Again I thank you for the opportunity to serve our great craft as your Grand Master. It truly is an extraordinary feeling. I would also like to thank Bro. Rich Rygh for his outstanding coverage of our Annual Communication. The picture on the cover of our summer issue says it all. I don’t believe there is anyone happier than my Father at that particular moment. Thanks Brother Rich for capturing the moment.
As the lodges that were dark for the summer months prepare to start anew in September, it brings to mind one of the requests that our Past Grand Master Joe Harker proposed last year and that I will also encourage during this Masonic year. We would encourage all lodges to review their by-laws and consider changing or updating them so your lodges meet at least once a month during the entire year. Masonry is a way of life and I don’t recall anywhere in our teachings that calls for a lodge to take a vacation from caring for their communities or distressed worthy Brothers. I believe that it is in the best interest of every lodge in the state to remain open and build on their enthusiasm, continue their programs and hopefully raise Masons. Thanks to all the Lodges who have already changed their by-laws to support this request.
This summer has been busy with many lodges having picnics and booths at their local fairs and gatherings. I tried to attend as many of these events as I could, to not only support the lodges in their endeavors and programs, but to meet and converse with Brothers from the different parts of the state. I found out long ago that picnics and special functions of the local lodges are a great place to meet Brothers who might not attend Lodge regularly. All Masons have their own niche in this great Fraternity. Some enjoy ritual, some enjoy chairing committees, and others enjoy the external activities. In my travels I did have the pleasure to meet several of these Brothers and the pleasure was all mine. We need to take time to show all Masons that we care and appreciate their support of our Fraternity. One quick story that can illustrate this. When I was Master of my lodge in Potosi, Wis., several of our Lodge Brothers traveled to Janesville to present a 50 year member with his certificate and pin. We took him out to lunch and enjoyed some time with him telling stories. He shared that he hasn’t attended lodge since he was raised, and wondered why we would take the time to travel to Janesville to honor him. I don’t believe that I need to supply the answer to that question.
I would encourage all lodge officers to become familiar with the Wisconsin Masonic Code. When requesting dispensations please include the sections of the code that will be affected. When your dispensation is approved please make sure you follow all other sections of the code. The last thing any Grand Lodge Officer wants to do is reprimand our Brothers for a violation that could affect or risk the reputation of our Great Fraternity.
Please keep the tenants of our Fraternity in the forefront of your minds in conducting your business whether it is in lodge or your personal lives.
Davey L. White Jr.