Germania Lodge No. 46 175th Anniversary, Worshipful Master's Address
For those who were unable to attend our 175th Anniversary Dinner, our Worshipful Master's address was a powerful message about the state of our Lodge. Here it is in its entirety.
Worshipful Brother Adam G. Krolikowski
Celebrating 175 years of anything is an impressive feat. April 18, 2019, marked the 175th anniversary of Germania Lodge No. 46's chartering. With as tried and difficult a past as the Lodge has had to overcome since 1844, this is indeed a monumental occasion. We are not only celebrating the past, though. The anniverary is as much about using an understanding of the past, and the power of the present, to aid us in building a brighter future. Someone much better with words once wrote, "The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." Since symbolism and allegory resides so prominently in Freemason's hearts, this poem by Emily Dickinson also seems a fitting expression of the sentiment:
Yesterday is History,
'Tis so far away--
Yesterday is Poetry--
Yesterday is mystery--
Where is it Today
While we shrewdly speculate
Flutter both away
To build a better future, we must learn from the past. Freemasonry has always been full of great men who honor and revere the past with a burning passion. At this critical juncture, we acknowledge and honor the esteemed men of yesteryear, without whose commitment to the Craft, strength in the face of adversity, and courage in the face of danger, we would not be celebrating 175 years of Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love.
As with the Brothers who have gone before us, Freemasonry is not free from adversity today. The steady decline in membership over recent decades has caused Masons everywhere to reevaluate every aspect of the Craft. What is Freemasonry today? Why is its membership in decline? What can we do to ensure our beloved Order survives? These questions and thousands more are the topic of debate and gentlemanly conversation at responsible and forward-thinking Lodges across the country and, indeed, across much of the world. So, what can we do? No doubt, to many of our former service members, the phrase "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome." comes to mind. But how do we do that? If we had the answers, then it stands to reason that the topic would not presently be the subject of so much debate. A strong starting point seems to be to advance with the times. It becomes more evident almost dailty that the attitude of "that's the way we have always done it," is no longer serving the greater good of the Order in many regards
So, we must adjust. And, we must keep adjusting and trying new things. Paraphrasing a quote from a line of wise men, a wise man is he who can tear down everything he himself built in order to rebuild from the ashes-if his walls have become outworn and outdated. The Internet generation does not necessarily need us to ignite the spark of curiosity or search for truth within them as in days long gone. The focus seems to need a shift toward delivering what the accessibility of information has built up in the minds of prospective candidates who approach our portals. At Germania today, we are dedicated to adjusting in any way necessary so that the future of our beloved Lodge is secure in the able hands of educated and passionate Brethren. We live our obligations. We lead by example. We educate and involve our new members throughout the entire process of going through the degrees and beyond. We have worked tirelessly to build and strengthen our online presence. Through all of our combined efforts, Germania is now experiencing a time of great hope for the future.
So far in 2019, we have conferred degrees at about eighty percent of our meetings, and we are on pace to raise ten Master Masons this year alone. Thanks to the tireless dedication of our Brethren, we have updated Germania Lodge's history from 1844 to the present, and research into Germania's rich past and membership is ongoing. We have also made a strong commitment to ritual and degree work. The officers have made the Lodge incredibly proud by committing the work to memory, each doing his own part in the degree work without the need for courtesy degrees or filling in for positions. Most of the 16th District Traveling Degree Team is made up of Germania officers and members, who recently exemplified an Entered Apprentice degree for Denver Lodge No. 5 in Denver, Colorado, under dispensation of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of Louisiana granted by our very own Most Worshipful Grand Master Martin J. Reinschmidt, who, as most of you know, was Worshipful Master of Germania in 2017.
We are becoming ever busier as our Lodge improves and grows. The most vital parts of a Lodge are the hearts and souls of its members. Remember the Charge of an Entered Apprentice Mason, my Brothers: "Your presence at our regular meetings is earnestly solicited." We cannot bring Germania Lodge No. 46 into the future without the active, engaged help of as many of our members as possible. We have set the wheels of success and sustained positive growth in motion, but the attainment of that success rests upon the sturdy shoulders of each and every member on our roster. With so many projects progressing, there is always a way to get involved while expanding both personal and Masonic light in the process. Please join us at the regular time and place. Attend early,and attend often, my Brothers.
Prost! To Germania Lodge No. 46 and the next 175 years of Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love!