I have always felt that the real purpose of government is to enhance the lives of people and that a leader can best do that by restraining government in most cases instead of enlarging it at every opportunity.
Gerald Ford (14 July 1913 – 26 December 2006)
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977.
Gerald R. Ford was initiated into Freemasonry on September 30, 1949. He later said in 1975:
When I took my obligation as a Master Mason—incidentally, with my three younger brothers—I recalled the value my own father attached to that order. But I had no idea that I would ever be added to the company of the Father of our Country and twelve other members of the order who also served as Presidents of the United States.
Masonic principles—internal, not external—and our order’s vision of duty to country and acceptance of God as a Supreme Being and guiding light have sustained me during my years of Government service. Today especially, the guidelines by which I strive to become an upright man in Masonry give me great personal strength.
Masonic precepts can help America retain our inspiring aspirations while adapting to a new age. It is apparent to me that the Supreme Architect has set out the duties each of us has to perform, and I have trusted in His will with the knowledge that my trust is well-founded….
Entered: Sept. 30, 1949
Malta Lodge No. 465 in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Passed: May 18, 1951
Raised: May 18, 1951
Columbia Lodge No. 3, District of Columbia, conferred the degrees of Fellowcraft and Master Mason on Brother Ford as a courtesy to Malta Lodge on May 18, 1951. Brother Ford's adopted father, Gerald R. Sr., a 33rd degree Mason presented the lambskin apron.
Br. Ford received the Scottish Rite degrees in the Valley of Grand Rapids in 1957 and created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General Honorary 33rd degrees, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, in 1962. (This is the highest honor that can come to an honorary member of the Northern Supreme Council of the A.A.S.R.)
Joined Saladin Shrine Temple, A.A.O.N.M.A.S. in 1959.
Member of Court No. 11, Royal Order of Jesters.
Honorary Member, DeMolay Legion of Honor.
Br. Ford's first services to Freemasonry came when he was selected for the Eastern Team in the Shriner's East West Crippled Children game at San Francisco, January 1, 1935.