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Strive for excellence|
Grand Masters Installation Address:-
June 23, 2012
I am deeply honoured and extremely grateful for the privilege of serving the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of British Columbia and Yukon for the coming year as its 133rd Grand Master. I am well aware of the trust you have bestowed in me and I will do my utmost to make you proud.
As you are aware I am a member of Tyee Lodge No. 66 in Prince Rupert and with my installation today I represent, depending upon the criteria used, the fourth up to the seventh Grand Master from Tyee Lodge. MW Bro Alex Manson (1925-26), MW Bro. Geddes Large (1955-56) and MW Bro. Alex Mitchell (1976-77) are Past Grand Masters who would claim Tyee Lodge as their principal lodge. MW Bro. J. M. Mitchell (1951-52), MW Bro. J.H. Nordan (1965-66) and MW Bro. Harold Nordan (1998-99) also have connections to Prince Rupert and Tyee Lodge. I knew both MW Bro. Large and MW Bro. Mitchell and am most pleased that MW Bro. Mitchell's son RW Bro. Bob Mitchell, as well as MW Bro. Harold Nordan, are here this afternoon. I understand RW Bro. Allan Large, the son of MW Bro. Geddes Large, is unfortunately not feeling well and not able to attend today.
Our jurisdiction is blessed with having many fine Past Grand Masters. I am grateful to you all for the efforts and commitment you have extended to the Craft in the past to make it possible for me to be here today. I am particularly thankful to recent Grand Masters, namely MW Bros. Tuckey, Cross and Cave, and RW Bro. Moore (Grand Secretary) and RW Bro Paterson (Grand Treasurer), who have tutored me as an elected Grand Lodge officer for the past three years.'Thank you, brethren'.
I am also grateful for the attendance of the brethren who have travelled from the far reaches of our jurisdiction, particularly those from Prince Rupert, to be here to support me today. 'Thank you, brethren'.
A slate of dedicated and enthusiastic officers, committee chairman and committee members have again been assembled to serve our jurisdiction. I look forward to working with these brethren in the coming year.
I am well satisfied with the administration of the Craft in our jurisdiction and will continue to support the work of our Grand Lodge office and the Board of General Purposes and will use the Five Pillar Plan as the strategic plan of our jurisdiction.
The ad hoc committees for Organizational Analysis (in its last of a four-year term), Constitutional Review and Craft Guidelines will continue for the coming year.
In any project a 'task cycle' is followed. An activity is PLANNED, then ORGANIZED, then COMMUNICATED, then EXECUTED, and then all parts are REVIEWED. The 'review comments' are then used in the Planning of the next activity, a continuous cycle. In the past two years MW Bros. Cross and Cave have used 'Charting Your Course' (i.e. PLANNING) and 'Be A Builder' (i.e. ORGANIZING) as their themes. Following this sequence, my theme for the coming year is 'Strive for Excellence' (i.e. EXECUTION).
This theme of 'Strive for Excellence' will promote the following:
MW Bro. G. Murray Webster, |
Grand Master 2012-2013
* Practice excellence
* Excellence is a habit, not an act
* Do the best you can / 'to the best of your abilities'
* Seek to do your best / put your best foot forward
* Strive for excellence in our masonic journey from the rough ashlar to the perfect ashlar
Using the pillars of the Five Pillar Plan I wish to explain the initiatives and priorities of the coming Masonic year.
Having Fun - Our first priority is 'to be happy and communicate that happiness to others'. During my term of office I will endeavour to add 'fun' to our festivities by making reference to Murray Mint Candies, Lemon Meringue Pie, the Webster's' Dictionary, the Masonic Took Kit and Dean Martin's song "That's Amore'. Let's remember 'Fellowship is the essence of Freemasonry'.
Mentorship - The number one item identified at the Education and Leadership Workshop held on May 26 was the 'mentorship' of brethren as they progress through the degrees. I have asked the Education Committee, with input from our District Education Officers, to undertake a program that ensures our jurisdiction's Mentorship program is defined, appropriate, accessible and utilized.
Continuing Mentorship - I have asked the ad-hoc committee on Organizational Analysis to consult the brethren of our jurisdiction to determine a program of activities that can be followed to enlighten, inspire, and engage new Master Masons in the first year or two following their 'raising'. This program has been referred by some as the 'Next Step' program.
Masonic Music - Music is an integral part of Freemasonry. Unfortunately music is missing from many lodges as they do not have an organist or music director and, consequently music is not part of their masonic experience. Fortunately, through the tireless work of W Bro. Dennis Richards (Temple Lodge No. 33) a DVD containing masonic music is available. Music from this DVD can be used before, during and after a lodge meeting and during installations. The availability and use of this DVD to provide masonic music in the absence of a lodge organist will be promoted during the coming year.
I am also encouraging District Deputy Grand Masters to emphasize music at official visit meetings and banquets.
'Guarding the West Gate' - I believe the greatest threat facing our Grand Lodge jurisdiction is the admission of unworthy men into our fraternity. I believe we MUST do a better job of screening those who are interested in making application so that we are TOTALLY satisfied they are worthy men. A programme for understanding the qualifications and intentions of those interested in our fraternity (referred to as the Six-Step Program) has been prepared and has been available for use for some time for this very purpose. The jurisdiction-wide utilization of this programme will be promoted during the coming year.
'Classic' Masonic Papers - The Vancouver and Victoria Lodges of Education and Research have been asked to designate 'must read' Masonic papers. These masonic papers, papers that I refer to as 'classic' papers, will be circulated by the Grand Lodge office to District and Lodge Education officers and lodge secretaries on a scheduled basis throughout the coming year with the intent of giving brethren time to read each paper prior to a meaningful discussion during a lodge meeting. Lodges will be encouraged to utilize these 'classic' papers in their masonic education programme.
L*E*A*P - The Lodge Excellence and Award Program, known as L*E*A*P, is being well used with great success in our jurisdiction. I will continue to promote this programme as it provides a tool for the preparation of a lodge's year plan.
District Education Officers - The Education Committee has been asked to provide resources and support to District Education Officers to assist in the delivery of excellent Education programs in each district.
Matching District Donations - Following an initiative started by MW Bro. Cave I wish to continue the practise of providing matching funds, up to $1000 per district, for local registered charities of the District's choice.
Family Day - Monday, 18 February 2013 is the date of the first Family Day holiday in the province of British Columbia. I encourage all lodges and / or districts to undertake an appropriate 'family based' activity for the families and friends of our brethren on that day.
"We Can Help" Program - Our Grand Lodge sponsors the 'We Can Help' Program of the St. John Ambulance in British Columbia and Yukon. While the "We Can Help" committee is responsible for the administration of the program, I encourage the District Deputy Grand Masters and the brethren of local lodges to take an active rôle in the presentation of the completion certificates of this programme.
Lodges and Districts - As noted earlier in these Grand Lodge Proceedings I request the Committee on Warranted Lodges and Lodges Under Dispensation to investigate the recommendations of the Ad-hoc Committee on Organizational Analysis to consolidate and rename districts. In addition I am asking this committee, with the participation of District Deputy Grand Masters and the Grand Secretary, to identify to the 2013 Grand Lodge Communication existing lodges that are not meeting the criteria required by a new lodge to be constituted.
Principal Grand Lodge Officer Initiatives - I support 'initiatives' being undertaken in the coming masonic year by principal Grand Lodge officers:
RW Bro. Stutt, Deputy Grand Master, is organizing a listing of books in the libraries of constituent lodges and plans to share that list to all lodges in our jurisdiction. He is also reviewing the status of recommendations from the Master Mason survey and plans to include these recommendations as action items in the Five Pillar Plan.
RW Bro Durell, Senior Grand Warden, intends to develop successful practises or guidelines into 'nuggets' and post these items on the Grand Lodge website. He also plans to promote men's health across the jurisdiction by participating in the 2012 Movember Campaign.
Twitter Accounts - The Research Committee has established Twitter Accounts for the elected Grand Line officers. It is my intention to be regularly posting material on the Grand Master's Twitter site and I encourage brethren in our jurisdiction to 'follow' these tweets.
Electronic Masonic Calendar - The Research Committee has established an electronic Masonic Calendar on the Grand Lodge website and with the assistance of designated brethren from each district, lodge activities are now being posted and can be viewed. I encourage all brethren to utilize this useful tool.
Five Pillar Plan
It is time to again review the priorities and tasks identified on the Five Pillar Plan. To start this process I ask RW Bro. Stutt, chairman of the Board of General Purposes, to review the current Mission and Vision Statements of our jurisdiction. These statements need to be short and effective and known and recited by every brother in our jurisdiction.
DDGM-designate Trial - A recommendation of the ad hoc Committee on Organizational analysis, following town-hall meetings throughout our jurisdiction, is to have DDGM-designates in each district. In order to determine the effectiveness of this activity I am authorizing a two-year trial or pilot in five districts (Districts 5, 8, 9, 17 and 23). At the end of the trial period (June 2014) an evaluation will be made to determine if the position of DDGM-designates should be expanded to all districts or not undertaken at all.
Mediation Committee - With the adoption of the resolution to discontinue the 'Petitions and Grievances Committee' an ad hoc committee, to be referred to as the 'Mediation Committee', is being established. I am appointing MW Bro. Cave as the chairman of this new committee. The first tasks of this committee are to determine its 'terms of reference' and to propose a resolution for the 2013 Grand Lodge Annual Communication to establish it as a standing committee.
Grand Lodge Building - I am asking the Committee on Lodge Buildings to form a sub-committee made up of suitably skilled and experienced brethren to meet with Lodge Building Societies and concordant organizations in our jurisdiction to investigate the feasibility of jointly participating in the ownership of a Grand Lodge building.
Life Membership Program - Until a report is received from the Finance Committee and action taken, it is my decree that no new applications for the Life Membership Program be accepted.
Suspensions - I am obliged to announce the suspension of John Fooks until 1 October 2012 and the continued suspension of William Unrau.
In closing I thank you for the confidence reposed in me. I look forward to visiting with each of you in the coming year. I'm excited to be your Grand Master and hope to make a difference. Let's have a fun year and 'strive for excellence' in all that we do.