“True charity is the desire to be useful to others without the thought of recompense” – Emanuel Swedenborg.

I personally welcome all who have gathered here today for our hundredth-year celebration. A special thanks to the Brothers of our Bronx Lodges who have worked tirelessly in making this year’s journal one for the ages.

I extend best wishes to our 2018-2020 leadership team; R.: W.: Ray Vargas, (District Deputy Grand Master), R.: W.: TJ Carrizales, (Grand Director of Ceremonies) and the V.: W.: Keybe A. Paulino, (Assistant Grand Lecturer). Thank you for your service and dedication and for making the Bronx a better place by your undying devotion and service to the Bronx Lodges and their Brothers.

This year we are honoring the R.: W.: Louis H. Juers with a “Life Time Achievement Award” for his almost 60 years of dedicated service to Masonry and the Bronx Masonic District. His Love of craft and Love for his Lodge and the brothers of the Bronx District is noteworthy. As a collective group we thank the Lord for Louis Juers. Without Louie’s guidance, firm advice and Love these many years the Bronx might have gone in a different direction.

The Brothers of the Bronx since 1918 have made the pursuit of charity one of our most important Masonic endeavors Your Ad and Booster help us to raise funds which are used to support the charities we partner with and to run the many Bronx Masonic Programs. Each of you makes a difference in the lives of people you will never meet but whose lives are made better by your participation in this charity effort. These charities have varied missions; some shape the moral fiber of our children through Boy and Girl Scout programs, we support three Houses of Worship who continue to provide the moral support and nourishment that our souls require as well as community food banks and outreach services. We help our Masonic Home in Utica and a local hospital that brings comfort to families as a family member approaches the end of their life, we do four blood banks that provides hundreds of pints of blood and plasma to countless members of our community.

You may not see how your efforts impact others, and maybe if we did, asking for money would be easier. It is easier to react to a face, but the true gift of charity is that gift in silence, and the satisfaction that we have made a difference. I thank each and every one of you for your gift and I pray that you will continue to find the way to help others by your taking an Ad or booster. We may not be changing the world in a large way but we may be changing the world for the individual who has received assistance.

We thank each of you for your efforts and we pray that you have a year filled with health, happiness and love.