Brother Toastmaster, Worshipful
Master, Distinguished Visitors, Ladies and Gentlemen, ... Brethren;
It is my distinct pleasure to be here this
evening and I must thank you for affording me this opportunity of
briefly addressing you.
First I must
of course bring you the most sincere greetings of our Grand Master, Most
Worshipful Brother Terry Drollet. He was very much aware that I would be
with you this evening and specifically asked me to pass on his personal,
most warm wishes for a successful and fruitful commencement of your
Lodge in Inuvik.
My compliments go to the organizers of not only
this function, and the earlier ceremony, but also those who first
conceived the original Masonic Club which led us all to this evening of
I would also like to emphasize my, and Grand
Lodge's personal thanks to each Mason in this area for the hard work and
dedication which has today culminated in the institution of a new Lodge.
Please let me pause, for a moment, to pass some
observations on directly to Right Worshipful Brother Howard Townsend, on
his appointment to the position of Worshipful Master of Far North Lodge.
As the Masons of this area have already done, I
too wish to personally congratulate you on your preferment among the
This is both an honour and a responsibility.
While I have no doubt that the term of office during which you serve the
brethren will be your most memorable time as a Freemason., I must also
emphasize to you that during that term of office, you will be expected
to attain the same high standards and goals as your predecessors in all
Lodges since antiquity.
Your brethren and the Senior Grand Lodge
Officers will look to you, and depend on you, to shepherd Freemasonry in
I trust you noticed that I did not refer to the
term of office as "Your Year". That term is often used for
Worshipful Masters, District Deputies, and even Grand Masters. It is
however, one that may leave the wrong impression.
These are not years which belong to us
individually, but rather years which rightfully belong to our Brethren,
and during which we serve them.
My Brother, enjoy "your year" as
Master, however, please bear in mind that it is "your year" to
Let me now give you, and the rest of those here
assembled, a bit of advice on how to handle some of the most difficult
questions that can be posed to Worshipful Masters, and Mason, or their
First: What is Freemasonry?
Second: What do
And Finally: Who are Freemasons anyway?
What is Freemasonry?
If we attempted to answer with the standard
phrase of "a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory, and
illustrated by symbols" we would have lost your audience within the
first 20 seconds.
Why not simply tell the truth!
Our Masonry is a men's fraternity: one with a
high moral basis, and a degree of educational content, which assists
each of us to grow and improve as men.
We place an extremely high value on our
families, and on patriotism, and we pride ourselves on being truthful
and honest, in our dealings with each other, and with all mankind.
We are not another service organization, we are
not affiliated with any religion, nor do we sell or promote any product.
While we are extremely generous in our
charitable works, Freemasonry is not a charitable organization, and what
charitable works we do are not publicized, nor flaunted.
In the simplest terms, Freemasonry is a men's
fraternity to which hundreds of thousands of the world's best citizens
belong, because, being a Freemason is consistent with our own good
character, and allows us to associate and recognize others with those
The second question is: What do Freemasons do?
This is the easiest to answer.
Brethren, Freemasons do what you do. Freemasons
are typical of most Canadians who work for a living, attend church,
marry and have families, are active in their communities, take pride in
their children, are honest and trusted employees, and employers, and can
always be found when there is a task to do which may help another human
To answer the question, you simply look at any
Mason; and there you will find the litany of what Freemasons do. Each
Mason's life is representative of the life of every Mason, and by what
each is observed doing, it may be fairly assumed that other Freemasons
It is both a privilege and a responsibility to
wear the mantle of Freemasonry.
The final question is
somewhat more difficult to address.
Who are Freemasons?
They are leaders in industry, religion, sports,
communities, families, governments, charitable organizations, in fact,
every walk of life.
They are often the hardest working, yet the
least recognized in any group.
They are often the most generous yet the least
acknowledged among their peers.
Who are Freemasons? We
What do Freemasons do? They do what we are
seen to do.
Freemasonry? It is
that which brings us
here today, and binds us
I promised Right Worshipful Brother Townsend
that I would not be long-winded. (Not fully trusting my word, he had me
frisked for any hidden "white binders").
Let me thank each one of you, for your kind and
generous attention this evening.
To the Masons, I also thank you for being here,
for being Freemasons, and for attending to your duties today.
I must also express the thanks of Grand Lodge
for your having exhibited that "Commitment" as Freemasons
which our Grand Master has chosen as our theme for this Masonic year.
To each of you I express not only my thanks,
and the thanks of the Grand Lodge of Alberta, but also our
congratulations to the members of this newest of Lodges.
I look forward to my return in a year or so for
the formal Consecration of Far North Lodge.
That will be the culmination of many months of
effort for the Masons in this area, and yet another beginning of the
next phase in the traditions of Masonry through the centuries.
Again, I thank each one of you, and I am indeed