Roger: All right, most Worshipful Brother Don Munks. Thanks for joining me this morning. I have a couple of quick questions for you. First of all, Most Worshipful why did you become a Mason?
Don Munks: Well, my dad was a Mason. My father-in-law was a Mason. I always knew at some point and time I would become a Mason. That never was a problem. I always figured I was too busy to join. I didn’t feel I had the time, which was maybe just a way for me to procrastinate. I really regret that I didn’t join when I was younger, because I’ve only been a Mason for 13 years. I haven’t had all the past experiences that a lot of others have had, which I wish I did.
Roger: Why do you remain active in the fraternity?
Don: Because it’s done so many things for me. First as a man, as a husband, as a father. It is a fraternity that you can walk into and feel extremely comfortable when you’re around your brothers. It’s not like you have to make pretenses. It’s not like you have to pretend to be somebody else. You can be yourself, you can be natural. Everybody there is extremely willing to help you without expecting favors in return.
Roger: In your own words what would you say is the purpose of the Masonic Fraternity?
Don: The old cliché, ‘making good men better’ really isn’t a cliché. It’s something that really happens. We do it in a lot of different ways. It’s from watching what others do. It’s from seeing the activity that others are involved in. It’s that sense of belonging to a group that is really doing something for society. That’s really doing something within your communities for those that are most valuable, the youngest, the oldest. We really stand up for setting the example for being the civil leaders in our community, in our state, in our country. Those are just some of the things that I just feel are so important that come some easy by being a member.
Roger: If there was one thing that you felt that Masons could help you improve in your life what would that be? How would it matter in your life? In other words, what else could Masonry do today to accomplish its purpose with Don Munks?
Don: Masonry helped me better understand who I am. It was our self-teaching. It made me think more about me as an individual and how I react and treat others around me, whether it be in my family, or friends, or community. That was something that was extremely important. It continues to help me grow on a continual basis by seeing so many other individuals and how they act and how they have changed because of their involvement. I guess, it’s kind of a difficult question to answer but it’s just something that has made me better understand who I am, and continues to keep doing that every day. Along with that, it fulfills me as an individual with the philanthropy that we are all involved in.
Roger: Two more questions. One, is the mission of Freemasonry today different than the mission it had before, and how do you see the mission evolving in the future?
Don: Yeah, I think it’s a lot different. The difference being that Masons a hundred years ago or whatever were the Aristocrats, they were the wealthy, they were the ones that did for those that were dis-advantaged in their community. They were who everybody turned to. They set the examples. They had kind of an elitist society at that time.
We’re a little bit different because our membership has drastically changed because we have components of just about every kind of occupation that there is.
Roger: How do you see it evolving into the future?
Don: I see us as setting the example with our stability. We are active and involved in our community, gaining back the distinguished look that our communities had for us generations ago. We’re still going to have to continue with philanthropy. We’re going to have to be more passive and open in society. We tried to keep secret everything we do. We’ve tried to not, I guess you’d say, brag about who we are or what we do. We’ve got to get away from that. We’ve got to get to a point where society starts to understand who were are so we can have an influence on them.
Roger: Final question, and it is fairly convoluted because it’s difficult to articulate. How can you help a perspective Masonic brother whose sole familiarity with our fraternity may be either like, my grandfather was one, or my uncle was one, to recognize the relevance and importance of the fraternity today? Why our brotherhood is just as relevant to him today as it was to his forefathers?
Don: That is a difficult one. I think the best way is to help that young person understand that we’re not a whole lot different than we were when his grandfather was a Mason, although we’ve changed in membership. We have changed some in what we do in our lodges, in our community. We still have the same basic practices that we had when his grandfather was there. However, we are ever evolving with the age of technology. We have an opportunity to see and hear a lot more input from different people about what they perceive to be changes that are occurring.
It’s going to be a lot faster, I keep wanting to say change, but a there is a far faster transition that will happen in the future than what is happening right now. I think that we can offer young people who have respected their grandparents or their dad for being a Mason a betterunderstanding for how important Masonry was to those people that they looked at and respected. Now, we have the opportunity to do a lot more today and in the future than we ever did in the past because of technology.
Roger: Most Worshipful, thank you for time. I hope to talk to you soon and if not, Merry Christmas.
Don: Merry Christmas to you, Roger. I appreciate the phone call.