June is now upon us and we are nearing the end of the Masonic year. I really cannot believe how quickly the year has flown by. Although it is June, there are still many things to accomplish prior to the annual Communication of Grand Lodge in July.
In May, the two Official Visit’s at Wexford and Friendship lodges went extremely well. The Installation at The Beaches Lodge was another outstanding event. The District Devine Service on Sunday, May 7th was well attended again this year. I would like to thank everyone who came out and showed their support.
The Spring District Meeting on Saturday May 27th in Claremont went well and a great number of brethren from the district attended. I would like to congratulate the winner of the district awards which were as follows:
Lodge of the Year Brougham Union Lodge.
Blood Donor Award Alpha – Tuscan Lodge.
Remembrance Service Markham Union Lodge.
Travelling Gavel winner Markham Union Lodge.
Mason of the Year Bro. Doug Ryder.
Over the course of my last few messages I have been reviewing some of the Grand Lodge programmes that are available to lodges within our district. This month I will review the Officer Progression programme.
The programme is designed to become part of the training provided to the all line officers but more especially the Deacons and Wardens to better prepare them for the duties and responsibilities of their office, prior to accepting their respective chairs. It is also to assist in the transition to Worshipful Master and to understand the duties of that high and important office. Although designed with the Worshipful Master in mind, it should be directed towards lodge members well before they reach the Worshipful Masters Chair.
Who should take this course? All Masons that are willing to learn, participate and implement the skills and knowledge of the Worshipful Masters duties and responsibilities prior to assuming any of the senior officer’s chairs. It could be argued that you might want to start working on the programme as soon as you join the officer line up.
The focus is for the line officer to sharpen his masonic tools and refine their abilities through experience gained as an officer. Reading books and articles offered through the Grand Lodge Library and other sources. Observing what the other officers do and how they carry themselves. Participating not only in the degrees but in visiting other lodges in the district. Volunteering your skills and energy to your lodges committees. The biggest thing that you will learn from this programme is that asking questions is not out of line but is to be encouraged. If you don’t ask, you won’t learn right from wrong, or good from bad.
Why this programme so important? It is meant to reach out to the brethren with the intention of providing a consistent message in accordance with the direction provided by Grand Lodge, through numerous publications such as: The Book of Constitution, The Masonic Manual, Meeting the Challenge, Book of the Work, Towards the Square and the Mechanics of the Work. It emphasizes the importance of making a daily advancement in masonic knowledge, understanding the ritual and the history behind it, knowing more about the work than just the words in the book. In short, giving you the skills required as you take on more responsibilities in the higher officer’s chairs. The knowledge gained will serve you forever.
As we are all aware, we are losing Todmorden Lodge NO. 647 on June 22nd, as they will be going into darkness following what will be an excellent Third Degree. I encourage as many members of Toronto East District to come out and join us on this historic evening and recognize the hard work of the Worshipful Master, Officers, members of the lodge in making the final chapter in Todmorden’s history as memorable as possible.
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