Most Worshipful Grand Master Kenneth F. Poyton's message in the March-May 2020 Issue.
My Brothers, with the change in the frequency of publishing the RI Freemason, this is my last message as Grand Master that I will write. Even though I have much to do in my allotted time left as Grand Master, these next few months will be extremely busy for the Grand Marshal and I as we travel both in and out of this Grand Jurisdiction. I must say that the support we have been shown has been overwhelming and very much appreciated. We are looking forward to the next few months as our schedule will bring us out many times to do what we enjoy which is to be with our brothers.
There is not enough room for me to write about past events so, I won’t, with the exception of one particular event. On February 24, I presided over the merge of St. Andrews Lodge No. 39 and Jenks Lodge No. 24. In this time of hostile takeovers, this ceremony was just the opposite as two great lodges are joined as one. As anticipated, there was some sadness that evening, however, the feeling of joy, hope, and anticipation for something much better to come prevailed. It takes a lot of courage to admit that the time has come, and a change must take place. I commend the brethren of St. Andrews Lodge for making that most difficult decision. St. Andrews Lodge has a wonderful history and knowing the history of Jenks Lodge and the brethren there, I am confident they will honor the memory of St. Andrews Lodge for as long as they are able to.
One of the reasons this merge came about was because Jenks Lodge was forced to leave their home in Pawtucket which will be torn down due to a sewer system upgrade by Narragansett Bay Commission. Now that these two lodges have combined into one, this is a new and exciting beginning for our brothers from Jenks Lodge as they move to a new beautiful home in Riverside. We all wish them well.
I am pleased to report that Most Worshipful Brother Iacobucci and his team are prepared to present the revised “New Wardens Workshop” to the brethren. I want to thank them for their hard work and dedication in putting this program together to help future Masters learn the business and fraternal side of their duties. It has been a while since we have had this type of presentation and I encourage the wardens and any interested brother to attend and hear what they have to say. To make it more convenient, I plan on having one presentation on a Saturday morning and another on a weekday night. More information on these dates will have already been sent to the lodge Masters by the time this is published.
The repairs to the Grand Lodge will have started (weather permitting) by the time you see this message. There are many moving parts to this project which has kept the building committee very busy, meeting frequently to make sure this project stays within budget and on track. I have no idea when it will be completed but I am confident that when finished, your Grand Lodge building will continue to be a symbol of all that is good for all to see and appreciate.
Lodges have already begun to look-into purchasing an AED device for their temple. I was at a presentation on how to use this device at Washington Lodge No. 3 and it looked very easy. Remember 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 it is a good thing.
Please take advantage of this offer.
Every year the first weekend of February, the Grand Councils from New England travel to Portsmouth, NH for what we call a “get-away weekend.” This is a great time to get together with other Grand Jurisdictions to discuss what is going on with them. Lots of good ideas come from this weekend and I would like to share one of them with you. Lodge members can at times be very cliquish and they tend to sit with the same brothers at dinner and in the lodge. Believe it or not, this type of action can deprive you of meeting other members of your lodge. I have a suggestion to help break this. When you have dinner, put a number in a hat and a corresponding number at the dinner table. Each brother must pull a number out of the hat and find the same number and sit there. You never know what new friendships you will make. Just a suggestion.
I have always thought that we have a tendency to make Freemasonry rather complicated when in reality it does not have to be. Simply put, we are a FRATERNITY first and when we remember that, the pieces just seem to fit together. We promise to be there for a brother in good times and more importantly, in sad times. We promise to respect each other and to never attack them personally. We promise to do many other things but basically as Masons we try to be a good person and an ambassador of Freemasonry. Personally, I wear my Masonic ring with the square and compasses facing me to constantly remind me of the promises I made while kneeling at the Masonic altar and to challenge myself to live up to the expectations of being a member of this great Fraternity. Are you challenging yourself? ?
Kenneth F. Poyton