To the Sequin-Level Lodge Masonic Family and Friends:
I want you to know that the Sequin-Level Lodge Officers have been diligently monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has been spreading throughout the world, and evaluating and responding to the threats that it poses to our Lodge members and their families and friends. Over the last week or so since the disease made its way into Connecticut, I have been in almost daily contact with Brothers Jon Faasen and Chris Woodward, as well as several of our Past Masters and other Lodge Officers, to discuss how best to respond to these threats. The safety of our extended Masonic family is of utmost importance as we consider how to proceed with Lodge events in the face of this highly contagious disease. You should know that last Wednesday at our monthly Sequin-Level Building Association meeting, I asked that all soap dispensers in the building be closely monitored and kept full so Brothers and guests would be able to wash their hands as frequently as they wished and as recommended by the CDC. I also requested that the Lodge acquire and install several hand sanitizer stations throughout the building so that members and guests had yet another option for cleaning their hands in an effort to prevent the spread of this disease, the seasonal flu, the common cold, and other viral and bacterial diseases. I am happy to report that the Lodge now has three such sanitizing stations: one mounted on the dining room wall outside the kitchen at the bottom of the back stairs, another mounted on the wall outside the first floor bathrooms at the doorway into our dining room, and a third to be mounted on the anteroom wall outside the second floor bathroom and Lodge Room. Additional precautions were also put in place for the Red Cross Blood Drive and our St. Patrick’s Day Dinner on Saturday to minimize the possibility of any transmission of the virus.
As I presume all of you have now heard, senior citizens and those with compromised immune systems or other co-morbidities are particularly at risk of suffering the worst effects of this potentially fatal disease. In a Lodge where the average age of our membership is over 60, a majority of our members fall within these high-risk categories. If you were to look around at any given Stated Communication or other Lodge event you would find a significant number of attendees who are within these risk groups. Even many of our low-risk members have family and friends that are high-risk that they could potentially contaminate if they were to come in contact with the virus and carry it home with them. While some might disagree over whether or not the media has caused people to panic unnecessarily, after speaking with and reading dozens of journal articles and interviews by well-qualified health experts I believe the science behind their recommendations for frequent hand washing, cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, social distancing, and self-quarantining is sound and that these actions can and will ultimately save lives. It is for this reason, and for the safety and well-being of our Masonic family, and after consultation with our Senior and Junior Wardens, that I have decided to suspend all in-person Lodge meetings and events for at least the remainder of the month of March and until further notice. Accordingly, the Stated Communication and Entered Apprentice Degree scheduled for this Thursday; the delivery of Easter flowers to our Masonic widows (who are also high-risk and must also be kept safe); our Dart Tournament scheduled for Saturday, March 28th; the Lodge’s attendance at the Blue Lodge Council scheduled for Tuesday, March 31st; all degree rehearsals; all in-person proficiency classes; all in-person officer meetings; all in-person SBA meetings and events, including the monthly breakfasts; and the like will be suspended, postponed, or canceled until further notice.
It is entirely possible that the suspension of Lodge activities may extend into April, May, or beyond, which would then impact many more of our scheduled Lodge activities. We will reconvene our Lodge when it is safe to do so for our members and their families and friends. We will then work to reschedule our activities at that time. From time to time we may also be able to engage in some other limited Masonic labors. Please watch your email, the Lodge’s public and private Facebook pages, and here on the Lodge’s website for updated information on the Lodge’s reopening and activities. Please also feel free to reach out to me or any of the other Lodge Officers.
The suspension of in-person Lodge activities and events, however, does not equate to a suspension of all Masonic activity. While it is hoped that members will spend more time with their loved ones during this period, it is also hoped that our Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts and Master Masons still in our Pipeline will find more time to work on their proficiency; that our Lodge Officers will work towards perfecting their ritual; and that all of our Brethren will engage in Masonic education, outreach, and charity. We have a selection of Masonic books at the Lodge that you may wish to borrow and many more can be found online. I would also encourage all Brothers to reach out by telephone to your fellow Brothers to see how they and their families are doing during this crisis. If they are in need of something, perhaps assist them or contact a Lodge Officer so that we may potentially coordinate a relief effort. If you would like to assist in contacting some of our older Brothers, contact one of the Lodge Officers and we will be happy to give you a list of people you can call. In this time of crisis, we must all work together for the good of our Brethren and of humanity.
I wish you all, and your families and friends, good health, safety, and well-being.
Sequin-Level Lodge #140