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Focus on the basics
Grand Master’s Installation Address:-
June 21, 2008

[R. Glenn Allen]
MW Bro. R. Glenn Allen,
Grand Master 2008-2009

Today is one of the most important days of my life; it is the culmination of the honour you bestowed on me, when you elected me as your Junior Grand Warden in Penticton in 2005. Thank you, brethren
I have had to face many challenges in my life, but on reflection none could be more rewarding or important than the one we face in the next year. I say we, because no one person can perform all the duties expected of a Grand Master without the wholehearted support and assistance of the elected and appointed officers, the membership at large, and above all for me personally, my wife Laura, daughter Julie, and her family.
This year you will not see wholesale changes. I will continue to uphold the issues that were started by Most Worshipful Brothers McSween, Brower-Berkhoven and Godfrey.
Education is still a priority, but in small doses. I would prefer education to be part of each lodge business meeting, but, please, place the emphasis on each lodge member, not just the verbally articulate. Let us get to know our brothers, the ones you now sit beside in lodge, knowing just their first name and little else about them. This year I would like to be told, that each member stood up in lodge, introduced himself, and gave a five minute talk on his life, his work, his family, and his hobbies. We need to know about him now, and not wait until we read his obituary in that column of the local newspaper.
My theme this year has been used before by M.W. Bro. William Carter and M.W. Bro Douglas Grant, both of whom were held high in my esteem.
The theme is simply, "FOCUS ON THE BASICS". F O C U S: Friendship, Order, Commitment, Unity, and Sincerity.
FRIENDSHIP-and FUN in our Lodges, our homes, and with our neighbors.
ORDER - Preserve the order and dignity in our lodges and at our festive boards.
COMMITMENT - be committed in all our undertakings. Stay the course, practice charity. Commit to our youth, our widows and help our concordant bodies in their needs. We must remember that we are the WELL that supplies the members for these wonderful organizations don't let them down.
UNITY - work as a team in your Lodges. Help the new members understand what our rules are and why. Don't leave them sitting on the sidelines, but most of all, give them a helping hand, not a push.
SINCERITY- be sincere in all your undertakings, with lodge, friends and neighbors. Always remember the Golden Rule. Freemasons should always pay heed to it because that is why we are freemasons.
We, the Principal Officers, have decided that in 2008-2009 we will not repeat the Leadership Conference held at Sun Peaks this year (2007-2008), but we feel strongly it should happen again during 2009-2010.
We also think the venue should be moved to Vancouver Island or the Kootenays. I think it should be a smaller group and a little less stressful for our ladies. However, this will be decided by the Leadership Committee. I would however like to see each district introduce their own one-day seminar, with emphasis on running a lodge and not necessarily focussing on the ancient history of Freemasonry. These could be set up similar to our District Deputy Seminars that were held in Abbotsford over the last three years, They proved to be very successful.
I would ask that the each new District Deputy be invited to their district's Masters and Warden's meetings where he could then put on his own mini-course on education. He would have observed each lodge and should be able to offer his advice on their weaknesses.
If any lodge needs assistance on matters of finance, buildings or leases, please contact the Grand Secretary's office. We will provide the necessary help. (But please, Building Societies, be more vigilant with your finances and financial reviews.) You will read in our Board of General Purposes minutes, that we do not favor further support for the "We can help" programme. It has run its course and like many other good things in life, it becomes old hat and then proves to be a tough sell.
I have appointed RW Bro. Alf Erickson to review the "Masonic Chip Program", Child Identification Program. This is not a new programme. In the United States, it has operated for some time. Washington State is using it and the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario is starting up their own programme. This program will identify children by photo, voice and DNA. RW Bro. Erickson will give a preliminary report to the Board of General Purposes on 21 July 2008.
I also feel a need to have a Coördinating Regional Representative, someone who can work with other Regional Representatives, to provide a common platform to air their concerns. This will in no way take away from the District Deputies, but will provide an interest between nine Regional Representatives.
Many of our districts are not operating as districts should. We need to merge some of our districts and also some of our Lodges. We have too many Districts with weak Lodges. This needs to be looked at, but the lodges must request help from Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge executive will sit down with these lodges and advise and assist them in determining the best way to ensure peace and coöperation in the district. No one likes to turn in a lodge warrant, but let us be realistic. Changes must be made.
Brethren, it is time to circle the wagons, and stretch forth our hands to the public and future freemasons. We must lift our heads, put a smile on our face and walk proudly. Walk like we are going to lodge to meet our friends and brothers. And above all, make it fun. We must have fun in Freemasonry. Thank you and have a wonderful, happy year.


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