“The Power of the Ring”. This is a story of the power of the ring, which in turn, is the power of the Brotherhood.
How many of you wear rings? My guess would be many do, whether it is a Master Mason ring or a Scottish Rite ring. We all like to show our support for the fraternity. I grew up in a large Masonic family with a Great Grandpa, Grandpa and Uncles that felt strongly about our organization. Later in my Masonic journey I raised my father Gary, and later signed for him to join the Scottish rite, but that is a story for a different time. In curiosity, I would look at the rings they wore. As I grew older and saw men wearing Mason rings of all kinds, I wondered what they symbolized. As many of you, I didn’t know what they symbolized until I became a member. We are always taught to trust a brother, no matter what. We all went through the same rite and became a Mason. This is a story about an experience I had in my working career as a Mold Designer/ Tooling Engineer.
I was employed at an engineering firm south of Dayton and placed in charge of their medical mold design group. Subsequently, I was in charge of other groups. One day the owner of the company advised me that Lockheed Martin would be touring our facility. Their purpose was to ascertain that our company could provide service and processes that would meet their expectations. Anyone who has been through an audit with an engineering company knows it is a rigorous process and no fun for employees. I was advised to have all processes for my department in order although they doubted the auditor would speak with me as I was in charge of the medical mold design department. I made sure all my ducks were in a row.
I remember seeing the man arrive and thought that here was a well dressed suit wearing fellow with hair done to perfection. I also thought he looked like a “ball buster” and hoped he would not approach me. A good hour or two passed and I thought I was safe. To my surprise, the auditor arrived at my office and began grilling me on all processes in place. I will spare the reader the boring details. At a specific moment, I looked at the man’s hand and at a glance, it looked like he was wearing a Past District Deputy ring. I wondered if he had seen my ring. As hard as he was being on me, I felt it would be alright since we were brothers but only if he realized I was a brother also. Don’t get me wrong. All my paperwork was in order and always done properly. But that is a small solace when the moment is happening and you are the one being grilled.
So back to the moment when I saw his ring. Evidently he did see my ring which, at that time, was a black stone Master Mason ring. He wore a super high-end fancy ring. He looked straight into my eyes and said, “I think we are done here, Brother. I can see you are doing everything properly.” as he shook my hand as a Master Mason. I thought to myself, “Thank you Lord. This is over”, not really digesting what the man had just said. As he walked away, I noticed he had finished the audit although he had not gone to all departments. He had been told that I was in charge of the remaining departments with multiple employees in our corporate offices and other offices in Indiana, Florida, and Canada. His last comment to the owner was, “I have seen all I need to and you will receive my report soon.”
After the auditor left, the owner came directly to me and asked, “Why did he call you Brother?” I quickly responded that we were Brothers but not from the same mother. The owner, not being a Mason, had no idea what this was about. I told him not to worry. I reassured him that the audit was fine and that we would be approved for the new program with his company. In the end, this was the case.
My statement to everyone is not to lose sight of what the ring means to a Master Mason or a Scottish Rite Mason. Remember the rings, even the stickers on our cars, have power. Remember to always act as a Master Mason while representing our craft. Masons are always watching whether you are aware or not.
Matthew L. Brookey
Dayton Consistory, S.P.R.S.
Captain of the Guard