Welcome to spring! The days are longer, the air fresher and it’s starting to warm up, a little!
On Saturday March 25th, we had our 5th annual Chili Cook Off and trivia contest. This year as in past years it was well attended and hotly contested both for the chili and trivia. Congratulations go out to both the winners of the chili and trivia contests. A great afternoon was had by all those who attended.
The Grand Master’s Reception on Thursday March 30th was another great success. There was a great turn out by the brethren and spouses from the districts making the evening most enjoyable for all those in attendance. I would like to thank the brethren of the district for their unwavering support for both events.
In March, we had five Official Visits, all of which were outstanding. In April, we have five more. Please remember that Markham Union’s Official Visit is April 12th not the 19th. I urge as many brethren to come out and enjoy time spent visiting other lodges within our district. It’s that time of year again when we can shed the heavy coats, gloves and scarves and renew old friendships and start new ones. Come out and join us, you will find it beneficial and time well spent.
We are still waiting for submissions for the District Awards that were sent to your secretary. Please go through the list of awards and send your nominations to V.W. Bro. Greig King. We only have until April 30th to get them in so please send them in as soon as possible.
Last month I reviewed the Grand Lodge programme, Brother to Brother. I will continue this month with the Friend to Friend programme.
The Friend to Friend is a membership Program to perpetuate Freemasonry in the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario by providing quality products and services through lodges to individual Masons.
The program will assist lodges to enlighten friends of Masons in getting to know us better and to increase membership. It has been developed to exhibit Masonry and its philosophy to the non-Masonic public, especially those men considered to be potential quality candidates. It forms an integral part of other initiatives to bring Masonry to the forefront of public exposure using display booths at International Ploughing Matches, public Open Houses in our lodges rooms and Information Booths at Shopping Malls.
The key element of the Friend to Friend Program is to build upon the public interest generated from these Public initiatives, by inviting those expressing an interest in learning more about Freemasonry and acquaintances of Lodge members who exhibit the potential of a quality candidate, to a Lodge Friend to Friend Event.
The event is the catalyst of the Program; it brings together Masons and those who have expressed an interest in learning more about the Craft at a social evening. Its goal is to contribute to the revitalization of Masonry by retaining interest, rejuvenating lost interest and attracting quality candidates. In achieving this latter goal, the Program complements the Mentor Program, by generating new members.
To start the programme, first thing on the Worshipful Master’s Friend to Friend Agenda should be to appoint a Friend to Friend Chairman with four to five of the Lodge members who are interested in participating in the organization and execution of a Friend to Friend Event. The Committee should impress upon the members of the Lodge the importance of the Friend to Friend Program to the long-term success of Freemasonry and it is recommended that all the Lodge revisit viewing the Friend to Friend Video and review the suggestions in the Manual which accompanies the Friend to Friend DVD.
Brethren, I look forward to greeting you all personally in the district this month.
May the Great Architect of the Universe look over us all and protect us in all our endeavours.
R.W. Bro. Gerald J. Newall.
District Deputy Grand Master, Toronto East District