Digital Series #2 – Apron with a Blue Ribbon Border

Mark A. Nielsen, PM

4 years in Reflection….

The below short talk was originally written in an effort to remain relevant at a time when a fundamental change was necessary for the survival of masonic lodge in which I was a member of for roughly 10 years and a pillar of at the time. It was one of my first forrays into masonic education which I vowed to provide at every Stated Meeting starting in roughly 2015. Some called me trailblazer and others accused me of challenging tradition, authority, and the very fabric that held masonry together in North County San Diego. I guess they weren’t wrong! 

My intention was always to keep Masonry and Brothers thriving and inspired wherever I possibly could. I never would have thought that this short talk, or at least the drive behind it, would cause so much discussion, turmoil, reflection, understanding, and ultimately, change – for the better. There were so many directions this particular short talk could have been taken to continue down the path of further light in Masonry. I certainly learned that a simple idea – along with a little bit of digging in your heals and a conviction of your principles – is the perfect launchpad for positive change. 

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Master’s Inaugural Address

…I ask you all to take a look around during the reception at some of our artifacts, from our 100 year old marshal’s baton, to the handmade tops of our temple pillars, to the handmade, poured and engraved silver altar square by Worshipful Fred Burkhardt, the antique compass present upon the altar, and the nearly 100 year old altar itself, graciously and indefinitely on loan from Oceanside – San Dieguito Lodge No. 381, which has obligated hundreds of good men a Master Mason.

Novus Veteris, literally meaning, “The New Old,” comes from a desire to see a reformation in the way that our members experience Freemasonry and also a reformation in how society perceives us. New endeavors, old traditions. New light, old wisdom. New brothers, old obligations.

Novus Veteris is a lodge that uniquely satisfies the experience of each of its members with a balanced focus on the tenets of brotherly love, relief, and truth, which in turn, inspires service to the lodge, service to local lodges, service to the fraternity at large, service to our families and service to society, all the while, making a profound impact.

My theme for this inaugural year is the Anchor. You will see the members of Novus donning a pin that was designed specially for us by Novus Brother Worshipful Adam Turk. The anchor, as well as the ark, are emblems of a well-grounded hope, and a well-spent life. They are emblematical of that divine ark which safely wafts us over this tempestuous sea of troubles, and that anchor which will safely moor us in a peaceful harbor, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary shall find rest.

Masons teach that it is justice, in a great measure, that constitutes the really good man, and that it is justice that is the very cement and support of civil society. It is also justice that binds and perpetuates our fraternity through the succession of ages. Though, with apathy and indifference, characteristics ever so prevalent in modern society, justice can also overtake us, and the scythe will eventually cut the brittle thread.

We must do ourselves justice. Masons, and especially Novus Brothers, possess a great hope for society, and ideally our Fraternity’s positive influence on it. But we, as brothers and fellows, must be the hope, and serve — for ourselves, for our families, and for our ancient and honorable institution. Thank you.