As we enter our new masonic year together, I would first like to say thank you and congratulations to all of the officers and brethren on our 98th installation. With the New Year upon us, and with our new roles for 2018 let us remember the words “…yet no eminence of station should make us forget that we are brethren.” Those words should ring strongly in our ears, for regardless of age or station, we are first and foremost brethren, and the greatness of our fraternity does not lie within any one brother, but lies in us together as Masons. I thank you all for the honor of electing me as the Worshipful Master for 2018. With each new year and new position we have the chance to become part of our rich history as freemasons. We have an eventful journey ahead of us, and I know that together as a lodge with the support of each and every brother, we can accomplish our greatest goals.
In the coming year, we have laid out many goals and events. We will continue our fundraising efforts with a variety of events for both Masons and friends and family alike. We will spread more masonic light with speakers and lectures for the brethren. I look forward to working with the officers and welcome all ideas and efforts from the brethren. For our goals to come to fruition I ask for only but one thing in return, for the brethren’s support of one another. By so doing we will have a very active and fruitful year. I thank you again for the opportunity to serve as the Worshipful Master and I leave you with these words from Theodore Roosevelt as the foundation for 2018:
“Great thoughts speak only to the mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.”
Daniel P. Schittone
As the New Year begins, I cannot help but be reminded of the Cornerstone. With the officers being installed to their proper stations and places, new roles and responsibilities will claim our efforts for 2018.
For the month of January we are laying our new foundation for the months to come. As Freemasons we are taught that when building a Masonic Edifice, the first stone is laid in the northeast corner. Just a few years ago we discovered video footage of the cornerstone laying ceremony for our own lodge! This ceremony has been practiced for generations of freemasons and it holds a particular symbolism, which is befitting of beginning our new year together.
The following is an excerpt from an article entitled “Symbolism of the Cornerstone” from Brother Norm McEvoy at theeducator.ca. I hope this
reaches every bother and touches on your own spiritual, moral and masonic edifice, and how it pertains to laying our new foundation together. Enjoy!
“The symbolism of the corner-stone when duly laid with Masonic rites is full of significance, which refers to its form, to its situation, to its permanence, and to its consecration. As to its form, it must be perfectly square on its surfaces, and in its solid contents, a cube. Now the square is a symbol of morality, and the cube, of truth. In its situation, it lies between the north, the place of darkness, and the east, the place of light; and hence this position symbolizes the Masonic progress from darkness to light, and from ignorance to knowledge. The permanence and durability of the corner-stone, which lasts long after the building in whose foundation it was placed has fallen into decay, is intended to remind the Freemason that, when this earthly house of his tabernacle shall have passed away, he has within him a sure foundation of eternal life – a cornerstone of immortality – an emanation from that Divine Spirit which pervaded all nature, and which, therefore, must survive the tomb and rise, triumphant and eternal, above the decaying dust of death and the grave.
The stone, when deposited in its appropriate place, is carefully examined with the necessary implements of operative masonry – the square, the
level, and the plumb, themselves all symbolic in meaning – and it is then declared to be ‘well formed, true, and trusty.’ Thus the Freemason is taught that his virtues are to be tested by temptation and trial, by suffering and adversity, before they can be pronounced by the Master Builder of souls to be materials worthy of the spiritual building of eternal life, fitted, ‘as living stones, for that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
And lastly, in the ceremony of depositing the corner-stone, the elements of Masonic consecration are produced, and the stone is solemnly set apart by pouring corn, wine and oil upon its surface, emblematic of the Nourishment and Joy which are to be the rewards of a faithful performance of duty. The cornerstone does not seem to have been adopted by any of the heathen nations, but to have been as the eben pinah, peculiar to the Jews, from whom it descended to the Christians. In the Old Testament, it seems always to have denoted a prince or high personage, and hence the Evangelists constantly use it in reference to Christ, who is called the Chief Cornerstone. In Masonic symbolism, it signifies a true Freemason, and therefore it is the first character that the Apprentice is made to represent after his initiation has been completed.”