GOLDEN LEAF LODGE #595
Past Master Introduction Letter
Seth Hoppens 2018
To define Freemasonry just isn’t possible; our organization is steeped in such a rich, yet elusive history. This history is so old that documents, the earliest (called the Regius Poem) dating to around 1390, describe our origin as coming from Euclid (pronounced You-K-lid), the Greek mathematician and father of geometry. This is significant because our organization was originally made up of master stone masons; a craft in which geometry is crucial. There are many other manuscripts, and fragments of manuscripts that followed this original text, but they all contained the same basic tenants, which we—in large part—still practice today. What is true, and what is largely legend, is unknowable—but it doesn’t matter, because our original tenants, our FOUNDATIONS, are still the same, and can be found in every practice and ritual we hold.
“…A council together they could them take,
To ordain for these children’s sake,
How they might best lead their life
Without great disease, care, and strife;…
Of their children after great clerks,
To teach them then good works.”
“…A cownsel togeder they cowthe hem take;
To ordeyne for these chyldryn sake,
How they myth best lede here lyfe
Without egret desese, care and stryfe;…
Sende thenne after grete clrkys,
To techyn hem thenne gode werkys;”
Just within the first few lines of this 600 year old text, we see some our modern tenants: the importance of family and fraternity, and the need to teach our children—the future--the importance of good work. This poem continues by outlining the importance of Faith in God, honesty, trustworthiness, and education, also tenants that we still hold firm today.
I am proud to be a part of this historic and legendary institution, and I am honored to be named Worshipful Master for 2018.
Worshipful Master 2018
Kevin Brown 2017
It’s with great pride and humility that I stand before you today as the newly installed Master of Golden Leaf Lodge #595.
I’m thankful for the trust you have bestowed upon me to lead this new year.
With the guidance and blessings of the Most Worshipful Grand Master on High, I know we’ll have a rich and fulfilling year.
I will be the most grateful for the help and support of all my brothers as I strive to strengthen the ties of Brotherly Love and friendship.
I’m planning for opportunities to grow our lodge, to include our families, to unite with other lodges, to strengthen our place in the community, to raise funds for our lodge and its charitable obligations, and to celebrate our existence in America for the past 300 years.
I’m also planning to re-visit the obligation we all freely took at the alter and to work on proficiency in our ritualistic work.
I thank you for this humbling opportunity to serve you and I know with your help and support and the blessing of our Heavenly Father we’ll have a successful year.
Worshipful Master , Kevin Brown
Jeff Chance 2016
Welcome to Golden Leaf Lodge #595 of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons chartered in the year 1906 in Manilla, Iowa. We are affiliated with the Grand Lodge of Iowa in Cedar Rapids also the home of the world-renowned Iowa Masonic Library and Museums. Read on and you will learn more about what our ancient craft stands for- past, present, and future.
Masonry is an ancient institution predating the Roman Empire. The Holy Bible is our guiding light and is placed on the altar in the center of every lodge. A Mason must profess a faith in God. The precepts or principles of our institution have been transmitted down through the centuries by the use of Allegory which is the use of literary and visual art forms to symbolize ideas and concepts which for Masons are Wisdom, Strength, Beauty, Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love.
Our ancient brothers worked as Operative Masons by the nature of their trade and as Speculative Masons by their work in their respective lodges. One of the best descriptions of Masonry was given by a prominent Iowa Mason who said our craft is “an organized association of men, symbolically applying the principles of operative Masonry and architecture to the science and art of character building.”
Our brothers around the globe number in the millions. To list all the Masons who have made history would be beyond the purview of this introduction. Suffice to say, George Washington took the oath of office on a Masonic Bible and laid the cornerstone of the Capitol with a Masonic Trowel.
Our families are important and are a part of many of our activities. Our open installation of officers in January was attended by family members and it was good to hear the sounds of children as we shared a meal afterwards.
Golden Leaf Lodge is a member of the community of Manilla and sponsors the meetings of our local Cub Scout Troop. All Masonic lodges are friends of public education. The Education Committee of Golden Leaf Lodge each May selects high school seniors to award education grants as well as select a Teacher of The Year. Our education grant ceremony began with a donation from Vern Conzemius, Manilla Class of 1920, in honor of Manilla resident and Golden Leaf Lodge member Cicero Morgan. Cicero had employed Vern and befriended him financially in his college years. Interestingly, Cicero’s father participated in the tug of war in 1885 to decide whether to name the town Paupville or Manilla. We desire to grow the number of awards and anyone with an interest in making a donation can rest assured that 100% of a donation will be awarded to deserving high school graduates seeking further education. The brothers of Golden Leaf Lodge receive no salary and labor for the honor and manage our education fund with fidelity. Our children are our next best hope for the future and “are messengers we send on to a time we will not see.”
Thank you for investing your time today. We hope it has been informative. Please feel free to share any comments or questions.