by Senior Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott
2020 has been tough on all of us with the pandemic that has swept across the world, politics that have divided us, social and civil unrest as voices try to be heard, and what at times can appear to be an uncertain future. It can be easy to be caught up with what is wrong with the world.
However, this year has left me grateful to be a member of this awesome fraternity. When I obtained a new job in January, I received numerous notes and phone calls of congratulations. When my father passed away this summer, brothers from the lodges I am a member of (Ogden No. 754, Homer No. 199, and St. Joseph No. 970), came and helped with the service and were there to comfort my family. Upon receiving word that I had been elected to receive the 33rd degree from the Scottish Rite NMJ, again it was these Masonic brothers who called me and again sent notes of congratulations. It is these brothers that I have called or texted with when I need to ask an opinion or just talk with someone I trust.
For me, Freemasonry has always been about the brothers I have these shared experiences with. That common bond that brings us together to meet with one another and to grow and learn from each other. I am grateful for the experiences they share with me, to help me become a better person.
Like every organization I have ever been associated with, Freemasonry could improve on a number of fronts. Yes sometimes our meetings are boring and someone might ramble on too long about the roof or those brothers who are delinquent on dues. I have spent my career working in higher education, and I can think of numerous times when a certain professor went on for what seemed like an hour over a trivial thing. But these things are part of the package you get when you join or are part of anything.
I also want to convey my thankfulness to all of you, the readers of the Midnight Freemasons. For many years you have allowed me and fellow Midnight Freemasons to come into your home, lodge room, or other places to share our thoughts, travels, and views on our amazing fraternity. The notes that you have sent us, the comments left on social media, the conversations we have had in person, serve as the inspiration to all of us who write for this blog and provide the motivation to continue into the future.
Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season.
WB Gregory J. Knott is a founding member and Senior Contributor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign-Urbana. He is also a member of ANSAR Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg serves on the Board of Directors of The Masonic Society and is a member of the Scottish Rite Research Society and The Philathes Society. He is a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and serves as its Secretary. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts—an Eagle Scout himself, he is a member of the National Association of Masonic Scouters. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org