Brother Gerald R. Ford (1913 – 2006) was Initiated into Freemasonry on September 30, 1949, in Malta Lodge No. 465. (Grand Rapids, Michigan). At the same ceremony his blood brothers: Thomas Gardner Ford (1918-1995), Richard Addison Ford (1924-) and James Francis Ford (1927- ) also became Freemasons.
Subsequently Gerald Ford received the degrees of Fellow Craft and Master Mason in Columbia Lodge No.3, Washington, D.C., on April 20 and May 18, 1951 respectively. This was a Masonic courtesy to extended at the request of Malta Lodge.
Years later Ford became a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, and Honorary Member, Supreme Council A.A.S.R. Northern Jurisdiction at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, on September 26, 1962, for which he served as Exemplar (Representative) for his Class.
President Ford's personal opinons about Freemasonry can be found preserved in a speech he gave at the Unveiling Ceremony at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia, February 17th, 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 12 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"
During the same speech, Ford took a moment to reflect on the words of George Washington:
"...In a letter in 1798 to the Grand Lodge of Maryland, Washington used some words that are now especially appropriate. Washington told the order that he "conceived it to be the indispensable duty of every American ... to come forward in support of the government of his choice, and to give all the aid in his power towards maintaining that independence which we have so dearly purchased. Such involvement by every American is as essential today as it was in George Washington's day. I do express to all of you my deepest thanks for this tribute, and I ask that we resolve together to honor George Washington and America by perpetuating the national heritage he engendered through the principles which guide our order-friendship, morality, and brotherly love. I thank you very, very kindly"
The Grand Lodge of Scotland is grateful to Brother Llyr Mercer for the provision of the above information.
Visitors who wish to know more about the Masonic life and Career of President Brother Ford may like to visit the web site of Acacia Lodge, No. 16, based in Clifton, Fairfax County, Virginia. To go there click here or on previos links. Remember to use the back button to return to this web site.