We turn around and it’s July when temperatures rise, fireworks fill the sky and we reminisce of the journey to freedom some 230+ years ago. The path to freedom was set forth, in part, by these words taken from our Declaration of Independence…”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.…” The love our forefathers felt for their country gave them courage and strength to set a course of action that would not have been possible if they had not kept those words close to their heart, as a guiding light.
In today’s society we might call this document a mission statement, laid out clearly to leave no question in anyone’s mind the ultimate goal of a free country. Time and again individuals just like you and I, gave of their property and lives to secure a nation where future generations would enjoy those unalienable Rights.
Within our order, we are privileged to have a similar guiding light. The foundation of our order stemmed from Brotherly Love when one of the original members of the Jolly Corks died shortly before Christmas in 1867, leaving his wife and children destitute. At that time the Jolly Corks decided that in addition to good fellowship, they needed a more enduring organization to serve those in need. They set forth a mission statement that begins: “To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; …”.
It is the result of these four qualities (or values), Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity, that sees us growing as a lodge.
These same qualities within each member entice us to gather together and enjoy each others company. It is Brotherly Love that fills both the meetings and our additional events with harmony and laughter, Charity that drives our efforts for good works, Justice that reminds us to play fairly when dealing with others and Fidelity that keeps us faithful to our word / commitments.
It is our differences in understanding and approach that keeps our lives, and our lodge, interesting and exciting.
If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the lodge – know that no one can fill your spot and you’re missed. If you’re wondering how you can get more involved? Just ask. If you’re asking yourself, “Is there really something that I can do to help out that won’t demand days, weeks or months of my time?” – the answer is a resounding “yes”. Just come to the meetings, let your voice be counted and see what is possible.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
To each of you – for your commitment to our country and our lodge, I would like to say thank you.
Kira Wagner, 2010-2011 Lecturing Knight BPOE Lodge #2477
reprinted from the July 2010 Antler Antics