Brethren….we are now officially into our second year of a pandemic that halted all Masonic labours in our jurisdiction thirteen months ago. New strains of the Covid virus and systematic regional lockdowns continue to occupy the headlines but as we "March" into Spring you can't help but feel positive and excited about the future.

We had another successful online meeting earlier this month as we introduced our membership to the Zoom platform. We will also be holding our first online Committee of General Purposes (CoGP) meeting on Thursday March 25th to discuss some lodge business. Although these online gatherings will never replace in-lodge meetings, CoGP meetings will no doubt continue to be done in this manner after we resume normal operations. Rather than take extra time and meet prior to a lodge meeting or occupy another night, these Zoom CoGP meetings will allow us to discuss and vote on lodge issues from home and will no doubt increase the participation from our membership. This may very well be one of the benefits that comes from what has been a difficult time for Masonry worldwide.

We will once again hold an online meeting on Thursday April 1st at 7:30pm and we look forward to welcoming more of our brethren as well as some special visitors. This month I am excited to welcome my friend RW Bro Daniel Graham, the Grand Director of Ceremonies for the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario. The GDOC accompanies the Grand Master to most official events and is responsible for his formal introduction, it will be an honour to have him join us. RW Bro Graham is also the Vice President of the Masonic Foundation of Ontario and will be giving a short education piece on the foundation itself. I hope many Corinthian members will be able to join us and greet this respected and charismatic Grand Lodge Officer.

April makes me think not only of Spring but also of Easter, and not just of chocolate eggs but of events and sunrise ceremonies that are associated with this spiritual day all over the world. The winter landscape is cold and grey this time of year but that all changes when the rising sun transforms it and creates a tapestry of wonderful Spring colours. This to me is a parable of Easter and the introduction of Spring where the rising sun finally chases away the darkness of winter. Easter symbolizes the triumph of joy over sorrow and the triumph of life over death, characteristics which should be manifested among Masons.

Easter has been a day of feast and song in many lands among many people and cultures. In some cultures, Easter is simply a day that allows a secretive bunny to distribute chocolate and coloured eggs in decorative baskets whereas in other cultures Easter Sunday has a deeper religious undertone. There is something about spring that stirs in our conscious, in the reviving of the earth, in the rebirth of flowers that gives rise to an unconscious, involuntary renewal of faith in the heart of man that refreshes his hope.

We have many faiths represented in our lodges and have had various holy books placed on our altars. For me this is a reminder that we as Masons are all traveling a parallel path, that regardless of what our individual beliefs are, we are in search of the same thing, the immortality of the soul and life eternal. Regardless of your religion, as you travel through life remember that when you practice brotherly love, relief and truth with faith, hope and charity you get closer to being that better man you aim to be. No matter how you celebrate or spend this day, I wish you all a Happy Easter and most of all I hope you enjoy some chocolate!!!

W Bro Garry Perkins FCF

WM Corinthian Lodge No96, Barrie

"Once we stop asking questions, symbols stop teaching"