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Freemasonry: you’ll never walk alone.
Grand Master’s Installation Address:-
June 22, 2019

[Douglas Franklin]
MW Bro. Douglas Franklin,
Grand Master 2019-2020

Thank you most sincerely for allowing me to serve as your Grand Master. Over the years, many of us have participated in installations—in our Craft lodges and here, at the annual installation of Grand Lodge officers. In our beloved masonic world, installations are always special occasions. They are at once a celebration of succession, but also a promise of renewal.
If history is not top-of-mind, consider the following: Here we are, on this day in late June, conducting a time-honoured ceremony in the 148th year of our jurisdiction. As we look ahead, let us also take a good measure of pride in this achievement. Today, all of us in this Grand Lodge communication are the beneficiaries of the countless number of brethren who have toiled in the quarries since the earliest years of our province and territory. And here we are, in the fair city of Burnaby, named after one of our founders, MW Bro. Robert Burnaby.
As we know, our early brethren were also building a spiritual temple which we have inherited, and which we, as Grand Lodge officers, have solemnly vowed this day to hold in trust and to build upon ourselves during the next year. Installations are very much about the future. To all of our newly-installed Grand Lodge officers, committee chairmen and members, I offer my deepest appreciation and thanks.
May I offer several ideas and a few possibilities that might help us renew our Craft during the months ahead?
First, there will be continuity. Let's continue to work in our own lodges and plan our future, based on the needs each of us recognized in last year's Lodge Health Assessment. The well-being of our lodges and particularly sound officer succession are key topics. Many of our lodges have already drafted plans during the past year. I believe our common goals are clear: to build strong constituent lodges where our Freemasonry can thrive and where we can mentor our next generation of masonic leaders.
We should strive to achieve the two main objectives begun during the past year: to improve our masonic experience and become better known in our communities. To help us make gains in the first objective, I am asking all brethren and lodges to improve our degree work. Let's turn degree conferrals into ceremonies and occasions we can celebrate! Our magnificent degrees are what make Freemasonry unique. We can do much more to make our degrees sparkle and, in doing so, generate pride and degree-ownership among our newest brethren. I am putting out the challenge to revive and also to create degree teams. I believe that degree teams can bring lodges together on a district-wide and even regional basis. Let's think about special themed degree teams, by ritual working and, by occupation, such as firefighters, police officers and lumbermen. I'm certain that all of us have witnessed the effects of an excellent degree conferral—it gives everyone a lift.
not just a manThe second continuing objective is to make Freemasonry better known in our communities. How can we do this, and still be in control of our message? Let's look at a proven success story from the past year. Malahat Lodge No. 107 on Vancouver Island adapted the images from a successful programme developed by our American brethren. The large poster image, clearly seen by the public, has earned this lodge a number of new candidates and, yes, an affiliation by a brother who realized there was a masonic lodge in his neighbourhood.
Linked with our visibility is our ongoing mission to strengthen the ties that bind our masonic family. Our Senior Grand Warden, RW Bro. Ken Overy, will share his thoughts with us.

As Freemasons, we celebrate the many bodies connected with our Craft. We must continue hosting meetings of representatives of the masonic family in order to continue to grow together. The current Deputy Grand Master hosted a very successful video conference in the not-too-distant past with encouraging results, one of which is that our Masonic Google Calendar is now being used more frequently to keep us connected. Whenever we can, let's participate in each other's events. One particular event is the upcoming Grand Fraternal Ball in November at Nanaimo, to which every member of our masonic family is invited to "celebrate ourselves". Please make an effort to attend. In particular, we Freemasons are always welcomed warmly at meetings and installations of our masonic youth groups. The time we share with the Job's Daughters and DeMolay can strengthen their membership as well as ours by providing our youth with examples of whom and what we are and stand for, showing that we are there to support their endeavours.

My intention is to carry on with this idea and hopefully strengthen this bond between our different bodies. I welcome any ideas along these lines.
While these continuing tasks are important, we also need to develop new ones. I would like to give some priority to making our Grand Lodge more efficient. Your principal officers have studied and discussed this matter and, I believe we have a draft blueprint on our tracing board. Our Deputy Grand Master, RW Bro. Don MacKenzie, will outline the proposal.

Brethren, while Grand Lodge has been encouraging individual lodges to develop plans, your principal officers have been working to make Grand Lodge more efficient. We now have 160 brethren serving on twenty-seven committees. Our committee structure dates from a time when we had four times the number of brethren in our jurisdiction. Your principal officers have proposed a smaller structure, with only six to eight committees and several teams supporting each committee. We imagine a total of approximately 80 brethren serving on committees and teams. The objective is to simplify our governance, be more nimble in our decision-making, and realize cost savings. The entire matter of reviewing our Grand Lodge committee structure has been referred to our very capable ad hoc Committee on Governance. Any proposed changes would, of course, need to be reviewed and approved by you, the brethren of Grand Lodge.

Finally, I want to address a problem that we have neglected far too long. That is, making it possible for brethren in all parts of our jurisdiction to hold membership in a lodge. For example, there is a demitted brother in a small community where the nearest lodge is hundreds of kilometres away. Until now, our problem has been one of perspective. In particular, we who live in populated areas of our jurisdiction perhaps think of our own perspective—and not of his. We observe that our brother, who might work and reside with his family in Bella Coola, lives in a distant part of our jurisdiction. But, from our worthy brother's perspective, Vancouver is a distant corner of our jurisdiction. To try to help this brother, and many like him, I am asking our Committee on Warranted Lodges and Lodges under Dispensation, to develop a special lodge for brethren living a defined, long distance from a lodge in British Columbia or Yukon. Such lodges now exist in several masonic jurisdictions in North America. All possible options should be explored. As well, if two or three brethren live in a small community where no lodge now exists, a special lodge would give new purpose to their fellowship and help them keep in touch. With electronic, face-to-face meetings, the brethren could keep in touch, and perhaps even have regular communications. In my opinion, we must look at these possibilities. No dedicated Freemason in British Columbia and Yukon should be without a lodge.
I wish to announce the Grand Master's charity. It is the Canadian Red Cross in British Columbia and Yukon, and I emphasize it is the BC and Yukon Division. It is charity with an important mission. For the special needs of convalescents, or when disaster strikes, the Red Cross is there for all of us.
During the coming year, I'll continue to use our British Columbia and Yukon lapel pin. I do not have one particular message theme or slogan—there will be several which I will link with my talks and presentations throughout the year. Here is one: Freemasonry: you'll never walk alone.
So, my brethren, I wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer. Let's move our beloved Craft forward this year—I'll be walking with you. Thank you, and God bless!


© 1871-2021 Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A.M. Updated: 2019/06/28