My dear Brothers,
It is right and proper for a new Grand Master to begin his first Beacon article by saying thank you to the many people who have helped along the way – men who taught him the meaning of Freemasonry through precept and example, and I wish to do just that. So in the spirit of sincerity and plain dealing, which should distinguish us as Masons, I offer a simple but heartfelt thank you.
Equally important, I would like to acknowledge my wife, Diana. I often tell people that there are many men who could do what I do, and perhaps do it better. I then go on to say, “but I have the right wife,” which must sound strange when talking about a men’s organization. It is the truth though; this would be a hard job if your wife was not traveling right there with you. In fact, all of our “Grand Lodge ladies” deserve a note of recognition and appreciation. We work them very hard during the year with our travels and dinners and ceremonies, and they help us be better men. Thank you all. Turning to the work at hand, I would like to invite you to join me this year in celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Modern Freemasonry.
While we trace our history to a time immemorial, and there are many theories about how we began, the one fact we know for certain: on June 24, 1717, four lodges met in London, England, to celebrate the Feast of St. John and to elect a Grand Master. Within a generation, speculative Masonry spread around the world, including the American colonies.This upcoming year in Ohio, we will celebrate this 300th Anniversary, beginning with a Grand Master’s Class to be held on March 25, 2017, and culminating in an Anniversary Celebration on June 24, 2017.In this issue of the Beacon, you will find a special petition which can be used for any petitioners during the 2017 Masonic year, including for the Grand Master’s Class. It is designed so you can pull it out of the Beacon and then:
- give it to a friend, son, grandson, golf partner, church member, or business acquaintance, and it should contain enough information to give them an idea of who we are, what we believe in, and what they need to do if they are interested in becoming a member;
- tell them you think they would make a good Mason and that they would enjoy meeting new men who share many common values;
- offer to sponsor them to become members of your lodge, to sign their petitions, and introduce them to your lodge officers who can take it from there; and,
- finally, let them make their own decision on whether or not to join, to come of their own free will and accord, just as Masons have done since time immemorial.
2017 is going to be a great year, and we want you to be part of it. The world is changing, and once again men are looking for the benefits that come from uniting with like-minded men dedicated to living well, to doing right, and to standing up for their beliefs when others seem to be stumbling. Help us open the doors to your lodge and welcome good men and true. Use the petition in this issue of the Beacon. Give it to a man you respect. Live your Masonic obligations. Remember your brothers in your prayers to the Great Architect, and remember that your life is a story worth telling. Tell your story, and in so doing, spread the Light of Freemasonry to those around you.
Douglas N. Kaylor