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The journey from the Rough Ashlar to the Perfect Ashlar|
Grand Masters Installation Address:-
June 19, 2004
I stand before you today humbled by the honour you have bestowed upon me of becoming your Grand Master and, together with your Grand Lodge Officers, committed and determined to face the challenges that must be dealt with to further develop this organization that we all love and cherish. My theme, "The Journey from the Rough Ashlar to the Perfect Ashlar", involves making ourselves and our communities better places, both for your lodge in general, and for individual brethren in particular. It is a journey of challenges. It is a journey about change. And this change challenges all of us to grow and to adapt. Change is not something for us to fear or to resist. By embracing and promoting positive change we can learn more about whom we are and what we can accomplish.
We can make a difference by improving ourselves and by enriching our community, I ask you to join me in this journey.
We have, in Grand Lodge, allowed ourselves to become too complacent, and we must re-dedicate ourselves to continue this journey from the Rough Ashlar to the Perfect Ashlar. The world around us is changing at an accelerating pace. Our choice is simple. Adapt and thrive or fall behind. We face today, at this moment, very serious challenges. And we must face them squarely, with proper long term planning and a determination to meet them. They stem from a perceived lack of relevance of this organization and of the contributions of its members. The result is an ever-aging and unfortunately, shrinking membership. To survive we must adapt, we must embrace change, and we must immediately be seen by our community to be a relevant force of leadership in our society.
And my brothers, we must not waste one single minute in taking the steps to do so. So how will your Grand Lodge go about this? Certainly not without your help and support.
FIRSTLY, commencing immediately, we will begin an aggressive campaign to promote the good works of Freemasonry throughout the communities of this Grand Jurisdiction.
SECONDLY, we will, immediately, take steps to examine and to reduce all Grand Lodge expenditures. We will reduce the per capita. We will make Grand Lodge more efficient. Look at the example of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. They have reduced their per capita each year for the past four years. If they can accomplish this, so can we. We must. And we will. Count on it.
THIRDLY, on the other side of the ledger, we will increase our fund raising and we will immediately develop a fund raising strategy to grow the financial capabilities of Grand Lodge.
FOURTHLY, we will immediately take steps to promote greater public contribution to our Capital Funds thereby enabling our masonic charities to better assist our communities.
FIFTHLY, we will immediately take steps to encourage freemasons to become involved in volunteering with youth activities throughout this Grand Jurisdiction. These are attainable and measurable goals by which you may judge your Grand Lodge.
Your Grand Lodge intends to continue the initiative established by our recent Grand Masters:
John T. Harper (2000-2001) "Building Through Participation"
James C. Gordon 2001-2002) "Positive Thinking Freemasonry"
William O. Walls 2002-2003) "Actions Speak Louder than Words"
C. William Ferguson (2003-2004) "Lets Get to Work"
And I challenge you, and state in 2004: now is the time for action. We continue to develop and restructure the Board of General Purposes as an effective and operational body to ensure continuity in the governance of Grand Lodge. It is essential for our future that we do so.
We will also continue our commitment of strengthening the entire masonic family and work more closely with our concordant masonic bodies as they are what make up the wonderful, unique fabric of Freemasonry in this Grand Jurisdiction.
On behalf of the elected and appointed officers of your Grand Lodge and I really mean, Your Grand Lodge, let me assure you of our commitment and our determination to travel on this journey from the Rough Ashlar to the Perfect Ashlar.
We are in a wonderful time of trials and tribulations, looking for help. The help we are looking for is in one word change.
As a positive thinker I have never looked at a glass as half empty, always half full; never seen an obstacle that could not be used as a stepping-stone for something better or a challenge to try a change.
Together, with your help, we can, and will, make Freemasonry more relevant in our communities and more relevant in our lodges. We will increase the growth of the organization as a vital and effective leader in our community. It is our commitment to you. Count on it.
To the brethren of Salmon Arm, we all thank you for making this such a successful Grand Communication. We appreciate the difficulties you faced in arranging the facilities and accommodations and, with some minor changes, you were successful.
Brethren of our jurisdiction: we thank you so much for your attendance here. It sincerely helps in the making and governing of this Great Grand Lodge of ours so successful.
To the visitors: we have enjoyed your presence and we hope you have had a pleasant a time with us. Our next Grand Lodge will be in Penticton, BC in June 2005 and we wish you to bless us with your presence at that time also.
To the retiring officers and committee members of 2003-2004: thank you for your loyal work towards making this Grand Jurisdiction what it is and respected for.
To the new officers appointed: we thank you for accepting this challenge.
We are sure you will not regret the support we are asking of you and we know we will be successful. Again my brethren I ask you to join me in this journey"Now Is The Time For Action!"
MW Bro. William Unrau, |
Grand Master 2004-2005