The Summer months are here, and the weather couldn’t be more beautiful here in Petaluma. This July, I’ll be camping with my family at Hendy Woods in Mendocino County. It’s been a time honored tradition that I have been fortunate to participate in for the last 7 years. My Father in Law for 30!

Family traditions are important, they shape memories for our children, and give us opportunities to communicate beyond the normal daily conversation, and let us look back on former years as hallmarks of our lives.

Fraternal traditions are the same, it’s why we have the Past Master’s dinner, the BBQ, and the Christmas party. These events may take different shapes, but the tradition stays the same. Our traditions adapt with the times, but the core principle stay the same. Can you think of any traditions that we have as a fraternity have continued through the years, but they might have a different application?

This year’s BBQ is a striking example of a fraternal activity that attracts a new fresh view, on something we have always done before.

When I hear the phrase “that’s how we have always done it”, it begs the question: “ why?”

Our ritual is time honored, but revisions have happened, our business practices have made dramatic changes in the last 40 years, with technology, or new requirements causing those changes. Is not inundation able to carve stone?

We must, as a fraternity be like water, able to adapt and develop, lest we topple by the rigor of seasons. It is my belief, and my approach to honor those time honored traditions, but if Freemasonry is going to grow in the modern era, we must adapt.

Will you adapt with me?

William “Woody” Purdy P.M.
Senior Warden