My Masonic journey got off to an early start at the age of 13 as a member of the Lancaster Order of DeMolay. Then, Dad Smith (Brother Jay W. Smith, RWPGM) and his son, Steven J. Smith, (Past Master, Ashara-Casiphia Lodge No. 551) signed my petition for membership and there it all began. Over the next five years I learned about leadership, teamwork, charity, ritual, hard work, courtesy, honesty, and many things that we learn as Masons today. It was a life building and changing experience. This is why supporting our Youth Groups is so important to me. We, as Masons, need to continue to support our DeMolay, Jobs Daughters, and Rainbows so that we may help them to become successful leaders in our communities. My Grandfather, Brother Jacob G. Carson, a member of Columbia Lodge No. 286, attended most of my Stated DeMolay Meetings. It was by his conversations with other Masons and the curiosity of knowing this secret handshake that I knew someday I would be a Mason, just like him. When that time came, I petitioned Lamberton Lodge No. 476 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Having served in several positions in the DeMolay, I knew prior to petitioning the Lodge that it would be my intention to become Master of the Lodge. Once approved and made a Master Mason several of the Brothers started to teach me the words to our ritual and before long I was performing the work. By showing an interest in their beloved Craft, my friendships grew and my year as Master was over before I knew it.

Thankfully, the District had another opportunity for me to serve as our Principal of the School of Instruction. I was able to establish a great relationship with the ten Lodges in our District. I am looking forward to continuing these friendships and maintaining your support and trust. Many of my friends have asked me over the years what the Masons are about and why does it interest me so much. To me, it is about men working together to achieve common goals and to learn from one another. It is also about education, charity, supporting our youth, community, history, fellowship, tolerance, patience, and leadership, all of the things that make life great. Masonry fills a man’ s heart and mind with goodness and hope.

As this New Year begins, it should remind us of the opportunities in the future for all of us to do well and prosper. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with all you over the next several years. By continuing to work together, our goals will be even easier to achieve so that we may pursue even higher standards and expectations.

Brother Ronald B. Carson, District Deputy Grand Master of the First Masonic District.