Grand Master’s Message – April 2022

Masonry is Alive and Well

     Last month we held the Conference of Grand Masters of North America. Wow, was that a great time! We showed the other states and countries that Masonry is alive and well here in Wisconsin. We also showed them that our masons are living their brotherly love. The best comment we received was from a young lady who came here from Missouri.  She said, “When we arrived, we heard your volunteers greeting us and saying thanks for coming, we are so glad you are here.” Then she said, “The most amazing thing is that every one of you were saying ‘love you’! At first, we thought it was an act, however, we came to realize that it was real and that you do live a Masonic life!”   

     Our Wisconsin volunteers were amazing! They were friendly, helpful and they showed the world who we are. People left our state with a new appreciation for this fraternity and willingness to share their love for one another. My Brothers, people all over the world want to be loved. In Masonry, we have that opportunity to share our love with others. Thanks for “Spreading the Cement of Brotherly Love!”

     Next year we are hoping that we can get a bus or two filled with Masons and their ladies and travel to the east coast. The next Conference of Grand Masters of North America will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia in February. A reenactment of the cornerstone laying at the George Washington Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia is being held at that same time. A photo will be taken during the ceremony at the Monument. They are hoping for thousands of Brothers to be standing on the stairs showing the world that Masonry is alive. I hope you will consider being on the bus with us. It will be a great time! If you think you would be interested in joining us, please let me know by email so I can get you on a list. We will have more info out to you soon.      Talking about brotherly love, I want to thank all of our Brothers, that we have visited this year for their hospitality and friendship. You are truly great Masons!

     WB Earl Gunderson and I visited Hays Lodge for their crawfish lunch and enjoyed brotherly love with about 50 Masons. We were only able to spend about an hour but we really had a good time meeting with our Brothers. That afternoon we then drove down to Southern Lakes and had a great PM event with their Brothers and ladies that evening.   Many of them wore old fashioned clothes like George Washington and his lady Mary wore back in the day. Thanks to all those brothers and ladies for a great meal and program.   

     A week later few of our Grand Lodge officers were able to attend the Tom Tourville Table Lodge in Tomah. We all had a fantastic time and WB Jacob Schultz and his team made it a perfect evening of fun and laughter. 

     On March 9th, my Marshal Scott Paulson and I had the pleasure in joining Forest Lodge for their Stated Communication. We arrived a few minutes late and we knew we were in trouble when we couldn’t find a parking space in the lot. That evening they were having a degree but first we watched a young Brother doing an awesome job with the EA Exam. Then we watched an unbelievable Fellowcraft Degree. I want to thank those Brothers for doing such a great job. The degree was excellent! And yes, you guested it, Masonry is alive and well!

     In every event that we have visited, we had a large number of Brothers joining us and yes, we have friends all over the world that we just haven’t met yet! Yes, Masonry is alive and well!

     Talking about degrees, some of our lodges are so busy that they need to cancel other social events so they can keep bringing in new candidates. If your lodge is not one of them, I would suggest that you go visit those busy lodges and find out why they are so successful. Ask questions, learn from them and help your lodge to grow. You will also find that those lodges are doing some of the best degree work that you have seen in a while. Bring your new Masons and have some fun with them and talk about the evening on the way home. One thing you will find is these lodges have the commitment and the willingness to go the extra mile to improve our fraternity.  Please take a couple car loads of Brothers and visit another lodge. Make it an experience for all of you.   

     Sam Houston said “A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.” Let’s become that leader in your lodge.

     Also, Will Rogers said, “If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing.  And believe in what you are doing.” Remember it is the little things we do that make a big difference. 

My Brothers, Masonry is alive and well.  Please do more than just opening and closing. Find ways to share the cement of brotherly love and friendship. Remember, candidates are ready to come and join our fraternity!      

     As Harry S Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” My Brothers, it is time to get it done!

     Hopefully, we will see you in our travels. I thank you for all you do for our great fraternity!  And, Love You, my Brothers!

Brother Gary Stang