March 26, 2020
Re: Notice of Cancellation: 231st Annual Communication on April 4, 2020
I regret to announce that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we must cancel the Saturday April 4, 2020 scheduled 231st Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of the state of Connecticut. Both the pandemic and Governor Lamont’s executive order banning all social gatherings throughout the state have made holding the session both medically unwise and legally impossible. We do not currently know when, or if, we will be able to hold the Annual Communication.
As the pandemic progressed, MWB Melvin Johnson and I had been trying to figure out how to meet the Grand Lodge’s constitutional obligation to hold an annual communication and install the elected Grand Line officers. As the limits on the number of people allowed to gather dropped to 250, then 50 and finally zero, we had fewer and fewer options. Obviously, the April 4th meeting could not happen as originally planned, as it usually brings together more than 600 masons across Connecticut, and Northeast. With the Governor announcing the closure of all non-essential services from Monday March 23, 2020, we had to make a fast decision. It was decided to have an emergency installation of the Grand Lodge officers on Sunday, March 22, 2020 at Union Lodge No. 5 in Stamford, CT with a minimum of people present. Union Lodge No. 5 is my mother lodge which let me start my year in the Grand East where I first started my Masonic journey.
As you can imagine everyone at the Grand Lodge is very disappointed by the cancelation and hope to be able to reschedule the Annual Communication soon. We are sailing in uncharted waters and do not know what to expect next. As we receive more information on what our possible options could be, we will make sure to notify you of those plans.
Even with this fast-growing pandemic and the State of Connecticut shutting down all non-essential activity outside the home, we are committed to helping masons and lodges across Connecticut fulfill their duty and be the best they can be for each other and our communities. I strongly urge Masters, Officers and Brothers of each Lodge to reach out, and if needed, assist their members, widows, and orphans who need help. I urge you to check in on our older members and their families who cannot go out. A phone call to say “Hello how are you?; Is there anything we can do for you?” can mean the world to someone who has been isolated for their own protection. Brothers; fellowship is the foundation upon which all Freemasonry is built. Without that strong foundation of fellowship as a support, all our other labors will just collapse down around us. Make the world know what it means to be “Not Just a Man. A Mason.”
May God bless and preserve you all,
Bro. Stephen W. Petri
Most Worshipful Grand Master