The masonic theme adopted by Grand Master Voltaire T. Gazmin during his term is simple yet profound. It basically dwells on our conscious performance of our obligations as masons and calls for the cultivation of the visible traits of a really good man.
MW Voltaire Gazmin, addressing the GLP ofﬁcers for the ﬁrst time as Grand Master.
To begin with, a man upon becoming a Mason likewise becomes the visible representation of Freemasonry to all within his circle. As Masonry will be judged by the world by the character of its members, a mason must therefore think, speak and act in a manner worthy of his membership in our Fraternity. He must remember that he has entered into an obligation sworn before God to live strictly according to the great tenets and teachings of our institution.
Many of us have become complacent or lax in the observance of our self-imposed duties and obligation as members of our ancient craft. Unwittingly, Freemasonry has been wrongly regarded by some of us as just another ordinary fraternity of man. There is no greater disservice to our craft. Let us not forget that we belong to an ancient and very reputable worldwide society which requires exacting moral standards of its members and which imposes the performance of well-defined as well as unwritten set of obligations. Unfortunately, some of us deem our duties and obligations as mere ornamental chores, instead of viewing them with the utter seriousness and sacredness that they deserve.
Internally, this results into a breakdown of our duty to the lodge, to the brethren and to the Craft, with telling effect on the over-all reputation of our Fraternity. The unwanted manifestations are quite evident. Year in and year out, we now suffer the spectacle of bad and undesirable attitude displayed by some in the halls of our craft. Inside the lodges, we see private piques and quarrels, prolonged absences, non-payment of dues, commission of fraud against a brother or a lodge, evasion of the duty to help, wanton violation of rules and edicts pertaining to petitioners. Outside, some commit nefarious practices in their profession or in their social interaction which put our fraternity in a very bad light. We cannot allow all this to go on unabated.
Having assumed a sacred obligation, we should consider it not as a drudgery, but a challenge, an invitation – literally an opportunity which demands specific achievement. It is the opportunity to help those less fortunate than ourselves, to correct some faults which irritate others or to improve ourselves by broadening our horizon through study and self-improvement in the ways of our Craft.
Personification of Freemasonry comes in many varied forms. For the benefit of our family and loved ones, we owe them an obligation of keeping ourselves mentally, physically, socially, spiritually and morally fit – clean and healthy in all respects! For the benefit of our Lodge – we owe some measure of overt support in all its laudable activities; to display proper attire and demeanor; to attend meetings with punctuality; to promptly pay our dues; to maintain good behavior in the Temple and the Ante-room; to observe proper etiquette in all Masonic duties; to maintain sobriety and discipline in our fellowship activities; to be temperate in speech and to display courtesy and affability to all our brethren.
And for the benefit of Masonry in general, we all have the obligation to create a favorable image in order that the world may know that upon becoming a Mason, we have become a better man. And so it should be second nature to us to ever display devotion we owe to the Great Almighty and to follow the Volume of the Sacred Law as the great law of the brotherhood; to be peaceable citizens that owe undying allegiance to our country; and as Brotherhood of Man is the cornerstone of our Fraternity, it behooves upon us to treat others with the same respect and consideration with which we would like to be treated.
The lessons imparted by our symbols and rituals are great tools to remind us of our Masonic duties and help guide us in the straight path of a really good man. By improving ourselves every day in thoughts, in speech, in manner or in every helpful way, we are bound to develop that outstanding trait of impeccable integrity of character by which all Masons should be known for, admired and emulated.
When a mason passes by, let us hear others say “There goes a mason, there goes a good man”. And our mission is done.