Today is April 3rd. As I sit here, II am reminded of my first experience with Freemasonry. On this date in 1974, a tornado devastated the city of Xenia, Ohio, My father and I were at his office when it hit and 70% of the town was destroyed. He was a member of Xenia Lodge and, within a few days of the disaster, he received a relief check from the Grand Lodge in the amount of $500.
A few months later, every mason affected received $5000. The Masonic Temple was destroyed in the tornado and during the next few years, it was rebuilt by the members themselves. I remember as a 10 year old boy, standing on a ladder, helping a 75 year old member run electrical wires. It gives me an incredible sense of pride every time I walk inside the Xenia Masonic Temple.
I saw Freemasonry at its finest as a 10 year old boy. I knew then that I wanted to be a Freemason more than anything. In these challenging times, I hope we can be an inspiration for the sons and grandsons of our members as well.
Mark E. Howard is the Thrice Potent Master of Gabriel Lodge of Perfection.