In The Spirit of Freemasonry
By Worshipful Brother Evangelos Doucas, DPGM
Installation Address at Lodge De Goede Verwachting
17 August 2017
I consider it a great privilege, honour and gift to address this wonderful lodge this evening, surrounded by my BB whom I respect and love and have over the years fostered strong friendship and support structures as mentors, in a safe and sound environment. I consider you all to be an extension of my family.
We are here to better our lives and build stronger foundations for our present and future, whilst providing an inspiration to each other and the world out there at large. I could almost say that this is a sacred environment we have all chosen to call ‘Our Space’ where great learning takes place and trust gets built upon, as a necessary foundation for a life that is Good, True and Beautiful.
Many of us are seen supporting each other in business and it is perfectly-normal to want to support him whom you call a brother. There are of course many occasions where brotherhood is misconstrued. We find that many BB find themselves in a precarious position of having to lend out money to others within the Order, and are made to feel that their responsibility as a brother lies in having to assist financially or lend money.
I have witnessed many situations where BB have assisted others financially either in business or personally, with an expectation of the amount being returned at some given point, and find that the amount does not get returned on time , or partially or not at all. The acrimony caused is immeasurable for the Brother lending and the recipient Brother borrower.
BB our Brotherhood is not based, nor tested on financial support; there are so many other ways of supporting your Brother including emotionally and psychologically. There is however no obligation to give out any amount of money to any Brother in order for either to be considered a good brother towards one another. I would in fact, discourage a brother from lending out money to any other completely, in order to avoid any uncomfortable situations of having to request same should it not be returned on time. This is of extreme importance especially for our newly-initiated BB who come into our Beloved Order, only to find themselves accosted by more senior BB approaching them for money. Money borrowing is a dangerous practice within the Order and I would support a motion for it to become an illegal practice completely. There are other matters also forbidden in our Order such as discussions on Religion and Politics and I would not shy away from elevating money borrowing to the same levels as these.
Our focus within Freemasonry, as artisans of our beloved craft, is that of the betterment of ourselves and each other and thus, the measure and scale of morality, trust & ethics should and must be of a much higher standard. When doing business with each other, the service levels should be on the very highest of professional standards. There is nothing wrong in offering a discount for services rendered, but when servicing a brother in business, the level of professional care required should be of the highest standard at all times. We tend to normally take family and close people for granted as familiarity for the unconscious breeds lack of appreciation. The very same with a loan granted to each other privately in support, should and must be taken most seriously and abiding by the terms of that loan unless given in charity without expectation of a return, should be paramount.
My BB I would like to see us focusing our attention to the material reasons of why we are here in the first place: the betterment of ourselves and the world at large, without any or very little distraction from unnecessary unhappiness. We all know that the betterment can only be achieved with the support of our Brothers who are here to share in brotherhood and friendship which can only be the case when there is no reason for acrimony. There are several cases all around the country where BB are taking each other to court for monies owed and not honoured. What an unnecessary disgrace and stain on our sacred Order.
Take each other seriously and look at each other in all sincerity and him whom you call a Brother you should be able to respect, love, appreciate and honour like yourself in a mirror mirroring each other, to each other. When doing business or lending out or borrowing from each other, do it with seriousness and responsibility and do not engage should you not be ready to honour each other on the highest possible standards without having to give excuses to each other later. For Those whose prime aim despite the questions and answers at a Board of inquiry prior to joining, is to join for financial gain, they have no place in this Honourable Order. BB should not be seen as ‘targets’ for financial gain by some and for those being approached for money, BB please be discerning. Use your common sense and intuition and say No when it feels right to do so! You are no less of a Brother; in fact, you are in my eyes, considered even more of a Brother knowing that you are ensuring you do not place him and yourself in any near future uncomfortable position.
BB for those whom these words have direct importance, please make the time to honour your outstanding financial obligations towards each other and discourage any practices which would endanger your honour, highest standards of respect for each other, ethics and brotherly love. Be the example you promised to be when you took your masonic oath at that Altar.
I thank you for honouring me with your time and hope that these my words and suggestions are taken in the spirit that they are intended, namely, in the best interests of our beloved Craft.