Friday, 30 June 2017

Espanola Lodge Installation, June 28, 2017

The Master and his Officers were installed at Espanola Lodge No 527, on June 28, 2017

Saturday, 24 June 2017

District Meeting, Doric Lodge, Little Current

The District Meeting was held in Little Current at Doric Lodge on Monday June 5th, 2017.

Friday, 23 June 2017

DDGM Official Visit Speech - Friendship Lodge

DDGM Official Visit
Friendship Lodge No.691
Wednesday May 10, 2017


This is an Official Visit of the DDGM, but in our district this is predominantly the season of Installations….where the leadership of the lodge is passed from the now experienced Worshipful Master to the incoming, and if things are working correctly, to the NEW, never-before Master of the lodge.

I’d like to talk to you tonight about what it takes to become a Master of a Lodge, what is expected of the Master himself and more importantly, what WE need and can do to support the Master, to help make his year, and thereby the lodges year, successful.

Firstly, I’d like to read some parts from an address given at the Third Annual Communication of Grand Lodge held in Toronto, on July 14, 1858 by M.W. Bro. William Mercer Wilson

To become the model Master of a Lodge, should be the ambition of every brother; and to discharge with efficiency and zeal the duties of that important office, should be his most anxious desire.  Those duties are not confined to the mere repetition of a few phrases, learned by rote, but he should be enabled to instruct the craft, not only as to the meaning and origin of our ceremonies, but also to explain to them the philosophy which is veiled in its allegories and illustrated by its symbols.

The Master of a Lodge should also, in his life and in his conversation, be a model for his brethren to admire and imitate, and should himself practice, out of the Lodge, those great moral doctrines and virtues which he inculcates within its walls.  He should be punctual and methodical in all things, and, both by his character and conduct, command the respect, the esteem, and good will of all men; for, as the Master is supreme in his Lodge, and distinguished by his position in the craft, so should he also be distinguished as the possessor of an irreproachable character, a dignified demeanor, an expanded intellect, and a liberal education.  Happy and prosperous must those Lodges be which are governed by such men!  – Their time of meeting is looked forward to by the brethren with the most pleasing anticipation.  Prompt at the hour, every brother is at his station, and the work is carried on with pleasure and profit.  The Worshipful Master who presides over his Lodge with ability, firmness and decision; (for without force of character there can be no force of impression); whose manner is courteous yet dignified; whose decisions are consonant with reason and Masonic law; and who dispenses light and information among the craft, will ever be regarded by his brethren as one who is entitled to their highest respect and their most fraternal regard. 

Brethren, this is a part of an address by a famous and respect Mason, and it illustrates that the requirements thought necessary of a Master of a lodge, applies as much today as they did in 1858. 
I would say that everyone here would agree that the traits listed are among those required of the Master of the Lodge.  So, it is also safe to say that we are all to some degree aware of the targets.   BUT there is a related sub-topic that we sometimes do not touch on as much as we should; that being how WE can assist the Master in taking his skills and knowledge and applying them to a successful outcome in his term.
I could go on for quite some time, discussing each of these, but the time reasonably available would not do them justice… I will provide a cursory overview, which I hope will still convey the message.
The Worshipful Master IS the leader of the Lodge for the ensuing year, he through the office of Worshipful Master is deserving of our respect and support.

The management of the lodge, the delivery of the ritual is all under the superintendence of the Worshipful Master.  He is the leader, BUT he cannot do it without the brethren. If he is a tyrant, the lodge may become somewhat empty on meeting nights.  He needs to lead in the spirit of brotherly love and benevolence.   The TEAM approach will work, the dictatorship will not.

The Master NEEDS the support of the brethren to assist in the running of the lodge, and it is in this manner we can offer the most help.  We need to be active, we need to “play” for the team, for the common good, the delivery of what our beloved craft stands for.  This SUPPORT to the Master cannot be understated for without it, the Master will not be successful.

Also important is that we follow protocol within the lodge.  The Masonic Manual defines Protocol as in an observance of official formality and of etiquette.  In simple terms, it is the established rules of behaviour for formal occasions. 

We need to follow this established protocol within the lodge and in particular in our intercourse between the brethren.  The examples are many and I will not list them here, but I reiterate the importance of adhering to them, and I will say that this is very applicable to the interaction between the brethren and the Master.  We must respect the chair and the authority that goes with it.  Simply put the Master governs the lodge and Masonic rules and protocol provide both authority to the office and defines the appropriate protocol.   WE can and should support the Master by adhering to this long-established way of acting.

In closing I just want to repeat a short passage I encountered during my journey through the College of Freemasonry courses….

As the Worshipful Master the government of the Lodge is in his hands.  The well-being and the happiness of the Lodge and the brethren is his responsibility.  He must be prepared to have an interesting and informative year making the meetings interesting such that the brethren look forward to attending. 

As the Lodge’s main representative to the District, he should be prepared to attend District meetings and the Official visits of the DDGM.  He should be prepared to bring fraternal greetings from the Lodge when called upon.  It is also the Worshipful Master’s responsibility to encourage the brethren, and in particular the Officers, to accompany him to those meetings.  As the Worshipful Master he should be prepared to attend Grand Lodge.

As the representative of his Lodge in the District, he will have a busy but exciting year.  It will be imperative that he exhibits proper leadership within the District in general and within the Lodge in particular.  By and large, most of the duties and responsibilities are defined and delineated within the Constitution of the Grand Lodge and the By-laws of each lodge.  He  should become thoroughly familiar with both of them.

Worshipful Master, I fully believe, with the support of the brethren, You have and will continue to meet these targets…. and continue to have an enjoyable and rewarding year.

Worshipful Master, I thank you for your indulgencies this evening and my Brethren I thank each and every one of you for your kind attention. 

And in closing……. I would like to again remind you all of the Masonic Service for R.W. Bro. Jason Ashley tomorrow evening when we will have a final opportunity to pay our respects to departed merit and to please keep the Ashley family in your thoughts and prayers.

R.W. Bro. Clive D. Stephenson FCF
District Deputy Grand Master
Sudbury-Manitoulin District

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Belrock is Now Ready for Summer

Belrock Masonic Centre grounds now look great thanks to Brian and Olive Stoddart and their very green thumbs. 😊

All of the flowers are now planted and look really beautiful

Many thanks to Bro. Roger Kitching for the images.