I am honored and humbled to have become the 163rd Worshipful Master in the 211th year of our lodge. I am in awe of this responsibility. Because of my personal background, I thought of the USS Constitution, our Navy’s oldest commissioned ship, to help put in perspective the honor we your officers have.
The Constitution was a unique ‘Yankee’ design larger, more heavily gunned, and faster than enemy ships of her class. The USS Constitution was launched six years before our lodge received its warrant in 1803. At this time, she was fighting the North African Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean Sea. Ten years later, ‘Old Ironsides’ fought her most famous sea battles during the war of 1812, also when our national anthem was inspired by the defense of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Little remains of the original Constitution, having been repaired, overhauled, and refitted numerous times during her life. She is comprised now of newer, stronger, more resilient timbers cut and fitted similarly as the original construction.
Many in your officer line have been in the brotherhood less than ten years. Five brothers raised in 2013 immediately filled officer chairs vacated by the exigencies of life. Two of these five participated in Cincinnati’s award winning Master Mason Degree Ruffian Team, and one was awarded a prestigious gold lecture bar at the District Grand Lodge of Instruction. Like the Constitution, we have integrated fresh, dynamic, strong brothers amongst more mature ones to strengthen our vessel of integrity, fraternity and good works.
At our first communication in January, we will meet on the level to discuss how best to focus our efforts for furthering the initiatives of ’13 and previous years. Specifically, let us talk together about:
- Furthering both the fiscal and physical restoration of our Masonic Center;
- Identifying the inherent talents of brothers, then channeling these into resolving the challenges before us;
- Past Masters accelerating the mentoring of newly initiated brothers and enhancing officer progression;
- Renewed support of US Veterans at Lyons Veterans Hospital;
- Identifying fun family and Masonic activities that will appeal to our and other lodge brethren; and
- How best we can strive to be better men—in our homes, our vocations, and our lodges—while helping our brothers also to do so.
Please join us in setting the course for your lodge in 2014.
Charlie Johnson, WM