MWB Grindle, tell us how you first came to Freemasonry.
I first got involved in Freemasonry when I was a child. I would go to my Grandfather’s lodge for Christmas parties and those types of events. As I grew up and grew older I never had much interest in the Lodge or really knew what was going on. It was actually my Grandmother who said to me one time, “you know your Grandfather will never ask you to become a Mason, you have to ask him.” Of course what happened next was that at 39, I asked my grandfather and then the rest is history. I think it’s also important to talk about what kept me in Freemasonry. What kept me is a different answer than why I joined the fraternity. When I first joined the Lodge, after our first meeting I went to get a beverage with some of the Brothers from the lodge and that brotherhood we had there was incredible. The fact that these guys included me, not really knowing who I was, made me say, “wow these are a great group of guys that I wanna be around.” Moments like this keep me coming back to Lodge.
Tell us a bit about your home lodge and what makes it so special.
My home lodge is Toledo Fort Industry Lodge #144. The one event that we do annually is a sporting clay shoot and the brethren really enjoy getting involved. We also have the Fellowship of Meeting – that along with the sporting clay shoot stand out to me as the most prominent events for my lodge.
We also have a wide age variety in our lodge – we have some members who are older and that have recently joined the fraternity, we also have many younger members that have joined. We just recently had a second generation member that joined. It’s actually funny his dad was one of those guys I was talking about earlier that I had a lot of fun with when I first joined the Lodge. When I first met this new member he was probably one or two years old! Now, he’s 19 years old and a member of our lodge. The men of the Lodge come from all different backgrounds – we’ve got businessmen, workers, laborers, skilled labor, so it’s a variety of backgrounds. Lodge & Masonry is what brings us together because we don’t necessarily share a common background except Masonry.
Share your favorite memory from your time as a Freemason with us.
I have so many good memories, it is hard to choose just one. I would have to say that being elected and installed Grand Master of Masons in Ohio is definitely one of my best memories. If I am recalling something from my past I would have to say our lodge’s first Sporting Clay shoot in 2007 was just a great time with the brethren of my lodge and when I think of that day, it makes me smile.
What does the term “building brotherhood” mean to you?
Building Brotherhood means building those relationships and expanding upon them with brothers of the lodge and going outside of your comfort zone of that one, two, three, four brothers that you are there with but really making an effort to get to know the other brethren of the lodge. At its core though, it means to get to know the guys that you’re with and not just be in your “clique” if you will.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about this Masonic year?
A highlight of the year will be to go to the George Washington National Masonic Memorial for the cornerstone reenactment ceremony that will happen on February 21, 2023. I’m encouraging all of the Masons of Ohio to travel and go to that cornerstone ceremony and be a part of it. It’s the 100th celebration and reenactment of the cornerstone laying of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial. We anticipate that all of the Grand Masters from North America will be in attendance as well as brethren from all over the country as well.
Have you read Part 1 of our Conversation with MWB Steven Grindle? Read the first part of our conversation here.