From the Grand Master
Brethren, as the daylight grows shorter and the temperature begins to drop we know that fall is around the corner. However, I want to begin this Communique with a look back, specifically to the Grand Lodge Annual Communication in July 2017.
It was of course a special event with the Installation of a new group of District Deputy Grand Masters, a new Deputy Grand Master and the event I remember the most, of course, is the installation of a new Grand Master.
I will never forget that day. It was made even more important with family and friends, from all over Ontario, present. I am simply truly blessed and will do my best for the Masons of Ontario. Thank you, Brethren!
There was one experience those of you who were in attendance, at Grand Lodge, will always appreciate and that is democracy was alive and well in Ontario Masonry.
As you are no doubt aware several amendments to the Constitution were proposed and all those declared regular were passed with the exception of one. Although it was thought to be a good idea by some, such was not the case for the Brethren on the floor of Grand Lodge.
As social media may have played a part, there was much negative talk about the amendment and when it came time to vote there was an amendment proposed to change some of the wording. In the end, the amendment to the amendment failed and the vote came back to the original amendment and the original amendment was lost. What happened last July at Grand Lodge was an example of true democracy in our Grand Lodge.
During the last week of July, a team consisting of the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Secretary, and led by the Custodian of the Work, conducted the Regional Travelling Road Show. When finished we had delivered our message in the following areas; London, Hamilton, Huntsville and Napanee. As always, it gave our team an opportunity to meet and inform the District Deputy Grand Masters of our Grand Jurisprudence as they began their Masonic year. Unfortunately, in some Districts, there were not enough qualified candidates for the position. Four Districts did not have a new District Deputy Grand Master. Three repeated another term and one Past District Deputy opportunity” (problem) continues to grow and we, as a Grand Lodge, need to get out in front of this issue.
There are several reasons for not having sufficiently qualified aspirants for the position of District Deputy Grand Master in forty-two Districts. One of the main reasons is our Grand Lodge membership is now under forty thousand which is less than half of what it was in our highest days of membership.
As a Deputy Grand Master and now Grand Master I have spoken in several Districts across this province about a possible change in the term of the District Deputy Grand Master. Since it would appear that we no longer have enough qualified aspirants for DDGM and discourse has begun, much more discussion and reflection is needed before a decision can be made by you and Grand Lodge via an amendment to the Constitution.
Another issue being discussed is instead of having forty-two District Deputy Grand Master change each term, perhaps we would be better served to change only half the number each year. In other words, staggering the changes.
The Immediate Past Grand Master, in his farewell speech to Grand Lodge, suggested that the Past Master Course has run its course and perhaps should be changed and combined with the DDGM Orientation Course.
Last week I, along with the Deputy Grand Master as Chairman, met with a Committee of representatives from the College of Freemasonry and the DDGM Orientation Committee to discuss and begin a dialogue on a possible solution to Past Grand Master Green’s recommendation. Progress is being made!
Your Grand Lodge has begun a “constructive reflection” of our Grand Lodge & Committee structure to create a more Effective & Efficient Grand Lodge which will bring the word “Change” into our Masonic Dictionary.
Read now the words of Nathaniel Branden, a writer known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem, on how to implement Change:
The first step toward Change is Awareness The second step is Acceptance.
The third step is to CHANGE.
We are, my Brothers, at the Awareness step.
Paul E. Todd