Page 30 - MFM April 2017






Page 30 - MFM April 2017
P. 30

Montana Freemason                                         April 2017                                               Volume 93   Number 1  Montana Freemason                                         April 2017                                               Volume 93   Number 1
                                         We Are the Leaders of the Craft
                           MW Bro. James Ratchford, Grand Master Grand Lodge AF&AM of Alberta

             As  we  progress  through  our                                 to have Brethren who are great teachers,
          Masonic  career  we  will  have  many                             orators,  cooks,  bartenders  etc.  These
          opportunities  to  take  on  different                            Brethren know what they have to offer
          offices,  with  different  roles  and                             and we should accept them for who they
          responsibilities. We sometimes accept                             are. We need to assist them in developing
          these  without  really  understanding                             those special skills so that our beloved
          the duties associated with the office.                            Craft becomes a place of acceptance for
          The Lodge, however, expects that we                               all. If we fail in accepting our Brethren
          are  able  to  fulfill  all  the  obligations                     for what they have to offer, we will be
          of that office. If this scenario sounds familiar, you  looking at the demise of our Craft. I hope we all
          should  not  be  surprised  to  hear  that  some  of  us  believe that we can rise above our differences and
          should have said “no” to accepting the office.        place the good of the Lodge above forcing those
                                                                into positions they should not go.
             This  problem  is  particularly  serious  at  the
          Worshipful  Master  level.  We  have  many  people       If a Brother desires to become a leader in any area
          who, because of their personalities should not be  of the Craft, then how do we train them? Is it done
          pushed  through  the  progression  to  become  the  by just going through the chairs? That’s the usual
          Master of the Lodge. We all have seen members  progression,  but  Brethren  that  is  an  error  on  our
          pushed because the Past masters                                           part. We need to provide them
          do not want to face another year           “Leadership is about           with  a  course  that  will  make
          as  Master  of  the  Lodge.  Once           Submission to duty            them  a  better  leader  and  more
          the Master is in place, then the         Not elevation to power”          effective  communicator.  The
          Past  Masters,  the  officers  and                                        problem lies in developing such
          the members of the lodge stand     Gordon Tootoosis (as Cecil Delaronde   a program. We are fortunate to
          and  rail  against  the  quality  of    in the TV series”Blackstone”)     have the Lodge Officer Training
          the Master.                                           Program to assist in our understanding of our lodge
                                                                duties. However, we need to go further. We need to
             If  you  wanted  to  be  a  leader  you  should  have  offer a program dedicated to leadership.
          accepted  the  shortcomings  of  the  Brother  and
          advised him not to go on to Worshipful Master. It        I have been fortunate to discover that the Grand
          is the responsibility of every member of the lodge  Lodge  of  Ohio  has  created  such  a  program,  and
          to carefully select those who will lead, direct and  we have been given permission to use it. It is the
          nurture the health of the lodge.                      duty  of  each  and  every  member  of  the  craft  to
                                                                immerse  ourselves  in  this  program  and  discover
             Those members who do not have the ability to be  where we can best assist our beloved craft. It can
          Master have much to offer a Lodge and we should  be  found  at  This
          use their talents to the benefit of all the Brothers. I  site focuses not only on being a leader but on lodge
          was fortunate to have a Brother approach me just  management, budgeting and running meetings that
          after I had been raised and kindly advise me that  will  attract  members  to  attend.  If  we  fail  to  use
          he would be happy to help anywhere in the Lodge  the  tools  provided  we  have  failed  our  members,
          but he was not prepared to become the Master. To  Lodges and Grand Lodge. But above all we have
          his word, anything that had been asked of him he  failed ourselves.
          fulfilled with humble service.
                                                                   George  Tootoosis,  portraying  Cecil  Delaronde
             My Brethren, lack of leadership is the downfall  said”  leadership  is  about  submission  to  duty”,
          of  every  organization.  It  is  the  responsibility  of  and  I  agree,  but  leadership  is  also  a  duty  to  our
          each member to recognize their own strengths and  membership,  our  Lodges  our  Districts  and  the
          weaknesses,  to  better  enable  them  to  assist  the  Craft in general. It is also our duty to accept each
          management and growth of our Lodges, Districts  of our members for their special talents and not to
          and Grand Lodge. We are blessed in our Fraternity  push them into areas they should not enter. Let us
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