Today we had the books open at Orange Park Lodge for the benefit of the lodges in the Zone 3. There were close to 20 brothers in attendance. See the photos here for some happy and studious masons. This was a wonderful opportunity to see the actual words. We have many learned brothers in our lodges but sometimes the work gets a bit off as it gets passed down. By regular and frequent review of the written words a brother can ensure that he has a firm grasp of the actual words and meaning of the ritual.
I have traveled to many lodges in our two districts over the years and witnessed both good and bad work. I’ve often heard brothers give excuses that they haven’t done a particular role in a long time. Yet, a review of their recent behavior would doubtless reveal relatively few actual practices and likely no reference to the actual written work in preparation. Sadly, having access to the written work is a tremendous benefit often under-used. This is not to say that any brothers are intentionally neglectful. Rather, they are trusting other members of their lodges who themselves have never actually seen the written work. The good news is that we have the books open each and every month on the same weekend. Any Master Mason can attend and see for himself the words and accompanying instructions.
We have been very fortunate to have many fine instructors and mentors in the work. RH Kosciusko provides exemplary leadership in his mastery of the work. Likewise, RH Mark Manuz carries on the tradition of excellence in the 13th District. Both were present for the open books today. These brothers dedicate many hours to teaching and helping the lodges in their respective districts to perform the work to the highest degree of proficiency. RW Scooter Barr, Zone 3 Committee on Work was also in attendance and has dedicated many years to teaching the work.