March 26, 1952
April 23, 1952
MM June 11, 1952
following from a eulogy delivered at Preston's funeral.
Preston Burner was a unique man
and a very special Mason. If anything, Wor. Brother Preston was a “Poster
Boy” for all the good things Freemasonry stands for. He possessed a contagious
enthusiasm and zeal for Masonry that impacted everyone he came in contact with.
He developed a unique combination of family, the man, religion and Masonry and
strived to influence each to better the others. Preston was never afraid to ask
why, challenge what he felt was wrong, and find a way to do the right thing -
even if he had to leave the beaten path. Wor. Brother Preston spent an enormous
amount of time researching the meaning of Masonry and religion in search of ties
that might exist – always sharing his findings. I loved listening to stories
from the many trips Preston and Freda took in their RV, exploring this great
country and making friends wherever they went. I always enjoyed listening to
Preston talk about the lodges he visited and sharing the way Brothers did things
in other jurisdictions so that we could try to use them to make our Masonry
better. I thank him for teaching me to leave the sanctity and comfort of our
lodge and venture out to experience other forms and aspects of Masonry. Wor.
Brother Preston never ceased to amaze me with how much he knew about this area
and about Masonry in Northern Virginia and DC. I remember sitting in a lodge in
Takoma Park Preston said "You know, part of this lodge is in DC and part is
Maryland. The Master is sitting in Maryland the rest of us are in DC" and
with a great deal of pride he added that this was Dad’s old lodge.
I wanted to take the time to
tell you about a few of Wor. Brother Preston’s Masonic accomplishments. He was
a very proud Senior DeMolay. He was the Tiler Emeritus of A. Douglas Smith Lodge
of Research and a charter member of General George C. Marshal Lodge in DC. He
was presented several awards by the Philalathes society, a group in which he was
very active. These included the Order of the Blue Forget-Me-Not for notable
writers and educators, and recently he received an Award of Merit — the
highest award they give and is presented to only four people internationally
each year. He was the founder of Hiram's Oasis, the first international Masonic
electronic bulletin board, launching international Masonic relations into the 21st
century. Hiram's Oasis prompted many men to ask the right question and join
Freemasonry. Preston was also the founder of the Kena Computer Club, an active
organization in Kena Temple. Another of Preston’s accomplishments and one I
think he felt was among the greatest, was that of Past Master of Concord Lodge.
Concord is defined as a state of harmony and peaceful relationships, and Preston
contributed a lot to formulating just that attitude and environment in the
Lodge. I heard Preston say so many times how much he loved our little lodge and
how lucky we were that it was just the way it was.
Wor Brother Preston’s
presentation of the ritual was unique, to say the least. It was his own mix of
DC and Virginia ritual. He always said, “if you miss a word here or there the
candidate won’t know – it’s the feeling and the meaning that count.”
There is no doubt that Preston Burner put a lot of feeling into everything he
did in the lodge and for a brother Mason. When Preston conducted the degree work
for a candidate, that candidate knew they had just received beautiful and
important information from a man that truly cared and wanted to share the things
he had found in Masonry. Wor Brother Preston was truly a dedicated Mason and an
inspiration to the rest of us. He will be greatly missed.
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