From the Grand Master.
Stats for Covid-19 Virus world pandemic:
SA confirmed 459 Recovered 445 Deaths 4
new cases 7/8/20 = 3
NT confirmed 33 Recovered 30 Deaths 0
new cases 7/8/20 = 0
Australia 20272 Recovered 11,315 Deaths 266
World 19.2 million recovered 11.6 million Deaths 716,000
By promoting common sense, courtesy and calm, and by encouraging each other, your families and friends to cover their mouth/nose, practice social distancing, to stay at home if unwell and to consider the covid-19 app, you have, and are, helping to keep the stats well down in SA and the NT.
I was recently asked when I thought this covid-19 virus world pandemic would be over; my answer was straight forward: “when a vaccine has been developed, tested, approved, manufactured in sufficient quantities and all people are vaccinated”.
In the meantime, keep up your good work not only among Freemasons but also the community generally. You are helping to contain this Covid-19 virus.
The Board of Management of AF &AM Inc (membership services) met this week and considered various matters brought to their attention by the Grand Master. This has resulted in the following:
The choreography of our three Degrees and Installations has been amended during the period of this covid-19 virus world pandemic to permit work to begin again within the respective Government guidelines. The Grand Secretariat will communicate the changes.
The two nominees for Grand Master will be invited to submit a one page Policy statement for your consideration; these will be sent out next week to every Master Mason; if a friend does not receive such correspondence, please notify the Grand Secretary immediately. The days of poverty of information are long gone; the men of today make objective decisions not subjective decisions. We continue to address rapid communication with online up to date facilities.
The October conference and Communication will be streamed online with electronic voting and no proxies other than at the conference by Lodge reps. I have sought postal voting for those not online. We should all note that we are at the stage where about 4% of the membership decides outcomes on important issues. This is not consistent with equity and access in the modern era. Also, current Government restrictions continue to make it impossible to invite an unrestricted number to attend in person for a Communication. We must go online for the benefit of all.
Future Boards of Management will need to ensure a debate around more permanent changes when the covid-19 virus world pandemic is over.
Other news: the 1300 Freemasons phone number has been registered to facilitate a more efficient new phone system. The Grand view data base is being installed to give accurate and almost instant data response; office procedures continue to be streamlined. These economies and efficiencies were long overdue. Thank you for your patience during a difficult period.
The MMXXI Membership Promotion launched on 1 June 2020, with ability to apply online and other IT initiatives, has resulted in Freemasonry SA & NT being on the cusp of a 4.5 % net increase in membership. This enthusiasm is spread across many areas, not just the city. This figure of 4.5% is better than anywhere in the world as I understand it. We have just begun; well done everyone; please remember that this promotion complements the work of Lodges AND, that it is the responsibility of each Lodge to ensure that meetings are interesting and that these men, and all members, stay active.
Some of the GM’s July activities: conducted a second Communication to invest the Junior Officers and Stewards who could attend within covid-19 restrictions; hosted Bastille Day celebration (SANT has a close association with the Grand Lodge of France since the time of the first World War- representative is RWBro Ray Nicholson OS); chaired Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Well being Ltd board meeting with Professors Smith (Darwin), Wesselingh (SAHMRI), Wittert (Adelaide University); visited Ardrossan, 24 July, to present a cheque for $40000 to purchase two bed licences to allow residents to remain in the area when older and infirmed; visited the beautiful Ardrossan Lodge room; facilitated discussions on Ethics (morality-the definition of Freemasonry) with relevant bodies; discussions on the shared masonic services model-economies of scale rather than three silos in the same building; discussions with the Hon John Dawkins, Advocate for Suicide Prevention and advisor to the Premier; online conference of the content and user group for the development of the Freemasons online self- mental health tool (> four people committed suicide in the past hour); preparation for matters relevant to AF&AM Nominees Pty Ltd (254 North Terrace and Moonta - buildings) and Masonic Charities Pty Ltd (Philanthropy); media and promotional activities; daily routine duties generally. As one contemplates this devastating covid-19 world pandemic and, as one comes to the last eight months of a fifty-nine year journey of self-discovery in Freemasonry, one is reminded of the following quotes:
“What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing”: Aristotle, Greek Philosopher
“Study the past if you would divine the future”: Confucius, Chinese Philosopher
“Even God cannot change the past”: Agathon, Athenian Poet/Playwright
Freemasonry: the oldest and greatest fraternity; “we invest in people” (UGL of England)