We have made a very strong start to the year, with a double first degree straight out of the gate, and a third degree a month later. We have another candidate for initiation, and an application to be voted on in the March Stated Meeting while one or more applicants wait in the wings. We have one more candidate almost ready for his third degree and another for a second degree.
While all this places a major strain on our officers, this is certainly a nice problem to have. How we arrived at this juncture is certainly a long story with many possible interpretations. Over the past seven years I have seen a persistent improvement in our lodge. I saw it in the improvements made in ritual by successive Masters and their Officers. I saw it in the improvements in administration created by successive Masters, Treasurers and Secretaries. I saw it in the improvements to the lodge furniture and fabric by successive Hall Associations. I have seen the contribution of individuals and small groups in the curtains on the Stage, the pillars in the dining room, the remodeling of storage spaces, and many more.
This has all been accompanied by a sense of purpose, confidence and love of the craft that creates an audible Buzz in the dining hall before stated meetings, and increasing numbers of sideliners in our Stated Meetings and Degrees. And before my time the prolonged and agonizing recovery from an epic flood that could have killed the lodge. The enthusiastic development is ongoing and will result in a new sound system to combat our poor acoustics; and the retirement and replacement of a carpet essential to our second degree.
Time, Patience and Perseverance have kept our lodge going and developing through its ups and downs, just as Freemasonry has through three centuries. And all this allows us to better focus on the essential messages of Freemasonry. Freemasons have focused on Freedom as the essential basis for human development. We hone those freedoms through brotherly love, relief and truth while we bound our passions and desires by the judicious balance of rights and duties. Oh indeed it is a rich tapestry we have inherited, and we are all doing our part in its maintenance and development.