There are simply no words to express the indescribable emotions and feelings to be elected and installed as the 105th Grand Master of the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York. It is without a doubt, one of the highest pinnacles of my life and I am truly grateful to the Brethren of this Grand Jurisdiction for giving me the unique opportunity to serve our Brotherhood. I promise that with the help of the Great Architect of the Universe, I will perform this duty in a spirit of fairness, openness, inclusiveness and brotherly love.
As a New York Freemason it is important for everyone to understand that we are all stewards of this great fraternity. We are an interdependent society and what each of us does in our respective Lodges affects us all. From Massena to Jamestown, from Long Island to Niagara Falls we all share a mandatory obligation to practice and promote our “Way of Life” and impart our time tested teachings to our newest votaries. Over the course of history, our beloved Fraternity has faced some serious challenges and we have always risen up to overcome adversity. My Brothers, the time has come to address our issues and work to improve all facets of our organization.
My motto for this term is a “Way of Life”. A Freemason practices courtesy and civility in society, honesty and fairness in business, kindness in the home, pity and concern for the unfortunate, resistance toward evil, help for the weak, forgiveness for the penitent, love for one another, and above all reverence and love for God. Freemasonry is many things, but most of all…it is a “Way of Life”.
The overarching symbol for our Grand Lodge Masonic Trestle board is the “North Star”. What is the significance of the North Star? The North Star doesn’t change locations. It is steady and reassuring; something you can always count on. It is the only fixed point in the night sky and is a sure reference for setting one’s course. On the new Grand Master’s lapel pin the letter “G” is emblazoned in the center of the star to remind us of the Great Architect of the Universe.
New York Masons have begun the process of rejecting mediocrity and complacency within our Lodges, and instead choosing to set a new course: To rejuvenate and upgrade our Lodges; address our continuing membership challenges, to change, evolve and reshape our jurisdiction while at all times keeping our eyes fixed upon the steady and reassuring values of our kind and gentle Craft.
The genius of Freemasonry lays is its ability to transform itself through succeeding generations. While never straying from its core beliefs it regenerates itself anew making it meaningful and relevant to the present generation. As stakeholders of this Institution, we must all be held to the highest standard in providing excellence within the Masonic experience and I am deeply committed to achieving the goals and objectives that have been placed before us.
Although Grand Lodge has many outstanding and worthwhile charities, Carla and I choose Wiley Hall to be our official charity for this term. Wiley Hall is located in the beautiful Masonic Care Community in Utica, New York and is the very manifestation and embodiment of our Masonic Obligation. There you will find a loving environment that takes care of our Brothers and Sisters. All proceeds for the Grand Master’s Lapel Pins and “Way of Life” wrist bands will benefit Wiley Hall. Please consider a generous donation that will enable us to uplift the spirits of our residents and add value to their stay.
Freemasons are builders and the craftsmen are most energized when work is properly laid out on the trestle board by the Master Builder. Over the next few years we are counting on YOU for your support and resolve to make these designs come to fruition. The world desperately needs what Freemasonry has to offer! Our very existence on this planet would be more pleasant and uplifting if the world would simply embrace our “Way of Life” and the resulting actions which emanates “As a force for good” from our gentle Fraternity. May God Bless our Men and Women in the Armed Forces, May God Bless America- and May God’s Richest Blessings be yours!