Page 24 - MFM July 2014
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Look Back to Look Forward

  Gavin K. K. Wardrope, Grand Oration
         Grand Lodge of Utah - 2013

  Most Worshipful Grand Master, Most Worshipful         away. It is amazing when you look through the old
Past Grand Masters, Distinguished Visitors, Right       Communications and discover through the writings
Worshipful Brothers, Worshipful Brothers and            that as well as being full of our Masonic heritage
Brethren all.                                           they are a snapshot of the life and times in which
                                                        they were written.
  I stand here this morning in front of this 142nd
Communication of this Grand Lodge of Utah                 In 1965 the Grand Orator Harvey L Riggle wrote the
eternally grateful for many things. I have a loving     following as his introduction to his Grand Oration
wife, 2 wonderful children, 1 Grandchild, my health     and it appears fitting to what I wish to talk about
and many great friends, many of whom are sitting        today; It is like the new Pastor of the rural church.
here today.                                             On his first Sunday he found the Church empty of
                                                        Members. At last one man arrived. The time came
  Just a short 18 months ago my youngest Daughter       and went to start the Service. Finally, the Pastor
enlisted in the US Army, the first member of my         asked the man if he would care to hear the Sermon.
family to do so. Before she left for basic training in  The man said ‘Pastor, I have been feeding cattle for
Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, she asked me to write      20 years. When it comes time to feed, I feed whether
to her as often as possible, as she had been told,      there is one cow or one hundred.’ The Pastor felt
truthfully it turned out, that contact with her would   very pleased and delivered a sermon lasting 1 hour
be almost nonexistent except by use of the US Mail.     45 minutes. When he had finished he asked the man
I promised her I would and the experience reignited     what he thought of the Sermon. The man replied ‘As
the love of letter writing that I had lost when         I told you, I have fed cows for a long time. When it
modern technology took it away. I wrote every day       comes time to feed I feed whether there is one or one
for 6 weeks about anything and everything, until her    hundred. But if there is only one I don’t dump the
Graduation on the 20th September, 2012 from the         whole load.’
165th Infantry Brigade, my last letter I gave to her
in person the night before that Graduation. She has       The remainder of the Oration I ask you to go and
kept every one of them, we both have never shared       read as it was done at the time of civil unrest in the
what was in them and when I asked her to throw          country and to me does not make good reading,
them away her answer was ‘I want to remember who        except to say that I am glad we have moved on since
you were Dad, when you are no longer here.’             those dark days. I hope that in 49 years’ time the
                                                        Grand Orator of that year will look more kindly
  Most Worshipful Grand Master, about 2 months or       on this Oration and the snapshot he will get from
so before your Installation last year you asked me to   this Communication will be one of hope that the
become your Grand Orator, you never said why and        time had come for us all here and in the Lodges to
you have never told me your reason, or what I could     at last stand up and say enough. Enough of being
or could not talk about, not that any instruction       disrespectful to each other, enough of being rude
from you would have stopped me. When I told my          to each other and more especially enough of being
wife, I said I had some reservations. Seemingly, or     harmful to this fraternity.
so I am told, I speak with a foreign accent and some
people have difficulty understanding me and this          I have this past year seen the effects of some of
had me concerned, not about the accent, but of the      these actions and you know what, quite frankly, it
contents of my Orations. She told me to be myself, to   saddened me what lengths some Members of this
talk about the things I believe in and that you, Most   jurisdiction would go to satisfy their own desires.
Worshipful Sir, knew these things but that you had      Our Deputy Grand Master, the Grand Master Elect,
the confidence to appoint me and when people saw        is fond of telling us all that ‘It is always about me.’ We
me for who I was the accent will become a nonfactor.    often joke about it together but you know what it is
To her I wish to thank for being my sounding block      all about me.
and partner, I do not know what I would do without
her.                                                       This Fraternity has taught me that it was all about
                                                        me the night I was Initiated, it was all about me the
  However, when I looked at the task ahead and          night I was passed and it was especially all about
did some researching into various subjects I            me the night I was raised. I have tried to put into
rediscovered my love of history and reading which       action those things which I have been taught. Have
had also been lost when other distractions took it      I been successful – no, do I try my best – yes, could

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