The Diamond in the Quarry

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Michael Laidlaw 32˚

In my travels in Freemasonry-- my first step to now, I have met men from all walks of life. Those who came for various reasons, but we all share a common bond of humanity. We are all drawn to the work of Freemasonry for a reason. Some find out why and some know right out of the gate.

For the sake of humility for the Lodge and man, I will refrain from using names. When I was invited to this particular Lodge, I was instantly put to work. The Lodge culture was drastically different than what I was used to. Prospective members, Entered Apprentice, and Fellowcrafts are buzzing away and Master Masons were providing guidance. I had, on one occasion, asked a potential Candidate how long he had been coming to this Lodge and seeking membership. He said, "Five months now. I just earned my signatures and will be voted on next month." I was stunned for a moment.

Previously I came from a Lodge that would give them out on the first or second day. Granted, I had my affiliation application in hand with two endorsements from Brothers I had known for some time. But I knew in my heart; it would be wrong for me to hand it in right away after seeing these candidates for the degrees--working so hard to gain admission. I worked a committee for one year before I was told, "The Brothers are asking when are you going to affiliate?" It was then I knew I had "earned" my place with these craftsmen.

That year I had worked closely with a Brother who had invited me over to the Lodge to learn the roles of the committee. It would be an understatement if I said this Brother helps in the Lodge. He is a vital pulse to the Lodge. And in my opinion, "The Diamond in The Quarry." We are builders and this man builds everything, from events to the men around him. "Some flex and some lift." This Brother is a powerlifter. No matter how far-fetched my idea or the ideas of others are, he will encourage you to go for it. But I have learned it cannot be half-hearted. It has to be all in. If you want education, he will ask, "What have you set up? What speakers or topics do you have in place?" If you want events, he will chip away at your thoughts then give you some of his own. Helping you build on your ideas.

It's men like this that challenge you mentally, that the Craft needs. Also, these kinds of men make a Lodge successful. We all have lifters in the Lodge when you fall, they brush you off and instill a sense of pride that makes you keep going. They are the ones who will sit back and watch you succeed and ask for nothing in return. Believe me when I say I've seen this first-hand from this man. 

Men like this, build temples. The men around them and ultimately, humanity is made better. Is this not the work of a Craftsman? Shouldn't we strive to build all around us? In this trying time, Masonry--her teachings and the guidance of these "diamonds" are needed, now more than ever. In the words of a great man, I will close with this: "Diamonds lay dormant, they hide from the profane (undeserving), you must dig for them."


Michael Laidlaw was raised to the Sublime degree in 2011 and is a plural Member of South Pasadena 290 and Southern California Research Lodge where he is Junior Warden and Pop Culture editor for The Fraternal Review Magazine. He is also serving as Senior Steward for Arcadia 278. Michael is an active council member for Jobs Daughters Bethel 210 Arcadia (where his daughter is serving as Honored Queen) and serves on the Grand Lodge of California Youth Orders Committee. He is a 32° Scottish Rite Mason from the Valley Of Pasadena Orient of California where he has completed all three Master Craftsman Courses. Michael is also a member of San Gabriel Valley Chapter No. 100 RAM, Alhambra Council No. 25 CM, and Foothill Commandery No. 63 KT. He also holds Membership in Cinema Grotto and Order of Eastern Star.


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