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My Masonic Ring
by Ed Halpaus
My Masonic Ring
"What lodge are you from," the man behind the counter queried? I had said nothing to indicate my affiliation with the Masonic order.
"Oh, you're a Mason!” a young man exclaimed, "My father is a Mason." Again I had made no mention of my belonging to the Fraternity.
The tell-tale culprit, I knew, was the Masonic ring on my right hand ring finger.
Wearing my Masonic ring has for me become as much a statement of pride as of fashion; it is also, a source of inspiration for others and myself.
I received this Masonic ring from my Lady as a Valentine's Day gift. Mine is a simple ring. Made of yellow gold, it has a red oblong stone inlaid with the square and compasses with the letter "G". A trowel and plumb adorn alternate sides of the ring. It's quite distinctive. I have seen the beautiful and elaborate settings of diamonds, birth stones, and other precious gemstones. For my fashion sense, I like the quiet elegance of my Masonic ring.
I wear my Masonic ring daily. I wear the ring with a sense of pride because I am
proud to be a Mason.
As a nurse, I work in nursing home facilities. I have been amazed at how a Masonic ring inspires memories of Masonry in the elderly. Residents will recognize my ring and spontaneously recount their experiences.
I met one man, who rarely spoke to anyone, and he eyed me suspiciously as I approached him with his scheduled pills. Suddenly a smile came to his face as the man sat up in bed and pointed to my new Masonic ring. Then, he pointed to his Masonic ring which was worn smooth with age. He began a conversation about attending lodge meetings. His smile showed that he took great joy and pleasure in being a Mason.
At another nursing home, there was the man who, upon finding that we were fraternal brothers, looked for me daily, at 2:45 pm as I came on duty. He would always wave and say hello. And he and I would talk Masonry. Almost every time that I passed his doorway he would have something to say about Masonry. I would have to pull myself away from the discussion to do my work.
One particular woman, I was told, did not like men. It was expected that she might not take her pills from me. Standing at her doorway, I could see her lying on her bed facing the opposite wall. I knocked on her door and announced that I had her scheduled pills. The woman made no attempt to move. Out of habit, I reached over her prone position to show her the pills in the small paper cup.
"Oh, you're a Mason!" the woman exclaimed with as much pleasure as surprise. She turned and looked me in the eye with a smile, saying, "My husband was a Mason." “I was in Eastern Star, of course," she said matter-of-factly. The tone of her voice changed to a softness and friendliness that led me to believe that she felt safe. Even though she did not know me, she did know that I was a Mason.
In one facility, a young man working as a nursing aide simply stated "You're a Mason, I see." pointing to my ring finger. I gave him a "What is Masonry" brochure. He was inspired by my ring to make comment which inspired me to spread the word about Masonry. In this manner, my fashionable ring is, also, my appropriate advertisement for the fraternity.
Finally, in a fast food restaurant, a young male worker said to me, "You're a Mason, I'm a DeMolay." That statement immediately launched us into a discussion that concluded with his admission that his desire was to join the Masons as soon as he comes of age. It is this kind of recognition between Masons and DeMolays that fosters these young men to enter our fraternity.
I like wearing a Masonic ring for the combined effect of a fashion statement and my pride as a member of this fraternity. I also, enjoy the unexpected fellowship derived from memories of Masonry elicited by my ring in the elderly at nursing facilities. To non-Masons my ring encourages the interest in Freemasonry. This is how Masonry unites all mankind in fellowship. This is how Masonry advances the fraternity. This is how we are identified as Masons. This is my Masonic ring.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014