Brethren...Decemberís Regular meeting was a special night for me and was humbled by the attendance of brethren from around the District as well as some Grand Lodge Officers. I would like once again to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for attending the presentation ceremony for my Grand Lodge Regalia as well as my Past Masters jewel.

I trust you are all enjoying your Christmas holiday festivities this week and are looking forward to the new year!! The message for my January Summons was already written when the Province suddenly invoked new Covid restrictions in light of the quickly spreading Omicron variant. We were truly hoping to continue with our Masonic endeavours in January 2022 by Initiating our first new member since March 2020 but unfortunately will not be able to do so. The Temple Board understandably decided to once again close the lodge building due to the recent escalation of Covid cases around the Province. We will therefore not be meeting in person in January and will have to wait to hear from Grand Lodge and our own Temple Board with regards to future lodge meetings. I know we all had a feeling of optimism as we were starting to get back into the swing of things but this decision is for the benefit of everyoneís safety.

Please plan on joining us for a Corinthian Lodge online Zoom meeting on Thursday January 6th, 2022 at 7:30pm where we will give you an update on all developments and will no doubt have some more information from Grand Lodge to share with you.

As we enter 2022, Masonry itself enters its 305th year as a self-governing entity and arguably as a fraternal organization that dates back to the 1300ís according to the Regis Manuscripts found in the 1800ís. Masonry, over the last 2 years, has been through a time not seen for over 100 years, when the Spanish Flu halted Masonic labours in the early 1900ís. Not even during the World Wars did we witness the suspension of Masonic labours to the degree that we have seen during the Covid-19 outbreak. The pandemic call-off simply means that we cannot meet as Masons, but by no means does it mean that we are to stop being Masons.

What it has been is an opportunity that we rarely get. It has been an opportunity to prove that our Obligations are not just words that we repeated so that we may call ourselves Masons but rather something we took to heart. It has been an opportunity to prove that even in difficult times, with the closing of our lodges, that Masonry is still an important part of our lives and an integral part of who we are. Make no mistake about it, we will one day soon meet back on the level and those that take their obligations seriously, by making a daily advancement in Masonic education, will set aside a small amount of time and continue to work on their ritual.

Masonry in general and Corinthian Lodge in particular, for well over 160 years, have stood leaps and bounds above other fraternal organizations because men, good men, committed men took their obligations seriously. In doing so they moved this lodge forward through difficult times, times that included Civil Wars, Pandemics, Financial collapses and even World Wars. These fine men gave to us what we have today, a lodge rich in history with the same identity it had on May 27th, 1858 when it was the third lodge to be instituted in Simcoe County as Corinthian Lodge No64 by the Ancient Grand Lodge of Canada, a mere 6 weeks before being renumbered as No96 after the two Grand Lodges amalgamated. Corinthian Lodge, in doing so for now for over 160 years, means something to all 1886 members on our Roll who have all taken the same obligation since May 1858.

Corinthian Lodge No96 needs committed men and Officers to keep this fraternal entity alive. That may on occasion mean asking you to go above and beyond and to make adjustments in your otherwise busy lives to assist us in doing so, as so many others have done throughout our 160 year history in much more difficult times that what we are experiencing now. Brethren, I have been privileged to sit in King Solomonís Chair in this lodge for what will soon be my 4th calendar year, I have enjoyed the governance of a lodge, preparing statements for Summonís and communicating with the fine brethren that make it work including a great Lodge Secretary.

As we enter 2022 hopefully, we can finally see on the horizon a much anticipated changing of the Corinthian guard. In a few months we will hopefully Install a new Worshipful Master and Invest a slate of new Officers with their own vision on how to engage our brethren in Masonry and move Corinthian Lodge forward. I ask you, profoundly, to continue to practice your ritual, to support this lodge by simply attending each month, whether online or in lodge and support all the brethren taking their next regular steps through the Craft. Most importantly I encourage you to offer your time as an Officer if able to the next Worshipful Master. Brethren, this lodge doesnít work without you and without your participation the Summons will have no recipients and our alter lights will surely dim. Masonry requires time, your time, so please make the time for the sake of the Craft in general and of this fine lodge in particular. Itís your lodge, so letís take good care of it and ensure it stays healthy for years to come.

V.W. Bro Garry Perkins FCF

WM Corinthian Lodge No96, Barrie

ďOnce we stop asking questions, symbols stop teachingĒ