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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Grand Chaplain’s Address

VWor. Bro. Gordon McKenzie delivered this address at the Quarterly Communication held on Wednesday, March 17, 2021:

Grand Master and Brethren-All, thank you for the opportunity of addressing you and in advance, thank you for your interest and attention. 

I am of course aware that today, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, but just as there was a report this morning of the Irish Parachutist having missed the World and of the Irish Moon Mission have been called-off because they ran out of scaffold, I will leave the subject alone and focus upon the subject at-hand, of which you are totally unaware at this time anyhow, but sadly, so too are many people in the world, for at this time there is little leadership, guidance, direction, or for that matter, compatibility and if we need find a good right-hand man, so-to-speak, where would we look?  I would not envy a world-leader at this time, but now and perhaps more-so than at any time past, I see fraternal-support and its availability, as being more-important than we could possibly imagine or comprehend.

Masonic Lodges were extremely important and relevant, yet faced with huge roles and responsibilities, both during and after The Second World War and this emulated the situation created during and after The Great War, (The First World War), with the troops returning and needing outlets and support, but as we sit here in 2021 and not yet entirely out of the grip and grasp of a plague which has largely changed our life-styles, deprived us from some of our freedoms and liberties and dictated terms, as to what we can and can’t do, hence many of us, at least to some extent, feel challenged, unsure, uncertain and with that, less-empowered, less motivated and even pondering whether-or-not it is worthwhile doing anything-at-all, because there is the real possibility that we could start and enthusiastically embark upon something, then find we will be shut-down again, with another outbreak and lockdown and therefore our efforts would yet again have been futile!  However, isn’t this exactly akin to guerrilla warfare, where the opponent keeps surprising the enemy, so that the enemy doesn’t have a clue what to do, because he doesn’t know what to expect, or where, how and when? 

Brethren, if we were to make the effort to compare ourselves now, with ourselves as we were before the outbreak of Covid and then realise how easily and quickly we have accepted and adapted to the resultant changes enforced upon us and how easy it has been to effectively lay down, we would in hindsight find our analysis startling, for this is exactly how easy it is to lose the momentum and the accompanying positivity, which we thought was the driving-force behind the successful march forward, in support of that which we thought we believed and perceived with so much passion and conviction that it consumed significant allocations of our waking days and nights, as well as our various energies and faculties!  It’s fascinating, yet had the changes been enforced upon us without the presence of Covid, in most cases we would not have accepted the changes, we would probably have protested quickly and strongly, if not vehemently and we would not have thought we would have accommodated the changes with so little protest, so what will happen with our lifestyle and way of living in the near and immediate future and will we tolerate change more-readily, more-frequently, now that we have been somewhat conditioned to accepting control and change, because of a virus, which in posterity will probably be deemed to have similarities to the virulence and veracity of the “Spanish ’Flu” of 1918, or even “The Plague” or “Black Death”? 

If we have a gathering of people, but there be no dialogue, communication, input, feedback or involvement from those present, what would be achieved?  It is obviously important that all present be involved, contribute and be forthcoming, willingly giving of themselves, speaking with words, expressing through actions, as it’s by contributing there develops the important role of guiding pathways, direction, boosting-energy, atmosphere and positivity, assisting with the adding of wisdom, aiding and enabling the production and creation of even greater-connection, stronger-input and the wider-sharing, generation and proliferation of understanding and respect, in other words, there comes forth momentum and it develops rapidly, for within our worthy institution, remembering that any institution can only be as good and worthy as its constituent members, we hence only need look at the reflection in the mirror before us, to take the first-step in ascertaining where we need be in our assessment of how we can each, best aid, assist, elevate and propel Freemasonry, to that which we may regard as its fair and rightful place, in terms of just regard and respect amongst society and throughout the world, for whether-or-not we admit or care to acknowledge, the simple, yet basic fact remains that wherever we are, however we appear, whatever we do, our every visible action and outward display is a depiction and reflection of and upon Freemasonry, for once a Freemason, always a Freemason and as Freemasons in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, we are Freemasons on-display and as such, on a 24/7 basis and hence, we may well ask of ourselves:  “is it that we worthily display consistent examples of behaviour, image, actions and impressions which we would associate with the ideal image of a Freemason, or which we would personally deem worthy of a Freemason and of the Institution of Freemasonry, for surely this level and extent of self-inquiry will reveal the answer as to how others perceive and know us likewise, for as I witnessed in a recent television special upon The Princess Royal, H.R.H. Princess Anne, I was most-impressed by the humility, the sense of dedication, the extent, depth and breadth of her involvements and her outstanding pledge towards selfless service and that of loyalty to the cause, for the pledge to service, with honour and distinction as I saw, assessed and viewed it, was exemplary and Brethren, I could not but draw and make comparisons, for through and by association with Freemasonry, we have the ability of offering and providing spiritual and moralistic upliftment, guidance and elevation to the broader-community and even for the benefit and upliftment of the world as a whole and with few exceptions, our offer, incentive and motivation is freely available to all, but how willing and how desirous are we to take, retain and maintain the bold and strong steps necessary to fuel and make this possible, for as I see it, the spiritual upliftment of humanity ought be open to everyone, with no exclusions and this is well within the realms and scope of Freemasonry, for regardless as to our leanings or biases, the fact remains for all to clearly see, perceive and understand, if the minds are open and the hearts are of love, for there are eminent examples or untiring commitment for us to emulate, if we so-wish, along with keenness and genuine desire to do and be the best possible for all concerned and with this approach and application, it is that we grant unto ourselves, the best possibility to shine our Pure and Divine Light in honour of The Great Architect, in support of Freemasonry and likewise ourselves, but most-importantly, every one of us, both individually and collectively have the opportunity to do and achieve so much more, for if this were not the case, why would we be here now and why would we have been provided with the privilege of being in our current positions, blessed and bestowed with our current involvements and equipped as we be at this time, but do we each even know the full and total extent of our enormous and wide-reaching talents, skills and abilities and without displaying or resorting to ego, have we made others aware and offered our talents, abilities and services in support of and for the Highest Good of all concerned, without pursuing the pathway towards the mutual-admiration society?

It is now increasingly known and understood that there are many things we can learn and respect from the Australian Aboriginal People and I specifically refer to their notion of being at “one” with each-other and with the land, wherein they have that which we perceive to be “joint ownership”, for they see and believe themselves to be part of the whole, with everyone and everything being interconnected, as a part of the whole and thus, there is complete respect for that which is, which totally contrasts with our current practise of owning “our patch of turf and erecting fences, in order that we protect ourselves and our assets from others and we keep things for ourselves” and hence it is that there arises that which is known as ego and thus the spiral grows and rises, so in terms of the collective and coming together in support of our Great and Worthy Institution, what is it that we each bring to enhance, support and elevate Freemasonry, for indeed when we each sit at the table, it is that everybody brings something different and this is why we are all important, for everything is valuable in its own right and hence it’s for us to make a masterpiece of everything we do and undertake and then, ideally, as a whole, we may add the gold frame at the end, but if we tarnish that frame of gold, through ego, arrogance,  anger and we blemish that which has been created as the result of our pride and with bitterness, hatred, or arrogance we resort to bullying, seeing ourselves as a legend in our own lunch-box, but truthfully, simply determined to pull-down and destroy others, for no reason other than that they stand in the Light and we don’t and they receive the glory, but we don’t and we crave and we are left wonting, yet if only we realise, as we can easily learn from the Aboriginal People, we are part of the whole, we are part of the collective and as such, by standing together, it is that there is “Unification of Spirit” – we all receive, we all shine, we stand together and hence it is then we may remember those words so wise, yet immortal:  “The rank is but the guinea-stamp, the man him-self’s the gold”!

So Mote It Be!

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