by Rob Brink, District Deputy Grand Master-At-Large  

Our lodge had an elderly Past Master who, for decades, had been a great contributor to the lodge’s success. A somewhat rigid man, he often voiced his opinion in a way that left little room for negotiation, but was well-loved and appreciated for his contributions to the lodge. It was obvious to the brothers that, underneath his gruff exterior, he cared deeply for them and for the well-being of the lodge.

This brother lived on a small farm. As time went on, it became clear to him that he and his wife would need to move to a more manageable home. As he assessed his situation, he realized that he did not have the ability to clean up the property or dispose of the many items he had collected in his barn over his lifetime. I was friendly with him and visited as my time allowed. During one of my visits, he hinted, in a roundabout way, that he could use some help cleaning up his property.

I got the hint, and I made it known to the active members of the lodge. The response was impressive. We arranged a couple of clean-up sessions; each time, a bunch of brothers showed up with work clothes to get the job done. It was a great assistance to our brother, but equally as important, the brothers involved were given the satisfaction of helping a worthy brother in his time of need.

I personally had a situation where I needed to clean out the house of a recently deceased family member. We spent weeks sifting through the paperwork and personal effects; then came the task of physically emptying the house to prepare for sale. I called three of my lodge brothers and asked for their help the following Saturday. That day, five or six brothers showed up with three trucks and helped us make a manageable task of emptying the house. 

These days, when everyone is busy and preoccupied with their own lives, I challenge anyone, especially a non-Mason, to make three phone calls and get that level of response from their friends. I believe it is the fraternal bond and generally charitable nature of Freemasons that makes this sort of cooperation possible.

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