â€” Tom Jackson was the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
and presents this story of Masonic charity when it was needed most
One Saturday afternoon, after working in my garden, I went indoors to lie on the bed and listen to a Penn State football game. The telephone rang, and the caller was a representative of the Womenâ€™s Aid Society, calling from Texas. She told me that a young lady was on an airplane scheduled to land at the Philadelphia airport in one hour. Her sister, who lived in New Jersey, had been injured in an automobile accident, and she was arriving to take her home to Texas. She knew no one to contact and had no way to get to New Jersey. The only thing she could tell the Womenâ€™s Aid Society was that “her daddy was a Mason.”
This lady called the Grand Lodge of Texas who referred her to my office at the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. One of the employees who happened to be in the office on Saturday gave her my home telephone number.
I went to the airport and after a two-hour search was able to locate the young lady. I learned from a Brother Mason who was a security officer how to get to the right small town in New Jersey. On the way there, the young lady told me that she needed to rent a truck to carry her sisterâ€™s furniture and clothing to Texas.Â They wanted to leave the next day.
I was unable to rent a truck that late at night, however being close to the Delaware border I called the Grand Secretary of Delaware at his home. He in turn made arrangements for four Members of one of Delawareâ€™s Lodges to come over Sunday morning, rent a truck, load it and get the young ladies started for Texas. I stayed until 3 a.m. helping them pack their belongings in boxes which I was able to obtain from a local store.
It is not significant that I was involved or, for that matter, that any single person was involved in this episode. The individual is not important.
What is important is our feeling of the need to respond due to a Masonic obligation. What is important is that five words, “My daddy was a Mason,” given to a non-Masonic organization in Texas precipitated a response that involved four states across a continent. What is important is that it reveals the continuing essence of Freemasonry, “The Brotherhood of Man.”
As long as we, as individual Members,feel the need to respond to this assumed obligation, we carry on the proud tradition credited to the Craft. We justify our existence. We give reason for an interest by others. We really maintain a reason for being. If each Brother would express and respond to this motivation to practice this “essence ” â€“ what a giant step for our survival!”