Monday, March 31, 2014

Quality Remarks from a Master Councilor

Today’s blog post comes from Bro. Anthony Trento, the newly installed Master Councilor of Freedom Chapter, which just moved to a new location under the sponsorship of New London Lodge No. 545.  These are his remarks to the assembled members and guests after the ceremony.  We present them here as an example of what all Master Councilors should do at their installation:
  1. Have a prepared text.
  2. Share personal observations about the experience.
  3. Share broad plans for the future—a theme, or a goal or two—not a complete calendar review.
  4. Say “Thank You” and say it often!
Bro. Eric Dye, State Scribe, Installs Bro. Trento.
"For my first installation as Master Councilor for Freedom Chapter about a year or so ago, I had this great opening joke.  I had worked on this single joke practically longer than any other part of my speech in hopes that, when I read it, it would lighten the mood by giving the audience a small laugh, which, in turn, would hopefully make me feel welcomed, and I would then have an easier time going on through my speech.  By the time I had been called to the altar to give my responses I was too nervous to walk, I was shaking just trying to kneel down.  When I had finally reached the east I was soooo nervous that I had to skip the joke that I had worked so hard on.

The reason I’m saying this is not to say, “HEY I’m bringing back the old joke,”  because again, I am way too nervous for that, but instead, it’s to teach a lesson that through my last term as Master Councilor I had learned the hard way that ”life is what happens when you are making other plans.”
To me this was something new.  I tend to be very hard on myself and precise, and therefore tend to stress when things don’t go as planned.  You can imagine my dilemma.  With things changing around me within this Chapter, the new Lodge, and the new Advisors, I have begun to not only accept this idea but to have put it to work in my new outlook on Master Councilor.

Before I begin I would like to thank all the visitors here today.  It’s wonderful to see this much support for Freedom Chapter and DeMolay.  Also a huge thank you to the advisors and parents of Freedom Chapter.  Without you this Chapter would be next to nothing.  So, Thank You.
Two particular Advisors stand out to me, personally.  Mom Shuler and Dad Tony.  Mom Schuler supports all of the boys 100% and puts everyone else before herself.  I don’t think I could thank her enough but I would like to start by saying, “Thank you.”   Now, Dad Tony, I find him as a great role model for myself and the other boys of this Chapter. He has recently added DeMolay Advisor to his very busy schedule, of which he is also the Worshipful Master of his Lodge. Thank you whole-heartedly from both myself and on behalf of the Chapter.

Now, as some of you may have noticed Freedom is honored to call New London Lodge their new home. Would New London Lodge members Ted Wallace, Armand Frankhart and Earl Hatton please rise?  These three New London Lodge members went above and beyond for our Chapter and do so with every meeting by attending our stated meetings and bringing forward ideas that I will be sure to incorporate in my term plan.  I would like to give a great big thank you for their dedication.  I hope to impress you and make your hard work worthwhile. Thank you.

Change…..  the act or instance of making or becoming different.  Freedom Chapter has gone through a lot of change, some better than others, hence this new Lodge.  As a small Chapter, change affects us the most, but we are still here, growing slowly and achieving greatness. With all of this I thought a great theme for my term would be “focus,” just as Senior DeMolay Walt Disney said, “Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”  So my theme for this year is FOCUS, both personally and as a Chapter.

Now, when I say Focus I don’t mean re-doing everything-- that would be pointless. I’m talking about going back to DeMolay’s roots—focusing on tradition, the old fashioned way, because, if it was successful once, then it should be successful now.  Additionally, I’m taking a whole new look on the MC job, because that’s what it is, a job.

As Master Councilor you are being counted on constantly to make the Chapter stronger than the past year.  This year I’m going to focus more on the Chapter and less on the idea of Master Councilor.  I’m going to act as a Representative of the Chapter and less as the final say to something.  I’ve started this by including not only the members of Freedom, but also Freedom’s Advisors AND New London Lodge members in creating the design of my term plan – or should I say OUR term plan. While looking back to our DeMolay traditions and working as a team with the positive influence from these wonderful new Lodge members and their spouses,  Freedom Chapter has a great foundation to grow and become stronger than ever.  Some say history repeats itself.  Well, PA DeMolay has had 90 years and is still thriving, and that seems like a good part of history to repeat. As Mark Twain says, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”  So… guys, let’s get started."

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