Wow, this year has flown by with such fervor that i have hardly had time to decompress. I feel like my year as Master has been both insightful, invigorating, and a deep learning experience for me and the Brothers alike. Each meeting is a new experience. Even though we discuss Old Business that may carry over to a new meeting, there is always a fresher perspective to be had when we all convene. We haven't been extremely dull though, we've had some heated debates over our philanthropic pursuits, where some Brothers want to "beat a horse to death" and the rest of us seem to want to "table" discussions that take too long to mull over. Keeping in mind the context of a meeting and the prerogatives of a Master that leads said meeting, the Masters wishes at the sound of the gavel are to be respected at the utmost levels. While this might seem easy to abuse, the power also lies within the hands of the Brethren as the coffers of any Lodge properly belongs to those combined Brethren and their Master.
I have tried to lead the Lodge with a modest hand, only using the gavel at the proper times, never to reprimand a Brother as that is not our way, as we are constantly welcomed to remind a brother in the most friendly manner of his faults and then endeavor to aid him in reforming those mannerisms. We are not in the business of reprimanding or demeaning any Brother, as it goes, we meet on the same level to work in unison for the greater good. That being said, there has been some moments of strife between the members of the Lodge, as i'm sure it happens nationwide and worldwide. The point of our meeting once a month is to discuss the business of the Lodge, promote fellowship among our members, introduce and explain symbols that have been in usage since time immemorial and how exactly those symbols convey significance into our lives as Men and as Masons. Masonic Education should be a hallmark of Stated Meetings in my opinion, both because they teach the brothers old and new lessons in the form of allegory and symbolism, and because if we blindly follow the path without questioning the road signs, we will miss the destination altogether. Pursuit of knowledge and the deeply esoteric meanings of our Craft's symbols, whether borrowed from ancient religions, or created by impassioned brothers.
So far, my Masonic experience, which began at the latter part of 2012, has led me to believe that this fraternity, the brothers that it calls to its ranks, and the messages that are conveyed through the Standard Work, Symbolism, Rituals and Rites; truly exists to perpetuate the goodness of its members, "making good men better" and the promote a healthy vibration that will carry throughout the World. I have met nothing but great people, average people, amazing Brothers, movers and shakers, passionate individuals seeking enlightenment within their hearts, all holding hands in the mystic journey that we call Life. I will continue to defend the principles and characteristics of this noble fraternity, enliven the experience had by Brothers who meet me, and strive to better myself through a more meaningful understanding of the allegories and symbols that we hold dear to our Masonic Hearts.
Ian T. Welch .:. 32°
Worshipful Master- San Juan Lodge # 175
32° Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret - Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham, WA
Lead Audio Technician - MW Grand Lodge of F & AM of WA