Monday, April 2, 2007

Our First Official Visit – Rosemount-St. Lambert Chapter #15

Because of the postponement of our Official Visit to Victory Chapter, our first visit was to Rosemount-St. Lambert Chapter #15 on March 8th. This actually worked out well, as this chapter is my Mother Chapter. I thought I would be nervous, being our first visit, but I actually felt very comfortable. I think the Worthy Matron was more nervous than I was! Of course, I remember when I was Worthy Matron the thought of the WGM’s visit scared me silly!

As our Sessions are called “The Gathering of the Clans” Session, and my Clan is the Marshall Clan, I have chosen the Station of Marshal as my Honour Station. At each of the Official Visits, I will be presenting the Marshal with a special Certificate of Appreciation as well as a special gold Thistle pin. At Rosemont-St. Lambert Chapter, this was presented to Brother Terry Radford.

The Worthy Matron honoured the Worthy Grand Patron and I with a special ceremony. We were taken around to all of the Star Points and presented with a little poem (mine about the Lock Ness Monster) as well as a little gift (mine being little finger puppets shaped like fish). After we returned to the East, I was presented another gift – a stuffed sea monster. I was also presented a donation to my Special Project – The Parkinson’s Society of Quebec. After the ceremony, I was invited to address the Chapter. I spoke to the Chapter on the subject of Friendship and Goodwill.

After the close of the meeting (but before the Officers were retired) I had the Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron sign my Bible and then it was time for pictures. All in all, it was a great and fun meeting and I look forward to our next one.

One of the members of another chapter, who reads this blog, asked if I would post my Chapter Talks for those who cannot make it to the Official Visits. I thought this a great idea, so for the benefit of all those members who cannot make it to meetings, either due to illness, not living in the Province or for any other reason, after each Official Visit I will post my “talks”. I have to point out here that I did not write them all. Some I found on the Internet, others I obtained elesewhere but modified them with personal accounts, and in some I added a story within the message that corresponded with the message. There is one, thought, that I did write and that will be a special Mother's Day talk in May. I hope everyone enjoys them.

Chapter Talk - Friendship and Goodwill

Thank you, Worthy Matron. At our Installation last October, I mentioned that our Watchwords are Faith, Hope, Peace and Love and that our aim is to promote Love and Friendship and that in keeping in line with these, it is my desire to leave you with an encouraging message that stresses the present day need for sacrifice, service, loyalty, faith and love, but mostly the need for Friendship.

Tonight I want to talk to you about Friendship and Goodwill.

I think that we all understand and prize friendship and good will. How dull life would be without it. Friendship is a wonderful gift, but it is also an achievement. Next to love, nothing in life is more to be cherished. No man or woman need be without a friend if he himself will be friendly. Friendship is like a seed – it needs to be nurtured. Neglected, it will die. But tended carefully, it flourishes and grows, and it brings such joy to the recipient.

Charity, Truth, and Loving Kindness – these are the virtues, which bring us friends and make us friends to others. Charity does not consist merely of sending boxes to Europe and barrels to missionaries. It also consists of good deeds near at hand, and not necessarily material gifts. A smile, a small service, a kind word – this form of charity is often more welcome than silver and gold.

With kindness in our hearts we will not only show friendliness and good will to those nearest to us but we will include all those with whom we come in contact.

I want to tell you a story about a little boy, cupcakes and root beer.

There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with cupcakes, several cans of root beer and started on his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he saw an elderly woman. She was sitting on a park bench watching the pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root bear when he noticed the lady looked hungry so he offered her a cupcake. She gratefully accepted and smiled at him.

Her smile was so wonderful that he wanted to see it again, so he offered a root bear as well. Once gain she smiled at him. The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling without saying a word.

As it began to grow dark, the boy realized how tired he was and wanted to go home. He got up to leave but before he had gone no more than a few steps, he turned around and ran back to the old woman, giving her a big hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy arrived home his Mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked, “What has made you so happy today?” He replied, “I had lunch with God.” Before his mother could respond he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile in the whole world!”

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face. He asked, “Mother, what has made you so happy today?” She replied, “I ate cupcakes in the park with God.” And before her son could reply, she added, “You know, he is much younger than I expected.”

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, and honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring; all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Why do people seek admission to our Order? I believe that one reason they come is that they know of the high standards our Chapters have. They want to be a part of that which is good. And what makes a good and admirable Chapter? It’s members. By their lives, Chapters are built. Friendships, companionships, kindness, tolerance, and good will – these are in the foundations of its structure. Knowing this to be true, we should put forth great efforts to make our Chapter like such that those who join us will not be disappointed but be proud and glad to be called a member of the Eastern Star.

When candidates stand in the circle, we sing “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.” To us that tie is friendship. With each new link the chain becomes longer and stronger as is holds us closer together. Let each of us do our utmost to keep this beautiful chain bright and shining, polishing it with love, good will, fellowship, respect and understanding. If we do that, there is no end to the number of friends we will add to the chain, not to mention the joy we will receive in being one of the links. We will also assist our whole Order to maintain the high standard by which it is known.

I want to thank you Worthy Matron, for allowing my Bible to rest on your Altar tonight. Sister Marion Loffelmann, P.G.M., presented this Bible to me at my Installation, which she in turn received from Sister Alta Fowler, P.G.M. It has traveled for over 30 years. At the end of the meeting, I would like you and the Worthy Patron to both sign it. Sister Louise Wilkinson, P.G.M, made the Bible marker, which was a gift from my chapter. It is truly a work of art, and I hope that everyone takes a chance to have a look. Sister Heather made my beautiful Bible cover. I also want to thank you Worthy Matron for using my gavel. This is the Gavel that my mother and Sister Heather presented to me on my installation as Worthy Matron of Friendship-Victoria Chapter. It is one of two gavels that I will be using during the year.

I would also ask that after the meeting the Officers and the Grand Officers remain for pictures.

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