DGL PAYS TRIBUTE TO RW BRO AFEEF LAZARUS PDistGM
"At the Half Yearly Communication in January 2010 District Grand Lodge paid tribute to Past District Grand Master RW Bro Afeef Lazarus. The Celebration continued at the banquet which followed when the DistGM RW Bro Walter Scott made a special toast to RW Bro Lazarus and made a presentation to him and his wife, Maggie, for their unselfish service to the Craft over 17 years. At the Communication, the District Grand Director of Ceremonies, W Bro Dr. Orrin Barrow, gave the following citation. "
RWDistGM and Brethren all: As a prologue to today's formal tribute to our Immediate Past District Grand Master, I would like to recall an incident that occurred at the beginning of what in England is known as the Edwardian period.
After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, her eldest son Edward Albert became King of England ten months before his 60th birthday, and chose to reign under the name Edward VII. The Edwardian period which covered his reign and was named after him, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in English society.
Also in 1901 another Edward - Edward William Elgar, the preeminent British composer of his generation and later to become Sir Edward Elgar, 1st Baronet and Master of the King's Musick, wrote the first of his six Pomp and Circumstance Marches. In the following year and allegedly at the suggestion of the King, words were provided for a section of that march, and the result incorporated into the final movement of an Ode he was asked to compose, to mark the Coronation of the King and Queen Alexandra. Due to the King's illness the Coronation was postponed, and during the hiatus Elgar rearranged the words and music of the finale of the Ode to create a separate patriotic song entitled 'Land of Hope and Glory'. I doubt there is anyone present who attended primary or secondary school when our countries were part of the British Empire, who does not remember singing on Empire Day: "Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free, How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee"? Today brethren, for us as well as for the Immediate Past District Grand Master, other words of the song become relevant 'How may we extol thee, praise thee, honour thee'?
I will begin by saying that historians will opine that 1948 was not a prosaic year. It is true that for lovers of music the most popular song was arguably Nat Cole's 'Nature Boy', and for lovers of Westerns the most popular movie was undoubtedly 'Red River' starring John Wayne - a striking and dramatic change from its forerunners which featured the likes of Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers.
But at a different level, successful coups were engineered in Venezuela, Peru and El Salvador, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, the State of Israel came into being, and in contrasting examples of man's inhumanity to man President Truman ended racial segregation in the US Military, while the National Party won the general election in South Africa and immediately enacted institutionalized racial discrimination - apartheid.
And at yet another level, the records of the District Grand Lodge of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands will reveal that on Saturday the 24th day of July in that year, a male child was born in the Hargreaves Memorial Hospital in Mandeville to Assad Saleem Lazarus and his wife Adlyn.
It was by all accounts a commonplace and uneventful day for the patients and staff of that hospital. There were no fanfares, no pious ejaculations, and no fervent exclamations of praise. Instead, as the news was relayed from the delivery room, there was only extreme happiness in the hearts and on the faces of thankful parents for the uncomplicated birth of a mewling infant, later to be christened Afeef Assad.
The absence of trumpet sound, cymbals clash or angelus, lulled many residents of that town into believing that his future would comprise nothing more than mundane accomplishments. But history will not allow us to forget how wrong they were!
His entrance into Freemasonry by way of the Friendly Lodge No. 239 and his subsequent ascent on its ladder of preferment, have been well chronicled and on this occasion are impatient of repetition. Suffice it to say that during the seventeen years that represented his tenure of office as District Grand Master, both by precept and example he ruled us wisely and well, and as a consequence we are still the happy and contented beneficiaries of his knowledge, his wisdom, his intellect, his love for the brethren, and his boundless benevolence.
The high esteem in which he is held by all those privileged to know him, is due as much to his unassuming manner and ease of address, as it is to his civility and graciousness; his unquestioned integrity and dependability; his uncompromising honesty and trustworthiness; his insight and vision; all allied to a passion for freemasonry that is driven by high-powered twin engines of fervency and zeal.
“How shall we extol him who is born of thee”?
Be it known – from Negril to Morant Point, and from Kingston to East End in Grand Cayman - that Afeef Assad Lazarus of Millsborough Crescent in the City of Kingston, an Attorney-atLaw of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Jamaica and a Notary Public for the Island of Jamaica; Past District Grand Master for the District of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in the United Fraternity of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of England; Past Grand Superintendent in and over the District of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England; Past Grand Junior Overseer in the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England, Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas, and holder of Royal Ark Mariner Grand Rank in the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Royal Ark Mariners; Past Great Herald in the Great Priory of the United, Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple, and of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, of England and Wales and its Provinces and Preceptories Overseas; Sovereign Grand Inspector General 33rd Degree, and Inspector General for the District of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in the Ancient and Accepted Rite, under the Supreme Council 33rd Degree, for England and Wales and its Districts and Chapters Overseas; Past Grand High Almoner and Past Deputy Intendant-General of the Division of Jamaica in the Grand Imperial Conclave for England and Wales and its Divisions and Conclaves Overseas of the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St. John the Evangelist; Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of England, Wales and its Districts and Councils Overseas; etc., etc., etc.
Whom may the Great Architect of the Universe long preserve; not only exemplifies Freemasonry, but has earned the right to be forever smothered with love, respect and admiration, by the brethren of this District.
And whereas the would-be gurus on masonic protocol may look askance, and may even have the temerity to meddle in matters that are beyond their ken, that love, respect and admiration – unrivalled, unreserved, unremitting, unrepentant, uncompromising, unfettered and unmitigated, allows me on this 23rd day of January in the year 2010, to request ALL present to be upstanding; face him; and salute another colossus of Freemasonry with SEVEN, in the time that has been determined by me.
Prepared and presented by W Bro Dr. Orrin Barrow DistGDC, PJGD.
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