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Category: Grand Master’s Message

Grand Master’s Message – April 2024

      Wisconsin Proud. The Badger men’s and women’s hockey and basketball teams all made it into the post season. Women’s hockey finishing second in the nation. That is something we can be proud of. In Wisconsin we have a perverse pride in our weather. We are the home of snow and cold four to five months of the year. Hot and humid mosquito filled summers. Springs that are late in coming, wet and muddy when they arrive. We take special

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Grand Master’s Message – March 2024

     I recently had the privilege to help represent you at the Conference of Grand Masters of North America along with many of the other Wisconsin Officers. There were delegates from all over the world, many from Central and South America as well as Eastern Europe. In many of these countries Masonry is booming. Countries like Brazil Freemasonry and appendant bodies are growing at an extraordinary rate. However, this is not necessarily the case for many of the North American

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – February 2024

     Being a Mason can mean many different things to many different men. Masonry often means different things to the same man. So how do we reach out and meet the needs of our Brothers? There is only so much that can be done in the time of a lodge business meeting. The education piece given in lodge may stimulate some while leaving others bored. The education given may have seemed too basic for the older Mason or conversely over

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – January 2024

     A new year is upon us. The Badgers are playing on New Year’s Day (maybe not the bowl we wanted but they are playing). The future of Wisconsin Freemasonry is bright. A new year full of the hopes and desires that new beginnings always bring. It is a new start and almost anything is possible. We raised more Masons in 2023 than we did in 2022. Will we be saying the same next year about 2024? We just need

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Grand Master’s Message – December 2023

     We are now in my favorite season in the Masonic calendar. Installation time. By our code it is the sixty days either side of the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist celebrated on December 27. It is during the holiday season which alone adds a festive feel but it is more than that.      Watching a man who has spent years going through the chairs becoming Master of his lodge. The nervousness and anticipation barely concealed. The inevitable smile

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Grand Master’s Message – November 2023

     How many of you have started watching University of Wisconsin Women’s Volleyball? Maybe there is a renewed interest in U.W. Women’s hockey. We all like to follow a winner. We want to be part of something good. It is easy to jump on the band wagon. Today Wisconsin Freemasonry is having men knock on our doors wanting to join. They are coming to join something they see doing good in their communities. They want to be part of what

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Grand Master’s Message – October 2023

     Brothers, men are knocking on our doors seeking admission. Lodges are doing degrees all over the state. We are bringing in new Masons. Good men seeking something that are not finding elsewhere. They are coming. Now how do we keep them?      Men become Masons for many reasons. Some are seeking the fellowship of like-minded men. Some are looking for deeper meanings or a stronger spiritual side to their life. Some are coming to find and practice a moral

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – September 2023

    What a summer it has been for Wisconsin Freemasonry. Lodges are doing degree work. Better still many lodges are once again traveling to help with degrees. Lodges are taking part in town festivals many for the first time or are expanding their role. Many lodges are marching or putting floats in local parades. Food stands and information booths at fairs are becoming the norm. Many lodges and districts are attending Northwoods Baseball games or Minor league games as a

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – Summer 2023

     For many years I have heard how Masonry is dying. Like all the fraternal and service organizations that are dwindling, “People today just do not want to join.” Masonry is not like other organizations though. We are growing. We are on pace, even with the COVID shut down, to have raised more Masons in the past five years than we did in the previous five year span. In roughly the three years we have been able to do degree

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Grand Master’s Message – June 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! My Brothers and Masonic family members, Last article. Wow, what a year! We did it together!! Wisconsin Freemasonry is relevant!!! We proved it to our communities all over Wisconsin. The “good” in our communities are searching for us. As we hold our standards and select, this Fraternity grows in size and impact. I truly believe we have changed the direction of Freemasonry

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Grand Master’s Message – May 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do!      Only two articles to go as your Grand Master . . . An important distinction. Your leadership team is not pushing to an end, it is launching into the next successful Masonic year! We have clearly evolved this Fraternity considerably over these past months and there is no doubt the future will continue to build on those evolutions.      Those of

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Grand Master’s Message – April 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason! I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! Consistent Messaging      As my term nears its end… (Ouch, that’s hard to type…  I REALLY love the opportunity to serve as your Grand Master) it’s important for me to consistently remind all of us that we need to be consistent. What has made this Fraternity so special, so successful, and so impactful for so many years is the fact that we

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Grand Master’s Message – March 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! February 4th was a HUGE day for membership growth for Wisconsin Freemasonry! We had six Lodges conferring Master Mason degrees and we raised over 60 Master Masons throughout the state.  Three of these Lodges facilitated Masonic Day of Light events sponsored by the Scottish Rite. An amazing partnership! There is no doubt we are now relevant in the state of Wisconsin and

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Grand Master’s Message – January 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! My Brothers, I’m so proud of our Masonic Family! 2022 will be remembered as a year in which Freemasonry in Wisconsin underwent tremendous resurgence. There is no doubt this resurgence is due to all of us that belong to the Masonic family. Our families enable us to do what we love to do. Our families give us the strength and the courage

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – December 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! My Brothers,      The news continues to be outstanding as Wisconsin Freemasonry continues to raise more and more Master Masons than we have in many, many years!  There were nearly 60 new men raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason through the “Shriner” Masonic Day of Light! Remember that these men joined the Fraternity because of you. They want friends. They

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – November 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason. I’m Proud of who we are. I’m Proud of what we do. My Brothers,      The news continues to be outstanding as Wisconsin Freemasonry continues to raise more and more Master Masons than we have in many, many years!        A repeat from last month… “You all know that being bigger does not necessarily make us better but, it does allow us to do more things.  More impact on our communities, more opportunities

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Grand Master’s Message – October 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason. I’m Proud of who we are. I’m Proud of what we do. My Brothers, A quote from my recent email. “It’s Official!  Wisconsin Freemasonry has now raised more Master Masons in 2022 than all of 2021!  …and it’s only mid-September! WOW!!  Congratulations!!! You all know that being bigger does not necessarily make us better but, it does allow us to do more things.  More impact on our communities, more opportunities to grow personally, and

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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,

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Grand Master’s Message – Summer 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason! I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do!      Who we are is you! Thank you all for having confidence in me to be the leader of our Fraternity! I promise I will try my best to make you Proud and to make your Masonic experience as great as possible. I will not be doing it alone, as no one could. I have an amazing team of extremely talented men

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Grand Master’s Message – June 2022

Where Do We Go From Here?      That’s a good question! My term as your Grand Master is coming to an end.  But Masonry in Wisconsin is moving forward!  In my opinion it is alive and well!      First and foremost, I would love to see you continue to Spread the Cement of Brotherly Love! This is an important part of our Masonic Brotherhood. Love is the cement that binds us together as Brothers! Love is what makes the world

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Grand Master Gary L. Stang

Grand Master’s Message – May 2022

WHERE ARE WE?      Jim Valvano, who was a great college basketball coach and an even better speaker, once said that if you want to get better at anything, you must know “Where you started, where you are and where you want to be!”  If you get a chance, look him up (YouTube, 1993 ESPY speech).      Where we started last June wasn’t necessarily the best place to be.  We had two really tough years in a row mainly because

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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

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Grand Master’s Message – March 2022

Retention & Communications     This is a great time for all of us to start working on retention and improving our communications with our lodge Brothers.         On February 15th,, your lodge should have paid the Grand Lodge per-capita for this year on every member. So, if you have some that haven’t paid their dues, you have plenty of time to collect. How about waiting to call them in August, September or even October to see if they wish

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Grand Master’s Message – February 2022

Character and Reputation      When I looked up Character and Reputation, here is what I found.  Character is the distinctive qualities of an individual whereas reputation is the general opinion of others of a person. Character is built through the individual’s effort whereas reputation is built by others. Character is true to oneself, but reputation may not be so. Good character has traits like integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty, fortitude, and other important virtues that promote good behavior. These character traits define who

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Grand Master Gary L. Stang

Grand Master’s Message – January 2022

“DO WHAT IS  RIGHT”           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

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Grand Master Gary L. Stang

Grand Master’s Message – December 2021

IT’S A GREAT TIME OF THE YEAR!      Andy Williams sang the song “It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year” and I believe he was right. Having spent time with our families during Thanksgiving and with all the December holidays (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and others) coming up, it gives us more time to spend with family and friends. So, I believe, he was right — it is a great time of the year!      All these wonderful occasions give

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Grand Master’s Message – November 2021

HOW DO I GET THEM BACK TO LODGE?      I was asked the question “How do we get our brothers back to lodge?” The most important answer to that question is: Make sure that we are giving our Brothers a reason to attend! If your lodge is opening, doing a little business, and closing, it’s time to move on. Here are some ideas other lodges have given me during my visits.      Get out and travel to other lodges. Bring

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Grand Master’s Message – October 2021

Attitude and Enthusiasm     At the beginning of September, we had our Full Staff meeting with our Grand Lodge Officers including our District Lecturers. In our meeting, we discussed the need for all officers including lodge officers to lead with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm with a good attitude will make all the difference in the world for our fraternity. I know that you will accomplish so much more.      In my office, I have a picture that says “ATTITUDE – it’s the

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Grand Master Gary L. Stang

Grand Master’s Message – August 30, 2021

ARE FIRST IMPRESSIONS IMPORTANT?      I have opened many doors into Masonic buildings and I have always had a first impression. On one occasion, I walked into a Masonic building that was so beautiful – everything was in its place. My first impression was WOW!! As I continued further into the building, nothing changed. The cleanliness and the shine of the floors made another strong impression on me. I walked into the lodge room and the secretary’s desk was spotless

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Grand Master’s Message – June 2021

     In the last scene of the Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) receives the book from his guardian angel called “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.  A caption inside reads “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.” Being a member of the greatest fraternity in the world, we all have many friends including some we haven’t even met yet.         I want to start by saying thank you for being

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Grand Master Gorgen’s October Message to the Craft.

Hello My Brothers,     “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1888.     In 1888, Friedrich Nietzsche a German philosopher, wrote as is literally translated from German, “Out of life’s school of war—what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”     In his book Ecce Homo, Nietzsche refers to select individuals as “nature’s lucky strokes . . . among men,” and says of such a person, “knows how to turn serious situations to his own advantage; that which does not kill him makes

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Grand Master Gorgen’s September Address to the Craft

Greeting Brothers,     The pandemic has taught us that nothing is for sure. We’ll never know what the Grand Architect has in mind for us and it can be a humbling experience. Mrs. Gump taught her son Forrest in the 1994 film Forrest Gump about uncertainty when she explained, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”. Masonically, we have the lesson of the Hour Glass teaching the same principle of uncertainty and it adds

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Grand Master Strader’s June Address to the Craft.

Greetings Brothers,     This is my last column as your Grand Master. The year is finishing so much differently than it started. It seems like ages since we have last sat together in a lodge room whether in a stated meeting or degree. I have to say that the social meetings via Zoom that many lodges and districts are having, when working well, are quite satisfying.  Chatting with our Brothers, remarking how our hair is longer or how we are creatively getting

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Grand Master’s May Message to the Craft.

Greetings Brothers,     These days of isolation from being with our Brothers in person due to COVID-19 seem to test the limits of our principle tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.        Our lodge Wellness Committees are allowing the lodges to be in better touch with some of our Brothers than they have ever been with the calling efforts being done. The virtual social meetings are permitting some remote Brothers and others that do not travel, to converse with their Brothers

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The Grand Master’s April Address to the Craft

Greeting to all my Brothers,     So much has happened since I last wrote this column. COVID-19 was a concern for many last month, but no widespread warnings in our own backyard. We prayed for those in China, in Italy, in Spain and elsewhere, and prayed that we would be able to avoid those extreme conditions ourselves. I’m referring to our times now as the “Un” days. You see it in the news every day, these days are “unprecedented”, “uncertain”, “unexpected”,

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The Grand Master’s March Address to the Craft

Greeting Brothers, The best times for a Grand Master are whenever he can be visiting with our Brothers and their families.  We do this by attending degrees, lodge picnics, ladies table lodge dinners, celebration dinners, youth group events, and the list goes on and on.  An important event on that list is when a Grand Master can go visit with those Brothers, family members and widows of our departed Brothers that now reside outside Wisconsin.  They’ve spent some part of their life in

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The Grand Master’s February Address to the Craft.

Greetings Brothers,     Like many of you, this past month my Lady Barbara and I went to see the final episode of the Star Wars saga and lamented about it being the end of the series, the end of an era, its story complete. I started thinking about Freemasonry, the state of our lodges, not wanting to see our story ever be complete, but for them to continue on for generations to come.        The previous Friday I had been in the

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The Grand Master’s January Address to the Craft

Greeting Brothers,      Installation season is always a favorite time of year for every Grand Master. All of the installations I’ve been involved with so far have been multiple lodge installations. Some with two lodges, one with three, one with five and believe it or not, one with seven lodges. I joked with the Brothers and guests that the District Deputy Grand Master was just trying to get all the work in the district done at once so he wouldn’t have

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Grand Master Strader’s November Address to the Craft.

Greeting Brothers, Embracing the experience was pretty easy for me this month, how about for you? The diversity of events I was involved with spanned the family of Masonic related organizations from a York Rite Commandery inspection and degrees, the 100th anniversary re-consecration of Barneveld Lodge, a Shrine meeting, Lodge meetings / Table Lodge / Past Master’s dinner / Catfish Fry fundraiser, National Sojourner chapter meetings with Heroes of ’76 degrees and a Lodge of Military Tribute, a DeMolay Honors Day

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The Grand Master’s October Message

Greeting Brothers,     I’m sitting here as I watch the Packers win yet again, writing this column and reflecting on how good I feel about Masonry in Wisconsin. As the host Grand Master, I was asked to speak for the Grand Masters attending the Scottish Rite’s Supreme Session here in Milwaukee at the end of August. Part of my welcome was saying that Milwaukee and Wisconsin have it all, which I called the 4 B’s: the first three being Beer, Brats

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Grand Master Strader’s September Address to the Craft

Greeting Brothers,    I hope you’ve enjoyed the summer so far, even though we’ve had our bouts of extreme heat or extreme rains. Just another typical summer in Wisconsin! Thank you for all the courtesies you’ve shown to me during my visits to lodge, appendant bodies and youth group events.  I’ve seen evidence of many of you embracing the experiences that Freemasonry and its related organizations have to offer, trying new things and doing what it takes and striving to get members,

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Grand Master’s Summer Address to the Craft.

Greeting Brothers,    I still can’t believe my travels in the progressive Grand Lodge line has led me to be installed as Grand Master already.  When MWPGM Dennis Siewert appointed me as Junior Grand Steward, I just thought it would be forever to get through the line. Boy was I wrong! The lessons you learn from your precedingGrand Masters and the background you get being involved with all the various committees and liaison positions really does prepare you for this eventuality, if you

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Grand Master’s June Address to the Craft

Greetings Brethren, Thank You! Thank you for allowing me to serve in the awesome role as your Grand Master of Masons in Wisconsin. As I write this last Grand Master’s message for our wonderful Wisconsin Masonic Journal, I’ve been reflecting on the previous 12 months which I believe have been very well spent!  It is you, the just and upright Freemasons of Wisconsin that have been the source of my energy. Lifting me daily with your pride and optimism. You have

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Grand Master’s May Address to the Craft

Greetings Brethren, Your 2019 Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Wisconsin, which commences the morning of June 7, 2019, is just around the corner.  The events of that weekend include the Celebration of Wisconsin Freemasonry the evening of June 6.  For the most part, this is your annual legislative session during which your lodge officers (Master and Wardens) or their proxies are entitled to vote on the proposed budget and resolutions. In many respects,

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Grand Masters February Message

Greetings Brethren! If we pause for a moment and try to catch a glimpse into the future of Freemasonry and where we are going, I see an amazingly bright light on our horizon. The continual Degree work being done in our Lodges, that YOU have been responsible for, is a source of enormous pride and optimism for the future of this wonderful Fraternity! We will be Stirring Up Good long into the future. As I travel, the great Masonic stories

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The Grand Master’s December Address “Tis the season”.

  Greetings Brethren, “‘Tis the season” From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, “Tis the Season” The phrase may cause us to reflect and to think of things as secular as Frosty the Snowman, Bing Crosby or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We may also think of the images of the faithful shepherds worshipping at a manger and angels spreading peace on our precious earth. It is a time of giving and reflection. It is a time of year for family, merriment,

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The Grand Master’s November Message

Greetings Brethren! The United States Marine Corps successfully used the phrase “We’re looking for a few good men.” in their efforts to recruit courageous men willing to serve our great Nation. Our Fraternity is looking for a few good men to serve as Grand Lodge Officers to further the principles of brotherhood, to impact the future leadership of the Craft and to “Stir Up Good”! To serve as a Grand Lodge Officer is a tremendous honor! This isn’t an exclusive

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The Grand Master’s October Message

As I have traveled around the state it has been a joy to see all the Good that we are Stirring Up. The gentlemen I have met truly show that the West gate has been strictly guarded and men of kindness, faith, and respectability fill our ranks. A true joy. On the weekend of September 14-16, the Grand Lodge Officers including the District Lecturers came together in Oshkosh for our Fall staff meeting.  The District Lecturers don’t usually join us

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Grand Masters Summer Message

Good Morning Brethren ALL!!! I must, first and foremost, start out by expressing my appreciation for the wonderful experience my Lady Ronda and I had last evening during the Installation Ceremony and the banquet. We appreciate all of the courtesies and very uplifting conversations you shared with us. It was a great time for family and fellowship. I recently had the opportunity to go to your library located at the Grand Masonic Center in Dousman. My purpose was to take a

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Grand Master’s June Message

“Fair winds and a following sea, and long may your big jib draw” is an old nautical phrase to wish good luck or a blessing. This saying comes to mind as my term is coming to an end and as I write my last Wisconsin Masonic Journal article as Grand Master. This saying is often used by sailors at a “beginning” ceremony, such as a commissioning of a ship, or in a change of command, a retirement, or as a

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Grand Master’s Message – April 2024

      Wisconsin Proud. The Badger men’s and women’s hockey and basketball teams all made it into the post season. Women’s hockey finishing second in the nation. That is something we can be proud of. In Wisconsin we have a perverse pride in our weather. We are the home of snow and cold four to five months of the year. Hot and humid mosquito filled summers. Springs that are late in coming, wet and muddy when they arrive. We take special

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – March 2024

     I recently had the privilege to help represent you at the Conference of Grand Masters of North America along with many of the other Wisconsin Officers. There were delegates from all over the world, many from Central and South America as well as Eastern Europe. In many of these countries Masonry is booming. Countries like Brazil Freemasonry and appendant bodies are growing at an extraordinary rate. However, this is not necessarily the case for many of the North American

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – February 2024

     Being a Mason can mean many different things to many different men. Masonry often means different things to the same man. So how do we reach out and meet the needs of our Brothers? There is only so much that can be done in the time of a lodge business meeting. The education piece given in lodge may stimulate some while leaving others bored. The education given may have seemed too basic for the older Mason or conversely over

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – January 2024

     A new year is upon us. The Badgers are playing on New Year’s Day (maybe not the bowl we wanted but they are playing). The future of Wisconsin Freemasonry is bright. A new year full of the hopes and desires that new beginnings always bring. It is a new start and almost anything is possible. We raised more Masons in 2023 than we did in 2022. Will we be saying the same next year about 2024? We just need

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – December 2023

     We are now in my favorite season in the Masonic calendar. Installation time. By our code it is the sixty days either side of the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist celebrated on December 27. It is during the holiday season which alone adds a festive feel but it is more than that.      Watching a man who has spent years going through the chairs becoming Master of his lodge. The nervousness and anticipation barely concealed. The inevitable smile

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Grand Master’s Message – November 2023

     How many of you have started watching University of Wisconsin Women’s Volleyball? Maybe there is a renewed interest in U.W. Women’s hockey. We all like to follow a winner. We want to be part of something good. It is easy to jump on the band wagon. Today Wisconsin Freemasonry is having men knock on our doors wanting to join. They are coming to join something they see doing good in their communities. They want to be part of what

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Grand Master’s Message – October 2023

     Brothers, men are knocking on our doors seeking admission. Lodges are doing degrees all over the state. We are bringing in new Masons. Good men seeking something that are not finding elsewhere. They are coming. Now how do we keep them?      Men become Masons for many reasons. Some are seeking the fellowship of like-minded men. Some are looking for deeper meanings or a stronger spiritual side to their life. Some are coming to find and practice a moral

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – September 2023

    What a summer it has been for Wisconsin Freemasonry. Lodges are doing degree work. Better still many lodges are once again traveling to help with degrees. Lodges are taking part in town festivals many for the first time or are expanding their role. Many lodges are marching or putting floats in local parades. Food stands and information booths at fairs are becoming the norm. Many lodges and districts are attending Northwoods Baseball games or Minor league games as a

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – Summer 2023

     For many years I have heard how Masonry is dying. Like all the fraternal and service organizations that are dwindling, “People today just do not want to join.” Masonry is not like other organizations though. We are growing. We are on pace, even with the COVID shut down, to have raised more Masons in the past five years than we did in the previous five year span. In roughly the three years we have been able to do degree

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – June 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! My Brothers and Masonic family members, Last article. Wow, what a year! We did it together!! Wisconsin Freemasonry is relevant!!! We proved it to our communities all over Wisconsin. The “good” in our communities are searching for us. As we hold our standards and select, this Fraternity grows in size and impact. I truly believe we have changed the direction of Freemasonry

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – May 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do!      Only two articles to go as your Grand Master . . . An important distinction. Your leadership team is not pushing to an end, it is launching into the next successful Masonic year! We have clearly evolved this Fraternity considerably over these past months and there is no doubt the future will continue to build on those evolutions.      Those of

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – April 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason! I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! Consistent Messaging      As my term nears its end… (Ouch, that’s hard to type…  I REALLY love the opportunity to serve as your Grand Master) it’s important for me to consistently remind all of us that we need to be consistent. What has made this Fraternity so special, so successful, and so impactful for so many years is the fact that we

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – March 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! February 4th was a HUGE day for membership growth for Wisconsin Freemasonry! We had six Lodges conferring Master Mason degrees and we raised over 60 Master Masons throughout the state.  Three of these Lodges facilitated Masonic Day of Light events sponsored by the Scottish Rite. An amazing partnership! There is no doubt we are now relevant in the state of Wisconsin and

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – January 2023

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! My Brothers, I’m so proud of our Masonic Family! 2022 will be remembered as a year in which Freemasonry in Wisconsin underwent tremendous resurgence. There is no doubt this resurgence is due to all of us that belong to the Masonic family. Our families enable us to do what we love to do. Our families give us the strength and the courage

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – December 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason!  I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do! My Brothers,      The news continues to be outstanding as Wisconsin Freemasonry continues to raise more and more Master Masons than we have in many, many years!  There were nearly 60 new men raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason through the “Shriner” Masonic Day of Light! Remember that these men joined the Fraternity because of you. They want friends. They

Read More »

Grand Master’s Message – November 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason. I’m Proud of who we are. I’m Proud of what we do. My Brothers,      The news continues to be outstanding as Wisconsin Freemasonry continues to raise more and more Master Masons than we have in many, many years!        A repeat from last month… “You all know that being bigger does not necessarily make us better but, it does allow us to do more things.  More impact on our communities, more opportunities

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Grand Master’s Message – October 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason. I’m Proud of who we are. I’m Proud of what we do. My Brothers, A quote from my recent email. “It’s Official!  Wisconsin Freemasonry has now raised more Master Masons in 2022 than all of 2021!  …and it’s only mid-September! WOW!!  Congratulations!!! You all know that being bigger does not necessarily make us better but, it does allow us to do more things.  More impact on our communities, more opportunities to grow personally, and

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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,

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Grand Master’s Message – Summer 2022

I’m Proud to be a Freemason! I’m Proud of who we are! I’m Proud of what we do!      Who we are is you! Thank you all for having confidence in me to be the leader of our Fraternity! I promise I will try my best to make you Proud and to make your Masonic experience as great as possible. I will not be doing it alone, as no one could. I have an amazing team of extremely talented men

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Grand Master’s Message – June 2022

Where Do We Go From Here?      That’s a good question! My term as your Grand Master is coming to an end.  But Masonry in Wisconsin is moving forward!  In my opinion it is alive and well!      First and foremost, I would love to see you continue to Spread the Cement of Brotherly Love! This is an important part of our Masonic Brotherhood. Love is the cement that binds us together as Brothers! Love is what makes the world

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Grand Master Gary L. Stang

Grand Master’s Message – May 2022

WHERE ARE WE?      Jim Valvano, who was a great college basketball coach and an even better speaker, once said that if you want to get better at anything, you must know “Where you started, where you are and where you want to be!”  If you get a chance, look him up (YouTube, 1993 ESPY speech).      Where we started last June wasn’t necessarily the best place to be.  We had two really tough years in a row mainly because

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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

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Grand Master’s Message – March 2022

Retention & Communications     This is a great time for all of us to start working on retention and improving our communications with our lodge Brothers.         On February 15th,, your lodge should have paid the Grand Lodge per-capita for this year on every member. So, if you have some that haven’t paid their dues, you have plenty of time to collect. How about waiting to call them in August, September or even October to see if they wish

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Grand Master’s Message – February 2022

Character and Reputation      When I looked up Character and Reputation, here is what I found.  Character is the distinctive qualities of an individual whereas reputation is the general opinion of others of a person. Character is built through the individual’s effort whereas reputation is built by others. Character is true to oneself, but reputation may not be so. Good character has traits like integrity, honesty, courage, loyalty, fortitude, and other important virtues that promote good behavior. These character traits define who

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Grand Master Gary L. Stang

Grand Master’s Message – January 2022

“DO WHAT IS  RIGHT”           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

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Grand Master Gary L. Stang

Grand Master’s Message – December 2021

IT’S A GREAT TIME OF THE YEAR!      Andy Williams sang the song “It’s the most Wonderful Time of the Year” and I believe he was right. Having spent time with our families during Thanksgiving and with all the December holidays (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and others) coming up, it gives us more time to spend with family and friends. So, I believe, he was right — it is a great time of the year!      All these wonderful occasions give

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Grand Master’s Message – November 2021

HOW DO I GET THEM BACK TO LODGE?      I was asked the question “How do we get our brothers back to lodge?” The most important answer to that question is: Make sure that we are giving our Brothers a reason to attend! If your lodge is opening, doing a little business, and closing, it’s time to move on. Here are some ideas other lodges have given me during my visits.      Get out and travel to other lodges. Bring

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Grand Master’s Message – October 2021

Attitude and Enthusiasm     At the beginning of September, we had our Full Staff meeting with our Grand Lodge Officers including our District Lecturers. In our meeting, we discussed the need for all officers including lodge officers to lead with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm with a good attitude will make all the difference in the world for our fraternity. I know that you will accomplish so much more.      In my office, I have a picture that says “ATTITUDE – it’s the

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Grand Master Gary L. Stang

Grand Master’s Message – August 30, 2021

ARE FIRST IMPRESSIONS IMPORTANT?      I have opened many doors into Masonic buildings and I have always had a first impression. On one occasion, I walked into a Masonic building that was so beautiful – everything was in its place. My first impression was WOW!! As I continued further into the building, nothing changed. The cleanliness and the shine of the floors made another strong impression on me. I walked into the lodge room and the secretary’s desk was spotless

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Grand Master’s Message – June 2021

     In the last scene of the Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) receives the book from his guardian angel called “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.  A caption inside reads “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.” Being a member of the greatest fraternity in the world, we all have many friends including some we haven’t even met yet.         I want to start by saying thank you for being

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Grand Master Gorgen’s October Message to the Craft.

Hello My Brothers,     “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1888.     In 1888, Friedrich Nietzsche a German philosopher, wrote as is literally translated from German, “Out of life’s school of war—what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”     In his book Ecce Homo, Nietzsche refers to select individuals as “nature’s lucky strokes . . . among men,” and says of such a person, “knows how to turn serious situations to his own advantage; that which does not kill him makes

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Grand Master Gorgen’s September Address to the Craft

Greeting Brothers,     The pandemic has taught us that nothing is for sure. We’ll never know what the Grand Architect has in mind for us and it can be a humbling experience. Mrs. Gump taught her son Forrest in the 1994 film Forrest Gump about uncertainty when she explained, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”. Masonically, we have the lesson of the Hour Glass teaching the same principle of uncertainty and it adds

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Grand Master Strader’s June Address to the Craft.

Greetings Brothers,     This is my last column as your Grand Master. The year is finishing so much differently than it started. It seems like ages since we have last sat together in a lodge room whether in a stated meeting or degree. I have to say that the social meetings via Zoom that many lodges and districts are having, when working well, are quite satisfying.  Chatting with our Brothers, remarking how our hair is longer or how we are creatively getting

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Grand Master’s May Message to the Craft.

Greetings Brothers,     These days of isolation from being with our Brothers in person due to COVID-19 seem to test the limits of our principle tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.        Our lodge Wellness Committees are allowing the lodges to be in better touch with some of our Brothers than they have ever been with the calling efforts being done. The virtual social meetings are permitting some remote Brothers and others that do not travel, to converse with their Brothers

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The Grand Master’s April Address to the Craft

Greeting to all my Brothers,     So much has happened since I last wrote this column. COVID-19 was a concern for many last month, but no widespread warnings in our own backyard. We prayed for those in China, in Italy, in Spain and elsewhere, and prayed that we would be able to avoid those extreme conditions ourselves. I’m referring to our times now as the “Un” days. You see it in the news every day, these days are “unprecedented”, “uncertain”, “unexpected”,

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The Grand Master’s March Address to the Craft

Greeting Brothers, The best times for a Grand Master are whenever he can be visiting with our Brothers and their families.  We do this by attending degrees, lodge picnics, ladies table lodge dinners, celebration dinners, youth group events, and the list goes on and on.  An important event on that list is when a Grand Master can go visit with those Brothers, family members and widows of our departed Brothers that now reside outside Wisconsin.  They’ve spent some part of their life in

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The Grand Master’s February Address to the Craft.

Greetings Brothers,     Like many of you, this past month my Lady Barbara and I went to see the final episode of the Star Wars saga and lamented about it being the end of the series, the end of an era, its story complete. I started thinking about Freemasonry, the state of our lodges, not wanting to see our story ever be complete, but for them to continue on for generations to come.        The previous Friday I had been in the

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The Grand Master’s January Address to the Craft

Greeting Brothers,      Installation season is always a favorite time of year for every Grand Master. All of the installations I’ve been involved with so far have been multiple lodge installations. Some with two lodges, one with three, one with five and believe it or not, one with seven lodges. I joked with the Brothers and guests that the District Deputy Grand Master was just trying to get all the work in the district done at once so he wouldn’t have

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Grand Master Strader’s November Address to the Craft.

Greeting Brothers, Embracing the experience was pretty easy for me this month, how about for you? The diversity of events I was involved with spanned the family of Masonic related organizations from a York Rite Commandery inspection and degrees, the 100th anniversary re-consecration of Barneveld Lodge, a Shrine meeting, Lodge meetings / Table Lodge / Past Master’s dinner / Catfish Fry fundraiser, National Sojourner chapter meetings with Heroes of ’76 degrees and a Lodge of Military Tribute, a DeMolay Honors Day

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The Grand Master’s October Message

Greeting Brothers,     I’m sitting here as I watch the Packers win yet again, writing this column and reflecting on how good I feel about Masonry in Wisconsin. As the host Grand Master, I was asked to speak for the Grand Masters attending the Scottish Rite’s Supreme Session here in Milwaukee at the end of August. Part of my welcome was saying that Milwaukee and Wisconsin have it all, which I called the 4 B’s: the first three being Beer, Brats

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Grand Master Strader’s September Address to the Craft

Greeting Brothers,    I hope you’ve enjoyed the summer so far, even though we’ve had our bouts of extreme heat or extreme rains. Just another typical summer in Wisconsin! Thank you for all the courtesies you’ve shown to me during my visits to lodge, appendant bodies and youth group events.  I’ve seen evidence of many of you embracing the experiences that Freemasonry and its related organizations have to offer, trying new things and doing what it takes and striving to get members,

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Grand Master’s Summer Address to the Craft.

Greeting Brothers,    I still can’t believe my travels in the progressive Grand Lodge line has led me to be installed as Grand Master already.  When MWPGM Dennis Siewert appointed me as Junior Grand Steward, I just thought it would be forever to get through the line. Boy was I wrong! The lessons you learn from your precedingGrand Masters and the background you get being involved with all the various committees and liaison positions really does prepare you for this eventuality, if you

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Grand Master’s June Address to the Craft

Greetings Brethren, Thank You! Thank you for allowing me to serve in the awesome role as your Grand Master of Masons in Wisconsin. As I write this last Grand Master’s message for our wonderful Wisconsin Masonic Journal, I’ve been reflecting on the previous 12 months which I believe have been very well spent!  It is you, the just and upright Freemasons of Wisconsin that have been the source of my energy. Lifting me daily with your pride and optimism. You have

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Grand Master’s May Address to the Craft

Greetings Brethren, Your 2019 Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Wisconsin, which commences the morning of June 7, 2019, is just around the corner.  The events of that weekend include the Celebration of Wisconsin Freemasonry the evening of June 6.  For the most part, this is your annual legislative session during which your lodge officers (Master and Wardens) or their proxies are entitled to vote on the proposed budget and resolutions. In many respects,

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Grand Masters February Message

Greetings Brethren! If we pause for a moment and try to catch a glimpse into the future of Freemasonry and where we are going, I see an amazingly bright light on our horizon. The continual Degree work being done in our Lodges, that YOU have been responsible for, is a source of enormous pride and optimism for the future of this wonderful Fraternity! We will be Stirring Up Good long into the future. As I travel, the great Masonic stories

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The Grand Master’s December Address “Tis the season”.

  Greetings Brethren, “‘Tis the season” From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, “Tis the Season” The phrase may cause us to reflect and to think of things as secular as Frosty the Snowman, Bing Crosby or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We may also think of the images of the faithful shepherds worshipping at a manger and angels spreading peace on our precious earth. It is a time of giving and reflection. It is a time of year for family, merriment,

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The Grand Master’s November Message

Greetings Brethren! The United States Marine Corps successfully used the phrase “We’re looking for a few good men.” in their efforts to recruit courageous men willing to serve our great Nation. Our Fraternity is looking for a few good men to serve as Grand Lodge Officers to further the principles of brotherhood, to impact the future leadership of the Craft and to “Stir Up Good”! To serve as a Grand Lodge Officer is a tremendous honor! This isn’t an exclusive

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The Grand Master’s October Message

As I have traveled around the state it has been a joy to see all the Good that we are Stirring Up. The gentlemen I have met truly show that the West gate has been strictly guarded and men of kindness, faith, and respectability fill our ranks. A true joy. On the weekend of September 14-16, the Grand Lodge Officers including the District Lecturers came together in Oshkosh for our Fall staff meeting.  The District Lecturers don’t usually join us

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Grand Masters Summer Message

Good Morning Brethren ALL!!! I must, first and foremost, start out by expressing my appreciation for the wonderful experience my Lady Ronda and I had last evening during the Installation Ceremony and the banquet. We appreciate all of the courtesies and very uplifting conversations you shared with us. It was a great time for family and fellowship. I recently had the opportunity to go to your library located at the Grand Masonic Center in Dousman. My purpose was to take a

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Grand Master’s June Message

“Fair winds and a following sea, and long may your big jib draw” is an old nautical phrase to wish good luck or a blessing. This saying comes to mind as my term is coming to an end and as I write my last Wisconsin Masonic Journal article as Grand Master. This saying is often used by sailors at a “beginning” ceremony, such as a commissioning of a ship, or in a change of command, a retirement, or as a

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