Farewell to a great mentor

Posted: December 22, 2012 in Masonic

Blindfolded and exceptionally nervous, hearing people softly moving, clearing their throats, the unfamiliar sound of chains, jewels and medallions clinging together was all I could hear. My mind was I  turmoil, both excited terrified at stepping into the unkown in complete darkness.

Two hands held me from either side, their familiar grip reminding me I am safe.

” Its time” said the smooth calming voice of the elderly man who stood on my left. I put forward my left foot, and began my journey into the amazing awe inspiring world of Freemasonry.

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Arthur was my mentor through my first 3 degrees in Masonry. He proposed my father-in-law into masonry, and was my seconder. Having the two of them at my side, taking me through my initiation, kept me calm and made the moment very special.
When Keith passed away, Arthur stayed by my side, and when I became a Master Mason, his was the first hand that congratulated me.

He handed me a Master Mason apron, the very one he had been given when he was raised to a Master Mason.

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Made of pure lamb skin, over 80 years old now. I keep it locked in a cupboard now, having progressed further. It was passed onto Arthur from his mentor, then on to me. I had hoped to pass it on to my son,  but, having a daughter, I hope a grandson in the future.

Worhipful Brother Arthur Puckey was initiated on 24 June 1954 at Victory Lodge, became Worshipful Master in 1961, and held the rank of Past District Senior Grand Warden.

He is one of the few Mason’s I know that can recite a passage from Ecclesiastes by heart, always at a time when most stressed. At a funeral. He stood, tall and firm, with tears rolling down his face, reciting Verse 12 at my father-in-law’s funeral.

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,  
while the evil days come not,  nor the years draw nigh,
 when thou shalt say,  I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or the light, or the moon,  
or the stars, be not darkened,  
nor the clouds return after the rain:

In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble,  
and the strong men shall bow themselves,  
and the grinders cease because they are few,  
and those that look out of the windows be darkened.

And the doors shall be shut in the streets,  
when the sound of the grinding is low,  
and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird,  
and all the daughters of musick  shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high,  
and fears shall be in the way,
 and the almond tree shall flourish,  
and the grasshopper shall be a burden,  and desire shall fail:   
because man goeth to his long home,  
and the mourners go about the streets:

Or ever the silver cord be loosed,  
or the golden bowl be broken,  
or the pitcher be broken at the fountain,  
or the wheel broken at the cistern.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:   
and the spirit shall return  unto God who gave it.”

So mote it be.

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