Grand Master’s Message – September 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!

I’m Proud of who we are!

The numbers keep pouring in and it’s awesome! My Brothers, the social media relevance platform for our membership has now referred over 450 qualified men to your Lodges and, I’m happy to report, via your selection process over 100 of those have already submitted petitions to join our Fraternity! Master Mason degrees are up nearly 50% for versus previous year!! Wisconsin Freemasonry is on a roll!!!   That said, I would be remiss if I did not kindly remember to please do your personal due diligence before you present and/or sign a petition.  You are recommending this potential new Brother to your Lodge.  Your reputation is attached to your signature. 

The social media relevance campaign was designed to make sure the message of the “Real” Freemasonry was at the top of the list when someone was reaching out to learn more about Wisconsin Freemasonry via the internet.  To do this we have had to beat down the bad and misleading information to get our website to the top of the list and on the front page of the search engines. When someone searches online for information about Wisconsin Freemasonry, they are now sent to our website,  They are directed to learn about the “Real” Freemasons of Wisconsin and the amazing impact we have in our communities.

The next step was your leadership team reaching out to you encouraging you to shout! It’s time to tell the people of Wisconsin that we are relevant. Each of you will do it differently. Some of you will do it while shouting from the mountain tops; Some of you will do it by wearing a shirt, a pin, a hat, or by placing an emblem on your car; and some you of will do it by just being a “good guy” in your community. I don’t care how you do it, but our communities need to see that we are relevant.

…and now we need to grow organically from internal sources. You!! Share your pride of Freemasonry with your sons, Fathers, coworkers, and friends.  In addition to the huge pool of talent that the Membership initiative is allowing us to select from, we need to find our own.   Reach out to those men that you respect, those that are already Freemasons in their heart, and expose them to the greatest organization in the world.   Our relevance is growing, our impact is growing, why not do it with those you’ve got longstanding relationships with, now strengthened by the amazing principles and lessons of our Fraternity.

I’m Proud of what we do!

The impact we have on our communities is also growing. You are all very familiar that the size of our community impact is connected to our membership size.  Being bigger does not make us better but, it does allow us to do more things. We can do more with more.

The Wisconsin Masonic Foundation Acts of Kindness program is our tool to directly support our communities.  If you believe that the Freemasons of Wisconsin have the best interest of their respective communities at heart.  If you want to support our local communities.  There is no better program.  One of the most public ways we are doing this today is with the Fire Suppression Tool (FST) grants.  If your Lodge has not presented your FST unit, it’s time to do so.  You have until year end.  Please remember that these grants are being done to begin or strengthen community partnerships all over our State.  Please partner with your local Police, Fire, and First Responders supporting community events.  We are relevant and we will become more so by being more active in our communities.  These FST giveaways have gotten us a lot of positive press.  They are only the beginning.     

I’m also proud of our future.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the extraordinary efforts of the Thiele family for Wisconsin DeMolay. Sam just finished his term as State Master Councilor (SMC) of Wisconsin DeMolay immediately following his biological brother, and our Fraternal Brother Ryan, who was State Master Councilor the previous term.  They have been quick to point out they are the 1st biological brothers to serve Wisconsin DeMolay as SMC’s back-to-back.  This is true but, I seem to remember there were couple other sets of biological brothers to serve as Wisconsin DeMolay SMC’s as well….  😊  At the recent International Congress, Wisconsin DeMolay was honored with being awarded the Gorman A. McBride Membership Award for their efforts to grow membership.  The State Officer Team was recognized for their hard work by the 55th International Congress with the Best Membership Engagement for the year!  And finally, Wisconsin’s own State Master Councilor, Sam Thiele, was named the International Representative DeMolay!  What we would call the “Mason of the Year”.  I’m also proud of their new State Master Councilor, John Stewart, as he takes over an organization that is clearly surging. 

Congratulations also to the new Supreme Guardian of Job’s Daughters International, Wisconsin’s own, Mom Maureen Wise and Val Riewe who serves as Bethel Guardian of the Supreme Bethel.

Masonic youth is huge to the future of our Fraternity. I’m proud of what we do as Advisors of our local DeMolay Chapters and Job’s Daughters Bethels throughout the State. If you have the passion for mentoring youth, please reach out to your local Bethel or Chapter and investigate the process of becoming an Advisor to help mentor of these young men and women.

Love ya Brothers!

I’m Proud to be a Freemason! – You should be too!!

I’m Proud of who we are!

I’m Proud of what we do!

Paul T. Tourville, Grand Master

Wisconsin Freemasonry