As summer fades away and we celebrate the start of fall with Labour Day and the Labour Day Classic, we also celebrate our return from summer refreshment to Lodges at labour - at least for those who are dark in the summer. As we are now able to meet in our Lodges without restrictions, please remember to open your arms and hearts to all your Brothers and preserve harmony in our Lodges by observing our age-old practice of not discussing political or religious topics in Lodge. It is now time for us to unite stronger than ever and demonstrate to the world the values that we hold near and dear as Masons.
Congratulations to the newly elected and appointed Grand Lodge officers who joined me in assuming office at the Annual Communication held in Swift Current in June. I look forward to working with you to support the masons of Saskatchewan through Grand Lodge and the Board of General Purposes. On behalf of all in attendance, I offer a hearty thank you to MW Bro. Dan Olmsted and his team for hosting a successful event.
I am honored to serve as your Grand Master for 2022-23. My theme for the year is “If you build it, he will come.” When Ray Kinsella, the protagonist in W.P. Kinsella's 1982 novel Shoeless Joe, heard these words from a mysterious voice, he instantly envisioned the finished product he was destined to build. When you hear those words, are you able to envision what it is that that you are being asked to conceive?
In my acceptance speech, I provided 17 examples of actions we can take to build what is appropriate to attract men to our Lodges and retain them. In future editions of this newsletter, I will expand on these actions and the themes that encompass them, including education, fellowship, ritual, visitation (to the sick and to other Lodges), social functions including celebrations and special events, Masonic charity and family involvement.
As you know, our philanthropy is Youth, which we support through scholarships and bursaries at the lodge and Grand Lodge level, along with a variety of youth programs sponsored by lodges. One of our most visible programs is the Masonic Youth Leadership Camp, which was held for the first time since 2019 in August at Green Grove Camp at Wakaw Lake. Congratulations go to RW Bro. Jonas Cossette and his team of volunteers who provided the 16 campers with an engaging experience. I was able to join them for a dip in the lake on Thursday and present certificates to the campers on Friday. It is not too early to start soliciting young men and women for next summers camp – more information will follow shortly.
To help support the camp, I am making my Grand Master Challenge coin (see below) available for a minimum $20 donation to the Masonic Youth Leadership Camp (MYLC). More information will be available on the Grand Lodge website.
If you would like me to visit your Lodge or participate in a special event such as a long-service certificate, table lodge or banquet, please send your request to the Grand Lodge office and I and my officers will make every effort to accommodate them. You are welcome to contact me informally to determine if potential dates will likely work in advance of submitting a formal request.
“If you build it, he will come”
MW Bro. Dean Elliott, Grand Master, 2022-23