Grand Master’s Message – June 2024

     My Brothers, thank-you! A year is a very short period of time. Luckily I have had the honor and good fortune to serve this gentle craft for many years. Throughout those years I have met many men. I have broken bread and shared a cup with Brothers from all around this beautiful state. I have stood in parking lots in Wisconsin winter for an hour or more listening to a Brother pour out their heart and sometimes it was me doing the talking while a Brother listened. Mostly though I have laughed, sharing in a Brother’s joys and successes.

     Masonry has been a true gift. There was a time I did not hold mankind in high regard. I felt it was in man’s nature to lie and cheat. Man was biased and often cruel. I trusted few people even those close to me. It seemed the world valued ego and prestige more than humility and civility. After getting married and hanging up sports, for the most part, I found teammates hard to find.

     That changed. In a world where greed  is practiced openly, I have witnessed silent charity. Men opening their wallets and throwing bills into a hat. Men giving their time and energy to help those in need. Men who anonymously help a neighbor or that family in town that needs help. I am not talking about organized charity but the kind of charity that happens man to man and needs no thanks or recognition.

     In a world where cruelty is often flaunted. I have witnessed acts of tenderness and compassion. I have stood in line too many times with Brothers waiting to comfort a Brother who has lost a  wife or a loved one. These are the same men who tear up at the success of a child and often are the men  who remind the world, “No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child.” These are men who will stop whatever they are doing to aid the elderly or infirm. I have seen men of quiet dignity  tear up when thanking their wife, watching a degree, or saying farewell to an old friend.

     In a world of casual morals  and casual dignity. I have watched scenes of honor. I have watched Brothers do the right thing. I have watched many walk away from a situation with a self respect and dignity, seldom scene, when they do what is right and not just easy or convenient. I have sat with men of great faith and a strong moral compass. I have heard some of the most beautiful from the heart prayers while amongst these men.

     My Brothers you have taught me that good is alive. That the future will be O.K. because there will always be good men and those good men will search out others. “As iron sharpens iron, so one good man sharpens another.” Once again, I thank you for giving me and the world, hope. I know it has given me joy to sit in lodge or elsewhere with you. Few will ever know the pride I have in the Brothers and their accomplishments, both in the craft and their private lives. Keep up the good work, you, my Brother are making a difference in individual lives and in the world. May God continue to bless this gentle craft.