Grand Master's Message


A. Gene Cobb

Grand Master A. Gene Cobb

Let's Go to Work!

When I was growing up in Roanoke Rapids, we lived in a small, two-bedroom house on Williams Street. My father worked at the local paper mill. My mother was a clerk at a jewelry store on Roanoke Avenue. Before we started going to school, my younger brother and I would always take our father’s lunchbox to him before he went to the mill. He would receive it with a proud look on his face and say, “Let’s go to work!”

In March of 1991, my dad died at age 55. My mother followed him in May of 2016. During that time in between and since, I have often reflected on the smiles, love, joy, and happiness they gave their family and community and wondered, what if we practiced Masonry that way?

On September 24, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina elected its officers for the ensuing year. Your gracious affirmation of all of us is an honor and privilege that we receive with humble confidence and we are ready to go to work. Having served directly in the Grand Lodge with Bryant Webster, Doug Caudle, Dalton Mayo, Dewey Preslar, Bob Gresham, Lew Ledford, Billy Dill, Dan Rice, Dave Cash, Gene Jernigan, Leonard Safrit, Charles Lewis, Charles Ingram, and Bill Simpson, I am extremely grateful for their presence in all of our lives. Every other past grand master has helped shape who we are today because when it was time, they went to work.

Now it is our time to go to work. Our goals this year are simple.

First, in recognition of the longest serving grand master in our history, William Richardson Davie, our district deputy grand masters and I will be working this year with lodges to help them in five distinct areas of excellence: education, patriotism, philanthropy, membership, and assimilation into our various communities. The Lion and Pillar Lodge of Excellence award for lodges will hopefully one day be respected as much as the Montfort Medal is for our members.

Second, all of us understand the importance of faith, hope, and charity. As a United Methodist pastor by vocation, I believe God made every human being good. As a Mason, I believe we are acting according to the will and pleasure of God whenever the highest thoughts, the greatest achievements, and the most noble deeds directs us concerning our purity of life and rectitude of conduct. I will never feel bad about asking anyone to do what we promised on our knees at the altar to do. Count on it.

Third, as we take up our working tools for the year ahead, we give thanks to the Supreme Architect of the Universe for the blessings of those who have gone to work with a smile and sense of duty and purpose. I’ll say more about them later, but for now let’s go to work!