I again would like to thank our Great Creator for blessing us with such wonderful weather this winter. I cannot remember in my 48 plus years ever having a winter as warm as this. While some people may enjoy the beautiful snowfalls that our Wisconsin winters normally bring (which I also do), I am thankful for traveling purposes that it has been a mild winter so far.
During the past month I have continued battling a nasty virus, but I am feeling much better. I would like to thank those Lodges and Brothers who sent cards and emails wishing me well and a speedy recovery. It truly exemplifies the true meaning of Masonry, caring for our Brothers, families, friends, neighbors and communities as a whole. I know personally that just knowing that someone cares enough to send a card or email makes me feel much better and motivates me to feeling better. Again, thank you.
During the past month I had the pleasure to travel to Lake Geneva and install Geneva Lodge. It was my last installation for the year and a very special one. I had the pleasure to install one of my best Masonic friends, Brother Richard Vande Sande, a past Grand Treasurer and permanent member of Grand Lodge, as Master. What made this day even more enjoyable was the fact that there were three Past Grand Masters in attendance. Past Grand Master Joe B. Harker was the installing Grand Marshal, Past Grand Master John W. Wilke was the Installing Grand Chaplain and Past Grand Master Rod Paulson and his lady were also in attendance. It shows how Brotherly Love truly unites men and ladies. It forms a bond of friendship that will last a lifetime. Even after a long weekend at our staff meeting in Wisconsin Rapids, we thought nothing of traveling another three plus hours to the other side of the state to be with friends and Brothers during a special moment in a Brother’s life. Congratulations Richard and good luck with your year.
I also had the pleasure to attend Four Lakes Daylight Lodge. It was the first time I had the pleasure to attend a daylight lodge. I had a great time and met many new Brothers in the process. I brought along three other Grand Lodge Officers, the Grand Chaplain, the Grand Marshal and the Grand Tiler. We all had a wonderful time and enjoyed a nice educational presentation. This my Brothers is what we all need to establish in our lodge programming. The more we educate our Brothers, the stronger our Fraternity becomes.
I along with my wife Tammi and MWPGM Mike DeWolf recently traveled to Arizona to spend time with our Brothers who reside or winter in the state. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the great weather. Special Thanks to Brother Paul Handa who coordinated the event. I would also like to thank PGM Jim Olson and his Lady Judy for serving as hosts and serving as the MC of the event. It truly is an honor meeting members of the Fraternity who have served faithfully for years and continue to do so. They have a wealth of information and knowledge to impart to all of us, so please lend them an ear and I am sure regardless of your Masonic knowledge, you will learn something new. Our Director of Development Bill Barnes also traveled to Phoenix to meet with people who have supported our Charities over the years and to develop new friendships and pay our respects to our widows who reside there. Thank you all for the wonderful experience, I know I came away from there with some wonderful memories.
I would like to thank all those who contributed to the Grand Masters appeal this year, as most of you know the Masonic Journal is near and dear to my heart. I have traveled to Florida and Arizona and I am constantly thanked for restoring OUR Masonic Journal to a quality publication. This my brothers does cost a little more, but I believe OUR Brothers are worth it. I still continue to visit shut in Brothers and those who reside in care facilities, many of them are quite elderly. Their connection to Masonry in the State of Wisconsin is OUR Masonic Journal. I think they deserve it. They have laid a foundation for us to build on. They provided for us and I believe we need to show them a measure of gratitude for their commitment to FREEMASONRY. If you haven’t already donated to the Masonic Journal appeal, it’s not too late. Our goal is to make this a self-sustaining fund and continue to provide for those who have provided for us.
I have one thing that I would like to mention in this month’s article. I have noticed and been informed through the several reports that I received, that people are relying on their cipher books more and more just to open Lodge. When I read transcripts and letters of Brothers who were raised years ago, they always speak of the quality of the degree work they received and how it influenced their lives as Masons. We must remember that when a new Brother takes his degrees, this is his first impression of Masonry. Don’t we owe it to him to give him the same quality of degrees that our Brothers provided for us? If a lodge wants to be successful, it has to have commitments from its members. This my Brothers, needs to start with our ritual. Take pride in what you do and how you do it. It will reflect positively on you as an individual and also on your lodge as a whole.
Davey L. White Jr