Anyone who has seen any of the late night talk shows or has visited a comedy club will certainly have heard the line, “Oh man, that’s a tough act to follow,” after a performer walks on stage following a particularly brilliant performance, and those of you who know me may have heard me utter those very words in assuming the District Deputy Grand Master role for our district following in the footsteps of my predecessor, R∴W ∴William (Bill) H. Sohni.
Bill has personified the ideals of Masonry from so many perspectives that it’s almost impossible to list them all. To name but a few, there’s kindness, intelligence, knowledge, leadership, tolerance, and limitless Masonic love. Bill has always been there for me and has continually demonstrated his belief that being a good Mason means being a strong and impassioned leader, but at the same maintaining the qualities of a warm and compassionate man. It’s rare to find a “can-do” man, a man who’ll role up his sleeves and get in the trenches with you when you need him as Bill will. Bill is also a man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “no” when a Masonic task needs to get done, or when a problem facing a Brother or Lodge needs immediate action. Bill has added an amazing and indelible stamp to our district, and yes he is indeed a tough, really tough act to follow.
Nevertheless, I believe that each of us who ultimately assumes the role of District Deputy Grand Master brings a unique vision to the job, which is coalesced from a multitude of life’s experiences. No two individuals will find the same means to resolve a given issue as we each bring our own understanding to the common and uncommon problems with which we’re inevitably faced.
I strongly support the Grand Master’s message, which will be discussed in some detail during my official visits to the lodges in our district, and will strive to the best of my ability to encourage the practice of the highest precepts of brotherhood and personal evolvement consistent with the teachings of our beloved craft.
I deeply appreciate the trust invested in me by my district Brethren, an honor that I deeply treasure and cherish, and hope to deliver on the promise of the highest level of compassionate leadership consistent with the greatness of our craft to the “Charitable 7 th.”
R∴W∴ Bruce Zayde, District Deputy Grand Master of the Seventh Manhattan Masonic District (2012-2014)