In times like these, Masonic relief isn’t just an ideal—it’s a way of life.
Like the master’s gavel, fire can be good or evil. It can be used to forge metal, clear brush, or grill a steak. It can also wreak havoc. We in California have seen that firsthand in recent years, with the Camp, Carr, Tubbs, and other wildfires that leveled homes and destroyed entire communities. But these moments of tragedy have brought out the best in us as communities, as neighbors, and especially as Masons.
Time and again, Masons have rallied around their brothers in emergencies. We saw that in 2018 in the town of Paradise, and today, we’re seeing it in real time as we all confront the outbreak of COVID-19. Sometimes, as in Paradise, that relief is direct and actionable: helping a fellow Mason find a place to stay, or raising funds for the displaced. Sometimes it’s something as simple as phoning Masonic family in your community to make sure they’re OK and offering to deliver a bag of groceries. In cases like those, it isn’t the size of the gesture that’s important; it’s the simple fact of it.
Masons have long prided themselves on their reliability in times like these. We have all taken an obligation to provide relief for the distressed, and despite the uncertainty in the world today, we can and must do what we can to deliver on that promise. The Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund, launched in late March, is our opportunity to live up to that ideal.
Disasters are, unfortunately, a fact of life. So it’s important that we recognize not only the brave men and women who form our communities’ first line of defense, but also the example that everyday Masons set through charity and brotherly love. It’s through those simple acts that order is restored. May the Masons of this great jurisdiction be ever ready to offer a helping hand.
John E. Trauner
California Masonry: Rooted in the Gold Country, Forged in Ideals