The Unfinished Mark

After receiving the Honorary Degree of Mark Master Mason, it is expected that a Mason will create his mark and submit before he continues on to receive the Royal Arch Degree. This mark is unalterable as it is meant to identify all of your work. What about those of us who don’t finish our mark before laying down our working tools?  What about that unfinished mark?

My father, John Hambrecht, was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on March 25, 2017.  This was only 11 months after I was raised. He the received the honorary degree of Mark Master Mason, in August 2017.  He began working on his Mark. 

He was to receive the rest of his Royal Arch Degrees in, I believe, late October as part of a Royal Arch Class. By then he was feeling well enough to go to the class. You see, my father had heart problems and numerous levels of nerve damage, in his legs and hands, from diabetes as well as the years of work he had done in manufacturing. He was in pain every day.  

By Thanksgiving he was in the hospital, again, from heart related issues.  After Christmas, he had decided he’d had enough and went into hospice at the end of January.  On February 16, 2018, he laid down his working tools and never finished his mark. Or had he?

Certainly my father never completed the mark for the Mark Book but had he finished his mark?  Since before I was born, my father worked for the company from which he would retire. They actually had a policy of putting your stamp, mark, on everything you produced.  My father was a very hard working quality oriented man and he did this well for them.  He did it so well that, after getting his Bachelor’s Degree and then later a Master’s Degree, he ended up working in the HR Department as a Training Manager.

I was born in 1968.  Over the next 49 years my father did much.  Working as many as 6 days a week and, when times were hard, as little as 3 days a week on a 3 shift rotation.  Still he found time to teach me to play baseball, to change the oil in the car, how to work with tools to build things, how to shoot, how to hunt, and all through that time he taught me things that I didn’t even know I was learning.  As is the case with fathers and sons, we would be close then grow apart only to return to the closeness again. It’s kind of a never ending roller coaster ride but it’s just how men are with each other.  In the end I believe that I was his mark.  He left me unfinished, as all fathers must leave their sons, because we are there to finish the work ourselves and begin a new mark to leave behind.



Bro. Mike Hambrecht was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on April 20, 2016 in Village Lodge #274 F & AM in Burton, Ohio. Currently he is a member of Triandria Lodge #780, where he is Junior Deacon and Lodge Education Officer, and a member Lake Shore Lodge #307. He is also a member  Willoughby Royal Arch Chapter #231, where he is Scribe, Ohio Royal Arch Chapter of Research, where he is Secretary, Windermere Council of Royal & Select Masters #113, Eagle Commandery #29, where he is Standard Bearer, Scottish Rite Valley of Cleveland, and more recently a Noble of the Al Koran Shrine. He also serves on the Grand Lodge of Ohio’s Education Committee. He works in the IT field and has a wife, daughter, two dogs, and two cats.

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