By Noble John Wilder
SINCE I needed to add one more thing to my responsibilities as Captain and Temple Historian, I volunteered (that’s becoming a four letter word) to take over the duty of writing the monthly Minuteman article from the revered Father Time as he begins his new life as a snowbird. We hope his new Floridian neighbors enjoy hearing the fife, and we’ll look forward to seeing him again in the spring. A nickname for me notwithstanding, you can expect your Minutemen news straight from the horse’s mouth.
SWinter’s a comin’ but you don’t need me to tell you that, as by the time you read this, there’ll probably be a couple feet of snow (speaking of four letter words) outside your window.
SI do enjoy the winter holiday season. It provides some time to gather with family and reflect on the year. Besides my two-year-old and three-month-old nieces who bring a little extra magic to the holidays at home, I like to think about my extended family; all the people I’ve come to know through the Shrine and Freemasonry, and especially within my unit. I am always happy to tell anyone who will listen about how much of a family the Minutemen are. When you spend so much time with a group of people, united for a common goal, you end up experiencing life’s highs and lows with them, and it’s hard not to forge a bond. Our Minutemen and our Ladies, we’re all in this together and we look forward to another year making a difference through the Shrine. But enough of my sentimentality…
SIt’s been a long year for the Unit and the Shrine, but we can look back on it with pride. The Minutemen marched in 20 parades and ceremonies this year, and being one of Aleppo’s few remaining marching units (not that we’re complaining) does make those miles feel that much longer. We started off the year with a new Captain (wait, that’s me) and the frigid wind of Lawrence. The spring brought our perennial favorites with the Bedford Pole Capping and the “Ancients” June Day in Boston. We proudly presented the colors as a unit at three of the Circus shows. Lest we forget the Fourth of July which found us marching back-to-back parades in the sweltering heat. A small group of us made the trek to Vermont for the Northeast, and the fall brought a full parade schedule. Wrapping up the year brings the Unit backto North Andover and the Shrine to Quincy. At the time of writing this, we’re looking forward to the Swing Band Holiday Party and our own Holiday Muster.
SI know I will get a call from Father Time if I don’t include at least one reference to the Revolutionary War. So I will say when I became Captain last winter perhaps I imagined myself as Von Steuben arriving at Valley Forge to whip the troops into shape… who am I kidding? I’m a Captain of the Militia just like my 6th Great Grandfather, Captain Theophilus Wilder of the Hingham Militia (don’t worry guys, that’s the one and only reference I’ll make to my ancestry).
SWe hope that your holidays were happy and peaceful. Thinking of you Cuz and Lorrie, and Werle and Simone, wishing you ladies speedy recoveries. Keep in mind always our Shrine Kids as everything we do is for them