In our video, Ill. Douglas R. Policastro 33°, Deputy for New Jersey, shares the Masonic legacy that spans four generations of his family. Watch this interview to hear his touching story and read the full Q&A to learn what Freemasonry and family mean to him.
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: Back in Christmas of 1973, my grandfather passed away and he was a District Deputy Grand Master - the first one out of my Blue Lodge, Ocean Lodge number 89. I wasn't really that familiar with Freemasonry. My dad is a Freemason and he'd have a Trestle Board that used to sit on his desk.
And at the bottom it always used to say “for Master Masons only.” So, I never looked at it because it wasn't for me.
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: When I attended my grandfather's funeral, it was just a few days before Christmas. It must have been like 30, 35 individuals that came out on a Saturday morning to pay tribute to him at his funeral.
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: That was a moving experience for me, to the point that that Christmas, a few days later, I sent a note to my dad asking him to allow me to become a Master Mason. I remember sitting in a Lodge with my dad a few years later. There was a degree going on.
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: It was a Fellowcraft degree and they were doing the lecture.
And I looked at my father and said, “I can do that.” And my father says, “You, are you serious?” And I said, “Dead serious.” He goes, “Then you'd better get in the line.” So I went through the line, became master of my Lodge twice, went on through Grand Lodge, became a district Deputy Grand Master Grand order, and eventually I rose to the ranks of Grand Master Mason to the state of New Jersey
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: When I was Grand Master, both my sons - I have twin sons - became the age of 21 and I was able to raise both of my sons while I was Grand Master. So, there's like four generations right there. My grandfather, my father, myself, and my sons. I loved the idea of tradition because of the fact that you're, you're building upon something that somebody started and it's deep within the family, and we all are doing the same thing the same way for all intents and purposes.
But yet, things do change from time to time. But just the idea that I was able to relive what my father and my grandfather had done,
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: to me could never, there's nothing that could ever change that. It just makes me feel, um, emotional. It makes me feel proud. And, I'm proud because I'm doing something that my grandfather started by joining the organization and I respected him a lot.
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: So to be able to do what he did as far as going through Ocean Lodge, going through the chairs, becoming a District Deputy Grand Master, it made me connect deeper with my grandfather.
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: The significance of all us joining the same organization in the same lodge is extremely meaningful to me because you stop and think “What would I want for my children to do?”
Whether they would want to join the same organization that I would want to join or do the same thing that I would want to do. That would be the same thing that my father would want to do, the same thing that my grandfather would want to do. So just the idea that they became involved…
Brother Douglas R. Policastro 33°: …that they wanted to join, it just means the world to me.
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