because sometimes it just needs to be said
Greg “Masonic Traveler” Stewart wrote something very nice the other day:
Prior to that, we had the pleasure to talk to Tom Accuosti of the Tao of Masonry. One of the things that I realized in talking to him was that he was a busy guy. Not only has Tom been the master of his lodge in Connecticut, but he’s taken on responsibilities in his GL’s Education and Communication Committee, as well as having become the local District Grand Lecturer. All this in a mere 6 years of being a Freemason! Its no wonder he lays claim to being the Exalted Keeper of the Secrets of Freemasonarianism, and a part of the Team Osiris Obelisk Sitting and Surveying. Besides the tongue in cheek, It was a great conversation with Tom as he’s a very articulate brother with some good wisdom and a great deal of wit!
If you haven’t listened to this episode with Tom you can find it at the Masonic Central website, or by clicking the links below:
Reading that, it sounds like I do a hell of a lot of work around here, so I want to set the record straight.
Compared to the rest of the men that I work with, I barely do anything; I just ride around from lodge to lodge and look pretty. I’ve got this routine where I just nod my head, look pensive, nod my head again and then say “That’s a great idea, guys. You should totally go with it! Let me know how it turns out.” Then I grab a coffee and go home for a nap.
Connecticut has about 12,000 Masons. I have this theory that only about 1,200 of them show up at lodge on a regular basis, and only 120 are actually running the organization. But those 120 are some of the best men in the entire state.
In the (almost) seven years since I’ve joined this organization, I have found that the overwhelming majority of Grand Lodge officers and committee members to be hard-working and dedicated men who are always thinking about the improvement of the fraternity, and how to make it a better place for their brothers. Yes, we’ve had seemingly good ideas that didn’t work out, and yes, we’ve had some bad ideas implemented. In that respect, we are exactly like every other organization, from multi-national conglomerates to local co-ops. Most of the officers have gotten behind each idea and worked at making the best out of each and every one, just like they’ve been doing for the last umpteen years. Those are the men who have helped to hold the fraternity together long before I happened by, and while most of them are too modest to take any credit, they all deserve our thanks and appreciation.
The Grand Lodge Line officers have put in countless hours of work on projects, some of which are never implemented, but all of which require attention to detail. Our District Deputies typically take on statewide projects running charities or coordinating Child ID (CTCHIPS) events; this is after the hours they put in overseeing and assisting lodges in their areas. Associate Grand Marshals (AGMs) not only assist the DDs, many of them take on their own projects, and some of them double as District Lecturers.
Our Grand Lodge has over a dozen permanent committees that cover such responsibilities as Jurisprudence and Legal Matters, Education, Publications and Communication, Fraternal Relations, Awards, and Rituals and Ceremonies. All of these committees are staffed by Masons, most of whom are long on experience and patience. These men give up time from their week to get together and discuss, plan, and implement the various programs that keep the fraternity going. A lot of them are (or have been) wearers of the purple, but many of them have not.
Over the last couple of years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve seen a handful of Masons from other states complain about the quality of both Masons and GL officers in their areas. Sometimes those complaints are justified, sometimes (more often, I suspect) not. Unfortunately, I rarely see appreciation for those who actually do the hard work of running the organization, so I’m going to take this opportunity to do just that.
Thanks for keeping the light on for me, brothers. I hope to do the same for those who come in after me.