Vol. XLII No. 10 — October 1964

More Presentation Speeches

Conrad Hahn

The following brief addresses are offered to the brethren in response to many requests for “models” of short talks for special occasions. They are presented not as “gems,” or “perfect products,” but as models that are “imitations of the real thing.” Anyone who uses them should make them more personal by introducing local facts with which the audience is familiar. Some presentations, however, are really too personal to treat in a general way. In this category, for example, would be Remarks from the Newly Made Mason.” Such a speech should be as spontaneous as possible.

Presenting Apron (or Jewel) to Junior Past Master

Worshipful Sir, I have the honor and the happy privilege of presenting to you the badge of honor of a past master of ______ Lodge No. ___. I am grateful to (the master, the members of the lodge, or whoever made the appointment) for this opportunity to congratulate you in behalf of all the members of this lodge, and to pay tribute to your labors and achievements while you presided in the East.

We have had a good year because of your leadership. (Here might follow one or two examples of the former master’s achievements: ritualistic excellence; an unusually successful special program; his parliamentary skill; the well-planned and efficiently executed program during the year; his concern for the sick and distressed; the stimulation to improve attendance; a successful financial program for the charity or building fund; etc., etc.) ______ Lodge has made real progress during the past year. A lot of the credit must go to you. We thank you sincerely.

All of us hope that this apron (jewel) will not become merely a symbol of the past, of what has been accomplished, of what is finished. This badge is also your passport into that group of “elder statesmen” whom we salute on past masters’ night. As such, we hope to see you as frequently in the coming years as we have in the last twelve months. Your experience, your knowledge, your skills, your counsel and enthusiasm are going to be needed just as much as before. Consequently, we congratulate you on the opportunities that lie ahead as well as on the accomplishments that are behind you.

This apron (jewel) is not a sentimental gift or payment “for services rendered.” It is a badge of distinction awarded to few of the members of this lodge. We are proud to present it to you. Take it, worshipful brother, and wear it with as much pleasure to yourself as with the luster of devoted service with which you have adorned it.

A Token for the Newly Made Mason

Brother ______, it’s a real pleasure to salute you with that Masonic title! Welcome, thrice welcome, into the membership of the ancient Fraternity of Freemasons. It makes me proud to call you brother! Congratulations!

I’m not going to give you a long discourse or lecture on what it means to be a Master Mason. You’re going to need some time just to arrange the impressions you received tonight into some coherent and meaningful order.

Suffice it to say, you’ve just begun to open your eyes to Masonic Light and understanding. To appreciate fully what it means to be a real craftsman, you’ll need to come to lodge quite regularly, to observe and review the lessons presented in the work of each of the degrees. As light is added to light, you’ll undoubtedly want to be a genuine speculative Fellowcraft, by reading and studying about the history, philosophy, symbolism, and jurisprudence of Freemasonry.

Tonight I represent ______ (A group of fellow employees; some fiends; “the one nearest and dearest — wife, mother, family). They (she) have (has) honored me highly, and given me a great deal of pleasure by asking me to present to you a little token of esteem and love at that moment when you achieved the proud title of Master Mason.

Its intrinsic value is small. What is really important about it is this: it brings to you at this important moment the congratulations and best wishes of [the donor]. They (she) are just as proud of your new distinction as any of us here. It also brings you their (her) love and affection.

Take it, my brother. Throughout a long and honorable life of service to this lodge and our great institution “wheresoever dispersed,” may you always be reminded by it of the ennobling emotions and ideals that were aroused in your breast this evening. We sincerely hope that you will always wear it with pleasure to yourself and honor to the Fraternity.

Twenty-Five-Year Pin Presentation

My brother, you are celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of your being made a Master Mason. Some people don’t like to observe such milestones. They fear the tyranny of Father Time.

But as Masons we believe that this transient experience as speculative builders is but a preparation for the perfect labors we shall perform on that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Consequently, we congratulate you on your service of a quarter of a century to our beloved Fraternity. You have persisted in your labors; you have kept your face to the Light among friends and brothers. (Here might be mentioned one or two of the brother’s Masonic activities. )

A man’s life is significant because it’s a series of activities and accomplishments, of triumphs over adversities, no matter how small those handicaps may be. It is hard to mark them off rigidly and say, “This one began there and ends here.” For this reason it’s good to select a traditional summit, like twenty-five years, to look back and enjoy the view. That’s really what we’re doing here tonight. We give you our hearty congratulations for all that you can see.

At the same time we can look in the other direction; we can look at what’s ahead.

Twenty-five years! You’ve just become a veteran; you’re one of the experienced master workmen. This lodge now looks to you for the wisdom and guidance of a veteran who knows the designs upon the trestleboard and can direct his fellow-laborers.

Let this pin be a symbol, not merely of past services in a measurable period of time, but chiefly of your flourishingmanhood and of your devotion to the Craft. Wear it with pleasure to yourself and honor to the Fraternity.

Lines for the Presentation of a Fifty-Year Pin

For fifty years you’ve played a brother’s part
While learning well to serve our royal art.
This is the day we honor all you’ve done;
A silver wreath of time your years have won.

Let the years fly. They cannot steal away
The mem’ry of rich moments, sad or gay.

Let the years pass. Each new one brings its share
Of Craftsman’s lore to learn, of deeds to dare.

Let the years fade. They’re only ghosts of time
That hover ’round the mystic steps we climb.

Let the years glow, for each can help to fan
The flame you’ve kindled in a brother man.

Welcome the hastening years, for each still brings
The chance to help some others grasp those things
That Masons know in truth and light divine,
Revealed by square and compasses and line.

For this we give our best congratulation
With quiet joy and loving admiration.

Presenting a Fifty-Year Pin

(In most jurisdictions, a fifty year pin is an award from the grand lodge. Such an award, therefore, should be made by a Grand Lodge officer or other Mason authorized by the grand master.)

Brother ______, I am happy to greet you on this very special occasion as the representative of the Grand Lodge of which is delighted to honor its fifty year members with a special award for long years of service.

It is obvious that you sought Light in Masonry in your early manhood. A Mason must be at least seventy-one years of age to achieve this distinction. I congratulate you on that beginning, because you now have a lifetime of Masonic activity and membership behind you. Comparatively few men can equal that record.

It would be discourteous of me to relate all the Masonic activities and experiences that you have had in that span of years. There isn’t enough time. Many of them I do not even know. Undoubtedly, there have been numberless touches of friendship, of laughter and of tears, of hard work for your lodge, and of relaxation during the hours of refreshment.

Memories of all those events are probably thronging through your mind right now. Enjoy them — each and every one; for those are the things for which we honor you this evening.

We are especially happy that you have preserved your health and vigor so that you can be with us this evening. We share your pride in that achievement; and we trust that the G.A.O.T.U. will give you many more years of strength and health to enjoy the mystic tie of brotherhood.

This token, which I now pin on the lapel of your coat, has little monetary value; but its of untold symbolic worth because of what it represents. It’s a symbol of your devotion to our Fraternity. As such, wear it proudly. Wear it publicly, for all the world to see. We want your friends and neighbors to know that the members of this lodge are very proud of a Fifty Year Mason! Congratulations!

Past Masters’ Night

Worshipful masters, proudly we greet you,
Hailing your labors so faithfully done.
Each in his own way, wielding the Hiram,
Helped us to prosper and honor has won.

Yours was the labor — a program to ready,
Meetings to govern with harmony true.
Visits and specials, degrees and collations,
Dues and finances brought worries to you.

Lectures and ritual, opening and closing,
All those you memorized, perfect and whole.
Now like custodians, the work you still carry,
Guarding the landmarks in many a role.

Yours was the love that for suffering brothers
Brought to their bedside glad words of cheer.
Yours was the care that to widow and orphan
Brought solace and comfort for sorrow and fear.

Wine of refreshment, the oil of rejoicing,
Nourishing corn that the Great Spirit lends:
These by the symbols and tools of a Mason
You have imparted to brothers and friends.

Worshipful masters, enjoy now your wages,
Love and respect, understanding and Light!
Long may we see you in faithful attendance,
Honored and cherished on past masters’ night!

The Masonic Service Association of North America