By RW Bro Ken Meyer
Euclid Lodge No.158 (Parksville, BC)
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus late last year in China few of us could hardly imagine where we would be today and the severity of the impact it has had on us all. The whole world has changed with social distancing and how we go about our daily lives. As we know now the world is going to be much different going forward and like a new novel we don’t know where or what will happen next. It is unwritten history which will unfold and change as we progress through this period of time.
Our Fraternity is going to change in ways we have yet to define and the impact of this virus for good or bad will write a new chapter for the annals of history. It begs the question of “How will we as a Fraternity meet again”? Will things return to normal? Or are we about to make a substantial change in meeting again given a new requirement for Social distancing?
One thing is for sure, social distancing has and will change the structure of our Fraternity forever. If anything, it’s going to make us a stronger unified brotherhood as we move forward. This has forced us to think outside the box and create “virtual lodge meetings” and keep us connected in ways that were unheard of just a decade ago. Our “Outreach” committees are better connected to the brethren of our respective lodges, and for those that didn’t have one those lodges will eventually be forced to create one. It is hoped that the brethren who have been contacted and have indicated they should they require assistance of some form or another, we have helped them with that request. I have not heard of anyone asking for financial assistance, but I do hope that they know that we are there to assist them should it be required.
For the time being, all activities within our craft have been halted. There are no more meetings, social events, degrees and this includes our Annual Convocation of Grand Lodge. Will this be the beginning of the end or the end to a new beginning? Will this force our Grand Lodge to create a new beginning for our lodges, where social distancing is the new normal? How will this impact our lodges with initiations? Will Virtual tyled Lodges be a new concept? It has already happened in the Province of Manitoba where a Lodge has been formed and is called Castle Island Virtual Lodge No. 190 and they meet using Zoom. I am sure that here in the Grand Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of British Colombia and Yukon our Grand Master and his Officers are discussing what our new future could be, should this become the new normal.
Is this our future? Hopefully not, but we should be prepared for changes in order for us to move forward, as without progress we are doomed and this would be a sad ending to our fraternity after 300 years of freemasonry. Some might say we just can’t do that because it would involve change. Change! Change! We can’t do that, because that’s the way we’ve all done it before. Brethren, if we don’t adapt and change we will become another institution in the annals of history, and I for one don’t feel like becoming a member of another organization should one even exist after the dust settles from the fallout of this pandemic.
This virus has reminded us of some of the basic tenets of our fraternity which is looking after our family, friends and the brethren of our Lodges. The importance of family life and how this can strengthen our values of looking after one another during times of need. It casts aside material items and egos, since this virus can bring anyone to their knees and make the world stop in its tracks.
It also reminds us that some in society can become needless hoarders who become greedy and selfish and they forget that the young, the weak and the old are overrun by their senseless acts of selfishness. Some panic and see this as the end of the world which causes more harm than good and what we really need is for people to be calm, to cooperate, share, and support one another. It is in these times of difficulty that brings out the true colours in ourselves and in our fraternity. If society sees and hears we have done a good deed we will be rewarded by the wages of a freemason.
And finally, if we as a fraternity are to advance without harming the principles and tenants of our brotherhood the time we have to reflect, to learn and educate ourselves is now and it will give us a new meaning and understanding in developing a different approach in meeting and overcoming this virus.
Nature is beautiful in all its glory, but she can also become the harbinger of famine, flood and pestilence. It is a cycle of life and reminds us that we are only human and our existence on this planet is but a blink of an eye in the period of time. So, let us not forget the important teachings of our gentle craft and let’s work together to reunite in a form we have yet to imagine.
Happy to meet, sorry to part, Happy to meet again.
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April 26, 2020