( Hong Fai
Chang, July 10, 1924 - April 20, 2005)
was a spring day, warm for once,
Tuesday morning as I went to visit
Superior Woods Healthcare facility.
This was not my first visit.
nursing home Past Master Hong Fai Chang
checked into is near my home,
I pass it every day on the way to work.
began making regular stops,
I know some of the other caring brothers
Like Justin and Rich did.
This morning was blue skies and green grass bending in the April breeze.
arrived at Hong Fai’s room and
Found his name missing from the door.
sudden wonder, I retreated to the nurse’s Station
asked what had happened.
throat didn’t feel right.
was worried he had been transferred again – or worse.
nurse paused, looking up from her charts
replied, pointing, “he’s in physical therapy.
Check for him there!”
This friendly attitude was a relief.
walked into the room she indicated
found two rows of patients, all sitting, stretching
performing simple exercises, but no Hong Fai…
recognized his roommate, George, sitting near the door.
We’d been introduced before.
George”, I began, “I’m looking for your roommate,
Hong Fai. Have you seen him?”
“No, he’s probably in the bathroom answered George.
asked, “Will you let him know I said hello
stopped by when you see him?”
“Sure thing will do!” George replied.
“George, you won’t remember that, will you?”
Asked the therapist, sitting across from him.
“No, probably not,” came George’s smiling reply.
Figuring I would check in on Hong Fai later in the week,
marched out to the car, started the engine
checked my cell phone’s voicemail, as I always do.
Victims of the modern era, we realtors and Past master both.
noticed a woman in nurse’s dress beginning the long walk
the parking lot, Surprisingly,
walked to my car and tapped on my window.
“Hong Fai’s out front now,”
was out walking, we do it every day for exercise.”
turned the car off and returned to the lobby.
Hong Fai was sitting and smiling, brightly.
good to see you.” We began chatting
About all manner of things,
From the helpful staff at the nursing home to his family,
Possibilities for his health
all the research the University of Michigan had performed.
even called out loud time
nurse would pass by to thank
Them for all their help,
attitude was friendly, relaxed and laughing,
I remember him so often from the Lodge and from the Grotto.
Finally, when it was time to leave,
gripped my hand and we said goodbye,
knowing when our next meeting would be.
smile was bright and impeccable,
Matching his eyes, which sparkled in the spring sunlight.
man was a class act, and a great brother.
who knew him misses Hong Fai Chang,
enjoyed his company.
I’ll never forget the Grand Architect’s design in making certain
had a chance to visit with the brother one last time
Before it is my turn to go on and join him.
my Brethren, the roll of the workmen has been called,
one Master Mason has not answered to his name.
Hong Fai has laid down the working tools of the Craft and with them
has left that mortal part for which he no longer has use.
labors here below have taught him
divest his heart and conscience of the vices
superfluities of life, thereby fitting his mind
a living stone for the spiritual building-that
House not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Sean Dykhouse, PM