Monday, January 9, 2012

Installation Speech by WB Scott K. Bellis DeKalb Lodge

Speech Delivered by WB Scott K. Bellis on December 30, 2011 at the Installation of Officers of DeKalb Lodge #144 A.F. & A.M. :

Members of DeKalb Lodge, honored Brethren, friends and family I welcome you here today and thank you for your presence on this special occasion. Thank you to my Installing Officers, under the direction of Most Worshipful Past Grandmaster Daniel Yandel. You did a superb job of installing all of the incoming officers today.
Thank you, also, to the brethren who have agreed to be officers for the upcoming year. With this collection of able men, we are bound to have an extraordinary year.
There have been many famous members of the Fraternity that I admire, but one that truly inspires me is Brother Theodore Roosevelt. Brother Roosevelt, said in 1902, “ One of the things that attracted me so greatly to Masonry…was that it really did live up to what we, as a government, are pledged to --- of treating each man on his merits as a Man.” On March 4, 1905, Brother Roosevelt took the Oath of Office for the second time. He was sworn in with the same Bible used when he was sworn in as Governor of New York in 1898, and it was opened to James 1:22-23. This says:
22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
I would like for every member of this lodge to heed these words this year. Do not go about merely hearing the words of our Fraternity, but take notice of them, listen to them, and practice them. Freemasonry is a system of morality, precepts, tenants and principles all designed to make good men better; better men more honorable; and more honorable men wiser. By observing these principles, and learning the skills of our calling, we are made better husbands; better fathers; better sons; and better brothers. Masonry is religious but Masonry is not a religion. The lessons of Freemasonry from the sacred volume, teach us that we owe respect and honor to God, our neighbors, our families and ourselves. These truths give us the knowledge and inspiration to improve ourselves as men and Masons and to endure the rough valleys of our journey ahead.
There are two quotes from Brother Roosevelt’s Inaugural speech that day that I find pertinent to this group of officers and our year ahead:

“Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither.”

In addition:

“There is no good reason why we should fear the future, but there is every reason why we should face it seriously, neither hiding from ourselves the gravity of the problems before us nor fearing to approach these problems with the unbending, unflinching purpose to solve them aright.”
Inaugural Address of Theodore Roosevelt, SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 1905
Masonry has become a very important part of my life. It has helped me to develop trust in God, and more importantly trust in a Brother or mankind. Why am I a Freemason? Because I am proud to be a man who wants to keep the moral standards of life at a high level and leave something behind that others will benefit from. As I become better, I can help others do the same. Masonry has given me tools of moral and ethical truths. I have become part of a brotherhood that transcends all ethnic, cultural, social, educational and religious differences. So as I continue this journey that leads me to understanding myself and fellow human beings I leave you with one last quote from Brother Theodore Roosevelt:

“We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less. The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.”
New York State Fair, Syracuse, September 7, 1903

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