Grand High Priest
Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry, NL
Grand High Priest
Grand High Priest 2023-2024
M.Ex. Comp. Derek S. Tuck
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org, (709) 687-8628
Mother Chapter: Shannon Chapter No. 1
Mother Lodge: Saint John's Lodge No. 1
Residence: Paradise, NL
From a Spark to a Flame
We are only now beginning to emerge from the dark period marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, one in which our activities have been limited and our numbers diminished. Being cognizant of this fact, I have chosen for my theme “From a Spark to a Flame”. While it can be said that our fraternal fires have diminished greatly, this is not the last word and there is much that we can and must do to rekindle our flame and to once again be the force for Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth that we were in earlier days. I strongly believe that there are things both large and small that we can do every day to achieve these ends.
My predecessor spoke of rebuilding our temple. This continues to be our primary objective. Consider our ancient brethren returning from forty years of bondage in Babylon. Their homecoming was to a shattered city and a destroyed temple, the central structure that was the focus of their faith and their culture, essentially their daily lives. They were faced with what surely appeared to be an insurmountable undertaking, but they rose to the challenge. Surely the task before us can be nowhere near as daunting, but it WILL take dedicated effort on all our parts.
Outside of the literal definition, what IS a spark? I consider a spark to be an opportunity. A possibility. A “quick win.” Sparks are lesser things that can lead to greater things. I think of sparks as those “little things” that can happen anywhere and everywhere that have the potential to yield remarkable results. Wilber Wilberforce once wrote, “Things great have small beginnings. Every downpour is just a raindrop; every fire is just a spark; every harvest is just a seed; every journey is just a step because without that step there will be no journey; without that raindrop there can be no shower; without that seed there can be no harvest.”
When thoughtfully and consistently applied, I can’t adequately express the importance of little things. Wearing a Royal Arch pin or Member’s Jewel in Lodge. Leaving application forms at entrances of our Lodges. Chatting with our Craft Lodge Brethren about our Chapters. There are SO many things that we can do to spark interest in Royal Arch Masonry, things that require little to no effort on our parts that just might tip the scales and just might inspire enough curiosity to entice a prospective Brother to join our numbers. There’s an old proverb: “take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.” The same principle applies and, while rather simplistic, I think that there is much merit to it.
This isn’t to downplay the value of larger events and gestures. They are crucial and can create an enormous impact and impression. Award dinners. Craft Lodge visitations. seasonal celebrations. All these things serve to raise our visibility in the Masonic community. But these kinds of events often require considerable amounts of concerted effort and once concluded, might be quickly forgotten. More is needed to keep the momentum going so that Capitular Masonry can be kept alive in the collective consciousness and not just a fond memory of something that they may have heard of or attended.
So, when I speak of “little things”, there is, of course, nothing little about them. More accurately, these are the everyday things that we can consistently and intentionally do to demonstrate to others how we feel to be members of this wonderful organization. It is my genuine belief that, if others can see our enjoyment of and dedication to Royal Arch Masonry, our flame can spread and our numbers grow.
I do not profess to be as eloquent as many Grand High Priests. Words do not always come easily and I am certainly not as learned as many, or perhaps most. What I DO possess is a profound love for Royal Arch Masonry; a love that I know is shared throughout the Chapters of the Grand Chapter of Newfoundland and Labrador. I believe that the passion and zeal we share for our gentle Craft will fuel and sustain us and restore the fires burning low. It is my hope that, as we work together, we will continue to build upon a solid foundation for a strong and steady future.