W. TERENCE STEPHENS 1928-2013
Deputy Grand Master, 1979
FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1978
From Proceedings, Page 1978-231:
Most Worshipful Grand Master, Distinguished Guests, Brethren:
It is indeed a pleasure and an honor which came to me today. I am joining a very impressive suite of Grand Lodge Officers. When you go through the annual return for the year and see all the Brethren who have held the office of Deputy Grand Master, including our Grand Master, it makes you say to yourself, "What am I doing here?" I mean, among Brethren of this nature and stature.
I said this to our Grand Master and he told me the same thing. He said that he sometimes wonders how they elected him Grand Master. After he told me this I felt a little better.
When the Grand Master spoke to me about the appointment as Deputy Grand Master, I told him that I thought that my work in Grand Lodge was more important, what I was doing in the Service Committee, and he told me if I felt this way that I would be touring the state with him and I could spread the message of our Grand Lodge programs. So since he appointed me, I have had two speaking engagements cancelled.
Brethren, this is a fact. I have received two "Dear John" letters since I accepted this appointment. So I was wondering what was going on.
He told me I could spread the message, but I am getting chopped off.
Brethren, these toasts that we had this evening are very appropriate because all of them mean something to me, particularly the one to the memory of our Departed Brethren. "May their contribution to our Brotherhood inspire us more earnestly to dedicate our lives to the service of our fellow man."
Since I have been District Deputy Grand Master these past two years, I have had two Brethren pass away in the Lowell Masonic District whom I was very fond of and both of them have sort of prodded me along in Masonry. I think that I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that these two Brethren, since I joined Masonry, have helped me so immensely that I can't say enough about them. They are our Most Worshipful Andrew G. Jenkins and our good brother Right Worshipful Calvin A. Burger.
Calvin, when he went into the hospital, called me up the night before and he was so disappointed that he couldn't make our last quarterly meeting. He told me about how he was going in for minor surgery, not knowing that, as some of us knew, this probably was his last trip to the hospital. Brethren, I only wish that both of these Brothers could be here this evening.
Andrew Jenkins would always say to me after a meeting, "Very nice job", and from the background he always made it a point to come to me and say, "Good, Terry, good job."
During the Christmas season, as we go into the stores and see everybody happy and everybody being nice to each other, I sometimes wonder why we cannot have this holiday spirit and true feeling of brotherhood and love all twelve months of the year instead of just having it one month.
Brethren, I have been so pleased with what has happened to me in Grand Lodge during the past few years, that I just can't say enough about all of the Grand Lodge Officers and the Brethren, the support I have received in my District, as well as in other Districts, and the friends that I have made. It is just a good feeling.
I also would like to just leave you with this message. I have been a strong supporter for years of our Grand Lodge programs through the Education Department, but mostly in the Service Department, and I feel one of the reasons I am here this evening is because of my involvement in the Service Department.
I know that some of you know that I am very active in the blood program in the state, as well as in our Grand Lodge. I am pleased to tell you that our Grand Lodge has the finest blood program in the state, the finest blood program in the country. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has the finest blood program in the whole country and this is largely the result of fraternal organizations. I am very proud when I go to meetings of the Red Cross, the response that I receive knowing that I represent Grand Lodge in blood collections in the state.
Brethren, during the past few years we have been on the mark of 12,000 or 13,000 pints of blood and I just say to all the Brethren who are here tonight, 700 plus, that if everybody went out and solicited, the word the Grand Master used originally but he has charged you, but I say solicit a pint of blood. If you would get someone in your family if you can't give yourself, our Grand Lodge blood program would then go to 15,000 to 20,000 pints of blood. I am convinced of this because later on in the year I am going to have more to say on the facts and figures of our blood program.
Brethren, I want to wish every one of you a prosperous and happy new year and from the bottom of my heart, I am very thankful that I have been appointed to this position of Deputy Grand Master, and Most Worshipful Grand Master, I thank you very much.