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Introducing, Rick Gabbard, a Face of Ohio Freemasonry

By June 19, 2019February 17th, 2021No Comments

We are still celebrating the amazing support we’ve seen for our Faces of Ohio Freemasonry campaign. We’re continuing to feature interviews with this year’s winners right here on our blog. This week’s Face of Ohio Freemasonry is: Rick Gabbard

What town do you live in?       

Franklin, Ohio

To which lodge(s) do you belong?

I am a member of Germantown Lodge 257 ( Germantown, OH) (Worshipful Master)

Twin Valley Chapter # 240 (Farmersville, OH)

Adoniram Council # 131 (Miamisburg, OH)

Valley Commandery # 80 (Miamisburg, OH)

AASR Valley of Dayton (Dayton, OH)

What is your profession?

I am a Firefighter and Paramedic with Miami Valley Fire District in Miamisburg, OH

How long have you been an Ohio Freemason? When did you first join?

I have been a Mason for 6 years. I was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on 04/05/2013 (Inspection Candidate).

What inspired you to join a Ohio Freemasonry?

There are a few reasons I became a Freemason. The most obvious reason is man’s curiosity about the questions that he cannot find the answers to by himself. Masonry is riddled with questions and mystery and the answers can only be gathered when you are an ACTIVE member of a lodge. 

The second reason is a family tradition as my great-grandfather and great-uncles were Masons. They were the men who all the little boys in my family looked up to and wanted to be like. They were leaders and givers who never expected anything in return.

Where in the world can you belong to an order where you could practice rituals that is untainted by man and technology, as your great-grandfather did decades before you? Being a Mason will teach you values that you would not find anywhere else in society.

What does being a Freemason meant to you?

Freemasonry is sharing the values of our nation’s founding fathers; men who believe in the brotherhood of man. It means becoming a better person while helping to improve the quality of life for others. Forming deep and lasting friendships that transcend the boundaries of race, religion and culture. Most of all, being a Mason means the kind of deep satisfaction that comes only from selfless giving; from doing for others without asking, or expecting, anything in return.  

What is the most important thing you’ve learned or gained through Ohio Freemasonry?

One of the most amazing things is that in every lodge every brother is equal and compassionate. A real man does not intentionally cause pain but is sensitive to the needs of others. He cares about other people’s happiness and is empathetic in their sorrows. This lesson has made me a better firefighter and paramedic.

There is no special treatment just because of your social status. In the lodge, all brethren are treated equally, just as all people should be treated outside of the lodge. It’s just amazing to see men from all over the world – of different races and religions – all getting along and keeping the masonic traditions alive.

How do you remain mindful of Masonic values in your day to day life?

In my everyday life, I remain mindful of my Masonic values by wearing square and compasses on my radio strap at work. This is to remind me of the obligations of the degrees and what the square and compasses represent. I try to make a positive influence in all the lives that I see in my profession during the difficult times families are having when they call for help. I think having the badge as part of my uniform shows the families comfort knowing or seeing there is a Freemason on the scene to help them. I always try to stay true to the Masonic values of being a good man, citizen, and Freemason.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a new Mason?

When you become a Freemason, don’t just walk through the motions of the degrees, really become a MASON. Ask questions to the mentors who will be willing to teach you and keep seeking more light in Masonry. Also, be humble, study YOUR version of The Volume of the Sacred Law (Bible) so that you may better serve your God, fellow man and yourself, be obedient to the laws of your country, and practice the acts of brotherly love, relief and truth. Use your talents to the best of your abilities in the lodge to make it better than it was when you joined.  

What are your goals / aspirations within the Craft?

I have set some goals within the Craft and having only been a Mason for 6 years I have been able to achieve one of those goals already. That goal was to become the Worshipful Master of a lodge and to become a great leader of the lodge and an example to young and new Masons to follow. 

Another goal I have within the Craft is to never stop learning about Masonry and gaining further light in Masonry. I hope to one day be a Knight of York Cross Honor Mason and a 33 degree Mason. I strive to lead and set great examples for the future generations of Masonry. I don’t lead Masonry, rather it leads me through my travels and experiences throughout life.   

Learn about some other faces of Ohio, like Jason French or George Moore.