At the 235th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Georgia on October 27th, 2021, MWPGM Clyde E. Griffin Installed Donald C. Combs as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Georgia. During the Installation, MWB Griffin repeated a Charge to the incoming Grand Master that included this phrase: “Duty, honor and gratitude now bind you to be faithful to your trust.”
I have heard the phrase, “Duty and honor, now alone, bind you to be faithful to every trust.” But this leaves out the word gratitude. In fact, it excludes any binding but duty and honor. Never having heard the phrase with gratitude, I never considered how we should be bound by this feeling as we are by the obligations of duty and honor.
Gratitude is defined as “a feeling of appreciation or thanks.” We as Freemasons should show gratitude for “being accepted into this ancient and honorable Fraternity”; this band of brothers whose primary requirement is “coming under the tongue of good repute, otherwise stated as being a good man. Understand there are many good men that are not members of our Fraternity, but all men that are members have been judged to be good men and were unanimously admitted. Having seen some that I considered good men not admitted, I feel gratitude that I was.
My gratitude goes further; I am grateful to those men, Brothers and Mentors that have helped me grow in the Craft. From coaches to Lodge Officers, to wise men on the sidelines, they continued to invest in a fertile mind and willing spirit to help mold me into the man and Mason that I want to be. This journey is not complete and will never be complete. I have learned from older Masons, younger Masons, even from candidates asking the question that makes me delve deeper into the mystic art and my own beliefs to provide an answer.
I was recently honored to be elected to the 33° in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Not only that, but I was the Exemplar at the Degree for the Orient of Georgia. My gratitude knows no bounds. As I entered the auditorium, I noted that the room was full of Brothers each of whom I hold in great esteem. All of these men that have achieved great success in our Fraternity were gathered there and many had studied and practiced in order to be able to confer the most remarkable degree I have ever experienced. They were there for me and my fellow candidates. How could we not be grateful?
We are bound to our Craft, our Lodge, our Brethren by the gratitude that should inspire us to do the one thing that is required of us: Do the Work.
Most Worshipful Grand Master Donald C. Combs is one of those that does the work.