My Brothers All:
While I find it hard to believe the 2017 year is coming to a close and 2018 will soon begin. I am not sure you feel the same way, but it sure seemed to start and end quickly. As we close the year, it seems appropriate that we take a moment to reflect on what we have accomplished together as a Valley, and what we still have to do to continue improving and making our Valley stringer and one that is in the top quartile of those that are in the Southern Jurisdiction.
We started the year focused on utilizing VMAP to plan our year and ensure we are focused on those initiatives that we identified and would allow us to take steps toward continuous improvement. We had already acknowledged that we needed to the right size the infrastructure that we were utilizing to conduct the business of the Rite in Central Florida and was the biggest we have had to make in our history as a Valley. We obtained a market analysis of the building and property, agreed with an extraordinarily efficient and active real estate broker that caused a successful sale of our facility for a fair market price.
We have entered into an agreement with Winter Park Masonic Lodge No. 239, our long-time neighbors, and the Lodge in which we began our Journey as a Valley in 1952. The relocation occurred, and we held our fall reunion in our new home, successfully elevating eight (8) Master Masons to Masters of the Royal Secret.
As indicated above, we have focused on VMAP to plan our year and over the closing weeks of 2017 will evaluate our performance against the actions we had established within the VMAP structure. I understand that we are already receiving petitions from brothers throughout the geographic area we serve, and will hopefully create a sizable Spring Reunion in 2018.
In that this was a biennial year, we were able to honor ten (10) Masters of the Royal Secret by making them Knights Commander of the Court of Honor; and three (3) KCCH honorees from the past to Illustrious 33° Inspectors General Honorary. Again, I say, congratulations to these brothers, your honors were well deserved, and I look forward to continuing to work with you over the years to maintain strengthening our Valley, the Rite, and Freemasonry! Before I continue… thanks to every one of you, who participated this year. Please know your support was appreciated, and together we made a difference!
We are now at that point where 2017 is just about in the history books, and we need to plan our 2018 year. Our December Executive Committee meeting will include a segment of VMAP accomplishments and discussion on plans for next year. I hope all Executive Committee members will be in attendance so we can utilize the resources of all to ensure we have plans for a prosperous 2018 that best serve all brothers.
Remember our December meeting will be held on the 2nd Friday, the 8th of December, and will not be a Holiday Extravaganza as we have done for many years in the past. We will have a spaghetti dinner and a holiday movie. Please know that we will look at planning a more robust December meeting in 2018.
Until next time, remember the many things for which you are thankful! Be safe in your travels; “whisper wise counsel in the ear of an erring brother;” and respect the dignity of all, as it makes you and our fraternity stronger one action at a time. We are realizing the benefits of Scottish Rite Freemasonry as we actively participate today. We want to ensure that what we are enjoying today will be strong for those who will follow. Simply stated – “We lead the way today, so those who follow us can lead the way tomorrow!” Thanks for your continued support and participation; and may the “Spirit of Fraternity” reign supreme within our “Valley of Orlando!”
Ill:. Chester A. “Chet” King, 33°
“People forget what you say, and forget what you do, but forever remember how you made them feel!”