Grand Masters message December 2019

Most Worshipful Grand Master Kenneth F. Poyton's message in the December-February 2019/2020 Issue.

Greetings My Brothers,

Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Most Worshipful Past Grand Masters, Brethren all,

I can't think of any time in my life that I have been this busy. Between work, my duties as Grand Master, and the wedding of our son, I am constantly doing something.  Some days the demands of life can be a little hectic, however, when I leave the office and go to a Masonic event, all that seems to go away. There are so many events to attend as Grand Master such as Table Lodges, Annual Communications, Ladies Events, interesting programs at lodge meetings, and anniversary celebrations are just a few to mention. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend every event.

The Grand Marshal and I are looking forward to our travels the next six months, as we travel to other Grand Jurisdictions, but more especially as we travel this Grand Jurisdiction, to be with our brothers.

Building Repairs ... I am pleased to report that contracts have been signed to begin work on this Grand Lodge building as soon as possible. The work will be done in stages and since most of it will be done outside, the weather will dictate when much of the work will be done.

Investigation Committee ...  The Senior Grand Warden has been working with his committee to review their Investigation process. I attended some of their meetings and like the direction they are heading. Your Grand Lodge can help you with the process, but ultimately it lies with the investigation committee along with the brethren from their lodge to convince the perspective member that they are the right fit.

Wardens Workshop ... Under the direction of Most Worshipful Iacobucci, the committee has been working very hard to come up with a meaningful presentation. It has taken more time than I thought, but it is a testimony to the brethren putting it together.

Protocol & Constitution ... We are in the third month of reading sections of Grand Lodge Protocol and the Constitution, selected by me. Sometimes it can be long but that is our Constitution. You can have a short paragraph in the Constitution, but have a number of decisions which must also be read. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

Grand Master's Message

Matching Grant Program...For those of you who are not aware of this program, Grand Lodge Charities is giving up to $1,000 per lodge for a charity event they host. I must say that I am a little disappointed that we have left money on the table this past year, which runs from November 1 to October 31. If your lodge had a charity event and did not take advantage of this generous offer, shame on you. Don't fret, this program is not going away this year and I hope that every lodge will take advantage of this between now and October 31 of next year.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)...Last year, M∴W∴Carlson had hoped to have this device in every Lodge building with an equal hope that it is never needed. I agree with M∴W∴Carlson on this initiative, so from now until the end of my term, up to $1,000 will be given to those lodges who install this device. All you need to do is:

  • Buy the device.
  • Have it installed in your lodge.
  • Have training on how to use it.

This would make for a very good program at your meetings. The more brothers who know how to use is a good thing. Once you can prove that you have done the three requirements, Grand Lodge will then send you a check.

Masonic Assistance...As you know, the Officers Forum for each district is on Masonic assistance. As of today, we have already had two presentations by W∴Melvin Silverio along with guidance from Brothers Cate and Sholes. The purpose is to make sure the Wardens and Secretary (at a minimum) know how it works. Masonic Assistance is not something we do very often, which is why training is so important.

Much of my time is going to meetings of the various Grand Lodge committees. Every committee from the Board of Managers, Public Relations, Building, Investigation, and Leadership has been working very hard to help manage this Grand Jurisdiction. Thank you for your continued dedication to the Craft and this Grand Lodge. Is the word "this" or "that"? This past six months, the Assistant Grand Lecturers under the direction of the Right Worshipful Grand Lecturer have held two meetings to discuss what is going on in their respective lodges. I have been to one of them and have heard nothing but enthusiastic reviews! They have more meetings scheduled as their Masonic light gets brighter and brighter.

I wish to congratulate R∴W∴ Brother Kaufman on his election as the 165th Grand Master for 2020 - 2021 and to W∴Silverio as you will become the next Grand Marshal. You will find that many of your brothers will offer to help you succeed as Grand Master, take them up on their offer. Noon time on May 18 will be here before you know it.

When I was Installed Grand Master, I mentioned that I believe the lodge room is a sacred place and we are not guys in a lodge room. Now that we are halfway through my term, I have directed the Grand Lecturer and his staff to start paying closer attention to make sure we are addressing each other in the proper manner. Remember, if you can get through a meeting and get it right, I will be buying pizza for your next rehearsal.

A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with the wife of a member of a lodge that in my opinion is doing "very well". We talked about how ladies were always well represented and very supportive. I asked, "why was she so supportive of her husband going to lodge so often"? She replied that "without a doubt, I know that if something happened to my husband or me at two o'clock in the morning, all it would take is one call to one brother and in a very short time, my house would be full of Masons to do what needed to be done." I ask you this question, does every lady from your lodge feel the same way? Are you sure?

My Brothers, as I travel both in and out of this Grand Jurisdiction, I am more convinced than ever that as Maya Angelou wrote in the Human Family Poem, that, "we are more alike my friends, than we are unalike." In closing, to all our brothers and your families, Michael, Patty, Colleen, and I wish you a wonderful Christmas, Hanukah and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Kenneth F. Poyton
Grand Master

This message is printed in The Freemason Magazine, December 2019