by Robert J. Slater Jr., District Deputy Grand Master, 47th Masonic District
My Masonic career started in September 2001. I was totally awestruck by the ritualistic work and how everyone in my lodge made me feel welcomed. Once I completed my degrees and could observe the work from the sidelines, I started asking all kinds of questions. I wanted to learn everything I could about the workings of the lodge. I was very blessed to have two Past Masters take me under their wings, teach me the ritualistic work and answer every question I asked. Many other brothers in my lodge and around the district also helped me along the way.
I’ve enjoyed running the lodge as an officer, being an Instructor for the lodge and helping others. In my first year as Worshipful Master of Centennial-Lafayette Lodge No. 544, I was able to confer all three degrees on my 18-year-old son, RJ. The friends I have made through Freemasonry are incredible and absolutely priceless. Our lodge in Carnegie has had an Annual Visitation to eight Canadian lodges. These friendships have grown beyond the annual visit to the point that my wife, Linda, and I spend a few long weekends visiting them.
My whole Masonic career has been a labor of love for me, as I have met so many incredible brothers and made a lot of great friends because of this great fraternity that we belong to. I am very proud to be a Mason and to serve the Grand Master, his Officers, our fraternity and my district and lead them into the future of Freemasonry. When I was raised, one of the lodge’s Past Master reminded me that you only get out of Freemasonry what you put in it. My experiences in Freemasonry extend further than the few I’ve shared; the stories are endless. My only regret about becoming a Freemason is that I didn’t join when I was younger!
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