Grand Master’s Message – January 2022

Grand Master Gary L. Stang


          Lou Holtz is a well-known college football coach (retired) who speaks at many events.  He once said: “there are three things we should always do.  1) Do what is right, 2) Do it to the best of your ability, and 3) Care about people.”  He went on to say that “we are either growing or dying,” so my Brothers, keep growing.  Maybe read all the articles in our Wisconsin Masonic Journal.  Pick up the cipher and study your opening and closing. Learn a new part. Or pick up the phone and call a Brother or widow just to say “hi, how are you doing and thanks for being part of our fraternity” or better yet, go visit them.  Wouldn’t be great if we visited or called all of our Brothers (especially those that haven’t been to lodge for a long time).  Try it and you will see that the guy you’re visiting is a great Brother and you will enjoy the time you spend with him.  Be committed to our fraternity and live our obligation. 

          This is the hardest time in the year for a Grand Master.  First, there are a lot of installations which are fun and enjoyable (subject to the weather of course).  However, the second one is what makes this job hard. This is the time of the year that we receive all the 81 NPD forms cancelling our Brothers for nonpayment.  Some of these Brothers haven’t paid their dues for 5 to 10 years or more and yet we haven’t gone out to check on them and to see why they haven’t paid their dues.  Many have phone numbers that are out of service (probably because they now have cell phones) or, when we have a phone number, it goes to an answering machine and they won’t call back. Do we owe them a visit before we send in these forms?  I ask you and your lodge to answer that question for yourselves. Some of these members may be in a nursing home or as we found, one had passed away over a year ago. 

          Lou Holtz would be a great Mason. He says that there are three things we need to live by in our lives. Trust, Commitment and Love. My Brothers, I trust you are doing the right things when you send in the form 81. My hope is that you are committed to doing the right things. I ask that you form a team and start visiting and/or calling each of your Brothers and widows at least a couple times a year.  In our obligation, we say we will watch out for our Brothers, widows and orphans.  Is your lodge doing that? Lastly, I hope you are passing your love unto your Brothers and our widows.  Brotherly love is the key to our everlasting relationship.  Don’t miss the opportunity to share your love with the important people in your life. 

          Last month, one of our Brothers visited lodges and Brothers in Europe and shared our message of “spread the cement of brotherly love.” They now are saying “I love you, brother” overseas! You see, we can change the world just by sharing our love. So please share your love with the Brothers in lodge, with our families and with our communities. It will grow, I promise you. Will you take a chance to share brotherly love?

          To our new officers, I ask that you start calling your Brothers and ask them to come to lodge. Check to see if they need a ride and, if so, we will get someone to give him a ride. Wouldn’t it be great to have a full lodge at your stated communications? Then make sure you have a greeter welcoming everyone. Plan a great meeting for them. Remember we are not there just to watch you with your opening and closing. We all want to learn something!

          Some ideas that seem to work are: 1-having a friend’s night, 2-having a night to celebrate our Brothers’ anniversaries (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc.) with certificates, and 3-asking your Brother to share his experience on the night he was raised. Everyone enjoys being recognized now and then. Get some interesting speakers to come in. The topic doesn’t need to always be about masonry. How about having a doctor talking about problems we men need to watch out for as we grow older? Have a dinner for the ladies including the widows, and ask a doctor to speak on ladies’ issues and what they should watch out for. This one can even be done while you are doing your business meeting and then everyone goes home together. Please start thinking outside the box. 

          To our inactive members, please consider attending lodge as we do miss you and wish you were here with us. Make sure we have the current information on file so you receive our emails, phone calls and/or letters. If your dues are not paid, please get them into the secretary and be current and then the next Grand Master won’t need to handle these 81 forms.  

          If you have any comments or questions, my email address is in the Masonic Journal, probably on the 2nd page. I would love to hear from you with any comments or concerns.

          I also want to thank you for all you do for our great fraternity and it is a pleasure that I bring you greetings from our Grand Lodge Team and pledge to you our full support.  

          We hope you had a wonderful holiday and that your 2022 will be the best year ever. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

And let me not forget, I love ya all!

Brother Gary