A Message from the Deputy Grand Master,
Several years ago, as I was leaving my office one morning to go to the district court, a young lawyer called out to me as she trotted up and asked me what did the square and compass on my license plate signify. I told her that it meant that I am a Mason, and by having it on my license plate, it meant that I was proud to be a Mason. Then I explained to her briefly, the philosophy of the fraternity. She had been a recipient of the Honesty and Integrity Award at her high school and wanted to know more about us.
As I send this message, our craft, as well as the nation, is in a struggle with Covid-19. I have complete faith that we will prevail and defeat this pandemic because we as Americans and Masons tend to win in our struggles. In the meantime, it is necessary and proper that we socially distance ourselves, mask as necessary and stay safe, not only for ourselves but for those we care about.
During times like these, I try to reflect on a “life lesson” that I have learned from my friends and family. These life lessons help to focus and sometimes overcome the challenges that occur in life. One of my several mentors was a school teacher and football coach who I grew close to as a student. We have remained friends for over fifty years. It seems like Coach was always present during my various trials and tribulations of life. Friends like that are invaluable, and Coach Williams is certainly invaluable.
One Sunday afternoon, I received a telephone call that Ms. Betty, the wife of Coach, had suffered a heart attack or similar cardiovascular problem while they were attending Sunday School. I immediately went to be with my friend and mentor to be there with him during his time of grief and struggle. After arriving at St. Patrick Hospital in Lake Charles, I was told by the information desk where I could find Ms. Betty and as quickly as I could, I went to be with them. Coach saw me approaching and he started to walk toward me. At this time Coach was 80 plus years old and he and Betty had been married at least 60 years. As I approached Coach, I could see tears in his eyes, but I also detected that he had a slight smile on his face. I knew instantly Ms. Betty was going to be okay. Coach hugged me for a moment then told me Ms. Betty was safe. The doctors were optimistic and Ms. Betty had arrived at the hospital in time. He then gave me yet another “life lesson”, as he has done from time to time, for over fifty years.
Coach said, “Terry, everyone needs three important things in life”. I was puzzled but waited patiently for his explanation. Coach then said, “everyone needs to be wanted, to be loved, and to be needed”. This is so true. I would add one other element, and that is to be appreciated.
So, my brethren, I want to let you know and I urge you to remember, that you are needed, you are wanted, you are loved, and also, you are appreciated. We are truly a band of brothers; we care not only for one another but also for the families of our brethren. I am proud to be a Freemason and the philosophy of our way of life.
May God bless, comfort, and protect you during these trying times.
R∴ W∴ Terrell D. Fowler
Deputy Grand Master