Message from the East

Brethren….As we enter the last half of February, long considered the middle of the winter months, I sit down on a very cold Barrie afternoon to write my 22nd Message from the East. I have to say, although this is not the easiest part of the Worshipful Masters job, it has become one of my favourite and one I will miss when this part of my journey comes to an end. These messages force one to sit down, reflect and think about the daily advancement in Masonic education we have sworn to commit to. I have also asked my Officers to contribute short pieces each month before I run out of things to say!!! I honestly appreciate the efforts those have made in helping me with my monthly Summons.

As we march into March we realize, optimistically, that Spring is just below the horizon. It will also represent for Corinthian Lodge one full year since we last met on Thursday, March 5th, 2020 and initiated my friend Bro Micheal Tuck into the Masonic Order. We realize how difficult a year this has been for those who jumped through our “hoops” to become Masons just to have their journeys put on hold shortly after their Initiations. I look forward to the day when we meet again and collectively can help our new brethren continue with their Masonic journeys. March is considered by many to be the first month of Spring containing the Vernal Equinox and Day Light Savings time, thereby representing a new beginning. It is also considered one of the happiest months as flowers are starting to bud, hockey playoffs are around the corner and St. Patricks day events are being planned!! Let’s hope it is a happy time this year as well with the opening up of the economy and increased Covid vaccinations among the public.

Thanks to all who took time to join us for our monthly online GoToMeeting in February. Visitors included MW Bro Gary Atkinson, PGM and Corinthian honourary member as well as six other current Grand Lodge Officers. We will once again have an online meeting on Thursday, March 4th at 7:30pm and the Grand Junior Warden, RW Bro Mark Kapitan may join us again for a few words as he had a hard time getting online with us last month. We will be switching to

I was asked this month by one of our newer Masons what “returning to our labours” meant. Although this is a phrase we are used to saying, we sometimes forget it is part of a language that many newer Masons have yet learned. Remembering from the Working Tools in the first degree that the Common Gavel teaches us that “skill without exertion is of little avail and that labour is the lot of man”. One of the finest features of the Masonic Institution is that it teaches not only the necessity but the nobility of labour. Labour is the design and the very point of every lodge meeting, from the opening to the closing we are said to be at labour.

This is one of the instances in which terms of operative Masonry are symbolically applied to speculative Masonry. Operative Masons were engaged in building material edifices, so Free and Accepted or Speculative Masons like us are expected to be employed in the erection of a superstructure of virtue, morality and self-realization. This is the foundation for “building better men” and it starts the night we are admitted into the Craft.

When a lodge is engaged in reading petitions and hearing reports it is said to be occupied in business but when engaged in the form and ceremonies of any degree, it is said to be at work. Thus the Initiation ceremony is Masonic labour and its principal emblems are the working tools of artisans. Masonry carries simple teachings through its ritual, “that the heart may conceive, and the head devise in vain, if the hand be not prompt to execute the design”. On the other hand, it directs that we shall divide the hours of the day into equal parts and apportion them to their proper objects namely prayer, labour, refreshment and sleep. Masonry teaches the nobility of labour and that we all should engage in some kind either manual or mental as a form of self-improvement. Man perfects himself by working because labour is a discipline or act that develops the energies that nurture our virtues. Man can do nothing, achieve nothing or fulfill nothing without working and without it he can neither obtain self-improvement nor acquire real happiness.

It is in our power to apply our Masonic teachings everyday of our lives by extending a helping hand, a kind word or a pleasant smile to those around us. There are many today that would be delighted with a call or who may be in need of something, especially during the recent Covid lockdown. By acts like this we, as Masons, will find that it is in our power not only to give but to give of ourselves.

W Bro Garry Perkins FCF

WM Corinthian Lodge No96, Barrie

Once we stop asking questions, symbols stop teaching”