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The Grand Master's Fall Message

The past few months have been jam-packed with opportunities to Share the Light and show friends, relatives, neighbors and coworkers what Freemasonry is all about.

Turning prospects into petitions is really that simple. Men will join our ranks if they see someone in YOU who they respect, admire and appreciate ­ someone who, by their example, inspires them to want to be better.

The Sturgis trip this summer was an experience of a lifetime! Dozens of Pennsylvania Masons, along with their family members and friends, enjoyed the beauty of nature as we viewed the magnificent blend of God's majestic creations and breathtaking man-made monuments, including Mount Rushmore (two of the four depicted men were Masons - George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt), Crazy Horse Memorial, Spearfish Canyon, Needles Highway in Custer State Park and Badlands National Park. The camaraderie and friendships made during this trip were what truly made it a spectacular journey. As a result, seven men petitioned the Fraternity. We are already planning next year's trip ­ you won't want to miss out! For more information click here. We especially enjoyed the hospitality extended to us by William A Coffield, Jr., Grand Master of South Dakota, and members of Deadwood Lodge No. 7, where we attended an open meeting with more than 100 South Dakota Brethren.

mess2More than $50,000 was raised for the Masonic Village-Elizabethtown and the Arthritis Foundation through the first-ever Wachovia Masonic Village Charity Mini Grand Prix held during Autumn Day. The 15 teams who participated demonstrated excellent skill and sportsmanship. Next year's race will be held on June 25, 2005. Plans will be announced in future issues of The Pennsylvania Freemason ­ I can't wait to take my kart for another spin!

In September, the Grand Master's Charity Golf Tournaments raised over $25,000 to benefit Masonic Village-Sewickley, Masonic Children's Home and Masonic Village-Lafayette Hill. The teamwork that goes into coordinating these charitable events is commendable, and they bring Brethren and friends together to enjoy their favorite pastime while supporting our Masonic Charities.

mess3Please join me in celebrating the holiday season at the Sharing the Light Holiday Gala on Saturday, December 4th, showcasing the magnificent Masonic Temple. Proceeds from this spectacular event will support the Masonic CHIP program in its efforts to protect youth across the Commonwealth from abductions. Our goal is to raise $200,000 to continue our already successful efforts. This year, so far, over 70,000 youth have participated in the school program, Masonic Temples and other locations, and in doing so have Shared the Light with countless fathers, grandfathers and uncles who have witnessed first-hand how Freemasons are working together to make our communities safer places to live, work and play. See the ad in this issue for more details on the first-class entertainment planned for this black tie event. (click here for more information)

One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry is how so many men, from so many walks of life, can meet together in peace, always conducting their affairs in harmony and friendship. I've seen this in my visits around the country but particularly here in Pennsylvania. October 2nd was the epitome of teamwork, brotherhood, outreach and cooperation. Let us sustain and intensify the spirit of that day as we look ahead to what we can accomplish together in 2005.

Our early Brethren came together to build strong and beautiful buildings, and in the process developed lasting relationships, relief efforts and thriving communities.

For centuries, Freemasons have been moving the world in a better direction. This is our heritage and our charge. This year we have grown our Fraternity considerably, and increased our ability to impact our society that much more. Together, we CAN continue to make a difference ­ in our lodges, in our communities and in the world around us.

To our new Brethren: I urge you to take advantage of the many benefits that membership in this great Fraternity offers. Become active in your lodge; get involved and make your mark! Now that you have experienced the ritual and learned the principles of Freemasonry, boldly Share the Light with your friends and family.

During my first year as Grand Master, I have urgently emphasized membership enrichment because membership has enriched MY life and I want to extend that gift to as many deserving men as possible.

This holiday season, as you gather with loved ones, is the perfect time to share what Masons are doing to improve our communities and our world. It may be the best gift you can give ­ that of brotherly love, relief and truth ­ found in the true bonds of Freemasonry.

Brethren, enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones, and make a resolution that in 2005, you will play an even more active role in Sharing the Light!

Keep Sharing the Light Brethren,

William Slater II
R. W. Grand Master

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