The GM speaks: A Grand Proclamation
16 November 23
A Grand Proclamation
I welcome you all here tonight, and again I acknowledge the attendance of our Grand Masters, the visiting Grand Masters and the leaders of other Orders.
I also welcome our ladies and our special guests. It is wonderful to have you all with us here today and I hope you have a wonderful and memorable day with us.
Today is special, because today we introduce a new team that will be supporting us during the upcoming masonic term, and I especially congratulate and thank those that are finishing their term of office here tonight. The selfless service and dedication that you have all applied to your roles has, no doubt, ensured that this Grand Lodge and Freemasonry throughout our jurisdiction will continue to flourish into the future, so on behalf of all NSW and ACT Freemasons, I thank all those brethren that have finished their terms of office and wish you all the very best for the future.
Over the past couple of years, my team and I have done our best to lead from the front, and we are now starting to witness the fruits of our labours. Our recent restructuring and cost cutting measures, together with newly introduced technology will pave the way for a more financially sound future.
Over the next twelve months or so our Board of Management will assist the lodges to use our new technology to lessen the administrative burden that is regularly placed on our secretaries and executive officers.
There is no doubt that times are changing, and we are living through a very rocky economic period. I congratulate you all on your resilience and your ability to adjust during an ever-changing economy. Like it or not, as times change we will have to change as well. The way things have been done for the last hundred years simply won’t support us through the next hundred years. We can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect to see a different result. The modern Freemason, like his predecessor, is a family man, but today’s family more than any time before, needs to balance every aspect of their life. In many cases both mum and dad are now required to work, and they need to balance that work with raising children, home duties, and at the same time, attempt to cram some important leisure time into the mix.
No doubt Freemasonry plays a very important role in all our lives and, of course we want others to experience the joy that we get from attending lodge – supporting our local communities, and just meeting together like we are here today. Our ceremonial and business administration teams have been specially selected to work together, and I can assure you all that we will continue to work at providing the tools necessary to help you achieve that balance.
We will continue to do everything we can to allow new members to come, stay and grow within our ranks, and while the future will undoubtably look a little different from the past, freemasonry will always play its important role within our communities and within our lives.
For example, it is becoming more important today than ever before to understand the difference between a lodge building and a lodge. A building is bricks and mortar, but a lodge is a group of masons that meet in the grand design of being happy and conferring happiness. In these times it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage a building with just the members’ fees supporting all the costs associated with the outgoings and the upkeep. Unless we keep moving toward some kind of commercialisation it will eventually become impossible to keep the doors of the traditional masonic centre open.
Some lodges are, to their credit, transitioning from managing a building to an easier rental type of arrangement. This keeps the costs down and takes the pressure off constantly trying to balance the books. Others are commercialising their buildings to meet the ongoings and future renovation costs and I absolutely applaud and support both types of management. At the end of the day, it is about the lodge and its members, and our ability to share with each other moments like this. Freemasonry is about community; it is about family and friends and while everything around us is continually changing, our basic principles and objectives will always remain constant.
Brethren and ladies, it is wonderful to see you here, and to share this special occasion with you all. I especially welcome and thank our ladies who do so much to support us as we fulfil our lodge commitments and obligations and I look forward to sharing a wonderful and enjoyable evening with you.
Narelle and I thank you all for being with us tonight, and I certainly look forward to many more special times with you all as we move forward into another exciting and successful masonic year.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and those closest to you as we live our lives with:
Humility – Kindness – Generosity.