Most Worshipful Grand Master Kenneth F. Poyton's message in the September-November 2019 Issue.
Greetings My Brothers,
I hope you have had a great and restful summer and, like me, are looking forward to resuming our work. As I extend my thoughts to you each quarter, I am not going to bore you with all the events I have attended. However, I do wish to report on two.
On June 7, the Grand Secretary and I attended a ceremony (sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Washington, DC at the WWII Monument in Washington to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the storming of the beaches at Normandy, also known as D-Day. All attending Grand Masters participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Atlantic side of the Memorial. I was assigned to sit next to a Past Grand Master of DC who was also the ambassador to Europe under the Shah of Iran. He shared that he had to flee the country when the Shah was overthrown, or he would have been executed. What other organization in the world could offer an opportunity to meet such a person? R∴W∴Ron Reed, Grand Secretary, and I had the honor to lay a wreath at the WWII Rhode Island Monument, as well.
On July 12-14, I attended the Rhode Island Rainbow Annual session. The courtesies extended to the Grand Marshal, our ladies, and me were greatly appreciated. However, I want to concentrate on the July 14 event which was the installation of Ms. Holly Dunford as the new Grand Worthy Advisor for the ensuing year. She was installed by her sister Heather, a past Grand Worthy Advisor a few years ago. I am so proud of Holly and her accomplishments and can’t wait to travel with her this year.
When planning the dates for my official visitations to the districts, I spread them out over my term. I am very much looking forward to travel to the districts and to be with my brothers. The next three months I will be making my official visitations to:
- The Northern District at Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 8 on Friday, September 13.
- The Central District at Manchester Lodge No. 12 on Friday, November 15.
Don’t forget about the Semi-Annual to be held on November 16. Our Junior Grand Warden has been working on the upcoming Fall Festival, to be held on the same day at Quidnessett Country Club. The Fall Festival is "our time" to party. Seating is limited.
Grand Master’s Message
In the May Grand Master’s Message, I told you that numerous repairs must be made to the Grand Lodge and that scaffolding would be around the building soon. While the building committee has been working diligently, we still do not have any scaffolding up. However, I am optimistic that soon work will begin. I will keep you posted.
The Officer Forum is set to begin this October at Rising Sun Lodge in the Metro District and in November at Mt. Vernon Lodge in the Southern District. The program for the evening is on Masonic Assistance. It is very important the officers attend the DDGM Visitation and learn about this program.
The New Wardens Workshop is moving along very nicely, as I am told by M∴W∴Iacobucci, PGM. The committee is working very hard and will be ready for their presentation soon.
You all know how I feel about protocol and how we need to act in a lodge room. Recently I was having a conversation with R∴W∴Richard Maggio, the Grand Marshal of Massachusetts, on this very topic. He was kind enough to send me a quote that came from the "Vision of Massachusetts Freemasonry" adopted in 1995, which sums it up in an interesting statement:
"Masonry is a conservative fraternity where protocol encompasses standards of civility, dignity, and decorum, promotes harmony and respect and maintains the traditions, values, and practices of our fraternity."
By the time you see this message, I will have communicated to the lodges what I expect to be read from the Grand Lodge Protocol and Constitution for the month. Being on the same page will help all of us to better understand what is expected.
I’d like to share with you a conversation I had with W∴Frank Allen on July 21, 2018, the day he was moved to Hospice Care. When I arrived, I had to wait in the hallway for the nurses to get our brother settled and all the necessary paperwork signed. I assure you I was not the only person in the hallway waiting to see Frank. Once we were invited in, Frank was very alert and conversing with all of us. He wanted to tell me a story about what happened to him while he was in the hospital waiting to be moved to hospice. Frank began by saying "I heard a person say that he was here to see his brother Frank." The person said it again, so Frank’s daughter stepped in (she did not recognize this person) and inquired who the person was coming to see. The visitor said, "I am a member of St. John’s Lodge, No. 1P and am here to see Brother Frank Allen."
Naturally, he was let in and they talked. Frank asked, "Why was he here?" The visitor’s response was, "I heard you were ill and thought I was supposed to come and visit you." Frank was very moved by this, primarily because he did not even know the brother. Here was a brother who actually paid attention to his obligation, even though neither one of them knew the other. Frank said to all of us in the room "it is because of gestures, such as this, that help to prepare me for the next journey."
When we take our Oaths and Obligations, we obligate ourselves to do certain things to and for a fellow Mason. We all must make some time in our busy schedules to do what we promised to do as we knelt at the altar. Read your notices, see who is on the sick and shut-in list. If you can visit them, please do so, it will make their day.
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Kenneth F. Poyton
This message is printed in The Freemason Magazine, September 2019