Friday, April 2, 2010

Masonic Mentor Award

Tomorrow, I will present certificates to the Masters of 26 lodges that have shown a next increase in membership in 2009. In almost every instance, these exceptional lodges have a mentoring program. If not THE official Grand Lodge program, then one or two or more brothers that intuitively know the value of keeping in touch with a new brother.

I dare say that most of the Masons in this room, mostly Masonic leaders, also have had a mentor. It is a rare person who can legitimately claim that they have made themselves Masons.

I am tonight awarding the first Masonic Mentor Award. For me, it is a very personal recognition. For I, too, had a mentor.

My proficiency coach taught me more than the words to pass on to the next degree. I learned about Masonry. I learned about fellowship. I learned about commitment and dedication.

I learned about making a friend.

He pushed me – sometimes gently, sometimes with that proverbial well-placed boot – to get me active in lodge activities.

He didn’t just tell me to learn the ritual, he showed me by being Senior Deacon in the degree work whenever one was needed, and by doing the “G” lecture in the second degree better than anyone else I have ever heard.

Grand Standard Bearer Steve Saxton, would you kindly escort your dad, Worshipful Brother Orville Saxton to the podium so that I may make this presentation.

Thank you, Brother Orville, all you have taught me, and most of all, for being my friend.

I leave you with this Irish Blessing:

When the first light of sun, Bless you.
When the long day is done, Bless you.
In your smiles and your tears, Bless you.
Through each day of your years, Bless you.

(One of the photos shows me with WB Orville and his son, Grand Standard Bearer Steve Saxton. The other is with our wives.)