Welcome to “Scimitar” I’m proud to be asked to start this Blog in support of the Bruce Shrine Club. My name is Kevin MacKay, Past President, MOCHA News contributor and Appointed Ambassador for the Bruce Shrine Club. Check in often and share anything you find interesting with others. Let’s Go!
Comments and questions to Noble Kevin can be sent to “firstname.lastname@example.org“
The scimitar stands for the backbone of the fraternity, its members. The two claws are for the Shriners fraternity and its philanthropy. The sphinx stands for the governing body of the Shriners. The five-pointed star represents the thousands of children helped by the philanthropy each year.
I was just THINKING……!
June 12, 2022
I was reading this short little story about a prominent violinist as follows.
A violinist played for 45 minutes in a New York subway. A handful of people stopped, a couple clapped, and the violinist managed to raise about $30 in tips.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. In that subway, Joshua played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before he played in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston and the seats averaged about $100.
The experiment proved that the extraordinary in an ordinary environment does not shine and is so often overlooked and undervalued.
There are brilliantly talented people everywhere who aren’t receiving the recognition and reward they deserve. But once they arm themselves with value and confidence and remove themselves from an environment that isn’t serving them, they thrive and grow.
Your gut is telling you something. Listen to it if it’s telling you that where you are isn’t enough!
Go where you are appreciated and valued.
Know Your Worth.
This little story left me wondering how this lesson might be applied in my own life and the things that I do for myself and the people around me. I feel that I have some talent and some ideas that are worth sharing. I’ve seen where my talents and ideas have been helpful and have been used by others to improve or change things. Others around me have used their talents and ideas to shape the way I think and do some things. Sometimes our talents and ideas are worth a great deal and may create a dynamic that reaches many and is shared widely and talked about amongst the masses, while at other times our ideas and talents may only affect a few people and may not be valued as much as they maybe in a different type of setting. My deep thinking leads me to believe that whether we touch many lives or just a few people, it does not diminish the fact that we are out there sharing our talents and ideas.
As individuals we have a certain level of influence among our friends and family, but, as a group, as a Brotherhood, as a Fraternity, we can do great things that we otherwise may not have imagined possible. But it all starts with sharing our talents and our ideas and opening our hearts and minds to continually strive for that next amazing thing.
Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, I guess I have bordered on insanity at times as have many of us I suppose. The trick is to learn from those actions and use those lessons to improve and move forward.
This is all part of honing our craft. Becoming experts at what we do. Changing with the times and embracing those changes to a point where we can affect those audiences around us, both big and small with emotions of faith, hope and charity. Happiness and joy.
David Connelly, one of our Shrine Children who has grown into an influential choreographer and Broadway talent and is now home working with the Drayton Festival sharing his talents and ideas with Children. Google David Connelly.
Noble Alex Rauket, who has taken his love of long-distance bicycle riding to inspire Shriners and Masons alike and inspire potential new Masons and Shriners to see our Fraternity in a new light and raise awareness of what we believe to be the worlds greatest Philanthropy, Shriners Hospital for Children, helping children worldwide. Visit bruceshrineclub.ca or Kilometers for Kids.
Our Shrine Club executives, Directors and volunteers who step up to help lead us to accomplish our mission of having fun and helping children.
Those special members among us who keep our parade equipment in tip top shape and keep us in step with community events, civic parades and Shriner obligations.
Those Brother Masons and Ladies who organize social events, lodge dinners and keep our meeting place clean and tidy.
Those who share their musical talents with senior’s homes and community concerts and allow us all to sing and dance.
The list is long when you sit down and think about it. Big or small sharing your talent and ideas effects us all…. hey that sort of rhymes!
So did the experiment in the subway prove that the extraordinary in an ordinary environment does not shine and is so often overlooked and undervalued or did the experiment prove that the extraordinary can be shared in a small way or a large way, it still makes a difference in someone’s life. It’s still worth pursuing and in the end the only person who commands your attention is the person looking back at you in the mirror each morning. Feel good about what you do and the talents you share.
Anyway, there it is. I’ll leave you with that, and we’ll see you out there somewhere when we can share some fun and do some good things. As always, let me know your thoughts and thanks for reading.
Yours in the Faith
Noble Kevin MacKay
Grasping the Opportunities Ahead
April 1, 2022
There are may ways to look at things. If you are following the news, you can see the World is in turmoil with pandemics and health scares, global warming, social unrest and War. With all this going on around us it’s a blessing to have something else to occupy our minds and use up some of our time. Something positive, worthwhile, exciting and even scary. Something you can get involved with, something that you could do that will make a positive difference in someone else’s life and bring you pride and joy. These things are the “Opportunities Ahead”.
As a club, the Bruce Shrine Club specifically we have an opportunity to get behind one of our very own members, Noble Alex Rauket, in his efforts to raise money for our only Canadian Shriners Hospital, Montreal Shriners Hospital for Children. This event “Kilometers for Kids” will be a premier event for us this summer and is a wonderful Segway to get out of the house and promote our fraternity, our philanthropy, one of our own Shrine/Masons. What a great Opportunity. A bicycle ride from our Port Elgin Masonic Centre to Montreal Shriners Hospital for Children is no small feat. An epic undertaking with the potential to boost our membership and peoples understanding of what we do and who we are in our community.
MOCHA Temple has thrown their support behind “Kilometers for Kids” and with that we hope to have support from all other clubs and units within MOCHA. What an opportunity.
MOCHA will be looking for support from other Shrine Temples along the Bicycle route. Rameses, Tunis and Karnak have an opportunity to support “Kilometers for Kids” and while doing so have an opportunity to help our Canadian S.H.F.C. and our Philanthropy. So, let’s all take this opportunity to come together and show what Shriners can do.
Our MOCHA Divan has taken on a ton of work this year to try and bring us all together as Shrine/Masons and give us opportunities to get together and renew friendships and work toward strengthening our commitments to our Philanthropy and our clubs and Temple thru education, fun and fellowship. Another great opportunity.
Opportunity strikes again as MOCHA Temple and the city of Sault St. Marie has partnered to put on a musical extravaganza followed by a long overdue Ceremonial and a long-awaited Shriners Parade. This truly is a year of opportunity. A year of rebuilding. A year of recommitment to proving that good men of high moral standard can have a lot of fun while helping children in need live their fullest life possible.
If you add all this to our local Shrine Club events such as selling Vidalia Onions, corn boils, steak fries, club dinners and lady’s nights. Raffles, rallies and civic parades leading up to our annual Shriners Christmas product sales. Huge opportunities.
I’m positive that there are more opportunities than what I’ve highlighted here but my intention is to stir your interest in getting back out and working with your Brethren, your fellow Shriners and your communities to collect those cans and returnables. Polish off those minibikes, golf carts and parade floats. Turn up the music, get on board and have a ton of fun.
Please check out:
Many clubs and units have their own websites, face book pages with calendars of events. Check them out and take the opportunity to have some fun and help our Fraternity grow.
If you are able, reach out and ask an event chairman if they need any help and if you have some time volunteer to chair an event for your Club or our Temple. Let’s be proactive instead of reactive and help take us to a brighter place where we look forward to doing what we do best.
So, whether you are returning home from the South or shoveling snow for the last time this winter please take the opportunity to fill your calendar with any and all events you can support and reach out to help out were you are able.
The Opportunity Ahead of us will be a great adventure.
Something positive, worthwhile, exciting and even scary. Something you can get involved with, something that you could do that will make a positive difference in someone else’s life and bring you pride and joy. These things are the “Opportunities Ahead”.
As aways your comments and suggestion are always welcome.
Yours in the Faith
Noble Kevin MacKay
Bruce Shrine Club
Further Light Freemasonry a Noble Art
March 14, 2022
One of our long time and well-respected Bruce Shrine Club Members, Noble Ambassador Emeritus, Vaughn Munro forwarded me the “Unanimity Lodge No. 418 Newsletter” from Hilton Head South Carolina where He and his Lady Alberta had wintered for many years. Below is an article from this newsletter which I feel hits the mark for where we find ourselves not only in our Craft but also in our Philanthropy. I hope reading this gives you food for thought and helps to reinvigorate you as we move back into our Lodges and meeting rooms.
Further Light Freemasonry a Noble Art, A Gentlemanly Science or Useless Superfluidity of Life?
The events of the past three years have caused a great chasm in the fabric of our Universe. Assuredly, this is not the first or the last time that the great evil darkness will attempt to irrevocably thrust the world out of the light. Though there are many trials and tribulations as a species, the Great Light of the universe somehow manages to raise groups of learned individuals who together work to combat the evil. I will not attempt to detail the many and varied organizations whose good works spread light upon the face of the world. In this discussion we will turn our attentions to Masonry. Does Freemasonry and receiving the initiates experience make you a better man? By this experience do you really contribute to keeping the world out of darkness? Or is it the inherit nature of the man to do good works? Current events bring little positive information, but do they reflect the actual universal status?
There are seven deadly sins defined in the universe. Seven acts that encompass the millions in daily interactions of man. Sloth, envy, greed, gluttony, pride, wrath and lust.
❖ Sloth is an excessive laziness or the failure to act and utilize one’s talents.
❖ Envy is the intense desire to have an item that someone else possesses.
❖ Greed is an excessive pursuit of material goods.
❖ Gluttony is an excessive and ongoing eating of food or drink.
❖ Pride is an excessive view of oneself without regard for others.
❖ Wrath is a strong anger and hate towards another person.
❖ Lust is a strong passion or longing, especially for sexual desires.
The daily headlines manage to highlight and emphasize every possible way to commit them. Scientists have argued that watching TV can make you less intelligent. I would argue that reading today’s headlines not only can make you less intelligent, but it will also raise your negative energy to an unacceptable level. I see you have a question, “Who cares about headlines how does this matter to Free Masons?” The essential task of freemasons is to make men better, correct? How can we make anything better if we are going about our daily routines emitting negative energy? Energy from waking up on the wrong side of the world, the honey-do list just got to item number 412 and it costs a million dollars, three other drivers attempted to wreck my vehicle on the way to work, so many horns, angry horns, speeding, weaving, under the influence of……Easily we are sucked into the universal stream of dark energy. It requires little or no effort to be of negative energy. On the other hand, being a duck and a being of positive energy takes concerted effort, much study and continual practice. Now enter the study of Freemasonry. The title of the article, Freemasonry-A noble art, gentlemanly science or superfluidity of life? These are real questions facing the craft today. Is there anything left of the noble art? In the past hundred years, has freemasonry really taught gentlemanly science? Have we allowed our Sloth, envy, greed, gluttony, pride, wrath, and lust, to make Freemasonry a self-aggrandizing over-dressed supper & gossip club with little real purpose? Modern Masonic lodges focus so much energy on what’s for dinner, charity and fundraising. That the task of building Masons appears to be cast to the dark corners of the ante room. Building Masons not only requires the effective performance of the initiates rites. But also, the mentoring of minds through progressive education. The craft cannot thrive on hope alone. The hope that newly raised Masons will read the materials given them. The hope that they will return to lodge excited to find that the Mystery of the MM meeting is open, minutes, argue over money & meals, phantom education and then close. Is this really what the gentlemanly science has become? Is this really what we serve for? Certainly, this meeting of the minds does not serve to fulfill the desire for further light. How do we move forward you ask? Actively engage in your Masonic Journey. Participate fully in your lodge. Be a mentor, learn the craft, respect the solemn ceremony while opening and closing the lodge. Consume good works by good men that share your interests in a wide and varied science. Fail to engage in any negativity about yourself, your fellow man, or your daily grind. Share the newfound understandings and information with your lodge. Many of us are not comfortable as public speakers, however, we whole heartedly support you and welcome shared thoughts and information. It may surprise you but someone else has travelled the road which you are travelling. Having a travelling companion is a warm addition to a journey in an often-cold world. ________________________________________________________________________
I hope this article sparks the fire with in you that may have dwindled and out of those ashes you can rekindle a burning desire to bring light, hope and warmth to your fellow man. As always, thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts.
Noble Kevin MacKay
Bruce Shrine Club
Merry Christmas to all….December 21, 2021
As we approach this special time of year in 2021, during these longer than expected pandemic times please do not forget to reach out to those vulnerable members of our community and share some good cheer! It’s very easy to get caught up in our own lives and activities and those of us who are financially stable, who have family and friends near by, a roof over our heads and plenty of food to eat, sometimes it’s easy to forget that those are blessings that some may not have. Poverty and mental illness are not just catch phases but are often combined with loneliness and hunger which are issues that many within our community’s struggle with each and every day. Add this to personal loss and grief at this time of year it has the makings of some tough days for many. Sharing a smile, lending an ear or reaching out to our many community support organizations to see what they may need is a great way to add some good feelings to your own daily activities.
We as Shrine/Mason`s have had a very good year despite the pandemic restrictions. The Bruce Shrine Club Vidalia Onions sales were very success. Additionally, our Aluminum and Returnable project was very profitable. We were able to install our new Executive team along with 11 new Nobles and our Christmas Project was once again a sell out. At the MOCHA level we have had a meaningful election of new leadership which looks very promising and we are looking ahead to 2022 with optimism.
The world around us is changing daily and at times may seem over whelming to say the least. Many of us are at different stages of our lives and our focus on how to deal with so many challenges outside of our control become a continual burden on our minds. All I can offer is an open door, an open ear and an open heart to anyone who would like to take advantage of the offer. I would like to take this opportunity to Wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the Best wishes for a bright and prosperous New Year. I look forward to the opportunity to meet and greet everyone, face to face in the coming year!
I would like to leave you with this Old Irish Christmas Blessing. May you all find comfort in these fine words.
“To be or not to be”__ _____________________
September 25, 2021
Ours is to be better than average. Be true and trustworthy. Bring pride and respectability to our Brotherhood. Work together for a common purpose. To improve the lives of others less fortunate. Raise the profile of what we consider to be “The Worlds Greatest Philanthropy”. All these words which have so great a meaning for so many of our members and yet there are others amongst us who do not seem to share these worthy thoughts. How is this? What has gone wrong in our efforts to create a somewhat utopic creed amongst men from many different walks of life? Fun and Fellowship is our claim! Helping children who need our help is our fame! Yet internally we struggle with back room politics that if not put in check has the ability to destroy all the good that has been done in the past.
The focus we need amongst our Fraternity is to leave all the baggage of the past behind us. Recommit to working together for the common goals of our organization. Search out those Masons around our lodges who would like to join us in our family friendly fun. Parades and events, raffles and dinners, work bees and social gatherings, picnics and BBQ’s all those things that used to identify us as having fun and helping Children.
We have some great plans here in the Bruce to shed light on the bright future our Philanthropy has with local Masons and potential Masons alike. We know that our future depends on strong Masonic Lodges that prepare good men for the Fun and Fellowship that we have to offer. That we know we can offer! We have visited our Hospitals and seen those smiling faces of the children we are helping. We have supported our local communities with access to the Philanthropy we hold so dear. All this gives us the will to support our Vidalia Onion and Christmas Product sales. Hold online auctions, raffles and other fund-raising events. This is what give us our fire, our determination to work together to build a brighter future for those who need us.
If you’re not a Mason, consider applying. If you are a Mason, consider joining the Shrine. If you are already a Shriner recommit to our great cause and share your pride and enthusiasm by reaching out to others so that they can share in the fun and fellowship and helping children enjoy their childhood in the best possible way they can.
I do not share these words lightly and I do not think myself above reproach, but I do commit to working toward growing our Fraternity, supporting our Philanthropy and seeing that our communities hold Shriners in high esteem!
I choose “to be”!
Respect and dignity to all!
Yours in The Faith
Noble Kevin MacKay
Ambassador, Bruce Shrine Club
Lost in The Desert
July 19, 2021
Once a man got lost in a desert. The water in his flask had run out two days ago, and he was on his last legs. He knew that if he didn’t get some water soon, he would surely die. The man saw a small hut ahead of him. He thought it would be a mirage or maybe a hallucination, but having no other option, he moved toward it. As he got closer, he realized it was quite real. So he dragged his tired body to the door with the last of his strength.
The hut was not occupied and seemed like it had been abandoned for quite some time. The man entered it, hoping against hope that he might find water inside. His heart skipped a beat when he saw what was in the hut – a water hand pump…… It had a pipe going down through the floor, perhaps tapping a source of water deep under-ground.
He began working the hand pump, but no water came out. He kept at it and still nothing happened. He finally gave up from exhaustion and frustration and threw up his hands in despair. It looked as if he was going to die after all.
Then the man noticed a bottle in one corner of the hut. It was filled with water and corked up to prevent evaporation. He uncorked the bottle and was about to gulp down the sweet life-giving water, when he noticed a piece of paper attached to it. Handwriting on the paper read: “Use this water to start the pump. Don’t forget to fill the bottle when you’re done.”
He had a dilemma. He could follow the instruction and pour the water into the pump, or he could ignore it and just drink the water. What to do? If he let the water go into the pump, what assurance did he have that it would work? What if the pump malfunctioned? What if the pipe had a leak? What if the underground reservoir had long dried up?
But then… maybe the instruction was correct. Should he risk it? If it turned out to be false, he would be throwing away the last water he would ever see.
Hands trembling, he poured the water into the pump. Then he closed his eyes, said a prayer, and started working the pump. He heard a gurgling sound, and then water came gushing out, more than he could possibly use. He luxuriated in the cool and refreshing stream. He was going to live!
After drinking his fill and feeling much better, he looked around the hut. He found a pencil and a map of the region. The map showed that he was still far away from civilization, but at least now he knew where he was and which direction to go.
He filled his flask for the journey ahead. He also filled the bottle and put the cork back in. Before leaving the hut, he added his own writing below the instruction: “Believe me, it works!”
This story is all about life. It teaches us that We must GIVE before We can RECEIVE Abundantly.
More importantly, it also teaches that FAITH plays an important role in GIVING. The man did not know if his action would be rewarded, but he proceeded regardless. Without knowing what to expect, he made a Leap of Faith.
Water in this story represents the Good things in Life. Give life some Water to Work with, and it will RETURN far more than you put in……..!!!
The above story from an unknown author gives us some food for reflection. We need to dig deep inside ourselves and renew our Faith in our Masonic teachings, Faith in our Fraternity and its goals, Faith that together we can make great things happen. Faith Hope and Charity. The three basic principle that lead us to the light.
Yours in The Faith
Noble Kevin MacKay
Ambassador, Bruce Shrine Club
July 7, 2021
The Bruce Shrine Club would like to wish all nobility a Happy Summer as we wait for the world to return to some form of normal. Over the past year we have been waiting very patiently to unveil our parade unit and make a scene and drum up some interest for new membership to MOCHA Shriners and our clubs and units. We continue to have grand and lofty plans to be a post pandemic spectacle to show our appreciation to all those essential workers who have carried us through this pandemic. We are continuing to plan for a fall parade here in Kincardine and if we are allowed to safely host such an event, we would like all MOCHA Shrines and their clubs and units to join us in promoting Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Here are some ideas to work on: We can put our parade unit on display with our music trailer as an entertainment draw. Our presence can be a draw for any well-organized event. We will be keeping our ears to the ground to see if local communities are planning events that would like our participation and we hope other MOCHA units will do the same in their communities.
Post Pandemic – Community Parades: Once the pandemic subsides, we fully intend to attend as many community parades as we can. I would suggest you get there early (of course). As our former military members will tell you, “If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re 10 minutes late!”! You can play with that one. Anyhow – get there early, deck out your units, shine them up, set up a sign or two, bring some lawn chairs, let the public sit on the units, take photos sitting on them, and talk about the good work of the Shrine, our Philanthropy, and how they too can get involved. Perhaps hand out a pamphlet or two. Of course, we could do the same after the parade as crowds dissipate. It may even make it easier to get our vehicles and trailers out of there when everyone else has dispersed.
Post Pandemic – Community Events; Oh, Brothers…think about this…how we can represent the Shrine at local community events and in our surrounding communities? Maybe in the following ways!
• We can enter our Shrine units in local car show-and-shines.
Any event that provides the opportunity to show off our units and talk about Shriners – we want to be there!
• You know those community parades we all go to? There’s an annual celebration that goes along with them (Rodeos, Festivals, Fairs, Tractor Pulls, etc…) and sometimes, there’s a trade show in a nearby curling rink or arena. Wouldn’t it be great to rent a booth, have a parade unit or two brought in for four or five hours? Think of the foot traffic and eyes on our fezzes!
Participating in MOCHA organized events:
• Shriners International and MOCHA supported concerts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd
• Make an appearance at the golf tournament with our parade unit?
• How about setting up a bunch of units beside the entrance doors at the auction or auditorium?
• The Bruce Shine Club has a page on Facebook and a web page. As we participate in community events, we will be posting our itinerary and photos to these pages. On Facebook, search for The Bruce Shrine Club, “Like” and Follow us. The other page is a web page www.bruceshrineclub.ca information on all of our activities will be posted there. You can also see members contact information there. You don’t always have to wait for meetings for certain information you can contact any of our executive anytime.
• We could also think about having an Instagram account where we could post photos of our parades and other events.
• We could also be sharing our information for our social media accounts by adding them as a graphic on our trailers, having it handy when we do our show and shine and community appearances.
The challenge with social media is that there are always new platforms coming along. Just as Instagram is a photo-sharing platform. There’s a newer video-sharing platform called TikTok which is gaining millions of accounts worldwide. We should be there. We must be. We must keep up with these new trends in order to attract and keep new members. Shriners talk a lot about the need to attract new members and patients. The demographic group for both the parents of patients and the young men we hope to attract as members do not read newspapers, read junk mail or watch the news regularly. When surveying several young people in the workplace aged in the early 20s to mid-40s, not one of them could say they read a newspaper in the past 3-5 years! They get their news and information from their phones – from social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now TikTok. We must target these platforms to get our fezzes on the screens in the palms of their hands. I for one believe that we have to start working harder in our communities to attract new Shrine/Masons and let the public know what Shriners/Masons do. This is the way to gain excitement and momentum that will coax new candidates to want to join us. It’s not going to be easy, but we need to be to where the people are physically or virtually to share our message.
Food for thought. I hope you will all join us!
Yours in the Faith,
Ambassador, Bruce Shrine Club
PROUD TO BE A SHRINER
June 10, 2021
When you are accepted into a Fraternity such as the Masons it is a very up lifting feeling of belonging to something special. Being accepted by your peers and pride in your accomplished memory work and progression within the organization.
Once Brethren move from the Fraternal aspects of being a Free Mason, doing their labours behind closed doors and into the world of Shrindom you are moving into a much more public and visible community of volunteering to help raise awareness for a Philanthropy that helps children live a full life while overcoming any disabilities. Congratulations you are now a Team Player.
As a Team Player or Noble of the Mystic Shrine, you will work with all sorts of different people who all have one thing in common, the teachings of Brotherly love, relief and truth. Being friendly and flexible is a key trait of a great Noble of the Mystic Shrine. It’s important to know when to speak up and contribute or when to sit back and let others lead the way. There are many Nobles with diverse backgrounds, knowledge and abilities. We need to be able to hear each others’ opinions and thoughts before passing judgements or making decisions that affect our work in our communities and with each other. Are you approachable and a good listener? Do you have helpful input into your Club, Unit or Temple? These are important qualities of a team player and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine.
Integrity: As a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, you are entrusted with the organization’s resources, facilities, reputation and its customers, namely our Clients and the communities we serve. This can be a huge responsibility for anyone, but we are Masons and now Nobles! Great Nobles realize that everything they say and do is a direct representation of the organization that we profess to hold so dear. Integrity is the key to success in any business venture, but it is mandatory within a Fraternity and Philanthropy.
Passion can be infectious, so it’s an important trait that all great Nobles must share. Sincere passion for the craft, the club or unit and the Philanthropy can be inspiring to others. That passion we share can make a difference in our organization from the bottom to the top. It helps us attain new members and keeps us working for our common goals. Passion is what keeps a person engaged and motivates them to face each day with a smile on their face, to share their time and efforts in the pursuit of fun and fellowship.
Energy: Being a Noble of the Mystic Shrine isn’t just about giving your time. It requires positive energy. You need to be able to hit the ground running and be excited about what you are doing. There is no room for negativity and nay saying. Energy is a lot like passion. If you have good positive energy, people around you will follow suit. If you’re having fun and working toward our goal of giving kids the opportunity to live as full a life as possible, then that positive energy and passion will be infectious.
Reliability: Nobles, there’s nothing worse than depending on a Brother to do something and then having them fall through on their commitment. The golden rule to volunteering for a task is that if you commit to something…do it! A Noble’s ability to fulfill a commitment doesn’t just reflect on an individual Noble, it also reflects upon the whole organization. If you need help, ask for help. If you can’t fulfill the task let someone know in a timely fashion so things can be put in place to circumvent any negative outcome. Great Nobles remain professional in all situations.
Organizational dissent: Organizational dissent is the “expression of disagreement or contradictory opinions about organizational practices and policies”. This is not uncommon or unexpected in any large organization. Since dissent involves disagreement it can lead to conflict, which if not resolved, can lead to violence and struggle, hatred and deceit. But, as Masonic Brethren and Nobles of the Mystic Shrine we are taught to rise above these common short comings. Taught that harmony and truth and relief of the burdens of our fellow man are the way to go…..or are we just men after all, with the same greedy aspirations to lie and cheat, be disrespectful and dishonest. No, I’m afraid I believe the latter. I believe we do take good men and make them better. I believe in Brotherly love relief and truth. I believe that having fun and helping children is an honourable way to spend some time. I believe that Shriners Hospitals for Children is the Worlds Greatest Philanthropy. I also believe that those men amongst us who do not have the Integrity, Passion or Energy and are not Team Players, well they will fall to the wayside as new Brethren and Nobles of the Mystic Shrine come forward to carry the torch.
ASK1,2B1. We take good men and Make them better. Having fun and helping children is what we do. If you believe all these things, then welcome aboard and let’s get to work!
Noble Kevin MacKay
Ambassador, Bruce Shrine Club
May 20, 2021
What do we mean when we talk about people who are “Movers and Shakers”? The term was coined by poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy in his 1874 poem “Ode”.
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
The term “Movers and shakers” is commonly used to describe powerful and worldly individuals and groups and those who over come the odds while making great accomplishments.
In our midst we have such people. Someone who is willing to make big changes to get things done. Able to take obstacles as a challenge and over come the odds to see the outcome that is needed to move us all forward with our goals.
Who are the movers and shakers in your world? A person who influences events. A person who gets things done. The people with knowledge, power and influence in a particular area who make things happen and cause new developments. Let’s call them the worker Bee’s who make us all look good with their behind-the-scenes efforts that no one else can or is willing to do.
Well my friends, these people are to be cherished and given our gratitude for without them we become stagnate and fail in accomplishing our goals. Our “Movers and Shakers” are the Hero’s of the day and they get great pleasure in having their efforts rewarded by seeing blossoming accomplishments embellished by others and having the fruits of that labour used to help the less fortunate.
Are you a “MOVER and a Shaker”?
As always, Y.I.T.F.
Ambassador, Bruce Shrine Club
Is there someone that you would like to go back and thank again?
May 12, 2021
When you have some time on your hands to sit back and think about who you are, what you stand for and who influenced you throughout your life, is there anyone that jumps out. Maybe there are many people who have helped you develop into the person you are today.
I think my first memory of someone I might like to thank again would be Miss Flora of “Romper Room”. As a toddler growing up in Windsor, Ontario I was lucky enough to be the President of the Miss Flora fan Club. I can still remember being on the Television Station Set for the live broadcast.
We Moved to Chippawa, Ontario in 1963 and my Highschool days were spent at Westlane Secondary School just off Lundy’s Lane. There were several influential Teachers at that school but, Mr. Galina who taught Architectural Drafting was a guy I really enjoyed. While in Highschool I joined the Lincoln and Welland Regiment. The Reserves became a big focus of my spare time and we had a very tight kinship as “D” Company of the Linc’s and Wink’s Infantry and the 56th Field Artillery shared the Victoria Street Armoury. Captain Walker is one gentleman who was my Commanding Officer for a time, and I would love to shake his hand once again. He was part of many of my first experiences with many of life’s teachings (both good and Bad). Some are not repeatable in this forum, but if you are buying the drinks I’ll spill some good stories.
Once Graduating from Highschool and being accepted into Niagara College for the first “Law and Security Administration” Program offered in Ontario I was given an opportunity for employment on the Niagara Parks Police. Many of my fellow Officers, far too many to mention, became my extended family. Many of these fine fellows have passed and I would love to thank several of them for many years of great memories. Just sitting here remembering their names brings back memories that still make me laugh out loud.
November 1977 brought new opportunities when I join Ontario Hydro Security at the Bruce Nuclear Power Development, Construction Projects. Bruce “A”, Unit #4 was just under construction, the Heavy Water Plant was just being built and the foundation for Bruce “B” was being blasted out of the bed rock. I won’t bore you with too many more of my memoirs as there are many.
Organizing the Nuclear Security Guards across Ontario into their own Union, Local 1989 of the United Plant Guard Workers of America, moving inside to the Civil Maintenance Department working on the Paint Crew, Site Shift (Road Maintenace, Equipment Operator, etc.), Industrial Insulator, Scaffolder, Radiation Safety Technician, Conventional Safety Department, Union Chief Steward with The Power Workers Union. I have been very blessed to have had many opportunities, many people to both learn from as well as mentor. There are so many people I would love to say thank you to again or maybe even for the first time. So, as you sit back and think about all those people who have influenced your life in some way and helped you become who you are today don’t miss out on the opportunity to say thanks. Is there someone who is here now and making a positive difference in your life. Reach out and say Thank you!
I hope, if just for a few minutes, this little blurb has given you something to think about. Remembering names and events, past and present, who, what when and where. Reach out and thank someone today.
Thank You for reading
Nobel Kevin MacKay
Ambassador, Bruce Shrine Club
May 4, 2021
Retirement is a solemn affair that should always be treated with the utmost sensitivity. Bahaha! Just kidding! Goodbye tension and hello pension!
Retirement can bring out mixed emotions, but in general, it’s a joyous time in a person’s life, with some mixed emotions. Busy Monday mornings, working late shifts, horrible coffee, and a demanding boss… of course, we know you’ll miss all of this! After decades of clocking in and operating according to someone else’s schedule, you finally get to call the shots, and that’s an occasion worth celebrating.
Welcome to retirement, where every day feels like the weekend, and soon you’ll forget what day it is! It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad, and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.
Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of the open highway. So with all of this in mind I would like to introduce you to some thoughts from my first Blog contributor, Noble Doug Gould and his suggestions on retirement.
THINKING OF RETIREMENT?
Are you retired or thinking of retiring soon? You probably have been asked what you plan to do in retirement. The most common answers are to tackle a long overdue to-do list or to pursue a hobby. While these are worthy pursuits there is something else to consider.
A wide range of volunteer organizations need your help. They play a very important part in the fabric of our society. Without them many essential needs would go unmet. Having completed a full career you have skills of which you may not even be aware. While you likely have made financial contributions in the past, by far the most valuable contribution you can make is your time. Now that your full-time occupation is reduced or ending you might want to consider participating in one or more of these many organizations whether large or small, national or local. Although there won’t be monetary gain you may find the experience to be as rewarding as anything you have done.
This website describes but one of those organizations namely Shriners and specifically the Bruce Shrine Club. Our philanthropy is the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Our philosophy could probably be summarized by one of our mottos “Having Fun Helping Kids”. If you are interested in learning more about Shriners click on this link https://beashrinernow.com/ or better yet use the Contact Us number on this website or talk to any local Shriner. We would be thrilled to hear from you.
Noble Doug Gould
Bruce Shrine Club
Thank you, Noble Doug for these though provoking ideas. I think as fellow Shrine/ Masons we have all seen the fruits of our labours result in helping kids lead a full life, overcoming many physical challenges. Think it over. There is no time like now!
Noble Kevin MacKay
Ambassador, Bruce Shrine Club
May 3, 2021
Have you ever thought about joining the Free Masons? Do you know what it means to be a member of a Fraternity?
Freemasonry isn’t about the signs, grips, tokens or words that, by the way, are not to be discussed with anyone outside of the Fraternity. Even if a non-Mason were to find them and learn them perfectly, there are experiences that only true Brother Masons would know if you shared them, to know if one is truly a Brother.
Freemasonry’s true “secrets” are those you keep from personnel experiences and experiences with one’s fellow Brothers of the Craft.
Freemasonry, in general, is about making good men better men; to improve oneself in Freemasonry so that we, as Masons, make the world we live in an even better place. Leaving the World better than we found it.
Learning a particular word or sign (Grand or not) really would not help a non-Mason much without learning and knowing the experiences behind that and no amount of reading from ill-advised sources, of which there are many, will take the place of a man experiencing the Craft and it’s ceremonies for himself. That man can only begin to understand this by petitioning his local Lodge and beginning his Masonic journey for real.
Now if you think there is nothing happening during these Covid 19 Pandemic times, think again. Grand Lodge here in Ontario is conducting Virtual Information Sessions for New Applicants to our Lodges.
‘The Membership Pillar’ is pleased to announce that information sessions will be held to assist in keeping these applicants interested in Freemasonry while we wait for the time that we can hold meetings in person once again. These sessions will include information about:
Our History: Who We Are: Why Become a Mason:
Our Lodges: What Do Masons Do: Beyond Our Ceremonies: Commitments: Be A Freeman Facts: Town Hall Q&A Forum
It is the Membership Pillar’s desire to send a personal invitation, to each applicant, requesting that he join us in one of these “Virtual Information Sessions”.
To assist in sending this personal invitation, Lodges are requested to submit the applicants name and email address and include the Lodge name. Send it to:
R.W. Bro. Leyland Muss
Chairman of Seminars & Workshops Committee
If you are not a Mason Applicant but are interested in learning more about becoming one feel free to contact anyone off our membership list and they will help you move forward.
“Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth” this is our motto!
Thanks for reading
I asked GOOGLE: What does Shriner mean?
April 21, 2021
GOOGLE said: a secret fraternal society
: a member of a secret fraternal society that is non-Masonic but admits only Master Masons to membership.
Well Ladies and Gentlemen, Brethren and Nobles, this is far from factual and very far from what my answer would be!
To me “Shriner” means a Brother Mason who has decided to take his fraternal obligations and add in a world of fun and fellowship with a large family participation aspect to it. Parading in the public to promote our Philanthropy called Shriners Children’s and selling Christmas products, Vidalia Onions, Raffles and other fund raising events to collect money to support our Beloved Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal and our local kids who may benefit from the special services Shriners Children’s provides.
Picnics, BBQ”s, Formal dinners and work bees add to the Fun and Fellowship that gives each of us a great feeling of belonging to something greater than ourselves.
A Shriner is an upstanding man who chooses to help Children in any way he can and have a lot of fun while doing it. No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.
We can’t put a price on what we do, so we do if for free.
What is your answer?
What does Shriner mean to you?
Noble Kevin MacKay
Ambassador, Bruce Shrine Club
Life’s a Gamble
March 24, 2021
You’ve probably heard it said that life is a Gamble! Well that may be a true statement, but I’m betting that the Bruce Shrine Club membership will rise to life’s challenges of late and come out the other side stronger and even more dedicated to our Craft, our Nobility and our Philanthropy.
It has been said that you can’t keep a good man down. Well it’s even harder to keep a group of hard-working Shrine/Masons down. We all know what we must do to keep our Lodges and Temples thriving during these difficult times and that’s why we continue to work toward the future.
These are also changing times for our Philanthropy, Shriners Children’s. The move to an Ambulatory Hospital system and partnership with other Hospitals will cut down the number of physical Hospitals in the Shrine system but will help to upgrade the types of care available to even more children. We can be proud of our Canadian Flag ship, Montreal Shriners Hospital for Children as it moves toward working with Children right across this country. But I digress. We can’t do any of this without growing our membership.
Two of the biggest challenges we face are maintaining our present membership and working toward making the changes internally that will allow us to draw in newer and younger members. These changes don’t come about by magic, they are made using the knowledge and participation of those working members we have on the ground today.
The Bruce Shrine Club has a robust plan to hold recruitment dinners with potential new members and their partners with video presentations, Q & A sessions and take-home pamphlets and information. This of course has been placed in a holding pattern until we get through this Pandemic. We find ourselves moving in the direction of ZOOM meetings to keep existing members engaged in the work of the BSC and the Temple and now moving forward the BSC has hosted the first, not the last, ZOOM guest speakers’ event to keep existing members engaged and draw in new potential Shriners and Masons.
The first guest speaker, Noble Dwight Coughlan, Montreal Shriners Hospital for Children Board Member for MOCHA Temple gave us some great information about our Hospital system and what to expect in the future. It’s the hope of the BSC Executive that we continue down this path of ZOOM Guest Speakers so if you have a guest speaker in mind or a topic you feel would be of interest please share your thoughts with someone from the Executive so they can make it happen.
Get out those thinking caps and move us all forward together. It takes all of us working together to make a child’s dreams come true.
Working together, fun and fellowship, helping Children Grow and keeping the Shrine Philanthropy strong are all goals worthy of a Shrine/Mason.
I’ve got so much more to tell you, but I think it’s time for me to sign off and give you a chance to speak. Keep those cards and letters coming, as they say in the business!
As always, Y.I.T.F.
Noble Kevin MacKay
Bruce Shrine Club
Brethren & Nobles
March 24, 2021
Bruce Shrine Clubs Noble Mike MacLennan stands beside Ambassador Emeritus, Noble Norm Liddle. This is the great thing about photographs. The picture was taken in 2018 at the Ripley fall fair parade and it’s a great picture of two great Masonic Brethren and Nobles. A photo such as this stirs memories of great times spent with these two Brothers at many parades, diner meetings, work bee’s and fund raisers. Free born men, young and old of like mind and dedication to helping the most vulnerable in our society, Children. Working with great Integrity and moral dedication for the common good and making access to the Worlds greatest Philanthropy “Shriners Hospital for Children” available and accessible to their local communities. Men such as these deserve to be held in very high regard especially by fellow Brethren and Nobles who should understand the make up and commitment of such men. To these fine Gentlemen and to all like minded Men I tip my hat and wish you all Best Wishes for a great life and happiness that knows no bounds, for our bonds are greater than our differences and we can not be singled out and demeaned as we are all one standing together as a single force amongst honest and upright men. Our Duty is Large and the need is larger but our dedication and unity will crush all obstacles in our way. Having Fun and Helping Children is what we do…and we’re damn good at it too!
Yours In the Faith
Noble Kevin MacKay
Bruce Shrine Club