by Bro. Wayne T. Adams
Grand Lodge of Maine
Harry S. Truman, Past Grand Master of Missouri, proudly displayed a sign on his desk in the Oval Office which succinctly described the term Responsibility. It read ‘THE BUCK STOPS HERE”. That world-famous sign, in symbolic form, is forever displayed to all the brethren, silently resting upon the Master’s podium, in front of the Oriental Chair. You cannot escape it; it cannot be thrown away; it cannot be destroyed, or placed into another Brother’s hands. No matter how hard you may try to avoid it, “THE BUCK STOPS HERE” is that proverbial shadow which will never fade away. It is yours and your alone.
Everyone will take credit for increased membership, excellent ritual, a beautiful Lodge and good participation by the membership at all functions. Few will share responsibility for failure. You, as Master, will not be able to escape the responsibility for what occurs during your year. The Brethren know this. They long to hear a Master say:
“I wish to thank the brethren for the confidence they have reposed in me. The authority of the Oriental Chair is now in my hands for this Masonic year. I assume total responsibility for the leadership and management of this Lodge. I will give credit to everyone for the things that go well, and I will carry the burden of blame for that which does not go well. My Brethren, I know that, ‘THE BUCK STOPS HERE’.”