An important principal of Freemasonry and a duty of a Mason is charity. Charity not only towards our brothers, but charity towards all mankind. The notion of charity is mentioned throughout our ceremonies and is one of the first lessons taught when we are initiated as a Mason. We are also taught that our charity extends beyond our own mortal lives. What’s the old saying “It is better to give than to receive”.
Most men when they apply to become a Mason say their main attraction was the benevolence of our fraternity. This benevolence is reflected though out our fraternity, by the various charitable works of our blue lodges, Grand Lodges and our appendant bodies.
When a person thinks of charity they usually think in terms of monetary donations, because money, let’s face it, is important. My first memories of charity are the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethons which raised money for MS. Every time a certain monetary level was reach, right before they announced it they would do a big build up with a drum roll, etc. But as pointed out in a message last year by WB Murray our charity can take many forms beyond monetary.
This leads to a story I would like to relay. There was a young man, a teenager, whose father, a brother mason, past away. The Senior Warden from the lodge, knowing the family, called another Brother from the lodge to see if he could find a part-time job for the young man. The Brother reply that the call came at the right time and asked if the young man could meet with him after school for an interview. The next day the teenager showed up and the two immediately connected. The Brother’s name was Frank Land, the young man’s name was Louis Lower. Eventually, Louis would introduce him to his friends and they would form a club named DeMolay. “Dad” Land probably never thought, prior to taking that call and interview, about forming a boy’s club nor that he would be one of the principal founders of one of the largest young men’s organizations in the world. He was just fulfilling his obligation as a mason.
Daniel E. O’Brien