To the Wardens (SW Michael P. Whiting, II, JW Eric Holmes), Past Masters, members & visitors of Hiram Lodge No. 5, I wish to thank those Officers and Brethren who have bestowed their trust and confidence in me by electing me Worshipful Master of this historic Lodge for the ensuing Masonic year. As your Worshipful Master, I assure you that by working together in peace and harmony, we will make great progress towards achieving our universal aims of enlightenment, fraternal affection, and charity. While I am truly grateful to all of the members of Hiram lodge, I am eternally indebted to PM Ernest M. Ray, Jr. and RW Keenon R. Simmons for being my greatest motivators and suggestive moral compasses. Lastly, and of equally great significance, I wish to thank the Officers, Elected and appointed, who have agreed to serve with me. You being where you are sitting is indicative that you have chosen to be who can best work and agree.
Agree: Consent to do, accept, or allow something that is suggested or requested by another person.
As your Worshipful Master, it is my expectation that the same Faith and Zeal which induced you to accept your positions of leadership, keep you motivated and circumscribed in the performances of duties we agree upon, as well as those labors and sacrifices that you may not be so favourable of.
In the Bible, Matthew 7:20 reads “By their fruit, you will know them…”, My motivation for this administration, for us to be known by the fruit we bare, and not just by the paraphernalia that we wear. At least once per month, we will be doing impromptu feedings in the homeless communities of Camden, NJ. “Every Human Being has a claim upon your kind offering”, and so I charge every officer and member of Hiram Lodge No. 5 to participate give, but do so with kindness and equal regularity. Let the hand that is outwardly placed to receive our Charity, also draw back with it our empathy and prayers of Faith to restore their Hope.
As Masons, we have endeavour to set our moral standards sublime and above those which are less than that a good man. The Holy Quran Sura 3:54 reads “And the disbelievers planned, But Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners.”, by this we shall be reminded that not everyone is going to believe in our visions, but if we have good and just intentions in our works, let's follow our hearts and be diligent in carrying out God's plans.
In closing, my first Order as Worshipful Master to the officers and members of Hiram Lodge No. 5, is that you do everything within your abilities, to NOT allow our Masonic duties and charitable services discourage you to the point of not caring or giving up. Officers, you've worked hard and vigorous to get here, sometimes the race always seems the most difficult when the finish line is nearest. Members, you have elected a WM, SW & JW because you believed they were the best suited for the positions. With that, defend your decisions. Exercise your Faith in your elected leaders by way of support and patience. Offer your suggestions with candor rather that proclaiming your opinions with crass.
Finally my Brethren, I am flawed, prone to error, fallible, can be wrong as equally as I can be right, but I want you to know within your hearts, all things I do are and will be “For the Good of the Order”. I would never ask of you anything that I am not willing to do, I have not done, or would not do if I were capable of doing so. With that being said, should something I do or fail to do cause you personal distress, I am far from above reproach. Address me in the same Brotherly manner in which you hope to find resolution, and I will do my due diligence to institute a resolve. It is always my aim to uplift you. If for some reason, discouragement disrupts your zeal for our institution, be reminded of what first induced you to become a Mason. What brings you here is usually what keeps you here. Re-embrace the fellowship of Brotherhood, covet humility, confide in well informed brethren, and re-visit the impact we’ve had in our communities, and the lives we’ve touched. In all of those things, you will find the Personal Responsibility In Demanding Excellence you'll need to regain that which was “Lost”.
Humbly Submitted, Worshipful Master Keith E. Horne
Hiram Lodge # 5, F&AM, PHA MWPHGL of NJ