Message From the East
TO: Brothers of Blaine C. Clay No. 14
FROM: W.M. Troy Welch
DATE: December 17, 2017
SUBJECT: Annual Address
Troy J. Welch
Dontrell D. Scoby
It is my sincere hope that this communication find you in good shape, that is, your health is good, your mind is right, and the spirit of Deity dwells within you. To the Brothers who are in poor health, my prayers will continue to include you.
Masonic year 2018, the first of my administration, is off to a very fast paced start. I am honored and blessed to have inherited some really successful programs from the last management team. These programs will continue to flourish and will receive the full support of my platform. I am also thankful that the programs that I have introduced have had a great reception and acceptance.
The work of Freemasonry is no less important for the world today. We meet in Lodge in a condition of perfect equality. The lesson of equality taught in our Lodge is the aspiration of every Republic. It is the Lodge that most powerfully taught the founders of our Nation the idea of equal justice under the law, that government is framed by men and among men and by their common consent for the protection of their rights and dignity, for their mutual well-being and happiness. It will be the work of many lifetimes for those of good will to establish this idea both in our Nation and throughout the World.
Sadly, decades of decline have until recently left the Craft in a reduced state, unable properly to pursue its noble aims as effectively as it once did. In a well-meaning effort to maintain our membership at respectable levels, some Lodges have resorted to methods which come at the expense of: the initiatic degrees for each candidate, the Art of Memory, and the patient teaching of the catechisms and their hidden meanings. Unfortunately, such methods have reaped their inevitable reward - many seeds sowed in unprepared ground, and a further decline in membership, followed in some places by further reduced standards for entry into our ancient and honorable Craft.
But we are here to suggest another way forward. I am here to observe the beginnings of a Restoration. A new generation has arisen in the Craft to carry it forward as former generations have done, young men drawn to the Craft by its ancient customs, eager to demand much of themselves and meet the challenges set before them by the Craft. Far from being discouraged when they encounter resistance, young Masons of today are only attracted more to the Craft by the high and exacting standards set by excellence and beauty. This year in Blaine C. Clay #14, excellence in ritual and beauty in ceremony will be our watchwords. We will insist on the highest standards in the ritual, degrees and catechisms. We will teach not only by severity, but also by fraternal love and affection, in peace and harmony. There are some very critical issues which we will face this coming year. Our budget, revenue raising, delinquent brothers, and repair and renovations, make up just a few of my concerns. For instance, the timely payment of dues by all brothers is essential. The practice of carrying delinquent brothers for extended periods must be discontinued. We simply cannot afford to carry their share. There are many, many, other tough decisions that we must make.
As most of you are already aware our lodge has undergone an extensive makeover, and while this is a huge accomplishment it has forced us to look into all things building related. In the coming months you will see policy shifts as it relates to building rentals, building (janitorial) upkeep, lawn care, and storage. Some of this will come at an increased cost, but these changes are necessary to stay on par with our competition for building rentals. If this is a concern of yours, and I hope it is, please attend the upcoming meetings to take part in this process.
Brothers, I ask that you do not forget our sick and aged brothers. Brother Murphy and the sick committee cannot keep up with everyone. We must accept some of this responsibility. A telephone call, a brief visit, or a card will add a bit of cheer to that brother’s day. To those of you who are aged and /or Ill and wish to make meeting, you need only call me at (985)647-5506 and I will arrange to have you picked up and returned to your home after the meeting.
The annual Camp Chicota Homecoming celebration and raffle will take place on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Brother Khiri Harris has accepted the responsibility of taking care of all details pertaining to the camp. If you wish to make a donation or help in any way please contact Brother Harris at (985) 293-4132.
The 155th Annual Communication of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grande Lodge of Louisiana is a few months away. The 2018 Session will start on Thursday, June 7, 2018 and will end at noon on Sunday, June 10, 2018. The 80th Annual Session of Esther Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, will be held at the same time as the Grand Lodge and some of our functions, such as the Honors and Award Banquet and Worship Service, will be joint functions. I urge you to register as quickly as possible because the fees have gone up this year. The registration will be $185 at the door on the days of the session.
Blaine C. Clay Lodge #14 will be hosting our 1st Annual Father’s Day Spring Ball on Friday, June 15, 2018. Tables (seating 8) are now on sale for $200.00 and individual chairs are $25.00. Table sponsors can provide food for their table, but finger foods will be available. This is a B.Y.O.B. event. If you are interested in a table or chair please contact the Fundraising Committee Chairman Craig Nicholas (985)851-6064, Ron Murphy (985) 647-0328, or myself at (985) 647-5506.
Blaine C. Clay Lodge #14 will also be hosting our 1st Annual Unity Day Celebration on July 28, 2018. This event will be sponsored by the Masonic Outreach Committee chaired by Adrian “Big Duke” Williams. This event will be a “Brothers Only” cookout designed to promote fellowship and unity. Cards and dominoes will be provided. For information on this event contact Big Duke at (985)637-7997.
We are also in the planning stages of both the 2nd Annual Turkey Day Giveaway and a Community Health Fair. I will release more information on these events as we get closer to them.
Other Important Notes:
I look forward to the continued effort from the brethren as we make these shifts in policy a reality. As always if there are any questions or concerns I am available to answer or address them. Thank you for your time in this matter and may the Great I AM bless you and your family.
Troy J. Welch