Grand Master’s Message
2021 Grand Annual Communication
Brethren, Pre-Registration will open on Monday, November 2 at 10 am and close on December 15. Member Portal
As you are well aware, the year 2020 has presented a unique set of circumstances for the Masons of Texas. To address those issues, the Grand Lodge Trustees commissioned a special Grand Lodge committee to investigate how our upcoming Annual Communication will be able to meet within potential Covid-19 limitations. To ensure the safety of our members, while still allowing our members to Watch, Vote, and Participate in our Annual Grand Communication in January. Your Grand Lodge Trustees have now reviewed this committee’s plan, and we have voted to pursue a hybrid approach for bringing the Masons of Texas together for this Grand Communication. The plan is to unite our members in the Grand Lodge auditorium by sight and sound, using the internet and specially selected software applications to make this possible.
We anticipate that it is very likely that the number of attendees at our Grand Lodge Memorial Temple facility in Waco will be well under its legal capacity for the Grand Communication. The technical operations plan developed by our special committee will provide members with the ability to Watch, Vote and Participate from their home, or possibly from remote sites throughout the State. I encourage those who are at risk and comfortable with a virtual setting to enjoy this year’s proceedings at home. The Special Committee is also encouraging all Masonic groups, such as York Rite, Scottish Rite or Shrine, that have the ability to host an offsite location to contact us. This would provide regional locations to become part of the Grand Communication. These sites can help coordinate the technical assistance needed for this kind of effort.
Members viewing from offsite will be able to vote on Resolutions and Elections just like members sitting in Waco. Voting this year will be conducted via a personal mobile device, typically a cell phone or iPad. We encourage all Masons attending to please bring a smart phone or a tablet to use. In the weeks leading up to the Annual Communication we will be conducting virtual training sessions. For those individuals who do not have a smart phone or tablet in Waco, we will provide you with a method to vote. Those offsite will have the option to vote by home computer, smart phone, or tablet. In addition, individuals who are offsite will have the opportunity to request to speak, for or against Resolutions and Amendments during the communication, and will be able to do this once you are recognized to address the Grand West just as you would in Waco. You would simply be in an electronic line and called upon as necessary. Participation is at the heart of our communication process, and your option is important to the craft, even in an extreme situation where you must communicate by phone.
I would also like to confirm that the ritual sections of the Grand Communication will not be shown to those participating remotely.
We hope each of you are well during these difficult times, and your Grand Lodge Trustees look forward to helping you Watch, Vote, and Participate at our annual Grand Annual Communication in January.
Be safe. Be well. And may we come together in fraternity again soon.
The First Lady of Masonry Mrs. Rebecca Underwood and I wish your family well.