Fidelity Lodge #339
100 Main Street, Farley, Missouri 64028
The Installation of Officers in 2022 has come and gone, and I now find myself in the honorable position of Junior Warden. The Junior Warden sits in the south, symbolic of the sun's position at midday. Because he represents the sun at lunchtime, he metaphorically supervises the Craftsmen when they're at recess or refreshment. He is the number-three officer in the lodge hierarchy and may open the lodge if the Master cannot attend the meeting. The Master and the two elected Wardens (the Senior Warden and the Junior Warden) are the only officers who may open a meeting. Only a Grand Lodge officer may override this requirement.
The Junior Warden is often in charge of arranging meals for the lodge, and the Stewards traditionally act as his assistants.
The Junior Warden's jewel of office is the plumb, a stonemason's instrument used to check a vertical surface's alignment. It symbolizes good behavior among Masons.
As I try my best to fill this position’s requirements and set an example for all the Brothers of the Lodge, I must look first at what the Junior Warden is charged with doing.
At the Installation, the following words were read to me, and I think you may find them interesting:
“To you is committed the superintendence of the Craft during the hours of refreshment. It is therefore indispensably necessary that you should not only be temperate and discreet in the indulgence of your own inclinations but that you should carefully observe that none of the Craft be suffered to convert the means of refreshment into intemperance and excess.”
Well, taken literally, one might think this is a warning not to let the Brothers or myself eat and drink too much, but, as we know, much of the writings of Masonry are meant to be taken metaphorically and applied to our lives outside of the Lodge as well as in it. The metaphorical meaning is not always clear. Luckily, something else was read to me that sheds a little light on the previous and illuminates the meaning of the symbol of my office.
“The Plumb - admonishes us to walk uprightly in our several stations, to hold the scale of justice in equal poise, to observe the just medium between intemperance and pleasure and to make our passions and prejudices coincide with the line of our duty… Look well to the South!”
Such an eloquent way of saying, be fair, everything in moderation, and make sure your likes and dislikes are conducive to your values, beliefs, and the way of life you would like to be known.
What an honor it is for me to wear the Plumb, and I invite you, my Brothers, to join me in “Looking well to the South!”
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