From the East ...
This is a message that I’ve been longing to send for over 18 months!
The most recent communication from Grand Lodge has given us the go-ahead to return, so our first in-person regular in 20 months will be Wed Nov 10. Our agenda will be relatively light: conduct any business; conduct our Remembrance Day ceremony and then retire to the banquet hall for a light festive board AFTER the meeting. This is exciting for many of us, but it will also be met with trepidation, and some anxiety, by others. Both Grand Lodge and the WMTL have put in place strict policies to help keep all the brethren safe. While further direction is forthcoming, please note:
Only fully vaccinated individuals are permitted in the building (this will be confirmed at the time of entry); Masks must be worn at all times when not actively eating or drinking (i.e. at all times in the Lodge room); Contact tracing information must be provided; and Sanitizer must be used upon entering the building.
There will likely be more information forthcoming from the Province, Grand Lodge and WMTL.
I appreciate that every Brother will have a slightly different emotional and intellectual response to returning to Lodge. Some will jump in with both feet, trying to pick up where we left off; shaking hands, and having lively conversations in a large group. Others will be more comfortable with enjoying the fellowship of the Lodge Room but will maintain a comfortable distance. Others still, will not feel comfortable coming to Lodge at all and being in a large group setting and will pine for our virtual meetings – which we may keep up in some form. What matters most is that regardless of one’s comfort level, we are all brothers and we respect the comfort level of others, including guests and visitors.
The public health regulations and those from Grand Lodge are there as a BARE MINIMUM and we must all take it upon ourselves to take advantage of our powers of observation, gut feelings and empathy to try to understand what not only others need, but what we need ourselves.
As a Lodge, we have stuck together through this. Through the efforts and zeal of our membership, we have come through one of the toughest times in our history and we are coming out the other side; stronger in some ways. There are things we have learned about each other in the past 18 months that we may not have come to realize in another situation. There are brethren we have seen, thanks to being forced to embrace technology, who would have otherwise remained names on a members list. As we come back, I know that we all learn from this period; keep the new things that work, and improve upon the ones that don’t.
All this to say, I sign off today with a heartfelt and joyous: LOOKING FOWRD TO SEEING YOU IN SOON.