Brother at Large

Spencer Allen, 32º 

Sharajat-al-Hayat (Tree of Life) in Bahrain

What Being a Scottish Rite Mason Means to a Traveling Brother

Having been in the military for eight years and essentially “always on the move”, I have found a Fraternity like no other and a Brotherhood like no other in Masonry. As some of us know, the military is its own culture and friendships are often forged in adversity. But when the time comes for one to transfer to their next duty station or ultimately return to civilian life, we tend to quickly adapt to the absence of our friends. This is not so within our noble Fraternity. I would like to provide an example; I am currently on the tail end of a one year “unaccompanied tour” in the middle-east. Prior to departure, my wife and I discovered that we were going to be blessed with another child. This meant that my wife would be caring for and raising a 3-year-old while pregnant and ultimately for some months a new born by herself. I looked no further than the Brethren in my Lodge for comfort and guidance and received it ten-fold. Every one of them offered to help any way they could and even established contact with a fellow military Mason who has a career in labor and delivery and caring for new and expecting mothers. I had the opportunity to meet this Brother just days prior to my departure and was instantly comforted and assured that my wife and children would receive the best care possible. This is Masonry. Two brothers who had not met but one time and the assurance that all would be well while one was away. The amount of trust and assurance is, in my opinion, incomprehensible. Masonry teaches us to always help a fellow Brother in his time of need if able. Brethren, I was in need. It was the men of my Lodge that stood up, placed a hand on my back and said, “don’t worry, we’re here to help.”

During these unusual times and trying circumstances where Lodges are unable to meet in person, I have seen nothing but absolute compassion and care for each other. Networking, teamwork and collaboration to ensure that we are all taken care of and the mission and goals of Masonry are continued. As stated above, in some cultures, friendships are forged in adversity. Within Masonry, I have seen friendships and brotherhood further strengthened and solidified through these adverse times. It has meant the world to me that the Zoom meetings have been held especially from so far away. It has allowed me to remain engaged with the Brethren on current and coming events. It is my sincerest hope that everyone who reads this will reach out to a Brother and ensure they are doing well, ask them if they need anything. While we are physically distanced, we do not have to be emotionally distanced. Take care of yourselves Brothers and always remember, there is a Brother waiting and eager to help.

Brother Spencer R. Allen, 32º

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