Worshipful Master 2019

Richard J. Barone

The Masters Message - May 2019



     Early this year while we conducted our audits and prepared our financial reports, it was necessary to take a complete inventory of all the assets of Livingston lodge.  Of course we accounted for the building, property next door, and financial accounts but it was our DDGM who reminded me of assets we had not accounted for.  The rods, voting boxes, alters, etc.  Items that had been stored in the attic I had not thought about. The furniture of the lodge, the books in our library, and other items like the antique masters jewel I am honored to wear this year.

    This had me thinking....What would a non-Mason, a candidate who wanted to join Livingston Lodge and become a member, a Mason, a Brother ...think is our greatest asset?  Is it the money in our accounts, our property, the charitable works we have done for many years and the reputation that has built?

    I would contend to the non-member who has given this matter any thought it soon becomes apparent that the greatest asset in Freemasonry is the spirit of friendship that exists between Freemasons.  In their relationship with one another and their attitude of thoughtfulness for the welfare of others.

    Candidates see our members address each other as "brothers," respect other members of the Craft, and that all lodge members be considerate of each other both inside and outside the Craft.

    Freemasonry with its emphasis on the obligations we owe to others exemplifies this idea of the value of friendship in the strongest way possible.

    What great persons have said about the subject of "friends" is of interest because these statements reveal a deep need for friends and their importance in the lives of persons to make them happy.

    Aristotle, in his Nichomachean Ethics, said: "The perfect friendship is that between good men, alike in their virtues."

    Keats, the great English poet, compared friends to "a beacon light guiding a ship into port on a dark misty night."

    Brother George Washington, in one of his letters, said: "Actions, not words, are the true criterion of attachment of friends."

    Thomas Jefferson said: "One gives meaningful expression to friendship only when he does something thoughtful, unselfish or pleasantly surprising for the person he esteems."

    The true value of friends cannot be underestimated. The possession of friends is an absolute necessity in life in order to be happy. This illustrates how Masonic friendship is a two-way street that benefits everyone.

    Friendship - This elusive element of Freemasonry is the most valuable asset that each of us has as a member of the Craft and it is also one of the most valuable assets of Freemasonry as an organization.

Know that in me you will always have a Brother...and a Friend


Fraternally yours,

WM Richard J. Barone