Grand Master's Address on June 12, 2021
Harmony Through Grace
Good Afternoon, Brethren! I want to acknowledge the M.H. for all his blessings that allow me to be here today. Alongside me during this journey, my loving wife Peg, our families and friends, I want to express my gratitude for their inspiration and comfort. I want to recognize the St. Mark’s and Alpha District brethren; you laid the foundation and have brought me joy and friendship. To the Goose & Gridiron brethren, you exposed me to a true display of Freemasonry. To the Five Points brethren, you have offered unconditional Brotherly Love. To all the Brethren I have the privilege of being amongst, I am grateful for your kindness and companionship during our masonic journeys in all our masonic families. Each of you has influenced and moulded me as I have sought further light. Let each of us remember those that inspired our attachment to the Craft. “A wise man will hear and will increase learning: A man of understanding will attain wise counsel.” To those brethren that provided me, wise counsel, I reaffirm my appreciation for the more effective expressions that you afforded me with the right amount of adjustment. I trust this will continue to be the norm in the coming year.
The impact of the world pandemic on our Fraternity has been tragic with the loss of Brethren we miss dearly and the time not spent together. And proud of those that continue to exemplify our principles and their dedication to our Craft. Prudence has dictated we do not meet, and patience has been a virtue as we wait with hope to rejuvenate ourselves when the doors open fully. This resiliency is our strength, just like our pillars of the Lodge. With awareness, mindfulness, care & compassion, renewed relationships and re-invigorated purpose, we will return to that which is Freemasonry, true and square.
I want to convey to all the installation team a sincere thank you for a most humbling & unique experience. It has been 97 years since a Bro. Murray has sat in the East for the Grand Lodge of Alberta. Thank you to M.W. Bro. Young, you have comforted my soul, next to me at important times during this journey, and here’s hoping I never hear a weather report. M.W. Bro. Hart, you have listened and provided moments of reflection. Both of you have always given me that quiet counsel and just the correct amount of adjustment. I know it takes a special group of friends & family to embark on this work; I want to express my appreciation and gratefulness to all the Masons of Alberta and beyond for their continued support, fellowship and trust.
Only but a few times in a lifetime are you allowed to address such a stately and grand group of brethren. This year brings further hope for a return closer to normal; it will be a special year! The Grand Lodge of Alberta is a beautiful place to give, learn and exemplify our masonic virtues. This is what our Fraternity is about, as pillars about his throne. This Grand Lodge has not been without its misfortunes or tribulations. But, with the help of God and the benefit of sound moral judgment, we can continue to build our stately edifice as the Grand Lodge and preserve the status as the greatest honourable Fraternity of men in the Province of Alberta today and into the future.
We are here to provide an opportunity to practice those sacred principles of Freemasonry. We all know them; to employ each day our wisdom, our strength & our beauty to its fullest extent. These opportunities came with the formation of your Lodge. The rigours of creating your Lodge yesterday permit the assembly of Masons to practice those sacred tenents today. The challenge is for you to continue to offer men of the present-day that same opportunity.
The impact of the pandemic has challenged the entire world; the shock to The Grand Lodge of Alberta is no different and is ever-evolving, such as last year’s abbreviated Grand Lodge Communication and Grand Lodge Installation; this year’s repeat of the electronic elections. As we work to get Lodges back running and accustom to what we now call the new norm. Yes, we had some challenges. Each year we take the lessons of our ritual; we apply them to our lives within and without our Lodges. The fundamental principles of Freemasonry never change. Masters, with their officers, each year labour to achieve success. This is what makes Freemasonry great! What delivers one year might not provide the next. What thrives in one Lodge might not in another. We often hear tolerance and acceptance in our rituals, qualities that need to be portrayed and trusted. Grace permits us to achieve what is upright and honourable. The challenge is to find what works; this is Freemasonry!
What is a Freemason’s Lodge? Is it the building exterior? The building interior? The men? The fellowship? The history preserved behind the glass! A community heritage partnership? How about the number of men? Or the location? Is it the way it is delivered? [Where the Muppets “Orwellian or Visionaries”?] Is it the technology?
As we gather in new ways, the fundamentals are simple, a group of Masons assembled with a Charter. This has been a challenge over the last 16 months. A landmark that cannot change is the necessity of Masons to gather in lodges. As we saw, virtual gatherings for business, fellowship, and education have been highly successful for those that embraced the technology. However, bricks and mortar, a building, have a purpose; it provides an apartment of the sanctuary, a place of reflection and instruction, fellowship in numerous forms and most importantly, a tyled recess to perform our rites and ceremonies. In the past year, the landscape of Freemasonry has been challenged and changed; it will continue. Lodges have closed, amalgamated and even been instituted, which has not altered any of our ancient landmarks one bit. We have seen from the use of technology that virtual assemblies have provided great opportunities to re-engage our membership and fellow man worldwide. Great care is still required to reach out to those who are not connected by a computer! Bring these worlds together, combining what we as Freemasons are taught with the tools, will lead to the prosperity of Lodges in ways we have never imagined. Many Lodges are already doing this and have found great success! Freemasonry and the Lodge has a purpose; which cliché would you use? “Make good men better,” “Giving proper instruction,” “Social Intercourse & Moral Instruction” they all fit.
What are the “true secrets”? Our handshakes? Our obligations? In our current political, cultural and technological time where minds are lost when internet access is not available or a particular event happens that is not to our liking. In a world of chaos, we, the Masons have answers; these are the true secrets of Freemasonry. The wisdom of our ritual. The strength of our lessons to be a better man. And the beauty to rise above challenges; even in our darkest times, these are our secrets. As we reflect, let this be an instruction to all. Let Lodges practice Freemasonry with all its vicissitudes of our forefathers, allowing the Mason of today to grow from a young man into a nobler member of society; show him, teach him, this is what the Lodge is for. Give the aged man his desire to contribute and continue to be that better man, to be the example! When the public-at-large notices this, they will ask. When you live the life; when you walk the talk; when you do unto others in and out of Lodge, more men will enquire and want to be part of the true secrets of Freemasonry.
As we have experienced this year, the virtues of tolerance and understanding have been demonstrated throughout Alberta Lodges. Tolerance has relieved the necessity through virtual meetings and allowed engaging Lodge members, old and new. Understanding what we are and need, Masons have adapted to the changes in demographics and circumstances. Embracing these differences has given rise to opportunities the Craft may otherwise have not considered. Bridging Masons, Lodges and Grand Lodges, we can grow, build, and share with the world at large.
Our world is influenced by those that are masons. These men contribute to the betterment of society. Our history is full of examples where masons’ impacted the world as leaders, with national prominence and local honour. Masonry did not fabricate these men; they were praiseworthy already; Masonry did polish their excellent work. As Masonry brings like-minded men together, they share what is moral and upright. Do you think they set out to be upstanding men or upright masons first? Are you next? The virtuous man already knows what is moral and right. Bro. Black while bringing greeting from the Mayor of Lethbridge at the Grand Lodge Annual Communication in 1921; “Many of our greatest leaders in Lethbridge, Alberta and Canada stood on their feet for the first time in a Lodge room, many of them raised their first argument, their first debate, within the confines of the Craft.” As a retrospect of our lives, our ritual reminds us in the most tender manner of all that is honourable and, when difficulties arise, the ways to overcome. Freemasons contribute to many causes, more especially benevolence and charity. Each Mason, each Lodge and even the Grand Lodge do so much work that goes unrecognized, so celebrate the excellent work in our Lodges and celebrate your membership.
The Mason of today, in some respects, is no different than that of yesterday. He looks inward to reflect on his light, seeing the light of upstanding sound morals, the light of guidance and affirmation of being a respected man. Today’s Mason is quite different from that of the past; the world’s knowledge is now at his fingertips every minute. A Mason of days-gone-by may have a simpler time and could focus on his corner of the world and toil at the speed of his sphere. The Mason of today may seem invisible to some; so, let the world understand what a mason is and does today and reveal the true secrets of Freemasonry. Yesterday’s Mason was the man who provided social assistance or aided his fellow man when society did not have the programs. When Masons were the political, economic and social leaders of yesterday, they had a stage to impact society with benefit or benevolence; today, some masons struggle to find relevance as we are generally no longer the leading influencers. In changing Freemasonry, not the landmarks which we all work very hard to maintain; the challenge is to understand what and why then overcome! Some of our Brethren today are great leaders providing support and guidance in our communities! We listen to our hearts, and we act. So, become the influencers of your community, not for Freemasonry but your community. Freemasonry gives you the tools, use them in all of your pursuits as a proud Mason, be the good man and contribute to society!
I know I do not have the answer. I do have a vision and a challenge to all, Brethren. Imagine a world where adjustments happen, improvement occurs, and tolerance is just acceptance. The roadblocks of change start with your contemplation, looking at your beliefs, attitude, and actions. A simple act of reflection and an aim to render your life better, your brother’s life better in Lodge; we can achieve and fulfill our desires. Be more considerate! Be more positive! Be more inviting!
Welcome to our newest members of the Grand Lodge Offices, particularly the Junior Grand Warden R.W. Bro. Wil Leano and the other elected and appointed members. Bear in mind the Grand Lodge of Alberta, the members, direct us the Grand Lodge Officers. We, in turn, only influence that direction for a short time before we retire into the multitudes. As the Grand Master and as such the moral compasses, I pledge to provide sound judgment and quiet counsel bound and directed by the ancient charges, landmarks, customs and guided by the Constitution and Regulations to those that seek it and to impart to those when appropriate with grace. I will strive to aid and assist all those elected and appointed from the Lodges, Districts, Committees and Boards of this Grand Lodge in working together as one Craft.
Knowing that through truth, trust & grace, we can provide the Craft with a more incredible opportunity to progress and prove Freemasonry is not in peril at every corner. We can achieve more, more members, more charity, more benevolence, more education, more friends & family. To accomplish this, apply this simple message; “Harmony can be achieved through grace by the embodiment of masonic virtues and with a challenge to all brethren to practice every masonic virtue with grace.” As such, I aspire to and promise that this is Freemasonry during my day! Will it be in yours? I will wrap up with this quote from Mahatma Gandhi; “Happiness is when; what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Thank you & have a great day!
M.W. Bro. Terence (Terry) Murray
12 June 2021
MWBro. Terence Murray Grand Master 2021
His Home Story
MW Bro. Terence Lynn Murray, Terry was born on the 4 July 1959, at Cold Lake, Alberta, to Bob and Margret Murray. He grew up with his sister Deb and educated on Canadian airbases in Zweibruken, Germany; Portage La Prairie, Manitoba; Cold Lake, Alberta. Completing his secondary education in Calgary, Alberta.
His service started in the Royal Canadian Airforce in 1979, where he served for 15 years as an Avionics Technician on Hercules (CC-130) in Edmonton, Starfighter (CF-104) and Hornet (CF-18) aircraft in Baden Solingen, Germany and Cold Lake. After his military career, he continued to work in the defence industry, being employed by Hughes Aircraft Canada, which became Raytheon Canada as a radar technician. After some post-secondary education in Quality, Project & Strategic Management, Terry became involved in Quality Management. His career then took the turn into the electrical industry, working for a division of ABB/Raffin. REV Engineering now employs Terry as a Quality & Safety Manager.
He is the proud father of Robert, the 3rd generation serving in the RCAF at 4 Wing Cold Lake and Jacquelyn, a teacher with the Calgary Public School Board and his son-in-law Russ. MW Bro. Murray shares all of life’s adventures with his wife Peg and the extended family, including her daughter Dawn and daughter-in-law Jen.
He enjoys travelling anywhere, and his philosophy has become “no bucket list because you know not when … so enjoy every moment and every adventure”.
His Masonic Enlightenment & Service
Bro. Murray, initiated in St. Mark’s No. 118 on 22 January 2007, passed on 26 February 2007 and raised on 26 March 2007. MW Bro. Murray was honoured to be the 93rd Master of St. Mark’s No. 118 in 2014 and the Grand Master during St. Mark’s 100th year.
His active service has included volunteering at the Spring Workshop as a raffle workman and session presenter, being a Director on St. Mark’s Building Society currently serving as President, and as a Widows Sons member holding executive positions. He contributes to supporting numerous other volunteer and charitable activities in and out of Alberta Freemasonry.
Bro. Murray sought further light and was raised, exalted, received, welcomed, greeted, appointed, walked in the sands and honoured. He has joined and affiliated with various concordant bodies within the Masonic family as a Past First Principle of Otuskwan Chapter No. 9, Royal Arch Masons of Alberta; Preceptor of Cyprus Preceptory No. 33 of the Sovereign Great Priory of Canada; Member of Zadok Council No. 3, Bowhaven Lodge #3 of the Cryptic Rite Masons of Western Canada, Royal and Select Masters; Member of Chinook Conclave No. 29 of the Grand Imperial Conclave of Canada of the Red Cross of Constantine; Member of Pompilius No. 79 College of the York Rite Sovereign College of North America; Member of Al Azhar Shrine of Shriners International. A significant and memorable highlight in 2017 was when Consort Terry attended Queen Peg, Daughters of the Nile, Sakkara Temple No. 115.
MW Bro. Murray has held positions in Grand Lodge since 2016, appointed as the Senior Grand Deacon in 2016/2017; serving Alpha District as the District Deputy Grand Master in 2017/2018; before being elected to serve the Grand Lodge of Alberta on the Grand Line in 2018.
In 2019, another historical highlight for MW Bro. Murray was a Charter member of the Goose & Gridiron No. 203; he co-signed the Lodge’s Charter as Senior Grand Warden.
As the 117th Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Alberta, Bro. Murray is honoured and humbled.