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Unity within diversity|
Grand Masters Installation Address:-
June 20, 2009
I stand before you a most humbled and privileged brother; a brother who started his masonic journey in an Ancient lodge, a man, freeborn, coming under the tongue of good repute and well recommended. As I continue my journey, I promise I will serve you to the very best of my ability as your Grand Master.
I would like to thank those brethren who have contributed to my growth in the Craft. Many of these brethren have passed to the Grand Lodge above, one in particular being my father who was also my brother. Many of you have contributed to my growth in ways you cannot imagine. Your comments and criticisms, observations and questions, recommendations and suggestions plus the many conversations over many festive boards and many miles have made me the freemason I am today. My mother lodge, the then Union Lodge No. 9 in New Westminster, which is now Union Solomon Lodge No. 9, and its core of brethren allowed me the luxury to grow in the Craft, on my timetable, not theirs. I have furthered my education when I affiliated with Mount St. Paul Lodge No. 109 in Kamloops and then again through my affiliation with that historic lodge in Barkerville, Cariboo Lodge No. 4. I would like to thank the brethren and the Past Grand Masters who have gone before me. Your commitment, dedication and love of the Craft have set the bar high and I hope I can measure up to those standards.
I would not be here today if it were not for my wife Wendy. Her love, support and understanding have nourished me for the past thirty-nine years and will continue to do so until time shall be no more.
I am referred to as a Baby Boomer, many of whom are recognized by more then just graying hair. We actually have values, some of which are optimism, teamwork, personal gratification, personal growth, health and wellness. I certainly recognize within myself some of these values, especially teamwork. It is with this in mind that I offer the following: I am a team player and I have had the luxury and the latitude in positions I held in my former vocations to operate through this management philosophy. It is very simple: you seek input from those you work with and after hearing different opinions and sometimes opposing views, and you make what I refer to as an informed decision.
This year we will follow the Five Pillar Plan, which includes Leadership, Education, Communication, Membership and Community. As long as I can remember, I have been following a plan. It may not have been a written plan but goals were set, objectives were made and successes followed. Short and long term planning also leads to continuity and consistency which is essential for our growth. A meeting on the Five Pillar Plan was held in Kamloops on 28 August. The plan will be furthered in subsequent years by the current Grand Line, which includes the Deputy Grand Master, Senior and Junior Grand Wardens, Grand Treasurer and the Grand Secretary. This past year the Grand Line decided the Five Pillar Plan is the responsibility of the Senior Grand Warden and for each Senior Grand Warden thereafter.
Education…topics to stimulate your mind and to stimulate discussion
We need to foster education in the ancient usages and established customs of the Craft so that we no longer bring the integrity of Freemasonry into question by allowing the reading of ritual in our lodges. We have a proud history in our lodges, yet we are allowing our customs and traditions to be eroded. I ask you to guard your west gate in order to preserve your history so that your customs and traditions remain in tact.
I would like to see a ceremony for the investiture of the Immediate Past Grand Master, therefore I have asked the Committee on Rituals to work on this initiative, which has been done and reported in our Advanced Proceedings.
Leadership…mentoring tomorrow’s leaders today
A Lodge Officer’s Conference was held at Sun Peaks near Kamloops in April 2008. It was considered a success by those attending. As a result, it was agreed by the Principle Officers that a lodge officer’s conference should be held every two years in different locations throughout our jurisdiction. Our Leadership Committee, currently chaired by RW Bro. William R. Cave, is planning to hold the next conference on 16-18 April 2010 at the Tigh Na Mara resort in Parksville.
I have struck an ad hoc committee under the leadership of MW Bro. Stephen Godfrey to conduct an organizational analysis of Grand Lodge, which will include: the rôles and responsibilities of the Grand Line; expectations of these officers and of Grand Lodge; service to the brethren and lodges; length of term of office for these officers; number of districts or regions needed in our jurisdiction. The work of this committee will be conducted over the next three to four years. Your Principal Officers have agreed to this initiative and the committee will seek your participation.
Communication…the basis for success
The electronic age is upon us however we have not adapted well. For many of us, change is a tough concept to embrace yet embrace it we must. Our times in the paper world are changing so quickly it is hard to keep pace. Online banking, travel arrangements and payments for our many activities occur without us leaving our homes. Can the same be said for Freemasonry? I think not. We continue to live in a paper world. However, this is about to change. Grand Lodge must communicate with you, the brethren, and our lodges, in a timely manner. We must be efficient and effective and keep each other informed. In order to do so, I have asked RW Bro. Michael D. Yule to chair a committee called “Electronic Communication Ð Enhancing our Working Tools”. The purpose of the committee is to examine the manner in which we can reduce costs, access Grand Lodge forms and other materials, provide timely educational materials, provide informative newsletters and offer blogs. This will dovetail nicely with RW Bro. Aidan C. Gordon’s report from the Research Committee regarding electronic communication. We have brethren who have difficulty in attending meetings yet they wish to be involved. What can we do for them?
I urge you to make your concerns know to this committee so that we can benefit from today’s technology.
I have asked the District Deputy Grand Masters to encourage the following:
MW Bro. Brian Tuckey, |
Grand Master 2009-2010
Membership…tomorrow’s Freemasonry is today’s candidates
The new generation, the new millennials, enjoy the Craft for reasons much like us. However, they want “good value for time”. They enjoy our ritual, symbolism, masonic values and yes, memory work, however they will not return should they attend a communication that lacks meaning to them. They enjoy a festive board before lodge, meaningful education and fellowship with the young and not so young.
I am concerned about the manner in which we conduct an investigation with a potential candidate. We have many brothers leaving us after a few years. Are we asking the right questions? Are we asking the partner about the commitment we expect the man to make? Should we be including one of our wives with the investigation team? Is this something to consider? I have asked RW Bro. Donald E. Stutt to chair an ad hoc committee to conduct an electronic survey of Master Masons who have been in the Craft for fewer than five years. This will parallel the study he conducted in 2007-2008 for MW Bro. Godfrey. We learned from that study that many freemasons did not complete the survey because they had not heard of it. This survey will be computer based and will be available this fall.
We must have a presence in our communities. Bursaries, both from the lodges and Grand Lodge should be a consideration for all of us to initiate and continue. Participation in community events such as parades, open houses and volunteering in the community, as well as sponsoring youth activities or something similar should be a priority. Perhaps it is time for us to make a presentation to other groups about the Craft.
My theme this year is “Unity within Diversity”. I ask you to consider the following:
|•||To improve communication within a district by the formation of a District Masters and Wardens association.|
|•||Establish a widows programme for each lodge.|
|•||Participation with the Lodge Officer’s Leadership Conference.|
|•||Electronic communication between the DDGM and his lodges.|
|•||Mentorship for tomorrow’s masonic leaders.
I am proud to be a Freemason for the reasons stated. Words fail me when I walk into a lodge and I see multiple Volumes of the Sacred Law on the altar. From time immemorial, man has been at war with his fellow man over religious differences yet we as Free and Accepted Masons can sit in lodge, side by side, Jew and Muslim, Catholic and Protestant, sitting in peace and harmony.
We have much to be thankful for. Let us take the opportunity to thank those brethren that have gone before us and left for us the legacy of Freemasonry. Let us go forward with enthusiasm and excitement. Let us celebrate the diversity we have in our Craft.
Thank you for allowing me to serve.
We are united as brothers in a fraternity called Freemasonry, which has three principles: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.|
|•||We practice four rituals or works: Ancient, Canadian, Emulation and Australian.|
|•||Our membership has the young and the not-so-young.|
|•||We are from different backgrounds and different vocations.|
|•||We are composed of four generations: traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X and new millennials|
|•||We have 149 lodges in 27 districts which stretch from desert like conditions in the southern Okanagan to the Arctic tundra, from the mountains to the seas, urban and rural.