Worshipful Master John Singer Jr.

The Cornerstone of Freemasonry

In the grand tapestry of Freemasonry, each symbol, each tradition, holds profound meaning, shaping our journey as Masons. Among these, the concept of the “cornerstone” stands paramount, especially as we welcome our new Worshipful Master, John Singer Jr., who has fittingly chosen “The Cornerstone of Freemasonry” as his guiding theme for Lodge 43.

Historically, the cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. It’s vital, as all other stones are set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. In the context of Freemasonry, this cornerstone isn’t just a physical entity; it represents our foundational values — brotherhood, truth, and ethical living.

Freemasonry, with its rich history, has always been akin to a grand edifice, built upon principles that date back centuries. These principles, or the “foundations” of Freemasonry, include brotherly love, relief, and truth. They are the bedrock upon which we build our personal and collective growth. Last year the “foundation of freemasonry” was the theme prescribed by Brother Doug Scheid, PM. Therefore the cornerstone, in this allegory, is a symbol of how we, as individual Masons, embody these principles in our daily lives.

Worshipful Master John Singer Jr., whose vision for Lodge 43 is a beacon of inspiration. By emphasizing the cornerstone, he invites us to not only honor our foundational principles but to actively live them out. It’s a call to each member to be a cornerstone in their own right — stable, strong, and setting the direction for others.

This vision is particularly resonant today. In a world brimming with change and uncertainty, the steadfastness of the Masonic cornerstone provides not just stability but also a path forward. It reminds us that while our principles are unchanging, their application must evolve with the times. Worshipful Master Singer Jr.’s theme is thus not a mere nod to tradition, but a vibrant, living philosophy that adapts and thrives.

For Lodge 43, this is a moment of renewal. As we gather under the leadership of Worshipful Master Singer Jr., we are reminded of the weight and honor of our roles as Masons. Each of us is a cornerstone in this grand edifice of Freemasonry, shaping not just our lodge but also the wider community.

In embracing “The Cornerstone of Freemasonry,” we are committing to be exemplars of our foundational values, to support one another in brotherhood, and to look towards the future with optimism and strength. The journey ahead is bright, with each of us playing a pivotal role in upholding and advancing the noble traditions of our esteemed fraternity.

Upcoming Initiatives for 2024

There are several new initiatives that are in process for your awareness.

1. Twenty-Five Year Lodge 43 Anniversary Book (1985-2010) – Brothers Dick Mason and Jim Stephens P.M. worked together to prepare information for the long overdue 1985-2010 Twenty-Five Year Lodge 43 Anniversary book. Their information was submitted to Grand Lodge for approval, from which we recently have received their authorization to proceed. The book in now in the production stage and we hope to have it available very soon for all members of Lodge 43.

[Update; The book has been printed and being distributed to the Membership]

2. James Buchanan Statue Project – Lodge 43 will be undertaking a project to have the James Buchanan Statue which stands in Buchanan Park professionally cleaned this year. The statue has not been cleaned since 2003. The bronze statue was the creation of Charles Galfy. Charles Galfy was a Philadelphia sculptor, and a professor at the Philadelphia School of Art. Galfy created the Buchanan bronze statue in 1925. This year will mark its 99th year. It was placed in the Buchanan Park in 1928. Lodge 43 will be using the professional services of A.R.T. Research which is a local firm that specializes in conservation/restoration services. The Lodge is looking to have the work performed this spring and afterwards host a celebratory event to commemorate the James Buchanan statue. There are only two full size statues of James Buchanan in existence. One in Washington DC and the one in Buchanan Park. Contributions and/or donors to this project will be gratefully appreciated. Anyone wishing to contribute to this project should contact Brother Nat Gilchrist PM at gilchristnat@comcast.net

[Update; the statue has been restored (https://lodge43.org/james-buchanan-statue-update/)]