It is axiomatic that we men, who are Freemasons, enjoy our Freemasonry. Hence, English Freemasonry has not only survived but has thrived. This lodge, The Royal Lodge No. 207 has been around since 1794. You the present members and your illustrious predecessors have spent countless hours enjoying it. 

Despite its maleness, it has long been recognized that as English Freemasons we owe duties to the Society in which we live. We exist neither in splendid isolation, nor are we constituted into an Island unto ourselves. Even the most committed bachelor amongst us has a family. It was Thomas Jefferson who said: 

“The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.” 

The Charge to the new Initiate calls on him to be exemplary in the discharge of his civil duties; this duty extends throughout his pri­vate, public, business or professional life. The principles of the Craft make it clear to him that his duty as a Freemason does not conflict with his duty as a citizen, but reinforces it. 

How is this to be achieved? 

I suggest that this, may be achieved by the application of four (4) principles and education. These principles are selflessness, happiness, moderation and honesty (both to oneself and to others). 

Selflessness in my view requires us not only to give of ourselves to our Brethren, wives, children and families before ourselves, but to gladly embrace the opportunity of doing so. Selflessness leads to generosity, participation and integration. Generosity of that most valuable of all things, our time and our talent, to our families and our Brethren. It will lead us to seek meaningful ways to integrate our fam­ilies into our Masonic existence. 

The foregoing leads to a consideration of the principle of happiness. 

If we are not happy, perhaps even deliriously happy with our freemasonry, then maybe we ought to consider giving it up. 

If we are genuinely happy with it, happy by it and happy in it, our happiness will not only give us a sunny disposition and make us generally more pleasant to be around, but it will become contagious. The only good contagion that I know is happiness. 

After all, our primary role as husbands and fathers is the happiness and welfare of our families. 

Moderation requires that we give consideration to our families. As much as it might pain us to say it, excessive nights out with the Brethren and away from our families will not engender enjoyment of the Craft by our families. 

Honesty with ourselves and others is important as it permits us realistically to make wise decisions for the benefit of our families. 

Are we honest with our families about our love of the Craft, our dreams and as­pirations in so far as they relate to the Craft and the demands on our and their time? 

And what of Education? 

We all as Masons know that it is by education “that we are rendered fit members of regularly organized society”.

Do we educate our families on the tremendous benevolent and charitable work carried out by English Freemasonry in this District in the form of grants, gifts and scholarships totaling J$6,214,853.00 and that the District Board of Benevolence made donations of approximately J$3.0 million. The Grand Charity has made Masonic grants of £1,389,907.00 and non-Masonic grants of £384,000.00? That the Masonic Samaritan Fund has so far this year disbursed millions to needy brethren and their families inclusive of sums to brethren in Jamaica for medical and non-medical purposes? 

This brief talk aims more than anything else to stimulate thought, and then, hopefully, action on how to make our beloved Freemasonry more enjoyable to our families and ourselves. 

Walter H. Scott
District Grand Master of Jamaica &
The Cayman Islands
22 January, 2011

Freemasonry: a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.