This Past Master perspective is part one in a series of several articles written by some of the Past Masters of Lodge No. 43. These posts are meant to show members what it means to be a Past Master of Lodge No. 43 in Lancaster, PA as well as a simple perspective on that role from the view of the Past Master.
“Being a Past Master gives you a perspective of the lodge that you never had as a member. First, you get to see what the needs of the lodge really are and how each individual lodge in the district differs. By identifying these needs you get to serve as a resource and a trusted advisor to the future worshipful masters of the lodge. This is a critical for our lodge’s succession plan as you find out that one of the main reasons a lodge could closes down is because there are no longer a sufficient number of men who are ready to serve in the east and/or a lack of a secretary who proves to be the backbone of the lodge.
Second, by being a Past Master you get to make connections with many men who you would not have connected with before. By being together so much you form a true brotherly bond with the officer line. This bond benefits you in so many ways whether it is through successes or the failures that occur in life. You learn the true meaning of “it’s not what you know in life but who you know.” By being a Past Master you learn what your strengths are, as well as your weaknesses. This is important in being able to serve in the many roles of life whether it be your personal or professional roles.
Last, by being a Past Master you learn more about preserving the ancient craft of Freemasonry. There are so many details to learn whether it be the history, or dialogue of the degrees. There are also technical details that when you first become a member you do not recognize until you become a Past Master. These small details are important in preserving the ancient ritual. Having attended over 200 Stated and Extra Meetings you think you may know it all, but at each meeting you learn something new.
In closing, being a Past Master has been a great honor and privilege that comes along with the title. You get to look back and see how many other men sacrificed part of their lives to serve in the east. This sacrifice is one of the greatest sacrifices you can make in life as you reap great rewards by putting in a great amount effort. I encourage you to email me at email@example.com and ask me any questions if you are considering entering the path of becoming a past master. I can guarantee you that you will not regret it.”
Thomas E. Hopta
Past Master Lodge No. 43