Grand Masters Message
Grand Master’s Address to the Brethren in the December 2017 edition of The Freemason magazine, including his Address to Grand Lodge at our semi-annual in November
Brother Peter Iacobucci
Most Worshipful Grand Master
Fraternal Greetings Brothers,
Today marks the halfway mark of the Masonic year and to date I can assure you that it has been a wonderful time for Gilly and I. Sitting in the Grand East lends a different perspective to the status of the Craft in a jurisdiction. One has the opportunity to see the jurisdiction as a whole not as a fragment. All too often, the small disturbances within a lodge create the appearance that the entire Craft is the same. Viewing from that microcosm is not a true picture of the whole. It is similar to the old saying that "you can't see the forest because of the trees." Yet, rising above you catch a glimpse of the wonderful work the lodges and districts are accomplishing. There is a general enthusiasm within our jurisdiction to embrace Freemasonry for the values and virtues that are our cornerstone. Lodges are performing great ritual by initiating the candidate as the ritual intended, and displaying our tenents with care and zeal. Thereby, impressing upon the initiate the importance of what we have to offer. There are a myriad of events such as special ladies events, table lodges, picnics, cigar dinners, weekend retreats, and fundraisers for charity, just to mention a few. Lodges are travelling within and without their districts and also outside our jurisdiction to not only other states but countries as well. We had several brothers travel to Cuba to partake in fellowship. This itself is a milestone for Freemasonry.
There is a general sense of unity that embraces our Craft which can only happen when individual brothers and lodges share fellowship and good times. Some of this is evidenced with the large suites that our District Deputy Grand Masters are enjoying. Their work within their respective districts has been outstanding. Grand Lodge has a Grand Line of officers who deeply care about the Craft, the lodges, and the individual brother. Whatever a brother or lodge might need, Grand Lodge can be a great resource to achieve your goals.
The events over the past six months are too numerous to expound upon but there are several unusual ones that I think we should recognize as these events that have placed Freemasonry in the public eye. These you will read about more in depth in this issue of the RI Freemason.
- St. Paul's Lodge 200th Anniversary Cornerstone rededication ceremony.
- Mt. Moriah and Harmony Lodge's new charity "Masonic Angel Fund."
- Adoption of a therapy dog for Evergreen Rehabilitation Home sponsored by Grand Lodge Charities.
- 300th Anniversary Celebration of the United Grand Lodge of England, open house and festive board.
- St. Alban's Lodges International Gathering of lodges named St. Alban's at Fort Adams.
These events were superbly planned and executed by the respective lodges and our Public Relations Committee and I congratulate them all. There are similar events planned for the future such as a miniature golf and 9-hole course fundraiser at Mulligan's in Cranston that the Grand Lodge ladies' will be hosting in April 2018; the cornerstone rededication for the Pawtuxet Rangers Armory, in conjunction with Grand Lodge and Harmony Lodge. So, keep an eye out for notification.
With this issue of the RI Freemason, hopefully you have heard of the changes Grand Lodge has made to our membership software, which is now called Grand View, the implementation of credit card purchases for Grand Lodge event tickets, the completion of a secretaries' manual by M∴W∴Carl Willi, the new "Simple Answers" booklet from the Public Relations Committee, and the continued update and additional information available on our website, etc. We are continually finding new ways to assist the lodges and moving our Craft into the future.
Now, I extend a hearty congratulation to R∴W∴Glenn Carlson on his election as Grand Master for 2018-2019 and to W∴Scott Alger as he will become the next Grand Marshal. I am confident that under R∴W∴Glenn's fraternal care we will continue the great works of our Grand Lodge and continue to progress our Craft. With that, I congratulate R∴W∴Gilbert J. Fontes, Jr. on his appointment as the newest District Deputy Grand Master and his Worshipful Grand Master of Ceremonies, W∴Jason Nystrom. There are no words to express my happiness and support for R∴W∴Gil as I know from our journey over these past nine years that he will be a great Grand Master. His first decision as a DDGM proves his abilities by virtue of his appointment of W∴Jason Nystrom. Confidence is high that you both will enjoy this journey of a lifetime.
There is so much more to say but I wish to not bore you with all the travels and visitations. However, I will convey how proud I am of our grand jurisdiction as I travel to other grand jurisdictions. Listening to other Grand Masters and the difficulties in their states, we look like a shining star. It was always my belief that being a small jurisdiction, that we should be a premier jurisdiction. In comparison with member retention, lodge activities, lodge charities, scholarship program, younger lodge officers, member enthusiasm, and general hospitality, we are premier in their eyes. There is nothing like being Grand Master in this jurisdiction as the Grand Master is with the brethren unlike larger states where the Grand Master hardly interacts with the general body. This is a unique situation that is beyond description and adds a deep richness to the Grand Master's and Grand Marshal's year. I congratulate each and every brother for your help and support of our Craft. You make it all possible.
In closing, I impart this thought to you. Freemasonry is similar to a vineyard. Grand Lodge is the vineyard and each blue lodge is a vine. The clusters of grape symbolize the brothers. A vine takes many years to develop grapes that are suitable for winemaking. It takes care and nurturing. If the vines are ignored and too many grapes grow on the vine, the wine is weak. Too few grapes and there is not enough to secure the vineyards future. But the proper care and attention will yield the right number of grapes that produces the finest wines. So too is our Craft. Large numbers of members do not necessarily make the Craft better or stronger, but a smaller number of quality members certainly will. A full glass of weak wine cannot compare to a 1/3 glass of fine wine. I for one my brothers, prefer the fine wine.
To all of our Brothers and your families, Gilly, I, Fran and Blanca wish you a wonderful Christmas, Hanukah, and health and prosperous Happy New Year!
Most Worshipful Grand Master