By Danny Thomas, 33ø
(From the October 1990 Fresno Scottish Rite Bulletin with credit to Kansas Masonic Bulletin)
The years found me an admirer of the great work the Masonic Order has been doing in making this world a better place for all of us to live. I have, for a long time, desired to be one of you and rejoice that now I can proudly boast of my membership in one of the world's greatest fraternal associations. I am grateful for those individuals who have in quiet ways motivated me in my work on behalf of unfortunate children. I am grateful for the high moment in my life when the doors of Freemasonry were opened to me. Since then I have had many pleasant times of fraternal fellowship and even opportunities for service in the work of many branches of Freemasonry.
Our Order, for now I can say, "our order," teaches, "the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God" and this is great! The world needs so desperately to discover the value of this great truth in human relationships and world affairs. It is also a truth that will motivate men and women to continue to explore avenues of service and areas of common concerns in order to restore a measure of sanity to the madness of our day and to enrich the quality of life for all peoples everywhere. Now I join hands and heart with you in all your endeavors of philanthropy and say we must not slacken our efforts "to do good to all," especially those with needs that will not be met if we fail in our common task of service to humanity.
On stage, screen, platform, and in private life I have always sought to bring a smile to the face of others and put a little joy in their lives. I am grateful now for the larger opportunity which is mine to adopt the tenets of Freemasonry as my own and hopefully be able to have a small part in spreading Masonry's message of love and caring to a larger audience, for wherever I go, I will be proud to tell others of my work and concern in behalf of all that you are doing, unselfishly, for others.
Someone once asked me why did I want to be a Mason and my reply was: "Because Masons care for those who cannot care for themselves." The Shriners have always been a favorite of mine because of their work for crippled and burned children. Also I am excited about efforts proposed at the recent Conference of Grand Masters in regard to drug abuse among young people.
It is great to be a Freemason! I am proud of what we are doing. I shall assist in every way I can our work of mercy, and it doesn't hurt to be a Brother with a "big mouth and lots of television cameras" to help get the message across. Masons are people of goodwill who want to "keep our kids alive" and we are doing this throughout the world. Our purpose is noble and humanitarian. Our labors will be crowned with success, for as Freemasons we will bring to our mission the best we have, regardless of what it demands from us in the way of sacrifice and service. We will make sure that in the tomorrows, life will be better for those who suffer today.
I was a Freemason in my heart long before I was accepted as a member in this great Fraternity. I was an out-sider but now I am one of you, and the remaining years of my life will be spent in seeking in some small way to say to all: "Thank you for making me a Freemason." I want always to make you laugh but I trust that I will also make you care and that now, together, we will put melody in the heart of the world that will sing of a better life for all people. The task challenges us to larger efforts and higher goals that will demand from all of us the best we have to make a better life for others. My promise to Freemasons everywhere is that I will give the task my best!