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Sunday 11th November 2018

This morning, Remembrance Sunday, I took part in the Remembrance Parade and Service in my home town of Dalry. In this Act of Remembrance, I had the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of my Preceptory and Priory of Garnock Vale and on behalf of the Great Priory of Scotland.

The Remembrance Service was held in St. Margaret’s Parish Church where I am an Elder. The Service was very moving and indeed emotional. All the names of those from the town and community who perished in the First and Second World Wars were recited. Such a large number for a small town. I was much struck by this great loss to the community and to all the families affected. In the loss of these mem we also lost their futures and all that they could have done or could have become.

In this season of remembrance our thoughts turn to the concept of sacrifice both civil and religious. These men paid the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of their country and on all our behalf’s. For they fought not only to preserve their generation but also for the generations yet to be born.

I like to think that their sacrifice was not in vain and that their deaths did mean something for the cause of freedom and for a better and more peaceful world. Yet for this to happen we have to take on the example of these brave men and boys and commit ourselves to furthering the cause of peace.

As Masonic Templars we do not fight in Crusades. We raise our swords against no man but ourselves. For our Crusade is against our baser natures. Our fight is against ourselves. By this internal and personal warfare, we attempt to rise above the materialist world to become perfect examples of Christian witness. For us the battle is often lost yet we never give up and continue our personal journey of struggle.

As we consider the sacrifice made by all those who have lost their lives in the service of their country, we as Christians must also consider the ultimate sacrifice made by our Crucified Master.

We now move slowly away from our acts of remembrance for we see that the light of hope begins to glow. It will increase in light each day until on 25th December its light will fill the world when that promise given by God will be made manifest and our Lord and Master will again enter into creation.

It is his example that we seek to follow and to emulate knowing that in doing so sacrifices may be demanded of us all.

On the 20th of November at the Half Yearly Muster of Great Priory we will elect a new Grand Master of the Temple. As we look forward to Christmas and a peaceful New Year so to do we look forward in happy anticipation to the Installation of our new Grand Master on 19th March 2019 and more especially to his Enthronement on 4th May 2019

Over the past five years I have met so many of you and have always been impressed by the commitment and support given to our Order. It has been a great honour to occupy the Office of Grand Master and to serve you and the Order as best I could.

I wish all the members of our Order and their families and friends a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and fulfilling New Year.

I know I am a bit early with these greetings but I felt on this day of remembrance it was appropriate to include them moving us from the horrors of war to the simplicity and hope of the Christmas message.       

James R. Hodge, GCT

Most Eminent & Reverend Grand Master

Grand Master