A so­ci­ety with se­crets

The Compass - - PORTHTE -

The work car­ried out an­nu­ally by Ma­sonic Lodge Heart’s Con­tent must be one of the bestkept se­crets on the Trin­ity South Shore.

“We’re out there, but we don’t pub­li­cize it a lot,” says lodge master Rex Cot­ter. “A lot of peo­ple think we’re into a fra­ter­nity and no­body knows what goes on.”

In fact, they are of­ten la­belled a se­cret so­ci­ety.

“We al­ways re­spond to that by say­ing: no, we’re not a se­cret so­ci­ety, we’re a so­ci­ety with a few se­crets,” Cot­ter chuck­les.

Among their “se­crets” last year were: a walkathon with pro­ceeds go­ing to the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion Pla­cen­tia Health Telethon; a freewill of­fer­ing me­mo­rial ser­vice in Heart’s De­light which en­abled them to pur­chase a chair for O’Shaugh­nessey House in Car­bon­ear; con­tri­bu­tions to the Shriner’s Hospi­tal; fos­ter­ing a child in Guatemala; nine boxes of food plus mon­e­tary do­na­tions from lodge mem­bers to the lo­cal food bank.

Lodge Heart’s Con­tent also lays wreaths at ev­ery War Me­mo­rial on the shore twice a year and the lodge’s Outreach Com­mit­tee is avail­able to help schools with the judg­ing at sci­ence fairs, her­itage fairs, and pub­lic speak­ing.

The lodge is non po­lit­i­cal and non-sec­tar­ian. When it comes to re­li­gion there is only one stip­u­la­tion.

“You can­not be­come a mem­ber of the Ma­sonic Lodge un­less you be­lieve in God,” says Cot­ter.

And it doesn’t mat­ter which god that might be. For in­stance, the Ko­ran (the sa­cred book of the Mus­lims) is set out right along­side the Chris­tian Bi­ble.

Founded in 1736, Freema­sons con­tinue to up­hold the prin­ci­pal tenets of Broth­erly Love, Re­lief and Truth and since the early days have been con­cerned with the care of wid­ows, or­phans, the sick and the el­derly in ad­di­tion to char­i­ties and com­mu­nity causes.

“One of the rea­sons we went with the anti-bul­ly­ing theme in our poster cam­paign (see re­lated story) was be­cause of th­ese three prin­ci­pals,” says Cot­ter. “That’s where we’re coming from. We saw that as an ex­cel­lent way to get out into the com­mu­nity and demon­strate our prin­ci­pals.”

Lil­lian Sim­mons photo

Stu­dents from seven schools par­tic­i­pated in a re­cent poster con­test pro­mot­ing friend­ship. De­signs like Feli­cia White’s comic-strip style poster (top left) shows just how cre­ative kids can be when it comes to so­lu­tions. When Feli­cia’s poster char­ac­ter for­gets his gloves and can’t go slid­ing, his friend of­fers his socks as a sub­sti­tute.

Photo by David Dawe/spe­cial to The Com­pass

And the win­ners are – 14 stu­dents from schools from Chapel Arm to Bay de Verde had their win­ning de­signs cho­sen in a poster con­test de­pict­ing acts of kind­ness.

Photo by David Dawe/spe­cial to The Com­pass

VI­O­LENCE PREVEN­TION — Char­lene John­son, Min­is­ter Re­spon­si­ble for the Sta­tus of Women and lead Min­is­ter for the Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ini­tia­tive, signed a procla­ma­tion at Ma­sonic Lodge Heart’s Con­tent Feb. 8 declar­ing Fe­bru­ary as Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Month. From left are: District Grand Master Owen Dev­ereaux; Pa­tri­cia LaGrady, chair, Com­mu­ni­ties Against Vi­o­lence; John­son and Lodge Heart’s Con­tent Master Rex Cot­ter.

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