By J. E. C. Rafisura — Master
"Wake me up when November comes" , as the song goes. As I approach the end of my term as Crow Canyon's Master of the Lodge, I cannot help but look back and ponder as to how we made it this far. With all the craziness of the extreme changes of my work schedule and the miles I have to travel to get to the lodge from my home, yet somehow, the lodge has continued to function as it should. Perhaps I am in overdrive mode trying to survive this brutal circumstance that I have brought myself into, dealing with some sensitive lodge issues, making tough and uncomfortable decisions, dates to remember, floor and memory work, functions to attend, traditions to observe and events to coordinate. As I continued to ponder, I realized that a leader is only as strong as his lodge members. No leader survives without the support of the membership. In the same way, the membership would be lost without the vision and direction of leadership. The lodge is not the Master, or the President of the Hall Association, or the Past Master(s), or the Secretary. It is the collective thoughts and actions of those who actively participate and contribute to make our house function like a well-oiled machine. Sure, curve balls and hiccups came here and there, like any other organization (even less complex than ours), but we were able to pivot and surpass them all with teamwork, dedication, resilience, and brotherhood. I cannot ask for a better team of officers and committee members than what we have right now. Having a good mix of "young ones" and "once young" officers is a perfect breeding ground for new ideas and growth while preserving our time-honored tradition and lodge culture.
WE have made it to almost the end of this year, as we continue to labor and celebrate our 100-year- anniversary every moment we get a chance. I am pretty sure, our brothers from within and outside of our lodge have noticed the prominent display of our centennial logo at every event. Its presence in our Trestleboard, invitation cards, memorabilia (mugs, aprons, shirts, clocks, mousepads, flasks, etc.) has always been intentional to showcase how important a milestone this year is for all of us. After all, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
As we enjoy the bright hues of autumn, we again contemplate the near closing of this year. But for every closing, there is a new beginning with the changing of guards and leaders of our lodge. I have no doubt that for the 101st year and beyond, we will continue to grow and prosper, always ready to face the challenges that may come our way, as lodges have done in all ages before us.