Brothers and Friends: As a lifelong audiophile, I often think of music. A blind musician, named (“Blind”) Willy Johnson, once shivered in the cold dying in poverty. He recorded approximately thirty songs. As
an example of the wonders of us as people, now his music has flown to sights not thought possible in earlier generations, cutting the bonds of our narrowly defined sector of the universe via Voyager. Greatness can arguably derive from stark difficulty.
Confronted with the momentous challenges of his epoch, President Lincoln wisely called on the Americans of his age to live-up to the better angels of their nature. As a blind person, I know personally that anger and despair comprise these unfriendly intruders lurking in the dark. He
suffered the slows. It is, however, the measure of us as men to rise to challenging occasions. As someone who finds himself incredibly blessed in this life, I charge you as I do myself. Let us ensure that our fellow citizens, some of whom are worried as to meeting their next rent payment,
know that we deserve to be called Masons.
To safeguard the health of our publisher, this comprises your W.M.’s message. We need to find new and innovative ways of producing a Communication, such as the Fireside Chat we recently released. To this end, the team seeks a talented communications expert to serve as a new officer
position I will appoint: Director of Digital Fulfillment.
Newspapers and pundits call our viral crisis unprecedented. Actually, it is not unprecedented when one studies history. But regardless, all I know is this: despite what seems as the stygian darkness of our time and despite the chilling impact it will have on a mid-term basis on our economy, we will survive as a people and as a fraternity. As such, I note that the entire team
makes us proud: from our junior officers, such as our Junior Steward, who helps so committedly; to our Senior Warden, who could have easily exemplified two degrees by now but for external challenges.
• I wish our brothers in March and in April, a wonderful belated or soon-to-be birthday.
• I regularly track this crisis and its impact on our civic and Masonic life. I have received notifications from the Grand Lodge that has shuttered its doors. I applaud the 2020 W.M.s who are trying to find ways to connect with their members. For my colleagues, I find comfort in reading the history of past leaders. (As was once the classical training for leaders.) I particularly suggest studies of Prime Minister Churchill, President Lincoln, and the Brother President Roosevelts.
• If this crisis endures, we will, on May 5, 2020, hold a virtual town hall forum meeting, perhaps with a speaker, during what would have been our first Communication. As a lodge, we will find an appropriate means by which to contribute to the relief of this crisis.
More on that later when I have details.In conclusion, I part you with sentiments, if not the exact words, found in the Profit published in [The time of our parting is also the time of our gathering.] The crisis proves a momentous point in our history – as with all forks in the road, an opportunity to delve back into our least spirits, or an opportunity to call on our highest angels as humans.
Gary C. Norman, Esq. L.L.M.