Brother Mike Register Joins Grand Line12.10.2019
Mike Register did not see it coming.
“It took me totally by surprise,” WB Register said as he described the day Grand Master-Elect Shaun Bradshaw approached him, asking him to join the Grand Line as Junior Grand Steward.
The two were chatting at “Lynch Lodge,” the quarterly informal Saturday morning “lodge” at Brother Steve Lynch’s home in Burlington when the question came.
“Never in my life did I think this would be something I would be asked to do. So many thoughts crossed my mind. This is so humbling.” The GM-elect asked him to give it some thought.
And he did.
He and his wife, Ann Margaret, talked about it when he returned home that day, considering the honor and the commitment that comes with it: time, hard work and expenses. Brothers moving up along the Grand Line get very little reimbursement for travel or official visits. It’s a personal gift they offer as part of the work.
Ann Margaret was all for it: She is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and Masonry runs in her family as her father and step- father are both masons.
Brother Register didn’t keep GM-elect Bradshaw waiting. He accepted with joy and gratitude.
“I have a lot I have to learn about this work,” Register said. “I feel that I should get more involved now. It takes more than a couple of years to learn what I’ll need to know,” he said. “I don’t take this honor lightly.”
Michael Allen Register, 58, is a member of Pilot #493, Lux Libertas #772 and Sophia #767.
He has twice served as a master, first at Saint Johns #3 in 1995-1996 and most lately at Pilot lodge from 2016-2017. He has served as a committee member on the Board of General Purposes, Board of Custodians and the Risk Management Committee, and currently is a trustee at Lux Libertas.
He retired as the Chief of the Trent Woods Police Department and after a serving as a field services representative for the North Carolina Department of Justice for several years He is now a law enforcement training coordinator and instructor at Rowan Cabarrus Community College.
Brother Mike became a Mason in 1986 after he noticed that his best friend had gotten involved with a group that took a lot of his time and attention. He asked his friend what was happening and he learned his friend had joined a Masonic lodge. It was only a matter of time before Brother Mike “asked the question.” It was only then that he learned, when he mentioned to his mother that he was joining the Masons, that his father had been a Mason since 1958.
“I know my grandfather was a Mason because he talked about it and he even took me and my grandmother to lodge sometimes for special nights,” he said. He later learned that they were both members of the Eastern Star, and that his grandfather was a past master and past secretary of his lodge. “But my dad never once mentioned it.”
Even though his father kept his own counsel when it came to Freemasonry, he did not hold back when Brother Mike told him he was joining.
“When I put my petition in, we talked about it. He said, ‘This is going to be the best thing you have ever done in your life. I’m proud of you.’”
Brother Mike has never looked back. His life has been shaped and guided by the principles of Masonry.
“I would not be the person I am without it,” he said. “If not for Masonry, I would not have met 95 percent of the people I’ve come to know and consider friends and brothers. One of the greatest gifts this has given me is the people I have met.”
Brother Mike is eager to take on this new work, and especially welcomes working with WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community. His father lived at WhiteStone for a year before he passed, rooming with the father of Brother Alvin Billings. The two roommates became dear friends in the process, as did their sons.
“There is not a thing I wouldn’t do to assist at WhiteStone,” he said. “It is truly a care center, not a rest home. The people who work and care for residents there are angels.”