We now pitch in to a New Year full of significance for our gentle craft. Three hundred years of good men developing themselves to better repair the world that will be enjoyed by their children and grandchildren. And so it is a time to reflect on what we are: as people; as Freemasons; and members of our Lodge. The New Year resolutions we all made and most likely will break pall into insignificance against the obligations we take as Masons: obligations that bind us to improve ourselves; obligations to our brothers, our families, to society and to God; obligations that force us to dig deep into ourselves and ask whether we are doing the best we can. By these obligations we form a society in which we can all feel “at home” whether we are the high or the low, the rich or the poor, remembering that Masonry unites us all no matter our country, sect, or opinion and causes true friendship to exist among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance. Our Lodge fully reflects these ideals.
We are making a good start to the year with two initiations and a raising, an application under investigation and two more prospects who have asked for applications. Our brother to be raised will fill the last still open line position of Junior Steward. So I expect your new line of officers is going to be very busy this year learning the rituals for all three degrees to maintain our tradition of excellent degree work and using the line to develop the skills of our members. I already see three more strong candidates for the line and revel in the luxury afforded by no less than three officer’s coaches, other past masters leading in the life of the lodge, and a solid cadre of brothers willing to “make things happen”.
This year we are taking steps to memorialize the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of the first Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of England. A group of us will travel over to the UK to visit two or three Grand Lodges, the Kilwinnig Mother Lodge, Rosslyn Chapel, exemplify a second degree in Ethelfleda Lodge in Tamworth (and perhaps two other lodges) and join in the 300th anniversary celebrations in Weston Park over the weekend of 24/25 June. We should have a pretty memorable presentation of pictures and mementos at our August Stated Meeting.
Other notable events recent or planned include: our Crab Feed on January 28th; the Spring Dinner Theater on March 11 (see flyer in this trestle board); our annual Luau at our July Stated meeting which will be moved from July 4th to July 11th; our Past Masters’ degree at Mendocino Lodge August 19th (which I do hope might be a third degree) ; a Maryland crab feed in September; our annual Oktoberfest at the October Stated Meeting; and lastly the 2018 officers installation on December 9th. We are also intending a closer collaboration with Orinda lodge this year, to be side liners at each other’s degrees, and enhance that bond of brotherhood that has been growing between our lodges over many years.
And so I challenge all of you who can, to attend the many degrees we shall celebrate this year, and renew with the candidates those obligations you once took kneeling at the altar, to recognize again the seriousness of those promises made perhaps so long ago. Promises that you kept and which have made our lodge such a strong bastion of all that is best in Freemasonry. So come along and help us celebrate the degrees of initiation, passing and raising this year, and help our degree teams do the best of which they are capable.