society; and our attempt to arrive in the next world with an unstained apron no matter how futile the attempt; with the courage to be judged on our worldly existence. Masonry is one of the last bastions of god, country, family and morality coupled with the betterment of our fellow human being-a place where our national anthem can play and not one man takes a knee.   We travel together as a band of brothers because we need support on our journey through life; quite simply, our message and values can only be preserved in our  society as in nature; while we travel as a pack; as our individual members pass or fade away, our message and example carries on.
 

When I am asked what we do in masonry , I try to paraphrase this answer.  Then I ask the man a question- the same question I ask myself everyday in the mirror.  What do you do?  Did you do anything for your fellow man today?  Did you make your family, or your ancestors proud?   Did you help a brother up or did you step over his body while he lied in the mud? In your personal life- are you practicing brotherly love, relief and truth? Occasionally I get an answer from myself I do not like;  but without my wife, family and brothers I would never ask these questions -nor care to hear the answers.
 

I am not eloquent or well spoken, my speech patterns and writing border on Neanderthal-but I give it a shot. I try to explain what we do in simple terms, with these simple questions.  To me, this is the value of masonry- to know I can not be perfect like the polished ashlar-to know my apron will not survive my life unstained-to know I can not survive the reaper- but still have the courage to try; to get as close as I can in tiny increments, baby steps, day by day to becoming a  better man.  In my caveman like mind I think of this as personal civility and  mental growth through ancient values that are on the endangered species list;  The Maxims and virtues we practice to the best of human ability are all  but extinct-but as long as masonry exists, and men of different cultures and beliefs can meet as equals our world can and will be a better place, and the extraordinary values and ideals of Brotherhood preserved.
 

Brothers,  I have bored you enough –  Godspeed, safe travels


Bart

2016 Cortland-Madison District Apron Presentation

The Cortland-Madison District Apron Presentation will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Cazenovia Lodge.  Aprons will be presented to the R∴W∴ Clinton S. Brooks and the R∴W∴ Charles A. Dellow, Assistant Grand Lecturers, the R∴W∴ Bart C. Chapin, Grand Sword Bearer, and the R∴W∴ Scott A. Cary, District Deputy Grand Master.

Masons and their ladies are invited to join us for a social hour beginning at 5 PM and a prime rib dinner to be served at 6 PM.  The District Officers will receive their aprons immediately following dinner.  Cost of the dinner is $12 per person.  Due to space limitations, reservations are absolutely required and may be made by contacting R∴W∴ James Wightman by email at swightman [at] frontiernet [dot] net or by telephone at (315) 662-3316 no later than Saturday, July 16.

The address of the Lodge and a map may be found on the following page:

http://cazenovia.cortland-madison-masons.org/lodge-information/

Please join us for a wonderful evening as we wish our District Officers all the best for the coming year!

 

May 2016 GLSO Article for The Word

Greetings Brethren,

As my two years as Grand Steward comes to an end I would like to thank all of the Brothers of the Cortland Madison District for their support of all of the Masonic Educational programs that I taught.

Educational opportunities about Masonry are abundant and I urge all Brothers to take advantage of the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Library Reading Courses, Masonic Development Course, Road to the East and the Master’s Chair for all incoming Masters. I can not stress enough how much these programs will help you in your journey through Masonry.

I would also like to thank all of the Brothers who have traveled though out the District with RW Brian Ziegler and myself. It truly has been a pleasure to have you with us!

Lastly, I could not have asked for a better partner then the RW Brian Ziegler! We are grateful that we were able to achieve all of the goals that we set out to do with the support of the Brothers of our District! It has been a great experience being the Staff Officer and I will cherish it always!

Thank you!

Clinton S. Brooks

R∴ W∴ Clinton S. Brooks – Homecoming

Homecoming CB

April 2016 GLSO Article for The Word

Greetings Brethren,

I hope everyone is enjoying this early Spring weather!

I would like to thank everyone who attended the Road to the East course on March 12th. It was very heartwarming to see so many new Masons who are working their way through the chairs to become Master of their Lodge. With the help of VW Scott Cary and RW Kim Dellow, the class was a great learning experience for these young Master Masons.

On April 15th, the Cortlandville Lodge will be hosting my Homecoming.  Prepaid reservations can be made to the RW Kim Dellow.

There are many degrees going on  around the District. If you are able to help or attend these degrees, please do so.

RW Brian Ziegler and I are coming to the end of our two years as DDGM and Grand Steward. We greatly enjoyed serving the Brother’s of the Cortland Madison District and we are truly grateful for the support we have received!

As always, the District Deputy and I will be around the District as much as possible. If you need our assistance you can call me at 607-753-9309 or email me at brooks1593 [at] hotmail [dot] com.

See you in Lodge,

Clinton S. Brooks

March 2016 GLSO article for The Word

Greetings Brethren,

Spring is almost here!

I would like to begin by thanking the Brothers who donated money, clothing, or their time to help Brother David Yoder , a Brother of Otselic Valley Lodge who lost his home to fire.  The outpouring of Brotherly love for this Brother from across New York State was truly inspirational!  A big thank you to R.W. Brian Ziegler for his leadership in organizing this help for Brother Yoder!

On March 12th at Cortlandville Lodge, I will be conducting the Road to the East program.  The class will be held from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, with lunch served at noon.  You will need to bring a copy of the 24 Inch Gauge and your dues card. If you do not have a copy of the 24 Inch Gauge, please call me and we will get you one.  Please RSVP to me by March 10th so I know how many Brothers to plan for.

There are many Degrees being  done around the District.  Please help when asked or just attend and watch great ritual being done by the Brothers of your District.

As always, the District Deputy and I will be around the District as much as possible.  If you need our assistance you can call me at 607-597-9309 or email me at brooks1593 [at] hotmail [dot] com.

See you in Lodge,

Clinton S. Brooks

February 2016 GLSO article for The Word

Greetings Brethren,
RW Brian Ziegler and I have enjoyed attending and participating in the numerous degrees held in our district these past couple of months. A job well done by all involved!
Please remember that the Road to the East course will be held on March 12 at Cortlandville Lodge at 9:00 a.m.  Lunch will be served at noon, with course completion by 2:00 p.m. All Brothers are welcome to take the course but I would like to see all Junior and Senior Deacons and all Junior and Senior Wardens in the Cortland Madison district participating.  This course will help you to prepare for your year as Master of your Lodge.  Please send your reservations to me by March 9 at the email or phone number listed below.
As always, the District Deputy and I will be around the District as much as possible.  If you need our assistance you can call me at 607-597-9309 or email me at brooks1593 [at] hotmail [dot] com.
See you in Lodge.
Clinton S. Brooks
MORI
The Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of the State of New York