Grand Master photo 2016

MW Bro Edward R. MacLaren, Grand Master



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Grand Master’s Address

The past two years we have concentrated on at least 3 visitations to other lodges as well as bringing back to Lodge 3 members who have not been attending. Visitations between Lodges has certainly improved as well as getting some of our members back to Lodge. This year I would like for we, as Brothers, to consider two areas that I feel we need some improvement, Visibility and Visitation of our Brothers, who are unable to get out to meetings and our widows

  1. Where is our place in our community?

Further to our involvement or visibility in the community, our membership is declining and maybe part of this is because nobody out there knows who we are or what we do. I know there are some Lodges out there who drive cancer patients to appointments, there is a Lodge that holds an annual auction every year in support of children with disabilities and provides financial assistance for children who have to travel outside the province for treatment and I am sure there are others out there who have events.

How many people actually know you are a Mason? Maybe you wear a Masonic ring or they see you going into that mysterious building they call the Masonic Hall which no one wants to know anything about , or maybe in your obituary with the line that says “ a Masonic Memorial service will be held”. It is too late then. Maybe if more men knew we were Masons they might be inclined to ask for an application

The time has come when we need to be visible in our communities. How do we do this; by getting involved in community activities such as fund raising for your local school or town library. One such program that I am involved in has been the Bikes for Books program in the schools where we are trying to raise the literary and writing skills of the students by a reading program . Over a stated period of time the child receives a ballot for each book they read and in the end a boy and a girl from each class has the opportunity to win a bike. This program has been in the states for a number of year and in the last few years there are about 15 lodges involved in New Brunswick. MWBro Allison Coles presented this program to Prince of Wales Lodge which accepted the challange and we have completed our first year. This year we presented 16 bikes to the Mt. Stewart Consolidated School. A lot of work was involved both with the Lodge and the School Principal, Mary McKendrick, but what a reward to see the smiles on the winner’s face. With a number of members providing seed money and a lot of fund raising especially pan cake breakfasts we were able to cover our costs and have some funds to continue again this year. Pan cake breakfast days and assembling bikes can be a lot of fun when Brothers work together.. This year my collections from the Grand Lodge Visitations will go to this project which I would like to see as a Grand Lodge Project for any Lodge that is interested in doing this in their area. Our team can certainly provide any information you wish and we will be glad to come to your Lodge to make a presentation

We also have a Masonic Choir which I hope to keep going this year but no one invites us to take part in community events or fund raisers Maybe the time has come when we should step back and ask ourselves

What do we as Masons give back to the Community to increase our visibility???????????

Another area of great concern which I see is that we are forgetting the promises we made at the altar when we took our degrees. And to refresh our memories, these Obligations will be reviewed at our Grand Lodge Visitations.

Remember the Senior Warden’s answer to why he became a Mason “ that I might receive Master’s wages and be thereby better enabled to support himself and family and contribute to the relief of poor distress Master Masons, their widows and orphans.

Remember the 24 inch gauge which we are taught to divide into three equal parts whereby we find 8 hours for service of God and distressed worthy Brothers, 8 for our usual avocations and 8 for refreshment and sleep

Our Declarations of Principles Page 3 no. 4 of our Grand Lodge Constitution ratified June 12, 2010 states about our Fraternity “It is benevolent in that it teaches relief of the poor and distressed as a duty and exemplifies that duty by relief of sick and distressed Brethren and by caring for the widows and orphans of the Brethren”

There are Brothers out there who are confined to their own homes, nursing homes and hospital who are not being visited and in no time will be forgotten. There are widows out there who are not being visited. Is your Lodge having annual ladies night? A lot of Lodges do not take up the offer to accompany the Grand Master to visit the sick and shut in. This has to change in the coming year. These are the men that built up our Lodges along with their wives who supported them by baking for lunches and special events.. Our Lodges are full of retired members who have the time to visit. I am asking each Lodge, if you don’t already have one, to set up a sick and visiting Committee and I expect to hear from the chair of this Committee at any meetings I attend whether it be a regular meeting or a Grand Lodge Visitation as to what the committee has been doing and advise me of anyone that needs to be visited. I don’t want to get a call that Brother so and so died after two weeks in the hospital and I knew nothing about it. The same goes for Masonic Memorial Service. Most families are not aware that we can provide a service. As masters and secretaries of your Lodges please contact the family at time of death.

I realize that not everyone is comfortable visiting Brothers in their circumstances, especially where death is near. However most of our visits are to sick and shut ins.. If you cannot make a face to face visit a telephone call is much appreciated. I realize we, as individuals, must work with in the length of our cable tow. If we cannot look after our shut ins, widows etc. why bother bringing in new members. Take a moment and put yourself in the place of that Brother who cannot get out as he is at home, nursing home or hospital. Be that widow who never hears from her deceased husband’s lodge again. If we are guilty of any of the above then we must review the vows we took at the altar .

There are two forms I want to see better participation in and those are

      1. Mason of the year

      2. Grand Master’s Achievement Award.

These forms are never thought of all year until the Grand Secretary sends a notice out to the secretaries of the Lodges

We need to have more co-operation of the Lodge secretaries to provide timely reporting to the Grand Lodge Secretary re: new members, demits deaths etc. Also the form for the Grand Master’s Achievement award should be updated at every meeting. It would be great if we had 15 of these reports come in next May.. I cannot express the importance of the role of Secretary in the Lodge. All communications between the Grand Lodge and Constituant Lodges go through the Grand Secretary and Secretary and should be read in Lodge so that the Membership is up to date on what is happening.

Also I have made some changes in the Visitations schedule. I am hosting three meetings on Saturday afternoons at 2PM. My reasoning for this is that our membership is getting older and does not like to drive at night. I have picked the tree farthest locations : O’Leary, Alberton and Georgetown, Montague and Eldon for these visits

I hope I have not rambled on too long but I have great concerns as to where our Organization is going and unless we pick up our socks go back to Obligations we have taken. be more visible in our community, we will be seen as a dying organization.

I am open to suggestions and willing to help in any way. I would like to hear from you. You can call me by phone or contact me by e-mail. Both are on my Business Cards you received to-day

I will leave you with this thought

A dues card may make you a member HOWEVER

it is showing up for Lodge

your work with your working tools

extending your cabletow to all,

even when you disagree with their opinion is (pause)

What makes you a Freemason

Thank you for your attention

Grand Master’s Bio


MW Bro Edward Roland MacLaren, Grand Master

Grand Lodge of Prince Edward Island, A.F. @ A.M.

Grand Master 2016 -2017

Ed, as he is familiarly known to his many friends, was born on September 24, 1947, to the late MW Bro Douglas Dewar MacLaren, PGM,(1953-1954) and his wife Irma Wood in Montague where he received his formal education. He was one of five children- Doris Jenkins, Anna Hill (deceased) Donald and Stewart. In 1973 he married Joan Yerby who passed away in 1996. From this union were two children- Douglas (Dawn) and Heather (Keith) Mullen. In 1997 he married Irene Renaud and they share the joy of four grandchildren- Emily and Molly MacLaren and Roisin and Eamonn Mullen

Ed’s career spanned over 28 years with CIBC which included 14 moves over a twelve year period with the last post to Charlottetown in 1988 from which he retired in 2002. Ed and his wife Irene reside in Charlottetown. Ed has been a church organist since he was 14 and has played in many churches over the years and presently attends St. John’s Anglican Church, Milton.

Ed joined Saint Andrew’s Lodge No. 13 in Montague on April 7,1969, and the day after receiving his Master Mason Degree moved to Calgary for a year. However, he continued his Lodge affiliation in Calgary with a friend at his work place (Cominco) who took him to Lodge. On returning to PEI he served as Master of Saint Andrew’s Lodge in 1991 and and several years as Secretary of the Lodge until 2008 at the urging of the Late MW Bro Malcolm Patterson, PGM, I agreed to take a Grand Office, Addition Grand Steward. Then in 2009, he became Grand Secretary, position which he held until 2014 when he was elected Senior Grand Warden.

Other interests include music, travel and volunteering. Ed volunteered for 7 seven years on the local Board of Hospice Palliative Care Association for which he received the Life Membership Award in 2010, and then another 6 years on the National Board for which he was granted the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He also received his 32nd Degree in Scottish Rite in the Valley of Fredericton. Ed also belongs to the Order of the Eastern Star of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and has served as Worthy Patron of Montague No. 69 Chapter and Crystal No.1 for several years and is presently Worthy Patron of Crystal Chapter No. 1. Ed has also served as Grand Organist for the Grand Chapter on many occasions. Ed is also an Honourary Member of the Grand Chapters of Quebec and Florida. For several years, he is has been the President of the Descendants of the Brudenell Pioneers. At present he has been involved in the launch for” Bikes for Books “program along with MW Bro Allison Coles, PGM. This program is intended to encourage students to read and thereby improve literacy in the school

He was installed as Grand Master at the 141st Annual Grand Lodge of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Prince Edward Island, on June 11,2016