Congratulations to you for making the
183rd Annual Communication a great success, it is pleasing to see so
many Brothers at the headquarter hotel, to lookout from the dais and see all the
Brothers representing their respective Lodges and Districts, is awesome
For those of you that were able to
stay for the Installation of Grand Lodge Officers, we thank you for your
attendance on behalf of the Installing Officers, the Elected & Appointed
Grand Lodge Officers, District Deputy Grand Masters and District Instructors,
for those that travel just for the installation, your display of support was
overwhelming, and we thank you.
On a personal note, thank you for
allowing me the privilege and opportunity to serve you as your Grand Master.
Masonry is a universal society, where men from all walks of life, from different
ethnicities, religions, social status, and origin of birth come together as a
Brotherhood of men under the Fatherhood of God, to glorify the true and ever
living God “The Great Architect of the Universe” who we give praise for all our
blessings and place all our trust, and is such an important part of our Country
that is in our Nation’s motto “In God We Trust”, and this year is inscribed in
the Grand Master’s pins because I have placed my trust in Him as all of you
Nothing worth having is either free
or without hard work and perseverance, our Fraternity is no different, your love
of Fraternity is commensurate with the time and fortune you are willing to
dedicate to it. This Fraternity encourages me to drive myself harder, to work
longer, and to give more time and wealth to make sure this Institution remains
the Premier Fraternity in the World.
My Brothers, our Country’s way of
life, like our Fraternity, is always a generation away from extinction, it
always has been dependent on those who are willing to sacrifice, to secure our
principles and tenants for posterity. In other words, my Brothers, on our
shoulders rests the future of our Fraternity, we will not hesitate, we, my
Brothers, will make a difference, and we will continue the legacy. “Be A
Leader; Make It Happen.”
We who have been charged with the
trust of our Fraternity are the servants and keepers of our Brothers, and I
personally take this commitment very seriously and I charge you to do so as
well. Today we have taken yet another obligation and swore to live up to them in
front of family, friends, and Brothers but most importantly in the presence of
Almighty God; I pray he gives us the strength, wisdom, and perseverance to
accomplish our goals.
We are Masons who have voluntarily
accepted certain obligations, made commitments, and have recognized the
responsibilities which come with our new roles as leaders of the Fraternity. We
will prioritize, we will sacrifice, and we will make sure that our Brethren’s
needs are met.
My Brothers, through presentations in
my travels, my articles on the website and in The Florida Mason, together
with the Discourses I have laid out how important this Fraternity is to me, I
have touched every aspect of this Fraternity that I consider to be important to
make a difference for the benefit our Craft.
We started to lay the ground work two years ago. Masonic
Leadership Training thus far has been a resounding success and those that have
participated in the programs, have by better than 98% expressed their
satisfaction, and had wished it had been available to them before. We need to
continue to take this program to more Brothers as we are trying to reach every
corner of the State; in the future it may be available on the internet as
courses for those interested in expanding their knowledge and education in the
comfort of their home.
Masonic Education has always been of great importance
because together with Masonic Leadership we can make the difference between
making members and creating Masons. We will continue to expand the material
available, it is our goal to have many more lessons created to expand the
Brethren’s horizon and assist the Lodges with the mentoring system.
We have discussed the assistance to the Lodges and here,
my Brothers, we have excelled in some areas and fallen short in others. Our
Grand Secretary, assisted at times by the Grand Treasurer, has conducted
training seminars for the Secretaries and Treasurers across the State for the
past two years, and the results have been outstanding, I know I have attended
several of them myself. The Masonic Leadership Training for those Masters,
Wardens, and Brothers that have attended has also been a success. However, we
have fallen short on following up with the individual needs of the Lodges
according to the DDGM Reports. This year we will try to address this situation,
my Brothers, there is no sense in having all of these State, Zone, and District
Chairmen if they cannot offer the assistance needed to the Lodges and bring
their needs to a successful resolution.
We have the mechanism in place to provide the assistance
needed, if they want it; however, it is incumbent upon us to be proactive in
making them aware that help, aid, and assistance is truly there for the asking.
We will reach out to any Brother and Lodge wanting to improve himself or
themselves, and I pledge to you my utmost desire to assist you personally or
through any of the Brothers on the Local, Zone, or State level. Your aspiration
to succeed, to attain more knowledge, to become better men and Masons is my call
to action and I pledge to your need the willingness of those who are part of the
2012 Team to make it happen for you.
We know we must be tested, and I hope you do just that.
Every member of this team must be committed to assisting their Brethren, we
don’t want badge wearers, we want workers, we don’t want talkers, we want
performers, we don’t want tomorrow, we want when, where, and now. This is the
commitment I bring to you, the Craft, on behalf of the 2012 team. Your need is
our number one priority.
We will also assist you in working on your membership,
in a society were two is always better than one, and where bigger is better than
smaller and where quantity is often confused with quality we must have an
In our history as early as the 1840’s with just having
lost a Lodge at the very infancy of our Grand Lodge a Past Grand Master said “We
are growing too fast, what we need is quality and not quantity.” My Brothers,
membership cannot be measured by quantity, membership must be measured by
quality, it was measured by quality at our start, in our tenets and in our
lessons; however, someplace along the line we started equating Masonry with the
same principles used by the civilized world during the Industrial Revolution
where we needed the warm bodies in order to build and maintain magnificent
edifices with lesser involvement from the membership in essence splitting the
cost of the development.
Many of the Brothers that cannot participate in the
Lodge will be willing to give more to the Lodges since, for reasons known only
to them, they cannot be more active in our communications, activities, and
fundraisers. However, we continue subsidizing those Brothers by keeping our dues
low, yet we do all the work, attend all the dinners, give to the charity basket,
help the needy Brother or widow at a much higher cost than that of increasing
the dues to cover the normal expenses of the Lodge. Most important we continue
to give our most precious asset, our time.
We can help the Lodges’ membership in the following
Endowing our Lodges
to assist our posterity in the continuation of our
To maintain the
endowment current, that we do not become a burden on the Lodge’s
That we increase
our fees for the Three Degrees.
That we increase
our dues commensurate with the Lodge expenses and that we expend
That we support our
fundraisers for charitable purposes not for the operation of the
Remember that it is easier to maintain a member than it
is to get one, start taking care of your members by calling on them on a regular
basis, on the first call you may have to explain the reasons why, the follow-ups
will be self-explanatory, but it will be a member building effort and
demonstrate that we are a Band of Brothers concerned for their welfare, and
interested in how they are doing, while living to our commitment of
Do not ever give up on a Brother, walk the last mile for
him. Let the departure be of his making not of ours. Together we can make a
difference “Be a Leader; Make it happen”.
My Brothers, we are as strong as our least informed
Brother, if we are truly an order that takes good men and makes them better, we
must raise the level of education, the enthusiasm with which we deliver it, and
the resolution of our actions.
There are so many dreams, so many aspirations, so many
hopes for a better Fraternity, there are so many paths that we can choose to
make a difference, so many opportunities to explore, to make this Noble Craft
better and greater, than when we came into it. However, the only way we will
find the roads to success is through education and knowledge.
In closing My Brothers, ye be of open mind, embrace
change, it is the only thing that is constant in all our lives, always look for
what is the best for all of the Fraternity, and we will be the better for it.
Let us walk side by side together we can make it happen. This Band of Brothers
should always remember the motto of our country “In God we Trust”, let he who knowest all, be our guide and our inspiration, with
him everything is possible, “Be A Leader; Make It Happen”
I want to once again thank you for
all the support you have given me and these Grand Lodge Officers. May God Bless
all of you, our Fraternity, our Servicemen and Women wherever dispersed, and May
God Bless the greatest Country known to mankind, the United States of
Your Humble Servant and
Jorge L. Aladro