Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Alberta
M. Ex. Comp. Duncan A. Strachan
Grand First Principal
GRAND CHAPTER of ROYAL ARCH MASONS
2016 - 2017
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Companions, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to be the Grand First Principal of this Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry in Alberta. As I ask myself why I do what I do in both Masonry and Capitular Masonry I always draw the same conclusion. It is the view that I have of the organization, the lessons and messages that are delivered in the wonderful lectures and ceremonies. It is also the fellowship and support that is displayed within the fraternity.
When a Companion receives his degrees we quite often hear the words, you only get out of the order what you put into it. I would challenge this statement in that if we only get out of something what we put in to it we would not keep coming back. We may as well keep our money in a coffee can buried in the back yard rather than investing it if all we can expect is to receive what we had in the first place.
I believe most of us here today believe we have received rewards well in excess of what we have contributed. In many cases a kind word of support and encouragement, or maybe a helping hand in an area where assistance was needed. It may be a long standing friendship that keeps us active and giving of our time to belong and to remain faithful. Sometimes we may question ourselves as to why we attend.
I have a little phrase that comes to mind when the wheels are falling off the wagon and things are going sideways at a meeting or an event that, “If it wasn’t for people we wouldn’t have a problem”. Of course I truly do want people to be involved. I enjoy people, more in particularly I enjoy the company of my Brethren and Companions and the support and encouragement that I receive from them.
The leadership that is shown by others is important. This leadership is delivered in many ways. It may be the presiding officer at the meetings and degrees. It may be the Companions that are delivering the work from the ritual for our degrees. These are areas that are most visible and at the centre stage of our chapters. We also must remember the Companion that attends our meetings regularly who ensure the meeting place is opened and that the Chapter room is set up well before the Companions arrive. It could be the mentors that ensure the individuals going through our degrees are prepared and proficient for their progress and advancement.
These are just a few forms of leadership that we sometimes may take for granted and don’t considering when evaluating the successes of our Chapter meetings.
Many of us have had leadership experiences in the corporate world as well as in our community involvement. These situations have given us ample opportunity to experience and practice many styles and types of leadership. It is important that we remember the locations we are in and the lessons that we repeatedly deliver and listen to in our various lectures.
We must remember the importance of harmony, patience, understanding, and the individuality of our members when dealing with the situations.
In Capitular Masonry we believe that our members have already received the teaching of Freemasonry and that once they have reached the portals or Royal Arch Masonry they know the expectations and tenants or the Order. We must reinforce and continue to practice those teachings within ourselves. By doing so we continue to reinforce those precepts that keep our foundation strong and will ensure that Royal Arch Masonry will remain on stable ground.
It is important that we as members of Capitular Masonry carry the torch of our Fraternity. We need to tell, those inquiring about our Order, who we are, and what we stand for. This task must start with our candidates. We must talk about our degrees and mentor the Brethren and ultimately Companions taking our degrees, encourage them to asking questions. Masonry encourages us to search for further light and like many of you are aware this has only caused us to have more questions. I have been accused by some of the Brothers and Companions, to have opened the door just far enough for them to only see and hear a part of the story. They insist there must be more .They are right and my work is done. I have planted that seed and it has germinated. Now we as Royal Arch Masons must take care of those new members and keep them healthy and nurtured so that they keep reaching out for more of what it takes to satisfy their wanting of further light in masonry.
These individuals are our future. We must do our best to bring these new members into Capitular Masonry and keeping them involved. They are important to us and for this reason, while I am making my Official Visits over this next year, with the permission of MEC. Ken Overy the Past Grand First Principal of the Grand Chapter of B.C. in 2013 -14 I will be using a page out of his play book. I would like to recognize the new members of each of the Chapters that I visit within our Jurisdiction by have them join the Companions that accompany me into the Chapters whenever possible. I would like them to be recognized for the value they are to Royal Arch Masonry. We must ensure their active membership in Capitular Masonry to insure our future.
Once again thank you for your confidence in me and I look forward to my visits with each and every one of you during my Official Visits to your Chapters. I also look forward to attending other meeting and special events that you will be holding. So please give me as much notice as you can. I thank those Companions who have agreed to accept an Office with the Grand Chapter of Alberta, RAM for the year 2016-17. I look forward to your support and meeting with each of you at as many visits as your cable tow will allow.
Finally thank you for all that you do for Masonry in general and Capitular Masonry in particular.
Respectfully and Fraternally
MEC. Duncan Strachan,
Grand First Principal,
Grand Chapter of Alberta Royal Arch Masons