From the Grand Master ...
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
What does it take to be a leader in unprecedented times? Perseverance, flexibility and imagination.
This month will mark the anniversary of the “year that didn’t exist” as we are wont to call it. We decided that since we weren’t meeting we would extend all the Grand Lodge officers’ terms for a year so that we could take up where we left off and eventually visit all those lodges that had been on our agendas. But that is not likely to be. We wish this had not happened in our time but all we could do is decide what to do with what is given us.
We rapidly adapted to videoconferencing. The Board and their committee members, with extra time on their hands, reviewed and revised our programs. The Grand Treasurer thoroughly examined multiple scenarios of how we could fund our activities for the upcoming years. (See his letter included in this Communiqué.) The Grand Secretary, Chief Operating Officer and the office staff held down the fort. And District Deputies and District Secretaries shepherded the lodges in their charge through these challenging times, setting up videoconferences, staying in touch with the brethren by phone and newsletter, and managing the business of the districts.
We now have the capability to hold elections electronically for District Deputies and other Grand Lodge officers. Some incumbents may wish to run again. Some brethren were planning on running last year and have been patiently waiting for a chance. And there may be some who will put their name forward this year for the first time.
All this while not knowing when they will be able to resume all the traditional duties of the office, but ready to pitch in and help the Craft. Knowing they may have to persevere with video management for the first few months. Knowing that the large banquets and gatherings may not be possible at first. Having the flexibility to switch between virtual and in person duties. And having imagination to try new things.
If this describes you, I would recommend you consider letting your name stand for a Grand Lodge office. Although the elections seem a long time away, there are some deadlines to consider. Candidates for Grand Registrar, Grand Wardens, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary and the Board must have their nominations into the Office by April 1 as usual. Nomination papers sent in last year have been held over so those brethren do not need to resubmit. Anyone wishing to withdraw their nomination can do so until April 15.
In order to be able to have electronic voting for District Deputy Grand Masters this year, candidates for DDGM will have to submit written nomination papers to the current DDGM by May 30. Candidates should complete the work for their qualifying certificate by that date. The DDGM Preparation Team will run another course before then, and of course the College runs their course continually (and it’s free during the lockdown!)
Please follow the Grand Secretary’s correspondence for details on nominations and elections.
The upcoming year will have its challenges, but if you have a desire to help in leading the Craft to new heights, consider putting your name forth now.
“It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.”
- Samwise Gamgee
David J. Cameron,