COVID-19 Update September 03, 2020 Temple Corporations
As mentioned previously, all decisions that are being made by Grand Lodge regarding the COVID-19 situation are under constant review and subject to change as things change. We may not always get it correct on the first try. In addition, I must reiterate that we continue to hold the health and safety of all our Masonic membership as paramount.
Last week we issued a directive regarding the usage of Masonic facilities under the direction of Temple Corporations. Grand Lodge has always recognized that Temple Corporations being separate legal entities are not governed by our Constitution and policies. The message last week was not intended to alter that relationship, but was issued solely with the health and safety of our members in mind.
We have since received a number of suggestions and concerns, particularly related to the ability of the Temple Corporations to generate revenue from their operations. We have also monitored the developments as to the enforcement of local health regulations connected to the pandemic as they relate to the reopening of some businesses, restaurants, community spaces, etc.
Therefore we have made a change to the policy related to the rental of Masonic facilities by Temple Corporations under whose authority those spaces fall.
Effective immediately, Temple Corporations may continue to rent or lease their facilities (with the exception of Craft Lodge rooms) to outside groups provided that the Temple Corporation and the renter/lessee observe all local and provincial health regulations. Those outside groups include any Masonic or non-Masonic bodies NOT bound by the Constitution and directives of Grand Lodge. Note that the cancellation of all Masonic meetings and events in the Province continues to be extended until AT LEAST October 31 2020. Masonic meetings includes, but is not limited to, Regular and Emergent Lodge meetings, Lodge Committee Meetings, Lodge Committee of General Purposes meetings and Masonic Memorial Services.
We again refer you to the Ontario government document regarding guidance in the safe re-opening of workplace. The document can be found at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/develop-your-covid-19-workplace-safety-plan
If there are specific events that you are unsure about, please contact us in advance for guidance. Please note that this policy will continue to be reviewed as the pandemic situation evolves.