Grand Masters Message, August 2016
Brother Stephen T. McGuire
Most Worshipful Grand Master
It’s hard to believe my first month as Grand Master has elapsed but R∴W∴Rick Lynch is “gently” prodding me for my message to be published in this edition of the RI FREEMASON.
I would like to mention some things Maureen and I have attended and enjoyed in this past month. So in basically chronological order:
May 23rd Annual Communication is a day I will never forget. From the start of the day, sitting as M∴W∴Ray Hassel’s Deputy Grand Master until the day ended, I felt like I was walking on a cloud. The installation was awesome and M∴W∴Dennis Pothier’s introduction made me wonder if he was really talking about me. M∴W∴Richard Sokoll and R∴W∴Gary Kaufman installed Elliott and I, as well as the rest of the Grand Lodge officers with dignity and distinction. Thank you!
The Grand Lodge banquet was an event I’ll always cherish. It was truly wonderful to have so many family, friends, brothers and their families together at Rhodes. Brother James Rapson did his usual great job as emcee of the event and everything seemed to fall into place. There were many highlights of the evening for me but 2 really stand out:
After presenting flowers to Elliott’s wife Lynn, my sister Cindy, my Mom Joan, my daughter-in-law Tiffany and Maureen, my grandson Kyle asked, “Grampa, what about the rest of the girls?”. I totally enjoyed several of our lovely Grand Lodge Ladies inviting me onto the dance floor to “Sweet Caroline” - that was fun!
We attended Charity Lodge’s 150th Anniversary party and had a great time. As is usually the case at Charity Lodge, there was more than enough good food. Worshipful Mike Southern did his homework on the history of the lodge and spoke eloquently of its’ past. I was able to point out that a Charity Lodge in Pennsylvania celebrated its’ 190th anniversary in 2013 so our Charity lodge is not the nations’ oldest. That said, Charity lodge in Maryland is planning to celebrate their 150th anniversary in May of 2018. Worshipful Mike and I are planning on attending, you are all welcome to join us.
A few of us attended the Prince Hall Annual Communication and that was truly a nice evening. The highlight was provided by the acting Master of Overseas Lodge, W∴Dale Euga. Worshipful Dale approached the Grand East and asked if he could address the veterans in the room. On given permission to do so W∴Euga explained that, when an American Flag is retired the stars are cut out and saved, they are then placed in a small, clear plastic envelope with the words “Thank you for Your Service” written on it and given to a veteran that he or she may ever thereafter carry it in his or her pocket as a permanent reminder that their service is appreciated. I had never seen this presentation before and was quite impressed. It was obvious that the brothers who received these were equally impressed. Thank You, Worshipful Euga!
We attended the steak-fry at Friendship Lodge and enjoyed wonderful company and dining. Elliott won the door prize so I inherited a few nice cigars! I may take him more places. For those of you who are unaware, at Friendship’s Annual in September, Trevor Humphrey will assume the East. Not only is he an Eagle Scout but both of next year’s Wardens at Friendship will be Eagle Scouts as well. The top 3 officers of a lodge being Eagle Scouts is a rarity. Friendship Lodge and the Grand Lodge should be extremely proud of this accomplishment. Along the same lines, we have created a new certificate of recognition for all Eagle Scouts, to be presented at their awards ceremony, citing how proud the Freemasons of Rhode Island are of them. If you know any young man who is about to receive this prestigious honor please notify the Grand Lodge so we can be sure to attend, recognize and congratulate him.
On June 26th we had a tremendous turnout for our Grand Lodge St. Johns Sunday church service at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. We had approximately 100 brothers present and 15 – 20 ladies. We had a nice parade, led and escorted by Knights Templar from St. John’s No. 1, Calvary No. 13, and Holy Sepulchre Commanderies. The church service was wonderful and the parishioners of St. Luke’s presented a tasty collation, and everyone had a great day. This is what Masonry is all about.
As a final note I would not be doing my job if I didn’t mention that the position of Grand Marshal not only deserves, it demands respect. Therefore, I strongly urge you to refrain from the prolonged “RRRRRs” when R∴W∴Elliott R. Greene is introduced as a Grand Lodge officer while he is serving as Grand Marshal.
Sincerely and fraternally,
Stephen T. McGuire