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September 2015 DDGM article for The Word

Greetings Brethren,
It is time again to resume our labors in the quarries. Many Lodges go dark for the summer. I hope that the new Masters and officers of their respective Lodges have continued working throughout the summer and have done the necessary planning so that their Lodges may have a successful and rewarding year. Thank you to the Masters that have forwarded their Trestleboard to me. It looks like an exciting year with many extraordinary programs slated. I am truly excited to get going.
RW Brooks and I want to thank the Brothers from the Cortland-Madison District who took time out of their busy summer schedule and attended Saint Johns Day to show their support for us. It was truly appreciated.
Congratulations to RW Brooks for conducting a veru successful Masters Chair Program at Cortlandville Lodge on July 7th. The program was very well attended with 7 of our new Masters along with several Brothers in attendance. Thank you to Cortlandville Lodge for allowing the program to be held there.
Congratulations to the Lodges that continued to bring new candidates into our Fraternity over the summer. I have enjoyed attending and participating in the degree work. Thank you to VW Scott Cary and VW Bart Chapin, Assistant Grand Lecturers, who dedicate themselves to preserving the great tradition of outstanding Ritual work in our District. They have been busy this summer as well, attending St Johns Day and regional meetings with the Grand Lecturer. Thank you Brothers.
Please take advantage of our district web site, www.cortland-madison-masons.org to keep informed of events happening around the District. Please utilize the grapevine to keep the Brethren informed of Lodge functions. Communication with the District will help each Lodge to have successful and well attended events. Please take the opportunity to thank VW Scott Cary for his efforts in maintaining and updating OUR web site. Work is being done to afford each Lodge the opportunity to have their own site on the District site.
My first year as DDGM has been a very special year. It has been very rewarding. I thank the Brothers of our District for having the confidence in me to lead our District. Our Fraternity is heading in a new direction. Many changes will be made in the near future. I have had to make some decisions this year that have not conformed to the “ That’s the way we’ve always done it” mentality. The decisions I have had to make have been done with the best interest of our District and our fraternity in mind. Last year I travelled 9642 miles and visited 21 Districts. I am very thankful for the new friendships that I have found. I have had the opportunity to see how other Lodges operate, how degree work is being done, how ritual is done in other lodges, and the opportunity to hear other DDGM’s deliver the Grand Masters message. Many Brothers think I am crazy for the travelling I have done and have taken this job to the extreme. My response is this. As a leader, not just as a DDGM, but as a Staff Officer, AGL, Master of a Lodge, and even Brothers working their way through the chairs. If you only attend meetings in your own Lodge or even in your own District, it is hard to measure up where you stand in the realm of this Fraternity across our jurisdiction. It has made me a better leader. I have seen so many great programs, heard so many great speakers, seen many innovated and inspiring ideas and programs, opened a network of Brothers who can help in all areas of Masonry should the need arise. It is now my responsibility to bring these new, fresh ideas to our District. As I have said so many times in the past, we have a very special District, I would put our District up against any District in the State. Our ritual is above most. Our etiquette is at a high standard. The Brotherly love that we have in this District is exceptional. This is not a coincidence. We have had great leadership in this District for many years. It is not the result of one person, or the current DDGM and Staff Officer. It is the result of a District caring enough about their District to properly prepare their future leaders.
See you around the District,
Brian Ziegler

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