Right Worshipful Grand Lodge Officers, Most Worshipful Past Grand Masters, Worshipful Grand Lodge Appointed Officers, Worshipful District Deputy Grand Masters, Worshipful Grand Lodge Committeemen, Distinguished Guests from other Appendant Bodies, Masters, Wardens, Brothers, Family, Ladies, Friends and all, Welcome! Thank you for being here at the installation of officers for the 220th Grand Communication of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. I am truly honored and humbled to be elected by you to serve as your Grand Master of Kentucky for the ensuing year.
I would like to thank the installing officers: MWPGM Tim Sanders, Installing Master, MWPGM Chris Stout, Installing Marshal and MWPGM Gary Rose, Installing Chaplain for an outstanding job. What an excellent ceremony! It has been an honor and privilege to have had these distinguished Past Grand Master’s install me here today.
My theme this year is “Masons Making a Difference”. Brothers, I know that each of you possess a unique talent. Your specialty maybe conferring the degree work, cooking for meetings and special events, washing dishes, mowing the grass, or maintaining your lodge. We should not only make a difference in our Lodges, but also in our communities. Masons at work in the community, volunteering, hosting a blood drive, supporting youth organizations and random acts of kindness can make a difference. In the coming months, we will focus on leadership, communication and setting a good example.
One of my programs this year will be a Ritual Competition. I want to recognize the importance of ritual excellence within our Commonwealth. The purpose of the competition is to inspire lodges to focus on meaningful ritual to deepen members’ and candidates’ experiences, and to raise the standard of ritual excellence in our craft. I hope that all masons will participate in this program.
I have chosen the Masonic Trowel as my Grand Master’s Statewide Traveling Program. The working tools of a Master Mason comprise all the tools of the Craft, but more especially the Trowel. The trowel is used by operative masons to spread the cement which unites the building into one common mass; but we, as Masons, are taught to use it for the purpose of spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection. The objective of this program is to encourage Masonic Travel across the State of Kentucky.
As a mason, I follow in the footsteps of many great men, the most important one is my father, Carroll Laird. As a child, I would watch as my father would leave the house going to his Lodge meetings wearing his Master’s hat. I would always think how dedicated he was to being a good mason. I am now a 42 year member and an active Past Master. Becoming a better person, helping others and furthering the work of the craft… all these drew me closer and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. There are fewer and fewer chances to share things with your father as an adult. But there’s one thing I can always share with my father, Freemasonry. I am proud to have both of my parents here today to share this journey with me.
I encourage you to support our Youth Organizations. We as Masons, have the opportunity to share the teachings and values of Masonry to the next generation. Most importantly, today’s youth are the future of tomorrow’s Masonic bodies. It is through our support that we will have Masonic leaders for tomorrow, not only for us, but leaders for our country. I pledge my complete support in the coming year to our Masonic Youth Groups. As a mason, we are shaping the character of tomorrow’s leaders. Be that Mason that makes a difference!
This year, Terri and I have pledged our support to the Rehabilitation Program at the Masonic Homes Kentucky. We know that at some point in a person’s lifetime, they will have a need for rehabilitation services for themselves or a family member. Therefore, we have chosen to establish a program for 2019-2020 that we call “Transforming Lives.” Our goal is to raise approximately $21,000 to purchase the needed equipment required for top-notch rehabilitation care. Please consider helping us reach our goal.
I want to thank our Arrangements Committee, Committee on Conventions, Committee on Transportation and the ladies in the office, Roberta, Mary and Jamie for all of their hard work during this Grand Communication. Thanks to all of you who have given this Grand Lodge the benefit of your individual talents and dedication.
Also, thank you to the Past Grand Masters for the examples you have set for the Craft over these many years. I am deeply humbled to stand in your shadows and will ask for your wisdom and guidance.
To the ladies, thank you for all you do to support the Masons in your life. Please remember, you add the sparkle to this wonderful Fraternity and we love you.
To my family, thanks for your patience, support and encouragement over the past several years. Words are not enough to express how grateful I am.
Most especially to my wife, Terri, thank you for your unconditional support. Your support for the past 42 years has never wavered. You are the sunshine in my life and I love you.
No one could possibly travel the path to become Grand Master without the support of the elected and appointed Grand Lodge Officers, my home Lodge (Shawnee No. 830) and the Past Grand Masters. I am honored to serve as the Grand Master of Masons in Kentucky and appreciate everyone I have crossed paths with during this journey. If anything I have learned, it is that this is the finest group of men I know, and you have truly shown me the meaning of Masonic Brotherly love.
Let us implore the Great Architect of the Universe to protect the members of our Armed Forces, and our brave Police Officers, Firefighters, and other First Responders. May He keep them safe and out of harm’s way so they can continue their important efforts and bring them home safely to their families and friends!
I am touched and inspired by the confidence you have placed in me. Thank you so much for your love, support and friendship, I am truly blessed. It is my hope that our paths will cross many times in the coming months and as I close, I ask each of you, BE THAT MASON THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. May Freemasonry thrive and grow for many years to come.
Geary F. Laird
Grand Master 2019-2020