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Let your light so shine
Grand Masters Installation Address:-
June 24, 2006
Thank you for being here today at the 135th annual communication of The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. In the decisions made at this communication, I trust you are satisfied that the Craft has deliberated wisely and well, and that we have made adjustments to meet the requirements of today and for the future. I wish to acknowledge my sponsors into the Craft: MW Bro. Myron Lusk, of blessed memory and VW Bro. Nick Wengreniuk, of Evergreen Lodge No. 166, Grand Registry of Alberta, I would like to thank the two Past Grand Masters of my BC mother lodge, MW Bro. David Laughlin Gibson who obligated me and MW Bro. Douglas R. Grant for the charge, and of course, my sponsors in all the offices of Grand Lodge for which they have nominated me RW Bro. Peter Thornburn and RW Bro. Don Wrightman.
I wish also to extend my appreciation to the visitors to our Grand Lodge Communication: thank you for attending. To the elected and appointed officers who have accepted positions of Grand Lodge and to the committee members who have readily accepted positions in this Grand Jurisdiction, please accept my sincere congratulations and thanks.
It has been said that the mantle of leadership rests heavily on the shoulders of him who wears it, and after witnessing the commitment and contributions of my predecessors this point becomes quite apparent. The Craft in British Columbia and Yukon has been well served by the leaders of the past and I now give you my commitment that I will do my utmost to devote the same attention to the task at hand.
MW Bro. Isaac Brock Brower-Berkhoven,
Grand Master 2006-2007
From my viewpoint as Deputy Grand Master this past year, several items concerning the future of Freemasonry come to mind. First and foremost we must make every effort to have programmes in place within each lodge that will ensure that attendance is rewarding, to help stem the flow of demitting members and to encourage the absent members to participate. Let us all take some share of the responsibility in ensuring these adjustments take place. Since there is a need for all of us to become involved, I have chosen the lighthouse as my emblem and my theme for the year"Let your light so shine". We all have a responsibility to use the talents we have been given for the betterment of humanity.
Let your light so shineby faithfully attending your lodge as often as possible. Do not overlook the joy and satisfaction that comes from visiting the brethren in other lodges.
Let your light so shineby lending assistance to the officers and the committees of our lodges. An attitude of "been there, done that" or, "tried that; it won't work" does little to strengthen the lodge or to make it a show-piece which will attract new members from our communities.
Let your light so shineby encouraging absent members to become more involved: pay a visit, make a phone call or offer a ride. Bear in mind that it is the contact that is important and not necessarily getting the brother to sit in lodge.
Let your light so shineby extending the right hand of fellowship to our newer members, offer to mentor them as they begin their journey and generally contribute by seeing that they are not neglected at a very crucial time in their development. Ritual is what makes Freemasonry work; it helps us in our relationships with others and it gives us as freemasons a sense of identity and helps us to understand the tenets and principles of the Craft.
The mentoring system is the back-up, but not a substitute, for the responsibility of the proposer and seconder to their own candidate. 'We must all ensure that once we have initiated a brother we take great care of him and guide him through the intricate ceremonial and precepts of the Order. It is not good enough to leave him in complete isolation until the next regular meeting. That can potentially be the recipe for losing another brother.
Let your light so shineby advising and taking advantage of the information to be found in the many publications available through the Grand Lodge Library and the Masonic Information Centre to support your mentoring efforts.
Let your light so shineby supporting the Bursary fund, the Benevolence Fund, the Masonic Foundation, the Masonic Community Charities Fund. Participate in the "We Can Help" programme and, by all means, do all you can to assist our Cancer Car Project as drivers, dispatchers, computer operators, car washers and day captains.
Let your light so shineby taking on additional responsibility by joining a concordant body: Scottish Rite; Royal Arch; Van Zor Grotto; Order of Secret Monitor, and then join the Shrine Freemasons, become active in the Order of Eastern Star or Amaranth in your community. Get involved with Job's Daughters and the DeMolay. This would give further evidence of full masonic family participation and make us all stronger.
Let your light so shineby preparing a new slate as we reflect on our individual records and resolutions of the past and consider how we can make a new start with a clean slate and fresh outlook.
Let your light so shinein your communities and inform the public what freemasons stand for and what we believe in. In this age when society is struggling to cope with the fallout from the continued lowering of standards both moral and ethical, we need to take a firm stand. This is probably one of the most important issues facing the Craft today and we can reach out and help Freemasonry become a beacon of light and hope in this struggling world of apathy and indifference.
Let your light so shineby spending time with your families on Saturday or Sunday morning. You can always find time in the seven nights available, or time to practice when the morning Sabbath service is over, so that we are not seen to be competing with religious orders. We not only need to do what is right by not competing with religious orders, but we need to "appear" to do what is right. After all by our Constitutions we are not permitted to have picnics until after 1300, the same standard should apply to the practices and the washing of Cancer Cars.
It is important to spend quality time with our families. At one time the seventh day of the week was known as the Sabbath. This day was reserved for some of life's most important, yet commonly neglected pursuits, including spending time with one's family and hours of deep reflection, self-renewal and re-creating. It provided hardworking people with a chance to renew their energies and spend time living life more fully. However as the pace of life quickened and more activities began to compete for people's attention, this wonderful tradition was lost along with the tremendous personal benefits that flowed from it.
Stress itself is not a bad thing. It can help us perform our best, expand beyond our limits and achieve things that would astonish us. Just ask any elite athlete or lodge ritualist. The real problem lies in the fact that in this age of global anxiety we do not get enough relief from stress. To revitalize and re-create yourself and nourish the deepest part of you, plan for a weekly period of peacea weekly sabbaticalto get back to the simpler pleasures of life, pleasures that you may have given up as your days grew busier and your life more complex. Bringing this simple ritual into your weeks will help you reduce stress, connect with your more creative side and to feel far happier in every role of your life.
I look forward to continuing the leadership and education, with Masters, Wardens and Deacons, which have been so successful throughout the year. I look forward to attending special events in each district and will endeavour to assist in delivering Long Service Jewels as well as attending other milestone and social events, joint meetings, Grand Masonic Day, and community parades. I look forward to the opportunity to meet and greet as many of you as possible at the events of the year.
We will continue to monitor demits, continue to expand participation in excellence and achievement awards and continue rewarding the lodges with certificates of continued service to the community of 50 years, 75 years and 100 years or greater. Your team of elected and appointed Grand Lodge officers is enthusiastic and excited about the year ahead as we meet the challenges and reap the rewards with you. We sincerely ask for your support and encouragement and would invite each of you to join as we "let our light so shine", as we reach out and help someone become part of something special.
As it has been said, "don't hide your light under a bushel". Let your light so shine and help Freemasonry become a beacon unto mankind.
Just before we close Grand Lodge we wish to honour MW Bro. Dennis Marsh, Past Grand Master, the brother who was instrumental in spearheading the Cancer Car Programme, thereby giving us the flagship project which gives the Craft such meaningful visibility. He accomplished this with several others whom I will name, not to the exclusion of anyone I may have inadvertently missed. At this time RW Bro. Grand Director of Ceremonies, accompanied by the VW Brother Grand Marshal: you will escort MW Bro. Dennis Marsh, to the East where we will present him with a Certificate with this inscription in commemoration of that event eighteen years ago
We will present the inaugural Dennis Marsh medal, to be worn as a breast jewel, to show the high esteem we have for the foresight and perseverance in getting this programme into place. This jewel will be presented to all brethren who have laboured in the Craft as participants for at least five years in all aspects of the Cancer Car Project. On receipt of this jewel you are hereby authorized, as will be all other recipients, to wear this with the distinction it so richly deserves.
Brother Grand Director of Ceremonies, accompanied by the Grand Marshal, you will also present MW Brothers Gibson, Grant and Hargrove, the team who made this programme viable. I also present you with this lapel pin which may be worn by all brethren of the Craft and Canadian Cancer Society partners. This lapel pin gives recognition to our partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society as it bears the square and compasses of Freemasonry and the logo of the Canadian Cancer Society, the daffodil, both of which are recognizable world wide.
Brethren, assist me to close this Grand Lodge.
Most Worshipful Brother Dennis Marsh , PGM
In recognition of your vision and determination in creating the BC Cancer Car Program, which provides a valuable service to humanity and helps make Freemasonry visible in the community in a very meaningful way.
"Let your light so shine."