W.Bro. Gord EchlinW.Bro. Gord Echlin

I am very humbled and excited to have been made Worshipful Master of St. John's Lodge No. 63. It is an amazing pinnacle in my life, which I could not have envisioned experiencing a decade ago. I have done a lot of things in business and pursued many different spiritual paths, all things that could be considered generally interesting and creditable; things I could be proud of, but in my opinion, they pale beside Freemasonry. Long before I joined, I was aware of Freemasonry, but really didn't know much about it, let alone understand it. I knew my Uncle was a Freemason, I knew my Grandfather was a Freemason, I knew my neighbour W.Bro. Steve Kipp was a Freemason, but I did not what it was about. A very great friend of mine, Bro. John Woronczuk of Civil Service Lodge finally convinced me to take a closer look, and I have never looked back.

I would like to address the newer members of the Fraternity on a couple of points. In Freemasonry, you have a world of sincere people opened up to you. People of like mind, people of integrity, people you can trust, and people who will go the extra mile for you. But you have to fully engage to realize this and understand it fully. I cannot overstate the depth of commitment that your Brethren have towards the craft, and towards you. You have to make the effort to keep building up this fortress of integrity surrounded by a sea of materialism and shallow relationships. Do not treat lightly what you have here, because it is what everybody wants. It is in your grasp, but you have to do your part to nurture it. You get out of it what you put into it.

Taking an officer's chair is a path that leads you to the Worshipful Master's Chair. You may be of 2 minds with respect to this.

  1. You may be in the chairs, and sleep walking towards the Master's chair. Don't do that. Pay attention. Participate. Keep your eyes open. You will learn a lot.
  2. You may be overly daunted by the task. Don't take that attitude. Freemasonry provides you all the tools that you need to prepare yourself for the Chair of King Solomon, if you engage each of the steps with some modicum of diligence.

And this journey is a fantastic thing. I have learned so much, and met so many wonderful people on this journey. It is irreplacable. I encourage you to do it.

I would like to mention a couple of special people here tonight. Of course, everybody here is special, but I can't name everyone, so I'll only call out 4.

First, I would like to mention my wonderful neighbour W.Bro. Steve Kipp. He was one of my sponsors with our good Brother Brian Costello, who is now in the Great Lodge above. Steve has been a wonderful friend on this journey. I commend him on his wonderful year. Long time members of St. Johns 63 know how far W.Bro. Kipp has come over the past 3 years. He has always had it in him, he just needed to tap it.

I would like to thank my Uncle, W.Bro. Larry Johnson for once again making the trip up here. He made it for my raising, and he has made both of these events very memorable. He is a great masonic inspiration to me, and a great family inspiration as well.

I would like to thank mention V.W. Bro. Dieter Jeschor. He is a pillar of Maple-Granite Chapter No. 61 and has been a great arm to lean on in my Royal Arch activities. R.Ex. Companion Jeschor gave me the apron I wear as a second Principal in the Chapter. I cherish that gift.

Finally, I would like to mention my good friend and Brother W.Bro. Vic Gilmour. His steel-trap mind is an inspiration and we have had may great Saturday morning chats over the past 6 years, and have solved the world's problems many times. Too bad nobody's listening. I thank you W.Bro. Gilmour for the Worshipful Master's apron I am now wearing, and I hope that I will do it justice.

As for the year next year, I have an agenda set out and its going to be a busy year. We have some degree work to do, but I will try to mix it up by having some degree teams in and having different people participate in the degrees. We'll also be trying to get more education on the agenda and perhaps see how we can get more effective in reaching out to the community so they can see the real people and real role of Freemasonry, not the misinformation coming from sensationalist rumours.

Brethren, I will be endeavouring to follow in the footsteps and stand on the shoulders of those who have come before me. I will apply myself very energetically to Freemasonry and to St. John's 63. Let's all redouble our efforts, the rewards are well worth it, and our lives, and indeed the world are better for it.

W.Bro. Gord Echlin
Worshipful Master
St. John's Lodge No. 63