A Historic Occasion Between
Two Texas Grand Lodges
By Wor. Bro. Frederic L.
On November 17, 2016 Deputy Grand Master of the
Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas F & AM Michael T. Anderson
spoke at Jewel P. Lightfoot Lodge No. 1283, Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM upon
the invitation of Worshipful David Bindel. Worshipful Bindel remarked that he
thought this could be a historic moment being that this might be the first
time a Prince Hall Grand Lodge Officer addressed a Lodge of the Grand Lodge of
Worshipful David Bindel, Jewel
P. Lightfoot Lodge No. 1283
The Lodge opened on the Third Degree at 7:15 PM
with a procession of Lodge officers and visitors marching into the Lodge. The
Lodge was promptly taken from Labor to Refreshment whereupon Worshipful Bindel
announced that this Special Communication was one of a series labeled
“Building The Temple,” whereby the Lodge focuses on engaging in dialogue to
construct something useful and grow together in Masonic light and in our
appreciation of each other.
Without further ado, Worshipful Bindel introduced
DGM Anderson reciting his brief Masonic biography after which he gave him the
DGM Michael T. Anderson,
DGM Anderson began his address by admitting that
he had not prepared a formal presentation. He then proceeded to speak from the
heart starting his remarks with the importance of the Altar in the Lodge. He
went through the meaning and moral teachings of the Three Lessor Lights and
the Three Great Lights. Anderson asked those assembled where else could they
find an organization that taught such high moral standards.
Anderson spoke about how when he was young, he was
a bit on the wild side, and that it was the lessons of Freemasonry that made
him into the man he is today. He told us all that he rarely read the Bible
when he was young and rarely went to church, but that Freemasonry and the
study of its morality, not only made him a better man but led him to studying
the Bible and a regular attendee at church.
Anderson stressed the importance of the Masonic
philosophy that it is the internal not the external characteristics that
recommend a man to be made a Mason. He was emphatic that this one tenet of
Freemasonry was responsible for bringing together men of many different walks
and stations in life. Can you not see how much more peace and harmony there
would be in this world if this tenet was universally adopted, he asked?
He spoke briefly on Prince Hall Freemasonry saying
if you want to know about us look at me. I am a product of what we are all
about. In contrasting the number of years Masters and Grand Masters serve in
each Grand Lodge, he said that he thought five years was the right number for
the time of service. The first year, he said, the Master tip toes around not
wanting to offend anyone. In the second year he begins to formulate his
programs and the stamp he wants to put on his Lodge. Then he has three years
to implement his vision. Anderson said he served ten years as Master of Pride
of Mt. Pisgah No. 135 but he only intended to serve five. But after five
years, some of the Brethren of the Lodge came to him and implored him to
continue otherwise many would become inactive.
Brethren Who Gathered At
Jewel P. Lightfoot Lodge
Taking questions from the Brethren, he articulated
the importance of the 24” Gauge. He remarked that eight hours in the service
of God did not involve going to church, but rather was all about helping
others, doing God’s work in the world. He further expounded that if a man
doesn’t work he doesn’t eat. Anderson told us that he had taken a lot of jobs
in his life he didn’t much care for but that it put food on the table.
Another question had Anderson expounding on the
symbolism of the Point Within A Circle. Anderson said that the point was you
and I and the circle was God, that which had no beginning and no end. In our
journey through life, if we listen, if we have an open mind, if we are
attentive, then we will touch God and God will touch us as we venture out to
the outer edges of the noble life.
DGM Michael T. Anderson and
PGM Elmer Murphy
There were a couple of questions that followed about what can
we do as Masons to promote peace and harmony in the world. It seems to many
that we are becoming more and more divided and at odds with each other.
Anderson went right back to the theme that it is the internal not the external
that a Mason looks at in another. It was at this point that Past Grand Master
of the Grand Lodge of Texas, Elmer Murphy, rose and came out to Anderson and
put his arm around him and related an old story in his family about a Black
man who helped his father to pick up body parts after an explosion at a
chemical factory. He was a big man, Murphy said and then something about his
being in the Navy. I loved that man, I heard him say.
I don’t even know if I have that story right since
I was concentrating on what I saw before me rather than what was being said.
Here was a PGM of the Grand Lodge of Texas and the DGM of the most Worshipful
Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas arm in arm reinforcing the concept that it is
the internal not the external part of a man that is important. And when PGM
Murphy completed his tale he hugged DGM Anderson, whereupon every Brother in
the room rose to give them both a thunderous applause.
DGM Michael T. Anderson
Shows His Certificate Of Honorary Membership In Jewel P. Lightfoot Lodge
WM David Bindel Presents DGM
Michael T. Anderson The Gift Of A Gavel
Back in 2006 both Grand Lodges did not recognize
each other. In 2007 a Compact of Recognition was signed, but without
intervisitation and Masonic intercourse. Just last year those last barriers
were removed. And this evening witnessed further progress in Masonic
The speech being over introductions of all
visiting Brethren were made. It was duly noted that we had a Brother from the
Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland and a Cuban Brother who was a member of a military
Lodge in South Korea.
DGM Anderson Shows His Gavel
Worshipful Bindel then presented DGM Anderson with
a gift of a gavel and a certificate that made him an honorary member of Jewel
P. Lightfoot. Lodge was left to expire at midnight and we all took off for the
Komali Mexican Restaurant.
At the restaurant, we satisfied ourselves with
good food and libation. But most of all we experienced that Masonic tenet of
Brotherly Love and Affection. There were many toasts offered and many new
friends made. When we finally parted it was midnight and I returned home with
the knowledge that this had truly been a historic occasion.
If You Like My Tie You Can
Have My Tie
Brethren At The Komali