Use Your Apron
By Most Illustrious Companion John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master and Grand Treasurer, Grand Council of New Jersey
Photo Credit: Michele Balke
'I think the hard thing about all these tools is that it takes a fair amount of effort to become proficient.' -Bill Jay
There's something comforting about your old easy-chair. The way it has conformed to your shape; the way it welcomes you after a hard day of work; and the way you feel "at home" when you sit in it. These are things no new chair can make you feel. Nothing can ever replace it.
It's the same with your Masonic Apron. A new Past Master's Apron is stiff and uncomfortable. Whether this is due to the weighty responsibilities that come with it, or the unfamiliar sense of having your own apron, I'm not certain. It's also true for Right Worshipful, Right Excellent, and RightIllustrious aprons. It's even more true if you attain a Grand East!
It also looks "wrong" on you, as a new tool in a toolbox full of shopworn ones. It doesn't sit right around your waist. It's either too tight or too loose. It doesn't bend when you sit, and it doesn't unbend when you stand. You feel self-conscience as if your bright, shiny apron stands out from the time-honored ones wore by everyone else in the room.
But over time, after many wearings, it looks and feels right. Your Companions expect to see you wear it. They gave it to you as a mark of respect and with the expectation that you would wear it with honor to yourself and profit to the Council. The good work you do while wearing a Masonic Apron brings honor to you. This is especially true outside of our Quarries when only you can see your Apron. Your Council profits from the Light you shed while you have it on.
More importantly, it will feel right to YOU. Like any tool, the more you use it, the better you will know how that tool functions. That new saw feels more comfortable in your hand as the handle wears to the shape of your fingers. When it feels comfortable in your hands it will cut truer, because you can guide it better.
The more you use your apron, the more it will conform to you. It too will welcome you after a hard day of work. And you will feel at home when you enter an Assembly wearing it.
The only way to wear an apron out? March in a parade!