|Volume LVIII||February 2011||Number 1|
December Quarterly Communication
District Deputy Grand Masters Donate Funds Raised by Lodges for Masonic Villages
On Dec. 1, 2010, at the December Quarterly Communication in Philadelphia, the District Deputy Grand Masters reported that a total of $723,323.86 had been raised, donated and pledged from the lodges toward the Grand Master's charity initiative for the year, most of which will benefit the Masonic Villages.
In response, R.W. Grand Master Thomas K. Sturgeon said, "I am extremely proud of the hard work our lodges and districts across the state do to support our Masonic Charities. The many hard- working, selfless efforts of our brethren demonstrate our individual and collective commitment to the many good works our charities were founded to provide and perpetuate."Grand Master's Remarks
During the meeting, Grand Master Sturgeon provided the following remarks to the brethren:
"Last December 28th, I stated to all Pennsylvania Masons that if you will follow my lead and be willing to be tolerant of change, be understanding of my plan, and to go to work to rebuild Pennsylvania Freemasonry, we will be successful.
"The 21st Century Masonic Renaissance is a success: Pennsylvania Freemasonry is on the move!
"Some will credit our success to Dan Brown and his very successful novels. I believe that novels like 'The Lost Symbol' did not hurt us, but they also are not responsible for our increase in membership.
"Our increase is due to the hard work of your Right Worshipful officers, the heavy work load and dedication of the District Deputy Grand Masters, and the acceptance of a new way of doing things by the membership across the state.
"Throughout this year, I have taken a reasonable amount of criticism. But I was committed to the Renaissance in December, and I continue my commitment today, regardless of the critics. One of the most revered Freemasons of all time, Bro. George Washington, stated, and I quote: 'Leading by conviction gave me a consolation within, that no earthly efforts can deprive me of. The arrows of malevolence, however barbed and well pointed, can never reach the most vulnerable part of me.' The thoughts of that great American Freemason have sustained my faith in the Renaissance throughout this year.
"There are those who have expressed concern that by initiating more men, we are forfeiting quality for quantity. I reject that assumption.
"Let's look at the facts. This year, (2010) we have initiated 4,393 new Masons. In the year 1920, we initiated 19,383 new Pennsylvania Masons, and in 1946, we took in 16,280. We all acknowledge that both of these years were following a major world war and the men coming home found Freemasonry to be something important in their lives. Those are huge numbers of new Masons and I ask you: Were they men of quality? They fought to preserve our American freedom, and if you ask me, these veterans were men of quality!
"Let me share a few more statistics with you. From 1919 until 1928, this Grand Lodge averaged 10,668 new members each year. From 1944 until 1953, we averaged 11,207 new members. If you think we did a good job this year, let me remind you that this Grand Lodge has had nine years in the last 100 years where we took in over 10,000 new members. Consider this, if you will: there have been 61 years in the last 100 where this Grand Lodge took in more new members than we did this year.
"And yet this is the first time in more than 50 years that we have seen an increase in membership. I believe that more men have chosen to join Freemasonry because they have finally had the opportunity to learn about it, understand it and were encouraged to pursue their interest in it!
"As your Grand Master, I am proud of what we have accomplished. The men we have welcomed into this great fraternity are of exceptional quality, and it is my honor to call each one of them, 'Brother.' Thanks to each of you for your dedicated efforts to rebuild this great fraternity."
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