Grand Chapter fo Royal Arch Masons Newfoundland and Labrador
EDICT ISSUED MARCH 14, 2020
The world is being hit by a pandemic which, according to one infectious disease expert, is the most worrisome health scare in generations. Patty Hajdu, the Canadian federal health minister, has stated that between 11.3 and 26.3 million people in Canada could contract the disease. Dr. Warner, medical director of critical care at Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital, has stated that the COVID 19 situation is dire and may soon be completely out of control. Dr. Warner joins a loud chorus of disease control experts calling for social distancing as one measure to help slow the spread of the disease. These experts contend that social disengagement, as well as effective hand washing and covering coughs, need to be practiced by the population and, if practiced judiciously, will save thousands of lives.
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control issued a statement saying that older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are especially vulnerable to COVID 19. The majority of Royal Arch Masons within our jurisdiction fall within the over sixty demographic and are consequently among the most vulnerable to the disease.
COVID 19 is racing across Canada, but has not, as far as we know, yet reached our province. But we need to understand that it will reach us; it is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. We must be cognizant that just one confirmed case will represent a great many more actual but unconfirmed cases within the community. Now is the time to be proactive. Now is the time to take the step necessary to slow the spread of this dangerous disease. Being prudent and proactive now will help ensure that the impact to our health care system and to our society will not be catastrophic. Being proactive will help slow the spread of the disease, will help our health care providers better manage the onslaught of the disease and will ultimately help reduce incidence of sickness and fatality.
I am therefore today ordering the immediate cessation of all Royal Arch activities within this Grand jurisdiction. This would include such activities as regular communications, degree team practices and committee meeting as well as all Chapter social events. This edict will remain in effect until further notice.
Chapter secretaries will cause this edict to be immediately distributed to all Chapter members.
May the G.A.O.T.U. be with each of us, and our loved ones, until we can safely assemble once again under the banner of the Holy Royal Arch.
Holiness to the Lord,
E.F. Bruce White, Grand High Priest