An Ode to Brother Jim

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – President Harry S. Truman, Past Grand Master of Masons in Missouri

A great leader must not only be a hard worker, an inspiration to his fellow man, a sound decision maker, etc., he must also be able to recognize those around him who contribute more than they take from the success of the fraternity. Those few men who selflessly and relentlessly give themselves to the greater good, that the fraternity accomplishes more while they reside in the rear relishing their brethren’s enjoyment.

These men find themselves devoid of most titles, save the greatest of them all: Brother.

Committee chairmen, cooks, candy distributors, door greeters, vacuum operators all deserve our admiration, for their efforts are oft taken for granted when men file in for meetings. The work of Guides and Mentors especially deserve our respect and veneration. These men take the time to teach the next generation of Freemasons the traditions and values we all hold dear. They bring good men in and work to make them better, assisting in the new-made Brother’s journey to smooth his rough ashlar. They ensure the future of our fraternity for years to come without seeking the fame and fortune that comes with Worshipful Master-dom.

I encourage all brethren, but more especially those in titled leadership positions, to find your lodge’s Brother Jim, Brother Bob, Brother Frank, Brother Mentor, Brother Guide, and extend a heartfelt, one-on-one, thank you for their service to the lodge’s members and to the fraternity.

Bro. R. J. Hughes is the Senior Warden of Armstrong Lodge #239 in Freeport, PA and a member of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’s Academy of Masonic Knowledge. He can be reached at

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