Volume LVIIJanuary 2010Number 1

Interview with the Grand Master

Why did you join the fraternity?

My father was a Mason and the many friends that he had were Masons. I was curious and interested in being like those respected men.

What is your favorite aspect of Freemasonry?

I love the degree work in all facets of the fraternity. The lessons are invaluable to making good men better. The friends and acquaintances that I have made in the many years of being a Freemason have been worth the membership a thousand times over. That certain bond between two Masonic brothers cannot be described.

What is your most meaningful memory during your Masonic experience?

When I had the opportunity to confer the third degree on my son, Seth, with my father and brothers present.

What is the greatest benefit to being a member of the Craft?

The indescribable bond that exists between two men who have had the Masonic experience. Being part of an organization that has the history and influence that this fraternity has had, and being a part owner of the greatest Masonic Temple in the world as well as the most elaborate Masonic Villages in the world - nothing else compares!

Who is your favorite famous Freemason and why?

There are so many, but I always seem to come back to Harry Truman. He was a Grand Master of Missouri and participated in Masonic functions even while he was in the White House. I admire his courage because he made the most difficult decision of any president when he ordered the bombing in Japan, which likely saved the lives of many American military personnel.

How can one man make a difference in this fraternity?

By the way he lives his life. By the way he treats other people. By assisting in the various charitable endeavors of the fraternity. It is not for all men to be lodge officers or even to attend regularly. But every Mason can make a difference by being proud of who we are and what we stand for.

How would you describe the ideal Masonic lodge?
The ideal Mason?

The ideal lodge would be active in its community and show kindness and consideration to all members.

The ideal Mason would recognize a need to modernize the fraternity and he would promote the fraternity daily by his proper actions and consideration for others.

How has being a Mason changed your life?

Being a Mason has made many changes in my life, mostly because I have been so active. The fraternity is similar to networking in many ways. The fraternity widened my area of acquaintances which ultimately provided me more opportunities. If you were to ask me for a list of my friends, most of them are Masons. I never planned it that way - it just turned out that way. I cannot describe it. I believe it has made me more thoughtful of others and more caring, although I may not show it as outwardly as some.

How would you want to be remembered in terms of your tenure as Grand Master?

I would hope that my brother Masons would recognize me for having the courage to make controversial decisions and changes that will reinvent and modernize Pennsylvania Freemasonry. I would like to be remembered as a Grand Master with tremendous respect for our heritage and customs, but with a vision for the future that will make Freemasonry more contemporary to 2010 rather than 1910. I hope some will say that I gave it a chance and a new breath of fresh air. That I recognized the need for the meetings to be shorter, less monotonous, more interesting and entertaining, while at the same time maintaining the important element of our ancient symbolism. Lastly, I sincerely wish that all Pennsylvania Freemasons will recognize that whatever decisions I make will be to strengthen the future of this fraternity.

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