From the Grand Master … (May 2018)
With the last snow and ice storm in our rear view mirrors, spring I believe has finally arrived in the Ottawa Valley.
Deputy Grand Master David J. Cameron; Grand Secretary Terence Shand and I recently attended this year’s thirty sixth annual All Canada Conference of Grand and District Grand Lodges A.F. & A.M. which was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 27th & 28th.
All Provincial Grand Lodges were represented at this year’s Conference including the Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island with their Grand Master, Kevin Crozier. This Grand Lodge, for monetary reasons, had stood down over the last several years however, with Prince Edward Island in attendance this Conference was truly an All Canada Conference.
Among those in the Observers Galley were Simon LaPlace, Executive of the Masonic Service Association of North America and Robert Brethour, Grand Secretary General A.A.S.R. of Canada along with PDDGM of Manitoba, Senior Wardens and Junior Warden of member Grand Lodges.
President of the Conference Andre Bovin, Grand Lodge of Quebec and his Team put together a progressive agenda which included the following reports, which were received and discussed at length by all attendees: the Conference of Grand Masters of North America; the Conference of Grand Secretaries of North America; the Commission on Information for Recognition; the XV World Conference of regular Grand Lodges in Madagascar.
The several Grand Masters gave reports on their Grand Lodge under a common theme of what works for them and what doesn’t work for them. This stimulated much questions & answers after each presentation.
The Grand Master of Nova Scotia made a presentation on Widows Sons - policies which stimulated much discussion by each Grand Lodge on their policies regarding the Widows Sons.
The Grand Masters, Deputy Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries each participated in their own breakout groups with following subjects:
Grand Masters: Incorporation & Voluntary Disclosure of Grand Lodge and Lodges; Deputy Grand Masters: Discord in Lodges and influential control by senior Brethren; Grand Secretaries: Automation of the Grand Lodge and Lodges (systems, reports and resistance). Each group, by way of a spokesman, presented their conclusions and then participated in a question and answer session. In my opinion, the breakout groups at this conference is one of the main ways to exchange information on a variety of subjects. The other way information is exchanged, is at the informal social gathering which took place each evening.
The two speakers of the Conference were Chibu Uson of the Masonic Renewal Committee of North America, who gave a very informative talk on the many initiatives and ways that his committee could help individual Grand Lodges on the subject of Membership renewal. The second speaker was Robert Conley PGM and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Michigan who spoke on shared services, the different types of services which are developed by a Grand Lodge i.e. data bases and in this case Michigan which can be shared by other Grand Lodges, a very topical subject for our Grand Lodge and well received by all Grand Lodges.
The two-day Conference concluded with the Installation of the Officers for 2019: President Don Ford, Saskatchewan; Vice President Jim Luddington, Nova Scotia; Secretary Steve Kane, Manitoba and Treasurer Richard Brown, Saskatchewan.
Before handing over the gavel to the new President, Andrea Boivin made note of the accomplishments of the outgoing Treasurer, Terence Shand, asking him to give a history of his association with the All Canada Conference. In conclusion, Terry received a rousing applause and standing ovation. A very touching response that was well deserved and much appreciated by Terry.
The All Canada Conference of Grand and District Grand Lodge is a very informative, educational vehicle for our Grand Lodge in general and our senior Grand Lodge officers in particular.
Something to Think About: a subject, although not Masonic, but is having an effect on Masonry today in Ontario. Gossip (n) - a person and or persons who habitually reveal personal or sensational facts about others whether true or not true. Now Think About This: People will question all the good things they hear about someone but believe all the bad things they hear or read about you. Do I need to mention Social Media?
Paul E. Todd