Reflections from the Provincial Grand Master
Reflections from the Provincial Grand Master, Grand Superintendent.
I do not think I have ever had so much time to reflect on all sorts of subjects. The current and alarming situation we are all involved in will, I am sure, eventually become another memory that we may wish to forget but probably never will.
I would like say how proud I am of the members of our Province who are working on the front line in the NHS, the Care sector, emergency and support services, key employment areas, and keeping deliveries going, as well as those supporting their more vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours. I congratulate those of you who have joined the 750,000+ citizens that have applied to be volunteers.
Many of you will be staying at home, self-isolating or social distancing in accordance with government guidance and each and every one of you are considering the well-being of the community in which you live.
I am not surprised that members of our Province have reacted in this way. The basic teaching of Freemasonry is that care for our fellow man is a fundamental part of who we are.
Along with many others I have been concerned that we live in a rapidly changing world and that Freemasonry has been slow to adapt to that world with the result that some of the population do not understand what we are about, what we do and what we stand for.
The world will definitely be a different place after all this is over and if the image of Freemasonry does not change, then the ‘disconnect’ with the general population will only increase.
The task for us all is reflect on the way we have done things in the past, question whether “doing what we have always done” is valid or appropriate in this changing world.
We have more than 300 years of tradition behind us and this should not be forgotten, but we must ask ourselves whether some of our meetings, with their reference to ‘Secrets’, will ever result in us being truly accepted as part of a society that demands transparency.
The most encouraging thing I have noticed recently is the speed at which a lot of our members have adapted behaviour and found ways of keeping in touch, whether it be WhatsApp, Facetime, Zoom and other virtual meeting software. More importantly the distinct increase in real contact with our less fortunate Brethren whose movements are restricted through age or ill health.
It is right that we prepare ourselves for the changes that may come when the present difficulties are behind us.
Please use all of the communication channels to keep in touch with those who are in need or feeling isolated. A quote I heard recently “We are all Almoners(carers)” How right this is. Maybe something good will eventually come out of this unprecedented crisis.
Tell people who we are and remind everyone what we stand for.
INTEGRITY, FRIENDSHIP, RESPECT and CHARITY
TLC Teddy Initiative……
“thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”
Community Support Grants…..
“The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”
Provincial Annual Meeting….
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….
“My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”
The Royal Arch…..
“I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”
What have you gained?
“I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”
In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative
“A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”
What Freemasonry has done for you?
“The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you
One of the best things I have ever done…
“Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”