Given the circumstances and issues prior to, and the work necessary to restore the harmony and peace of the Jurisdiction, it is my sincere belief that this present Administration, under the Grand Mastership of MW Patrick L. Hughes, serves to be one of the MOST IMPORTANT Grand Lodge staffs in the history of our Grand Lodge. It is the next two years that will either MAKE or BREAK the Jurisdiction.
We now rest our feet on the summit of a new chapter in the history of the Organization here in Washington; we can't waste time thinking or cheering for the transition in leadership-THIS moment is greater than that. We can't waste time trying to wait and see the downfall of the present Administration, so that we can have the opportunity to say, 'I told you so!'. THIS moment is greater than that.
Fifteen days from the day of the elections, I wrote the article, The Prepared Heart, which stated:
"Our belief in a Supreme Being will lead us to the logical conclusion that this Supreme Being has invested us with a Purpose from birth to eternity. It is equally understood that all of life's trials, tests, accomplishments and failures serves as supports that assist us in reaching and attaining that Purpose. The principles that evolve from these life lessons are supplements to the Divine revelation provided us from the Supreme Architect of the Universe. These supplemental principles can be found in various forms and vehicles, freemasonry being one of such. It is Creative Fate and the government of Universal Law that we encounter the opportunity to obtain these supplemental principles so vital to the unfoldment of the Original and Divine Purpose inherent in us."
What we bore witness to on Wednesday is the manifestation of the spirit of Freemasonry operating in the context of a specific time and space. Despite who won or lost, I believe that every Master Mason in the room loved Freemasonry. And, embedded deep within the recesses of our Prepared Hearts there is a burning desire to see the GREATNESS of the WASHINGTON JURISDICTION on display. It was from the nexus of this unseen, but most predominant desire that created the atmosphere for transition.
There was a paradigm shift that preceded the Annual Communication, that was a foregoing sign of things to come. Lodges with long standing rivalries came together, Districts were unified, sentiments were established and drawing us all toward the inevitable encounter with Creative Fate.
With the Masonic family of the Prince Hall Washington Jurisdiction coming from all over the World, there was a constant element of landmark events to take place. I had the distinct honor of being selected to serve as Senior Deacon in opening the 110th Occasional Lodge, along with the following Masters and Wardens of District #1, for it had been several years since the Annual Communication was held in District One:
WM-Brother Dana Norwood (Master of #2)
(L to R):
VWB Sam Roberts, DGM Grand Lodge of WA
MW Donald E. Stutts, GM Gran Lodge of British Columbia and YukonMW Cleveland K. Wilson, GM MWPHGL of Arkansas
MW Anthony T. Stafford, GM MW Union GL of FLA
MW Arvin Glass, GM MWPHGL of Tennessee
Most Ill. SGC, Deary Vaughn, Southern Jurisdiction
MW Wilbert Curtis, GM MWPHGL of Tx, President of the Commission of Grand Masters
MW John E. Miller, GM MWPHGL of Arizona
MW Bruce Vesper, GM of MW Grand Lodge of WA
MW Curtis Harris, GM MWPHGL of Alaska
MW Melvin M. Thorpe, GM MWPHGL of MD
MW W. Michael Murphy, Representative for the MWPHGL of CaliforniaMW Glenn Marshall, HGM of MWPHGL of Rhode Island
This within itself provided me with the opportunity to make direct in-roads for research and networking having also been appointed to the Committee of Foreign Correspondence and Recognition of Non-Prince Hall Masons.
The presence of these powerhouses of Freemasonry in the house could not diminish the permeating feeling of a shift in the Masonic paradigm. There were open wounds that needed to be exposed to open air, and be given the proper attention that the healing process could begin. With the opening of the ballot, there was an impending fork in the road for the Jurisdiction, many were eyed the ballot box with a knowing revelation, that in that box, all counted votes and results, held the future of this Jurisdiction and which direction would be taken. As the Election Committee read the results, there was a charge of energy that surged through the entire facility; whether you agreed with the results or not, there was no denying the impact of the decision of the most important seat in the Jurisdiction-that of Grand Master of Masons.
With the results in, given the whole lot of events leading up to the announcement of the results, the Craft had spoken, MW Patrick L. Hughes would don the Hat and Gavel, and be given the opportunity to take the Craft into this next chapter.
With all of the odds against him, in a situation that many believed insurmountable, MW Patrick L. Hughes rose from the ashes as the new Grand Master of Masons for the Jurisdiction of Washington State (PHA).
You could see a great burden lifted from his shoulders as the announcement was read. As a man of spiritual understanding, I believe he recognized the honor, but also the great task at hand. He would be handed not just the Hat and Gavel, but Jurisdiction that was wounded and in a real need of healing.
I could see a sense of instantaneous responsibility as he took the obligation and charge of the Grand Master, I saw that look that said, "At all cost we must heal and become great again".
If we are Master Masons FIRST, then we owe the CRAFT our loyalty, and NO MAN is to be preferred above the NEEDS and PROGRESSION of the Craft. Leaders come and go, they are elected, serve and pass on, the Craft is Forever.
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