Hello, My Brothers!

As I listened to the television throughout the day, there were two stories that seemed to cut through – the passing of Senator John McCain, and the Queen of Soul – Aretha Franklin. I reflected on how I grew up during the period that both of these individuals climbed the ladder of their chosen careers. As a variety of people delivered the solemn and eloquent comments, some were associates, and some were friends, but regardless of the relationship, the comments were all positive and similar, regardless of who was sharing their thoughts of the particular individual.

John McCain was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a pilot and became a hero, spending five years as a prisoner of war at the “Hanoi Hilton” (those who lived through Vietnam will remember). Remaining strong and returning home John McCain continued to serve his country as a congressman and ultimately a respected and revered Senator of the United States. Aretha Franklin, known as “The Queen of Soul” was equally accomplished in her career of singing and entertaining, with her music delivering messages that challenged the view of the social status quo. Aretha was a lady, who was known by all who were around during the years of her success, which started in the 60’s and continued during the many decades that followed.

As I listened intently to the shared comments about each, one thing became clear; both walked very different roads through life, yet they were both the same. Both climbed the ladder of success, activists each in their own right, and they both reached lofty pinnacles in their chosen careers. Reflecting further on these achievements; it soon became clear that it was a high level of moral character that allowed, in spite of differences, each to pave the way to their successes and the positive impact to those they touched, leaving this world a better place than when they entered.

Our fraternity of Freemasonry is similar! We are all different, yet the high level of moral character that we each strive to achieve makes us similar with the worthy goal of leaving this Earth in a better state than when we arrived. Whether on a global or local level, our fraternity is about positively impacting those around us.

Some good news on our modular building, we have passed all the required inspections and received the Certificate of Occupancy and are ready to move in. Ill:. Keith, our General Secretary, has a separate article in this eNews requesting your assistance in transferring what we have stored in PODS to the new modular building that is on-site. You know the saying – “many hands make little work!”

The Executive Committee has started planning what’s next for the Valley of Orlando. They are establishing a vision statement, so we can all focus on those activities that will take us forward in the growth of membership, enrichment of our VMAP efforts, and ensuring that they consider the needs and desires of all our members in making our plans in moving us forward into tomorrow. A special note for the members of the Executive Committee – a reminder, your attendance is required at all Executive Committee meetings, but most importantly, at the up and coming Exec Com meeting on the 26th of September. We need your input and feedback as we look forward!

Speaking of the future and moving forward, membership is important, and now is the time we should be introducing the A.A.S.R. and the benefits that are available to assist a Master Mason to continue with further growth and a deeper understanding of our Masonic fraternity. While membership efforts should be a year-round effort the three months before each reunion are particularly important and reminds those, who were considering the A.A.S.R., that now is the time to act.

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. 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°
Personal Representative

“People forget what you say, and forget what you do, but forever remember how you made them feel!”