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Algoma District Travelling Square


Masonic Thoughts - April 17, 2009





(Audio Version)



This evening I have the honour of presenting to you Worshipful Master and your Lodge the "Travelling Square" and for those of you that are unfamiliar with this presentation. Let me explain a little further.


Almost 51 years to the day brethren the Travelling Square started its first official journey, on April 16th 1958 from Superior Lodge 672, its destination?  "Here" to this very lodge!  Its purpose, to promote visitation within Algoma District along with the added benefit of some Masonic education along the way, as it is customary that the presenting master gives a lecture during the presentation. As you can imagine it has moved many times over the years, with the understanding that it not rest to long in any one lodge.


I have had the privilege of reading many of the lectures given and to find a topic suitable for such an occasion as this is no simple task.


Thumbing thru the old and frail pages of the Traveling Square's folder, many subjects have already been covered in depth from, the square, to 600 hundred years of masonry and most recently tolerance.


So instead, let me enlighten you to a quote that has stayed with me for many years since leaving England and I wondered what use I could ever put it to, but now seems the opportune time.


"Living by your wants will never make you happy, what it means to be fully human is to strive to live by ideas and ideals and not to measure your life by what you have attained in terms of your desires, but those moments of integrity, compassion and rationality.  Because in the end the only way we can measure the significance of our own lives, is by valuing the lives of others. "


At first glance it is not Masonic in nature and was not used as such.  The piece hit home with me long before I became a mason, however the tenants of it could easily be read as Masonic.  No matter how many lectures I read, many come down to putting others before yourself.  The fundamental tenants of Faith, Hope and Charity have never been more applicable to the ideas and ideals of this quote and it is for this reason that this has continued to stay with me.


In 1990 W. Bro.  Jackson of Thunder Bay Lodge #618, expounded the same in his lengthy lecture, on “Faith, Hope and Charity", saying “We can have everything the world may contain but, if we lack Charity, we have nothing."  Sentiments I'm sure, we would all echo.


Reading back thru the lectures, every so often there was a worry that masonry will fall by the wayside and simply not be needed in the future.


In 1967 W. Bro. Sinclair of this lodge was worried that "The insidious inroads of fascinating programs on television" would drain the Mason's enthusiasm and weaken the craft."


In l97l a truly epic 15 page lecture was written by W. Bro. Hearden of Connaught Lodge # 51 1. If you have the opportunity it's a must read.  His passion for masonry is obvious along with his concern that masonry will no longer be relevant to the younger generation.  He had some harsh words for and about the craft, but sometimes harsh words are needed to kick start and facilitate change.  He was also concerned by the lack of direction and unwillingness to change from the top down.  He ends by asking whether masonry will even exist in 2017.


Well I'm happy to say I'm very confident that it will exist and I'm also glad to say that his fears have not come to pass and there are more young people than ever joining our lodges and Masonry has indeed changed because the world has changed.


However advanced our society gets there is a greater need for masonry not less.  I've personally seen a real resurgence this year not just within Shuniah Lodge but within the district as a whole.


And it is with great confidence that I present this traveling square to you Worshipful Brother Nelson knowing full well that its journey will continue from generation to generation.


Presented by W. Bro. Clive Gregory