Congratulations Brother Donald Loos on your 60th Masonic Birthday!
The following are my remarks from the celebration:
Once a Mason, Always a Mason
Many of us have heard the old saying, and I myself have wondered about its meaning. I cannot find it in any of our ritual or books of etiquette and code. I can, however, tell you my interpretation of the saying. I believe that Masonry is a way of life, a philosophy of life. Surely, a man’s membership in a lodge can be lost over time. It’s easy enough to stop paying dues. What cannot be taken from any man is his Masonry.
One who becomes a member of a Masonic Lodge voluntarily assumes weighty vows, vows by which he is obligated upon his voluntary petition. Those vows and obligations cannot be repudiated or laid aside. The Lodge cannot relieve him of his vow of secrecy, and the secrets revealed to him cannot be taken from him. If a Brother was ever a Mason in his heart, his vows and obligations will remain as long as he will keep them. The true Mason, then, is the one who interprets the Symbols in which Masonry is concealed (or by which it is explained) through exemplification in his daily life.
Freemasonry has taken eternal truths and embellished them. It teaches them in new ways. It puts them into the hearts of men who might not otherwise have understood them. One who has had the benefit of this instruction will ever remain a Mason in his heart. “Once a Mason, always a Mason.” This may be true, but the Lodge has little to do with whether the Brother remains such. That responsibility rests entirely upon the one who knocked on our door, sought admission, solemnly assumed obligations from which Freemasonry cannot release him, and learned lessons that should be a rule and guide of his faith.
Brother Donald Loos knocked on our door and sought admission to Tuality Lodge, and Freemasonry, 60 years ago. He was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason on April 13, 1961 and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason June 29, 1961. I am sure that his Brothers, friends, and family can all attest that he has kept Masonry in his heart all that time. Today, we recognize Brother Loos for exemplifying Masonry as a way of life for 60 years.