I’d like to dedicate my year as Worshipful Master to the memory of my Father in Law, Nelson Watson, who was a member here at Orange 36, later moving to Lakeland and transferring his membership to a Lodge there. To me, he was a shining example of what a mason should be, and I always looked up to him, and hoped one day he would ask me to join the fraternity. It took me a number of years to learn that he couldn’t, and I petitioned Orange Lodge myself, and was raised to the degree of Master Mason by W:. Anderson, whom I have known since he was knee high. Here at Orange 36 I have served as an officer in every Chair and Station, and I’m humbled that my Brothers have elected me to lead the Craft this year.
Nancy’s Father Nelson was a mason for 50 years, and she had a Grandfather, and a Great Grandfather who were Master Masons as well. So I’ve become the fourth generation, and I vow to work diligently to perform my duties, and have my Brothers, both those here, and those in the Celestial Lodge above, as proud to call me their Brother, as I am to call them mine. I’ll always remember one of the last times Nelson and I sat and talked, and he showed me some of his old monitors and books, and with a twinkle in his eye he said “Son, Always look to the East”
As we face a new year, we face new challenges, As a Lodge, as Families, and as a Nation.
We must continue to treasure our past, and embrace the future. My Father once told me that the day we quit learning and growing is the day we die inside. I will strive to keep an open mind, and welcome the advice and direction of my Brothers.
I will continue in the footsteps of W:. Anderson and work hard to see our old Lodge refurbished.
As a Brotherhood we will travel and enjoy fellowship, both in our Lodge and in the District, and share in both the joys of life and the sorrows.