I wish to thank all brethren who supported me in my election as District Deputy Grand Master for the 2016-17 Masonic year. I am grateful for your trust in me and your support, and will strive to be worthy of the title throughout the coming year. It is truly a great honour to represent the Grand Master Most Worshipful Brother John C. Green.
I have spent much time over the summer contemplating my role as D.D.G.M., and how it would tie into my version of freemasonry. I was given some advice by a past D.D.G.M. to ‘make the most of my year and attend as many functions as possible’, and he went on to explain that great friendships result and much is accomplished through these friendships. This wisdom fits with my vision of freemasonry and as D.D.G.M. I will strive to assist South Huron District lodges to encourage their members to grow through friendship and fellowship. Fellowship is important within individual lodges but also within the South Huron District as a whole, and is a basic fundamental of masonry.
One important means to build and maintain a strong foundation of fellowship and friendships is through building membership, and empowering those new members who are good men to be better men. Thus, in addition of course to my duties and obligations as D.D.G.M., I plan to ensure that all new members who are initiated into the South Huron District during my term, are made welcome and provided with information which will assist them in their Masonic journey. It is my hope to personally attend as many as possible by my calendar, new member initiations during my term. I will also be sending a personal note of welcome to all new members following their initiation. It is my hope that others in the District will share my interest in this regard and give thought as to how, within their own lodges, they can be open and welcoming to new members, who are the future of our Lodges.
As well, we must not forget those masons who are not longer able to attend lodge physically. My father in law, a Past Master himself, has moved to nursing home facility just this summer so I am certainly reminded that even short visits with our elderly brethren in their homes or care institutions means a great deal to them.
The charity which has been chosen for the coming year is Prostate Hope. This worthy charitable foundation is of particular interest to men, so I felt it important to continue our fundraising efforts in this direction. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian men, and indeed 1 in 8 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. I ask Brethren to give generously, as they are able, to those events held within their own lodges and the South Huron District.
During the month of September I have had the privilege of presenting Grand Steward regalia to two deserving members in Brittania Lodge and Tudor Lodge. The evening at Brittania Lodge was open to family and friends, and was well attended and enjoyed by all. Tudor Lodge was a privilege not only to present regalia but as my first fraternal visit to be escorted in under the wands, it seemed fitting that it was in my father-in-law’s lodge. W. Bro. Earl Kemp was Past Master (1977) in Tudor Lodge. Please check out the photographs on the website from these events, and know that I will continue to have photos posted throughout the year, as other events are attended.
On Sept ember 21st I will conduct a ceremony of instituting a new lodge “Templum Lucis” Lodge in Stratford, and all masons are invited to attend the opening of this new Lodge within our South Huron District. It is a rare opportunity to witness a ceremony of this nature.
Official visits will commence in October with visits to Maitland Lodge and Morning Star Lodge. I know that this will be an extremely busy year ahead, but I certainly do look forward to making the most of the opportunity which has been bestowed upon me.
R.W.Bro. Terry Ridgway
District Deputy Grand Master, 2016/17
South Huron District