Masonry has been a part of my life as long as I can remember and has had a significant role in my life. It has directly influenced my character, making me a better man. That's a primary purpose of Freemasonry in a man's life. It certainly has been in mine!
My parents had a great influence on my early Masonic life, even as early as my childhood. I recall my father getting ready for meetings in Chartiers Lodge where he served as Worshipful Master and my mother being active in the Order of the Eastern Star where she was a Worthy Matron and then a District Deputy and Grand Warder. As I matured in life and in the Fraternity, my parents, my religious training, my wife and children, and my work all impacted greatly on my career.
When I was 12, I joined the Order of DeMolay in George Miles Dunn Chapter in Canonsburg and became Master Councilor. I didn't realize then, but I sure have since, how great an impact DeMolay would have on me in my adult life.
In due time after I was made a Mason in Chartiers Lodge, I progressed through the chairs and served as the Master. To this day I cherish the experiences, fellowship, and leadership opportunities, and always have been an active Past Master and strong supporter of the lodge. I also enjoy being active in the York Rite bodies and a Shriner in Syria Temple.
That's a beautiful part of the Fraternity -- a Mason can be involved as much as he wants to be and, like I, benefit accordingly from his involvement.
I'm particularly fortunate to have been appointed as District Deputy Grand Master of the 29th Masonic District with brethren in eight lodges in my district. This is not only a great honor for me, but also a very ennobling, educational experience.