From the Grand Master …
M.W. Bro. Simpson, Grand Master, wrote in the Proceedings of 1865:
Bro. Rudyard Kipling wrote a short story called 'In the Interests of the Brethren' which describes a lodge meeting frequented by WWI soldiers on leave, many with quite debilitating war wounds:
“He used to talk to the men who dropped into his shop when the war began. He told us sleepy old chaps in Lodge that what men wanted more than anything else was Lodges where they could sit - just sit and be happy like we are now. He was right too. We’re learning things in the war. A man’s Lodge means more to him than people imagine.”
“The Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario and its staff and volunteers throughout Ontario are committed to treating all individuals in a way that enables them to maintain their dignity and independence. Masonry stresses the principles of kindness, consideration, courtesy, dependability, and compassion. Our commitment to accessibility extends these principles to include those of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. We are committed to ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for everyone and to providing equal opportunity, access and integration for people with disabilities. We are committed to ensuring compliance with all applicable federal and provincial accessibility laws and to identifying, removing, and preventing barriers to accessibility.”
The full text is available through a link on the front page of our website. We have commenced training for Grand Lodge officers and staff, but I would highly recommend all leaders in the Craft avail themselves of this. In fact all Freemasons should consider it.
Online “self-serve” training videos for general AODA content are available for all to access at https://accessforward.ca and training on the Ontario Human Rights Code content as it relates to AODA compliance and awareness about discrimination related to disability is available at http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/learning/working-togethercode-and-aoda.
David J. Cameron,