Brother Gray is a Past Master of Cotner Lodge #297, a member of the York Rite Bodies of Lincoln, Lincoln Chapter #6, Lincoln Council #4, and Mount Moriah Commandary #4, a member of the Lincoln Scottish Rite, Degree Director for the 18th Degree and was invested as 32° KCCH in 2015.
Donald C. J. Gray, Jr., 32° KCCH
Venerable Master, Lodge of Perfection
Brother Donald Gray grew up in Hastings, Nebraska and graduated from Hastings High School in 1961. He attended the University of Nebraska, Hastings College, and the University of Pittsburgh. With his grand parents and great-grand parents having been involved in many Masonic organizations as he grew up, starting his Masonic journey in high school as a member of DeMolay wasn’t a surprise.
Brother Gray joined the U.S. Navy in 1963 and while home on Christmas leave in 1967 was initiated as an Entered Apprentice and passed as a Fellow Craft on December 28th and on December 29th,1967 was raised as a Master Mason in Mid-West #317 in Hastings, Nebraska. He returned to his home-port of Groton, Connecticut and joined a Lodge there to prove up. While still stationed there he maintained both memberships until four years latter he and his family were transferred to a new assignment and then maintained only his Mid-West #317 membership.
Brother Gray retired from the Nebraska Public Service Commission in 2013, has been married to his wife Barbara for 52 years, and has 3 children and 1 grand daughter.
I was asked not long ago how what title should be used when introducing or referring to another Mason. I’ll have to admit I was stumped at the time for the specific title and then I remembered a part of one of the first lectures from the Entered Apprentice Degree. “. . .more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honorable than the Star and Garter . . . or any other order conferred upon you by king, prince. potentate, except he be a Mason,.” The answer was obvious – no matter our title or position we are all Brothers.
Over the last 49 years I have seen many changes in the Masonic Fraternity but one that has stayed universal is membership enlistment and engagement. One could say in many respects that I am part of the “old-guard” but it is the “new-guard” that will keep us strong and growing.
My challenge for 2016 is to help us learn to grow with the men of today and keep them as a vital part of our fraternity. Times have changed and we need to learn how to change with them.