Hi Nobles, Happy New Year.
We are off to a great start for 2019. Typical New England weather, typical New England Superbowl with your typical New England traditions… even if that means you are in the South for the winter. My friendships in the craft, the Shrine are more than just typical. To this I say, “Thank you.” For the friendships and the trust passed onto me early this year, I am thankful and grateful to all of you for the support.
We began this year by honoring those Shriners who have taken the Black Camel’s Ride to the Celestial Lodge. These Brother Nobles are remembered for gifting to us this Fraternity – thank you to their families for sharing them with us.
The installation of 2019 Officers went as planned. It was a great cozy feeling to have so many friends, family and nobility in the room. We brought in 22 new Nobles adding to the 18 new Nobles from the December Class – proving Aleppo is committed to our Mission and to having fun in this “Playground of Freemasonry.” And the lunch was awesome!
Congratulations to Illustrious Harlan Woods and Noble Robert ‘Bob’ Baker earning the Robert Gardner Wilson Jr. Award, the highest award and greatest honor, for going above and beyond in service to Aleppo Shriners. Thank you both for having such a positive influence on us all; jobs well done.
2019 – New Year’s resolution time! Hmmm, you’re right it is February – those resolutions are long broken. But one intention is solid – ‘use it or lose it.’ As this applies to our entire self – Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually. First, I will focus those words towards our membership. Asking USE IT, your membership cards ‐ our MASONIC Membership card and our SHRINER’S Membership card. Remember Shriners are Masons. We are all Brothers of that same Masonic Family. USE your membership card – attend Lodge, attend Shriner events. Both dues cards have opened doors and opportunities – to new people, new events, new places. Fun people, fun events, fun places. I encourage you to use it.
Second, we need to focus on our mental / emotional health. We live in a 24 x 7 ‐ always-on-world. This can be too much of a good thing. Our minds are overburdened to the point we struggle to recognize what matters from what doesn’t. Let’s each focus on resetting this balance. Embrace whatever you love to do. Do more of it. Because none of us can do the good work in the fraternity – to our Masonic and Shrine missions ‐ if we don’t keep ourselves well. Don’t lose it.
Third and finally, we live in this world where the conversation is increasingly angry. Let’s face it – consensus is hard. Life is a work in progress. But along the way, we can make things a little better. We must realize that a different point of view doesn’t negate the opposing side’s good intentions. Disagreement is welcomed, but it MUST always be civil. Maybe, just maybe, we will give our country a role model it badly needs. In every situation, when speaking up – let’s show respect and remember the Golden Rule and our Masonic obligation. Let Aleppo Shiners be a place where everyone feels at home – in a big picture – that they have helped to shape.
Masonry makes good men better – the Shrine gives us a place to have fun – fun with a purpose. Let’s not lose Shriner’s Hospitals for Children–Boston.
Thank you for the privilege to lead our fraternity – the playground of Freemasonry. Use it.
See you soon,
Illustrious Robert E. Havener
2019 Potentate, Aleppo Shrine Center