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Focus on the basics|
Grand Masters Annual Address:-
June 19, 2009
Four years ago, you elected me to the office of Junior Grand Warden. Under the guidance of the late M.W. Bro. James C Gordon, I have tried to fulfill all the duties assigned to me while serving on the Grand Line and as your Grand Master.
It seems like only yesterday that M.W. Bro. Robert McSween was at the helm. Then M.W. Bro. Isaac Brower-Berkhoven and last year M.W. Bro. Stephen Godfrey. He was the toughest to follow, he was always quoting people I had never heard of.
I started my year by visiting my own lodge, Maple Leaf Park No. 63, on June 22, 2008. To visit one's Mother Lodge as Grand Master is a very humble but gratifying experience.
I would especially like to thank those members of Maple Leaf Park Lodge No 63 and the Lodges of District No 13 for their great support over the past four years. A special thanks the "Mook"committee.
I was not able to attend Burrard Lodge No.50, for their Centennial. But that visit was ably covered by your Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Brian Tuckey and the late M.W. Bro. James C. Gordon.
I attended the following Special Occasions:
July 1, 2008 The Shrine of North America Imperial Convention in St. Louis.
Aug 2 Yancey C Blalock Lodge at Granite Falls, Washington for their open air degree.
Aug 8. Visited Cariboo No 4.( exceptional weekend)
August 16 Kitimat Lodge No. 169 for their 50th Anniversary.
August 30 Admiral Lodge No. 170 for their 50th Anniversary and the re-dedication of their Lodge by the Grand Lodge Officers.
Sept 8 I felt very proud to represent the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon at the Scottish Rite Supreme Council Session in Vancouver, the Gizeh Shriners Installation in January 2009 and also, the Van Zor Grotto installation in Richmond.
Sept 8 I represented Grand Lodge at the opening in Vancouver of the Scottish Rite School for Children with Dyslexia. Also the Scottish Rite Supreme Council.
Sept 15 The Grand Director of Ceremonies, R.W. Bro. Ken Davies and I visited Alinto Lodge No 42 in Whitehorse.
Sept 30 Constituted Excelsior Lodge No. 195 and presented them with their Lodge Warrant.
March 21 RWB Davies and I attended a Table Lodge at Griesbach Lodge No 191 in Edmonton, Alberta under the Grand Lodge of Alberta.
April 25, 2009 Creston Lodge No.54 for their 100th Anniversary
May 16 The Grand Lodge Officers re-dedicated Victoria Columbia Lodge No. 1 on their 150th Anniversary. Lt. Governor, His Honour Stephen Point and his Lady Her Honour, Gwendolyn Point, graciously attended the evening banquet. The Mayor, His Worship Dean Fortin and his wife Donna Sanford were also in attendance.
May 30 Summerland Lodge No 56 to help dedicate a cairn, in a city park, on the occasion of their 100thAnniversary under the guidance of RW B Orville Robson and RWB Len Wyllie and the Grand Director of Ceremonies, RWB Ken Davies The evening Banquet was exceptional, good food and well attended by the Lodge members. The mayor of Summerland Her Worship Janice Perrino and her husband Ben Perrino were in attendance.
A proud moment was to attend a meeting at Trinity Lodge No. 98 when my wife's second cousin was raised to a Master Mason; this was the first time that I met Brother Brian Schott.
In September I attended, with the Brothers of True Resolution Lodge, Prince Hall Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of Washington and Jurisdiction and the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, who held a joint celebration of mutual recognition of both Grand Lodges celebrating the historic recognition of each Grand Lodge in 1997.This recognition event was attended by the two Past Grand Masters that cemented this relationship in 1997 .Most Worshipful Brother Clark M Gilmour and Most Worshipful Brother Rheubottom .
With October came the Western Canada Conference in Canmore, Alberta and in March, the Deputy Grand Master, R.W. Bro. Tuckey and I attended the All Canada Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
JEWELS AND CHARITY.
I cannot remember the countless number of 50 year jewels that I presented on behalf of Grand Lodge a large number 60 year bars and one 65 year certificate, or the amount of money that I received for our Grand Lodge charity. I thank each and every Lodge for their contribution to our great philanthropy.
When I was elected Grandmaster I choose "Focus on the Basics" as my theme. I feel that, through the hard work and perseverance of the Dedicated District Deputy's my Theme has been accomplished.
I was very fortunate that every District Deputy, performed far beyond my expectations. At year end, some of them actually sat down with the Lodge Secretaries to help them with their Annual Returns. At April 1, 2009 19 Lodges had not filed their annual return. This is thirty days after the required filing date, some the DDGMs and I started to make phone calls to delinquent lodges.. By May 1st all lodges had filed except one. I received an E-mail on May 22/09 with the required information, the required assessments arrived a few days later.
Brethren, this is NOT GOOD, it should not take a Lodge with 54 members, five months to complete their annual return. Grand Lodge needs these reports and money to enable Grand Lodge to function on a sound financial basis.
GRAND LODGE BUSINESS
When Annual returns are late, it holds up the Finance Committee and the year end Membership count, the Budget, the Receivables and the Cancer Car assessments. As I said last June, if your Lodge is having trouble, call Grand Lodge and we will get you help.
This year, it appears that we have lost 305 members. However, this can be attributed mainly to members that have demitted from a second or third Lodge.
Our work is not complete. If each lodge gained 2 members that would increase our membership by 300 less demits, we would breakeven.
In January Ill Sir James Druchet the Potentate of Gizeh Shriners and I set up a committee for membership and recruitment. The Shriners supplied a chairman and four members and I appointed 4 Masonic Brothers to serve on that committee.
Our office equipment and technical system still lacks the expertise in tracking our members . We know that we have 10,077 memberships, but if a member demits from two Lodges, our membership drops to 10,075. In fact they didn't leave the Craft; they probably still hold membership on their Mother Lodge. The new memberships are very close to covering the deaths that occur during the fiscal year.
We have had our struggles at the Grand Lodge Office with Mrs. Sheila Gordon off work to be with her husband. The loss of our esteemed Grand Secretary and Brother, the late MW Bro. James C. Gordon was a terrible blow to my self and the staff of Grand Lodge office. However Mrs. Betty Parker and VW Bro. Trevor W. McKeown worked extremely hard to keep up. In March I hired RW Bro. George Moore to work with the office staff to lessen some of the burden in the Grand Lodge office. And I thank him for his dedication and expertise.
All have worked diligently to keep things moving smoothly and I sincerely thank them, I also wish to thank all the Committees for a job well done.
I personally want to thank The Richmond Masonic Building Association for providing funds to up grade our telephone system, up grading three computers and the purchase of one new one. We are also need to update our Photo Copier. RWB Moore has suggested, and after careful consideration and analyst in conjunction with RWB Paterson the Grand Treasurer we all agree that we need to replace our copier. By leasing a new one the operating cost to Grand Lodge would not increase but the down time would be greatly reduced.
I believe the role of the Regional Representatives needs to be addressed .So far I do not see them contributing a great deal of information or guidance on a day-to-day basis. Your Grand Master only hears from them four times a year. Most Reps do not communicate with the DDGMs. Most Masters do not know who they are or even what their role is. Some Reps bring items to the table that are the responsibility of a Grand Lodge committee.
Every year three districts are scrambling to find out how to elect a new Rep. Who takes charge? Who conducts the meeting? Why not have all Regional Reps be elected or appointed on the same year. Some argue the terms are offset for continuity. what continuity? the Regional Reps don't talk to the DDGMs. Why would a Rep from the McKenzie talk to a Rep from Surrey? I believe we have only created more paper work and more headaches. Let's give the power back to District Deputy where it should remain. I strongly believe this program is over rated and should be discontinued. The Reps that we have are well-qualified, intelligent freemasons; most do not know the Grand Master nor the Grand Master likewise know them. I feel that these Brothers would best serve Grand Lodge a whole lot better working on a committee.
FOCUS ON THE BASICS
Last June, I was elected Grand Master and I chose for my theme, "Focus on the Basics of Freemasonry. I believe that, through the District Deputy Grand Masters, my theme was accomplished. I was very fortunate that every District Deputy Grand Master performed far beyond my expectations.
One year ago I did not set out to change the world, but to ask the Freemasons to look into their hearts and extend the hand of friendship to other members in the craft and stop this childish bickering.
Recognize and get to know each other as a Brother and to understand that each occupation has its own special qualities and no one Freemason is in charge of intelligence.
We all have that grey matter. Some of us just take a little longer to react or reach our potential. Remember, we all start out with a photographic memory, but some of us are running low on film.
Thank you my Brothers, Also my wife Laura, and my family, RW Bro. Ken Davies and his lovely wife, Wendy, for being there for Laura and me, to add a smile and a lot of laughs throughout a wonderful, wonderful year.
Without the Grand Line and all Grand Lodge Officers I could not have survived. Best of luck to my successor and soon to be your new Grand Master, RWB Brian Tuckey and his Grand Line Officers.
My thanks to RW Bro. Ted Perry and RW Bro. Iain Macdonald, without whom this weekend would not have been possible.
Good luck to Very Worshipful Herbert Chow and Right Worshipful Murray Webster. Tomorrow, one of you will start a whole new and rewarding career in Freemasonry. If you get the co-operation from the Line officers, as has been the case since I was elected, it makes the rough spots a lot easier to handle. For the next two days keep notes for your first project: it will at the next board meeting. You will be expected to report on the 138th annual Grand Lodge proceedings of 2009.
God bless each and every one who helped me along the way and let us all celebrate a great 138th Grand Lodge and please "Focus on the Basics" of Freemasonry but have fun doing it.
Thank You- Thank You -Thank You
MW Bro. R. Glenn Allen, |
Grand Master 2008-2009