Author: RW Glenn L. Kubick, 2017
The overall design of the various collars that distinguish each Lodge officer are quite similar, except for the specific emblem suspended from the bottom. Likewise, the actual weight of each officer collar is similar. The difference in the weight comes when the Master’s collar is placed about your shoulders when installed as the Worshipful Master of your Masonic Lodge. Suddenly, the symbolic weight of the collar and the very real weight of the responsibility of the Master’s office conspire. At that very moment this realization can be exhilarating, overwhelming, and almost incapacitating, all at once.
Whether you meticulously worked your way up through each of the chairs, learning about Masonry and preparing for this day; or you took a more accelerated route, in an instant you realize you are now the leader of your Lodge. At this very moment you suddenly possess tremendous power.
To a large extent the decisions you make may potentially and greatly influence the path of your Lodge long into the future. Some men welcome the challenge and are eager to test their mettle; others are unsure of their ability to lead the group and are initially intimidated by the position. For the new, and yes, experienced Masters, the words of our Brother Harry Truman ring true, “the buck stops here”.
While there are many voices surrounding the Master, the ultimate voice in determining what transpires is and should be his own. The best defense against the potentially crushing weight of responsibility is confidence, preparation, and planning. Those that fall behind are destined to chase the curve and will find great difficulty digging themselves out of the hole in which they now find themselves. Those that plan and follow that plan will be in better stead to tackle the nuisances of the position, thus having the opportunity to enjoy and grow with the experience. Just as it makes no sense, while learning to swim, to jump unaccompanied into the deep end of a pool, it makes no sense to take on the responsibility of Master without proper preparation.
So, how do you learn to swim prior to jumping into the office of Master? Consider the following:
- Attend and understand the lessons learned in The Master’s Path
- Know and understand your Lodge By-laws, the Grand Constitutions, and the Masonic Protocol booklet
- Read and understand the book, “Duties and Responsibilities of Lodge Officers and Committee Chairmen”
- Learn from the example and advice of your Past Masters
- Understand the nuances of your Lodge and its membership
By following the above recommendations, you will be better prepared to carry the real and symbolic weight of the Master’s collar.
R.W. Glenn L. Kubick, 2017