As the month of January approaches, I think that we should feel very fortunate for the great weather that our “supreme architect of the universe” has provided for us so far this year (no offense snowmobilers). It has made travel throughout the state a lot more enjoyable.
The month of December has been a particularly rewarding experience for me, as I have had the opportunity to travel to several Lodges that I have not been privileged to visit before. This also means that I had the pleasure to meet Brothers and Ladies that I never had the opportunity to meet before. I cannot explain the joy that I feel inside every time I get the chance to share a conversation or just to spend time with Masons and their ladies throughout the State of Wisconsin and other Jurisdictions. The friendships that we develop will last a lifetime. Again I must say that Masonry unites men and Ladies from every walk of life. I hope that everyone reflects on the blessings of friendship and the people they have met through this great fraternity of ours.
This leads me to one of the greatest rewards of being your Grand Master. On December 22, our Most Worshipful Past Grand Master Michael A. DeWolf, our Masonic Journal Editor Rich Rygh and myself had the opportunity to travel to Plymouth and present a plaque to a distinguished Brother Mason for his long and dedicated service to the Fraternity. Brother Donald Krauss celebrated his 103rd birthday on November 11, 2011 and celebrated 79 years in our Masonic Fraternity on December 19, 2011. He has a long list of accomplishments to his resume. I know I enjoyed the stories he shared with us and he even played a few tunes on the organ for us before he had to leave for his next engagement for the day. He and his Lady were a joy to spend time with. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to spend some time and share some history with us.
My wife Tammi and I had the pleasure to travel to Unity Lodge in Kenosha on December 3 to attend a benefit for one of my Officers, WB District Deputy Wayne Budwick who has recently lost his wife after a long battle with cancer. Bro. Wayne also suffered a heart attack just after her passing. The members of Unity Lodge and the surrounding area are to be commended on rising up and practicing the tenant of relief for a Worthy Brother. Their compassion and willingness to help out when needed should be an inspiration and lesson for all of us. If we all practiced this simple act of kindness in our communities, people would take notice of what Masonry has to offer.
The Month of December started out with a trip to the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. My thanks to our MSA representative Charles “Chuck” Wallens for his hard work and for putting together a wonderful tour and dinner for my wife Tammi and I. The new addition to the hospital will be opening soon and it is a state of the art facility. Whenever I visit the VA hospital it reminds me more and more of the sacrifices that our military personnel have made for not only our country, but for each and every one of us. They have provided a way of life for us that we should be truly thankful for. My hat is off to all of you.
The Grand Lodge Officers have been very busy attending installations of officers throughout the state. We thank you for inviting us to your Lodges. I personally have installed 24 Lodges this month so far and have attended several others. The enthusiasm of the officers and Brothers is truly wonderful. I believe that Masonry is heading in the right direction. I would like to thank the lodges for their courtesies and understanding while trying to schedule all of these events. I know that with my work schedule and all the overtime it wasn’t easy.
When we look ahead to next year, I would like to offer this thought. In the words of Andrew Y. McDonald “The customer is the boss”. We have a great deal to offer to our communities, friends, neighbors, and families. We all know what the principles of Masonry are and the great moral lessons that we relay. Let’s all go that extra step this year and make our world an even better place.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
Davey L. White Jr.