My Brothers and Friends of the Scottish Rite:
I recently read the May 2017 Short Talk Bulletin titled “Change,” which was written by Raymond Stanley Daniels who was the 74th Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, serving from 2009 – 2011. As I completed my read, I started thinking about just how much change has taken place around us in our daily lives. A large portion of it driven by technology, but I reflected that it also was in response to the changing population in the USA, and around the globe. I ask these questions – “What change have you made or seen made in Freemasonry?” “What change is needed in Freemasonry?” “What change is made in my work environment, and why does this not apply to Freemasonry?” I anticipate that the answers will be wide-ranging, and in some cases, I would probably hear – Freemasonry has been around a long time, and we do not need to make a change, or it will no longer be Freemasonry.
Take a moment and reflect on these quotes from notable Brothers and others from the past:
“The successful innovator is one who conceives new ways to carry on the old traditions of an old established organization.”
MW R. Johnston, Grand Master of New South Wales, 1991
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice: it is not a thing to be waiting for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
William Jennings Bryan 1860 – 1925
“The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.” In other words, “Decisions determine destiny.”Oliver Wendall Holmes 1809 – 1894
We cannot live in the past; however tremendous and glorious our history may be. Those great men of the past are long gone. Masonry is the men, and a lodge is the members today. The report of the special task force of the Masonic Information Center titled “It’s About Time: Moving Masonry into the 21st Century” (2005) begins with this wakeup call quoting Michael Hammer: “One thing that tells me a company is in trouble is when they tell me how good they were in the past. Same with countries. You don’t want to forget your identity. I am glad you were great in the past, but that was then, and this is now. When memories exceed dreams, the end is near.”
My Brothers….. please take time to reflect on these abbreviated comments and don’t just ask the questions, but start making the change that will take Freemasonry forward. That is what I am focused on and what I will be attempting to accomplish. Remember, “Change is my friend,” please make it yours!
In that, this is a Biennial Year we will be coronating and investing brothers from around the Orient with honors. This will again take place in the Valley of Tampa with details to follow after our summer Council of 400 meeting. However, for now, I encourage all who desire to attend to put the weekend of November 9th and 10th on your calendar. The Ceremony of Coronation for new 33° Inspectors Generals will take place the morning of November 9th, and the Ceremony of Investiture of new Knights Commanders of the Court of Honour will take place the afternoon of the 9th. The evening of the 9th will be the Celebratory Banquet. As soon as details are final, I will ensure they are published in our eNews so you can lock in your plans for that weekend. Once the details are final, I will have some exciting and good news concerning the Honors Weekend in Tampa.
As you are aware, the A.A.S.R. is an organization that confers or communicates twenty-nine additional degrees and is structured to provide further Masonic Education to assist a Master Mason to grow and expand his knowledge and understanding of our great fraternity. I am confident that there are many of you out there who have a particular subject, topic, thought or experience that could be shared that would be of interest to brothers that receive our eNews. If you would like to prepare an article (and I strongly encourage you to do so) that would be published in a future edition, please get with me via email or text and give me a quick overview of what your topic will be and when you can have it ready. We will then schedule your article in a future edition.
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 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 make them feel!”