My Brothers all,
Let me first thank you for all your years of support, guidance and faith, without which I would never have had the courage to accept the honor of being elected to sit in the Oriental Chair. With your continuing support and active participation, I will do the best I can for my Brothers, Village Lodge and Masonry. Our successes will be a result of this team effort and the wisdom and strength the Supreme Architect shares with us.
I want to thank Brother Chris Ozog, our most recent Past Master, on Village Lodge’s behalf, for his years of dedication and work for his Brothers and Masonry. Watching and sharing in Chris’ personal growth and journey to the East as his Brother and Senior Warden has been an amazing experience. For such a young man and Brother to have the maturity and devotion to the tenets of Masonry that Chris has shown gives me confidence in the future of Masonry.
On a personal level, I owe Chris a great deal for his support. From his sharing of ritual cards to personal practice sessions, Chris has always been willing and available. Although he thought he was getting this next year off, he has agreed to continue to be a resource, as have all the Past Masters: a resource that will continue to be valuable to all of us in Village Lodge.
I have spent the past year reflecting on a vision for my year in the East. Past Masters urged me to use my Senior Warden year to prepare for sharing my vision through the educational and fellowship programs that I wish to present. I have learned over my lifetime never to try to “rebuild the wheel,” so I will work with the tools that Masonry has taught for so many centuries. The values and tenets Masonry espouses, including but not limited to Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, have withstood the test of time and are guideposts for each of us within our fraternity. They allow us to improve ourselves in Masonry and make ourselves, our Brothers, and all the lives we touch, better for our actions.
My vision is based on the principle of Brotherly Love and Relief and will be expressed by the service that we, as individual Brothers and as our Lodge, provide to worthy Brothers, their wives, widows and orphans, as well as within our community. Service to Masonry and to others will be stressed. Muhammad Ali wrote “the Service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” I find this to be a very powerful sentiment and one that is worthy of emulation. I hope and desire that my Brothers will share this among themselves and with others through Village events and in their personal lives. It is my hope that Village will have four fundraising events this year, allowing the Brothers to share themselves with others through experiences of service to others in need.
Although I came to Masonry later in my life, it has provided me a reservoir of strength, friendship and wisdom that I lean on in my life’s journey. The concepts of Brotherhood that Masonry has gifted us with are so very powerful and important to me and will continue to grow through the sharing of ourselves and our experiences with others.
Again my Brothers, I thank you for this opportunity to serve you and Village Lodge 29, and I look forward to a year that offers each of us opportunities to enjoy each other and to support others while improving ourselves in Masonry. Together, with the Blessings of the Supreme Architect, Village Lodge 29 will continue to grow and make a difference in many lives.
Fraternally, Brother Bob McDonald, Worshipful Master