By J. Rafisura —Junior Warden
Last week I was able to witness (at least portions of it) an historic Annual Communication via the Zoom Meeting platform. For me it felt weird and at the same time, awe-inspiring how we as an organization have gone so far to pull off such a complex technological exercise in order to stick to our annual time-honored tradition – the Annual Communication.
At first, there were kinks and “glitches” in terms of connections, audio/video quality and remote real-time coordination. However, as the event progressed, boy, it seemed that we have gotten good at it! It went relatively smooth for the most part. I have seen familiar faces who worked their way into being given the privilege to have their video/audio allowed to be turned on and speak before all the participants in order to chime-in their 2 cents or ask questions. It was interesting to watch and listen, knowing that there are a lot more participants who were lurking in their respective private places (living rooms, basements, patio, etc.), still able to attend such an historic event – some in their coat and tie, others maybe in their pajamas (or boxers?) and bed heads! Times have changed indeed and the new normal will continue to change as this pandemic unfolds. All of us are still learning and will eventually get to be good at it. After all, change is the only constant in this world.
During the event, we had the chance to vote (electronically) on several proposed legislations after listening to the discussions. What happened behind the scenes, how they verified and counted the votes, who witnessed the counting, we did not know, and I can only imagine the “bandwidth” it took to pull off such a complex event. It was a success and legislations were passed!
As we welcome the new Grand Master, Most Worshipful Arthur Weiss, we look forward for new directions concerning Masonic meetings and events, including virtual stated and special meetings. Personally, I am having a little bit of a challenge of this virtual world. I would love to have the “old normal” back where we could meet and greet physically, dine together as a group with all the ladies and widows, participate in an actual annual fall festival (can’t imagine a virtual one), etc. But I guess that now falls under the category of “good ole days”.
I’d like to encourage everyone to stay tuned and reconnect with the lodge, however challenging it may be. Tonight, I will be attending the Past Master’s Roll Call….virtually. Please don’t ask me what’s on the menu.