Supporting our Masonic Youth

The Future of Our Craft, Our World.

By: Thomas L. Schenk
Grand Master of Masons in New Mexico

Thomas L. Schenk Grand Master of Masons in New Mexico

Last fall I was approached by one of our Masonic Youth advisors regarding an idea she had about teaching our young adults basic home maintenance skills, including minor repairs and remodeling. The scope of this project was to involve all stages, from planning, developing a budget, shopping skills and finally, learning and applying working skills to make it all happen. The only problem is that there was no actual project to be had. For years the Grand Lodge library and Grand Master’s apartment have been used for extra classroom space aside from the use of Sandia Mountain No. 72, host to Sandia Mountain Assembly. It was always noted how “old and dingy” these areas were, and that’s where the idea began, the young men and women of Rainbow and DeMolay were excited about working together and brightening up their workspace. What started out as just learning how to paint, and cut in walls, turned into removing wallpaper, repairing drywall, picking colors, and finally admiring their work.

After all of that, they noticed how old and worn the furniture looked compared to the freshly painted walls, and they asked if there was anything they could do about it. They were told yes, so they looked at their budget and saw that they had enough funds left to replace a few items. Rather than going to a large furniture store and paying retail prices, they decided that their money would go farther if they browsed the internet and found deals. Through Facebook Marketplace, thrift stores and yard sales, the group found everything needed to complete the project, and have the look that they were going for. In addition, all the removed items and old furniture were kept so that they could be sold later at their very own fundraiser to help finance other projects in the future. What a great learning project, working together, developing ideas, and being exposed to what so many adults of today have never even tried themselves.

Brethren, I can honestly tell you that the result is amazing. What once was an area that took you back to the early eighties is now as beautiful and comforting as any modern hotel. Everyone who has seen it or has stayed there is in awe of the work that these young people have done.

GM at Route 66 7/1
MWGM Attends Route 66 on July 1

On behalf of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, I would like to personally thank the young men and women of both the International Order of the Rainbow Girls and DeMolay International for all their hard work.

This great learning opportunity would not have been possible if it were not for the ideas and efforts put in by Mrs. Candy Rowe, Youth Advisor, and her husband, Charles Rowe of Hiram No. 13. Their dedication is to be commended, and the results will be enjoyed and appreciated by everyone for years to come.

Masonicon 2023 was held this past weekend, the overall feeling is that it was a great success, all the attendees expressed what a great time they had, and that they left having been part of a wonderful experience. Bro. Davin Teague, Chairman of the Masonic Education Committee and his team did an amazing job putting this event together. RWB. Sean Sullivan provided a delicious meal for the Table Lodge and lunch the following day. The Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association was on hand helping wherever needed.

Our guest speaker, Bro Zakary Wyatt, who is from Lubbock Texas, and a member of the Grand Lodge of Texas gave an incredible program on the usage of digital “working tools”. It was very engaging and enjoyed by all. The results and good times can be seen on all social media platforms.

Saturday was filled with a great variety of masonic topics, everything from service, history, ritual, esoterica and fraternity. A total of twenty-five classroom blocks were available, making it difficult to choose from as they were all interesting and informative.

Once again, the Ballut Abyad Shrine was our host facility, thank you Noble Potentate Tom Denslow, and your members for the use of the building. Very much appreciated!

A very special thank you to all the appendant masonic organizations for being on hand and participating in the event. Our Masonic Youth provided refreshments and car wash services to raise funds in addition to showcasing their ritual talents. Brethren, it would be very much appreciated if each of you could show support for these groups by attending just one Masonic Youth event/meeting during the year. Especially if you are part of a host Lodge. We have approximately 3250 Masons in the state of New Mexico, what an incredible feat it would be if all 3250 made a visit. The results would be overwhelming.

Finally, I would like to apologize to WB Clayton Kuehn, Senior Grand Steward, for not recognizing him at the Table Lodge on Friday night. All of the Widows Sons were standing together, and I simply missed him in the crowd, if there is one, sometimes two Masons we should ALWAYS recognize are the stewards, they’re the ones who keep us fed and full. Thank you!

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