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Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario
CORNERSTONE Project Overview
The Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario, has recently instituted a programme called the Cornerstone Project. The original concept was begun by The Grand Lodge of Utah. Then two years ago the program was implemented in Southern Ontario and has evolved since introduction. The evolution has allowed northern Districts to adapt some original standards or slight variations which will allow for cogent opportunities to demonstrate the uniqueness of the North.
The primary purpose is to encourage and recognize lodges that plan, implement and manage a well-rounded yearly lodge programme that promotes lodge activities, brotherhood, charitable work, and involvement in the community. It is based on the concept that the cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation and is important because all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position and strength of the entire edifice. The true purpose of this initiative is to challenge lodges to rise above their current standard, or raise the bar, and set new standards by which they are judged by their members and others. The cornerstone is also symbolic to Freemasons because it provides the basic tools for understanding and growing the larger intellectual edifice. So we may endeavour to “raise a superstructure perfect in its parts and honourable to the builder.”
As the proper placement of the cornerstone ensures a solid foundation upon which to build any structure, so too it teaches our lodges the important lesson of having innovative and vibrant programs to ensure that our lodges are strong, “until time shall be no more.”
Just as the newly Initiated EA symbolically represents the cornerstone of the lodge and thereby its future; so too does the lodge symbolically represent the cornerstone of The Grand Lodge and its long-term sustainability. Each of the constituent lodges have their own unique challenges, but we all stand together with one common goal, that of ensuring the sustainability of the Craft.
The CORNERSTONE Project has been developed to assist lodges with these many challenges. Its primary purpose is to encourage and recognize lodges that plan, implement and manage a well rounded yearly lodge program that promotes lodge activities, brotherhood, charitable work and involvement in the community.
Although good planning and strong management is a vitally important component to the overall success of any lodge, it must never be forgotten that in order to maintain the momentum in the lodge the members must have a compelling idea of where the lodge needs to go, what type of members it will attract, what benefits it can provide, and how the organization needs to be perceived in the community if it is to thrive.
Individual lodges throughout the province were required to respond in late summer 2011 to the Grand Lodge Resource Committee of their intent to participate. The individual lodges were required to provide the contacts within their respective lodges. Grand Lodge also established District contacts (e.g. Algoma District, V. W. Bro. Don Bergman). These contacts served as the local resource and answered specific questions throughout the balance of the year relative to any clarifications or further information. The application was required to be submitted to the Grand Lodge Cornerstone Team for their evaluation by 15 June 2012, under the seal of the lodge and signatures of the Cornerstone Project local committee. Each of the Mandatory, Major, and Basic Standards listed in the application had a pre-determined number of which needed to be addressed (e.g. Mandatory Standards—a lodge was required to meet one of three mandatory standards). Every required standard responded to by each lodge was individually judged by the committee to ascertain if that standard was adequately addressed. For each standard addressed by a lodge further documentation was required to accompany the application and it was used to substantiate that standard. Based on the response for each standard a grade of either “pass” or “fail” was awarded to the lodge.
If your lodge is interested in pursuing this unique opportunity to distinguish your lodge with the designation of CORNERSTONE Lodge additional information and the manual with the standards can be found on the Grand Lodge website at: www.grandlodge.on.ca.
Shuniah Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 287 G.R.C. was recognized to use the designation “Cornerstone Lodge, 2012-2014” and “Cornerstone Lodge, 2014-2016” and “Cornerstone Lodge, 2016-2017”
Connaught Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 511 G.R.C. was recognized to use the designation “Cornerstone Lodge, 2012-2014” and “Cornerstone Lodge, 2014-2016”
Terrace Bay Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 662 G.R.C. was recognized to use the designation “Cornerstone Lodge, 2012-2014” and “Cornerstone Lodge, 2014-2016” and “Cornerstone Lodge, 2016-2017”