Brothers of Meridian Lodge, it’s hard to believe but here I am with the honor of serving Meridian Lodge #77 and its brothers as Worshipful Master for the ensuing year. Before I get too deep and philosophical let me take this time to congratulate our Senior Officers, in the West Brother Mike Waite, in the South WB Rob Kovi, our new Secretary WB Pete Nessing and Treasurer RW James Anderson. I also want to congratulate our Junior Officers who have stepped up to new roles.
I also want to thank WB Nick Valinsky for his successful completion as a two term Master. WB Nick has set a high bar for all that follow and it is this high bar that will continue to ensure Meridian Lodge remains healthy and successful for years to come!
My brothers, men join Freemasonry to come together and fraternize with men of similar ethics and values. The benefits of participating in programs, both within and without the Lodge, where bonding takes place, produces enormous psychological benefits to himself and society when they are having “FUN”. To that statement I intend to continue in the footsteps of WB Nick to include fun and informative education and more positive steps to strengthen the bonds developed over the past years with Center Lodge and Compass Lodge. I am looking to include a joint table lodge with Center and Compass. I am also looking to have a little friendly competition between Center and Meridian with a Masonic Trivia night among other joint ventures.
Education and development of our officers will also be a program to help our officers on what to expect as they move through the chairs, not just ritually but in lodge management. This has already started with the appointment of assistants to both the Treasurer and Secretary. This will ensure continuity to those positions. Look for officer training nights once a quarter starting in February. Along with this I plan on scheduling our Evaluation for May or June.
I would also like to include more community involvement, keeping our annual maintenance for Meridian’s Founding Fathers resting place, a food drive for the local food pantry and perhaps some volunteer time at the soup kitchen. I am also going to have a coat drive for Coats Across Connecticut that supplies gently used coats to homeless and veterans who will need help during the colder months.
As for a new fundraiser, to go along with our annual maintenance of the cemetery, a Founders Dinner is on the plate (pun intended). We will look into the logistics starting in January.
If you haven’t attended Lodge in a while, please stop by and let us dust off your working tools. We will have another round of the Rusty Masons Night as we have a friendly group of brothers willing to interact with you in peace and harmony and bring back the skills that have been on the back burner. Remember why you joined Freemasonry, the friendships and brotherhood you gained. It is all still here, different but the same. I urge you to try again and if you are still unsure, please reach out to me or any of the officers and let us discuss your feelings and why you have walked away. Your thoughts could help us in avoiding the mistakes and perhaps convince you to rejoin.
One final thought for each of us consider in a day and age that promotes instant gratification and cold communication:
“Many writers and thinkers have tried to define Freemasonry, but it really defeats definition. It is too complex, too profound in conception, to easily expressed in words. Perhaps the simplest and best definition of all is the phrase ‘the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God.’ Our Masonic forefathers had an understanding of human needs and human aspirations. They may never have dreamt of the mindless computer which governs our lives, or the fission of matter which threatens our lives, but they understood human nature and what motivates the spirit of man. Thus, from a simple process of using stone and mortar for building they progressed to the most important of life’s functions, the building of character.” – Louis L. Williams
RW Tom Gondek, WM