Thank you to MW Bro. Elliott and all of the Brethren who were involved in the 2023 Annual Communication. It was an excellent event, and the new format was enjoyed by everyone with whom I spoke. The slight change to the program allowed for more Brethren to plan their attendance with a bit more flexibility. I congratulate all the Elected and Appointed officers. I look forward to serving the Jurisdiction with each of you throughout the next year.
My theme for the year is “Continue the Work.”
The Work which is offered by Freemasonry is the ability for one to improve himself and thereby the world around him. The image of the sculptor, who is made of Marble himself, is in my mind as I think about Mason-ic Work. This being my first Musings, I think it is best to start by referencing Simon Synek’s book: “Start with Why.”
In “Start with Why,” the author discusses the difference and similarities between organizations which thrive, and organizations which do not. Although I am sure I will not do the story justice, I will try to paraphrase a part of the book. I strongly encourage every brother to read this book, or at least to look it up on Blinkist or YouTube for a synopsis.
The Author discusses the Wright brothers and the race to create the first successful powered airplane. I was surprised to learn that there were many organizations vying to be responsible for the first powered aircraft to fly. The Wright Brothers crew consisted mostly of volunteers and donated parts. Each day when they inevita-bly crashed their plane, they would need to collect the debris, as they had very few spare parts. Conversely, their main competition was well funded, had many of the best employees that money could buy, and many pieces and parts to work on their designs and concepts. The one thing that the competition did not have was the Wright Brothers' purpose. The competition did not have their “Why.”
In Freemasonry, I believe our collective “WHY” can be found when examining our Vision Statement and the unofficial Mission Statement of Freemasonry the world over.
Our Vision Statement is:
“To be the Fraternal Organization of Choice for Men in the Province of Saskatchewan.”
And the unofficial Mission Statement of Freemasonry is “Masonry - making good men better.” Which should be understood more effectively as:
“To provide the tools with which a good man can make himself better.”
The Vision Statement reflects the belief that Masons across the jurisdiction want to be examples for men of good character to emulate. ‘We’ want our organization to truly reflect the values which ‘We’ believe it does; and more importantly, ‘We’ want those men who are seeking a fraternal organization to see Freema-sonry in the same light ‘We’ do. It means that ‘We’ see lodge meetings and events as a valued part of our lives, well worth the time and commitment ‘We’ give it; that the pursuit of these commitments and in-volvement in these meetings and events enriches our lives.
Similarly, I see the unofficial Mission Statement as a reflection of the charges in the Constitution, continu-ally encouraging each of us to improve ourselves so that we may improve the lives of those around us.
“As a last general recommendation, let me exhort you to dedicate yourself to such pursuits as may enable you to retain respect in your rank in life, be useful to mankind, and an ornament to the socie-ty which you have this day been admitted a member.”
MW Bro. Jonas Cossette, Grand Master, 2023-24