By J. E. C. Rafisura — Master-Elect
My brothers, as we come closer to the end of the year, we welcome 2023 with much hope and anticipation. In the past 2-3 years, the world had been challenged by such a health crisis that has changed the world forever. Our ancient fraternity is no exception as we learned to navigate through the pandemic with all the ever-changing and evolving health protocols as imposed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the different local health agencies. Lodges went dark for a while and the future of our fraternity became uncertain. But we are still here, stronger than ever. We were able to adapt and pivot to accommodate the current crisis, just like what our brothers before us did when they had their own challenges. My heart goes to those who succumbed to the deadly virus, especially to our dearly departed brothers. Those who got affected but survived, some of them, still continue to suffer with the lingering effects of the disease (“Long Covid”). But we continue to support each other through our charity works, through the efforts of our Sunshine committee and our own individual initiatives brothers.
With the temporary shut down of lodges, it seemed as if it has created a pent-up demand for membership from the general public in our community. Also, existing members began to re-join and participate again in our activities with renewed enthusiasm and interest. There was this repressed longing to gather again and break bread with each other to share stories, jokes and experiences. 2022 had been a great year for the fraternity as we were able to gain our footing and do the things that we normally do…and more! Wor. Brian Ross, along with the officers and key members of the lodge, has certainly put us back on our feet! Kudos!
As the incoming Master of the lodge, it is an honor and a challenge to lead our lodge for the year 2023. Working with Wor. Brian Ross and the rest of the officers has been privilege as I learned a lot about our ancient craft. Being a principal officer, there is a lot more to our fraternity that just esoteric matters, dinners, rituals and meetings. Wor. Ross’ stellar performance will be a hard act to follow. But with all my heart, I will try to fulfill my role for the love of the craft and knowing that my brothers are behind me. For 2023, we will continue to work on fulfilling our ancient practices and traditions, forge new worthy brothers, confer advanced degrees and, in addition, celebrate the 100th anniversary of our lodge.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of our lodge officers and committee members if you need information about lodge activities and on how you can help or participate. I invite you all to join us as we celebrate love, friendship and brotherhood in so many ways. For the month of December, we will be having our Installation of Officers on the 17th at 5 PM and Holiday Party on the 10th at 11 AM). Also, please look out for the lodge calendar for the month of January 2023. We may kick-off the year with 2nd degrees…or a double second? Stay tuned!
Lastly, I wish you and your family much love and joy during the holidays and a prosperous New Year ahead!