As I sit down to write this farewell article, I am flooded with emotions, memories, and a profound sense of gratitude. My time in the Oriental Chair is ending. My time as Worshipful Master has been a remarkable chapter in my life, filled with lessons, friendships, and a deep sense of purpose.
When I was raised in 1992, during my proficiency there was one man to left of me and one to the right. I was a young and eager candidate, ready to embark on a path of self-discovery and self-improvement. I was seeking something more in life, something beyond the ordinary, and little did I know that I would find it here, amongst you. The sense of belonging, the values we share, and the rituals we perform became the guiding stars of my life.
One of the most beautiful aspects of being a part of this fraternity is the unity that we stand for. Regardless of our backgrounds, professions, or walks of life, we come together in the spirit of brotherhood. We offer support and encouragement, and we extend a hand to those in need. The bonds we form are not limited to the walls of this lodge. These relationships are built on trust, respect, and a common commitment to making the world a better place.
Throughout my journey, I have had the privilege of witnessing and being part of acts of charity and kindness. From supporting local community projects to aiding our fellow brothers and their families in times of hardship, we have exemplified the true meaning of benevolence. It has been a source of immense pride to be associated with a fraternity that values helping others and making a positive impact.
The wisdom and knowledge I have gained here have been invaluable. The teachings and rituals of Freemasonry have not only enriched my understanding of life and the world around me but have also encouraged me to continuously seek self-improvement. The pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment is a lifelong journey, and it is a journey that I shall carry with me beyond these walls.
The Masonic principles, symbolized by the square and compass, have been my moral compass. They have guided me to live an upright and honorable life, to act with integrity, and to always strive for moral and ethical excellence. These principles are not just words but a code of conduct that I have tried to embody in my daily life.
As I prepare to descend from the Oriental Chair and pass it to another worthy brother, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities I have had to serve this lodge. From officer positions to various committees, I have had the honor of contributing to the growth and prosperity of our lodge. It is a humbling experience to have been entrusted with leadership roles and to have worked alongside such dedicated and passionate brethren.
But as I bid farewell to this chapter of my life, I am not saying goodbye to Trenton Cyrus. The lessons, values, and principles I have learned here will stay with me always. I will continue to be a faithful and dedicated Master Mason, carrying the spirit of this lodge with me wherever I go. My Masonic journey will continue.
In this moment, I want to express my deep appreciation to each one of you. The strength of Trenton Cyrus Lodge #5 lies in its members. You are the heart and soul of this lodge and fraternity, and it has been a privilege to stand with you, to learn from you, and to grow with you. I am truly blessed to have shared this journey with such outstanding individuals.
I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Past Masters and experienced Masons who have mentored and guided me. Your wisdom and guidance have been instrumental in shaping me into the Master Mason I am today. Your dedication to passing on the teachings and traditions of Freemasonry is a testament to your commitment to the craft.
As Worshipful Master of Trenton Cyrus Lodge #5 I leave as I started with a poem of faith:
Where is a destiny that makes us Brothers;
None goes his way alone;
All that we send into the lives of others
Come back to our own.
I care not what his temple or creeds,
One thing hold firm and fast-
That into his fateful heap of days and deeds
The soul of man is cast.
by Bro. Edwin Markham
Kent James, Worshipful Master 2023, Trenton Cyrus 5