In December 2022, we published the medium story “Reasons To Be Optimistic About 2023!”
As we approach the end of 2023, we initially planned to publish a new story “Reasons to be Optimistic About 2024!”
Certainly, there are many reasons to be optimistic, both in terms of Square & Compass Promotions, Freemasonry within our home district and building, Freemasonry in general, and our personal life.
Two particular reasons for optimism are January 19th and January 20th, 2024; two dates on which the Windsor Masonic Temple will host two very special events…we cannot wait to be in attendance!
[For more information about these events, you can contact us at: email@example.com].
However, instead of publishing “Reasons to be Optimistic About 2024,” we decided to look in the rear-view mirror and examine those things from 2023 about which we are most proud…our 2023 successes!
Some of these successes relate to our masonic career or journey, while others relate to the growth of Square & Compass Promotions.
More often than not, the two of these are connected.
All of the these successes are due to the hard work of many people (and many Brethren), too many to thank. Instead, as we are publishing this during the holiday season, allow us to say to everyone:
Communicating in Multiple Languages
One of our 2023 successes has been an increase in communication in multiple languages.
Freemasonry (rightly) prides itself on its universality and diversity. Throughout the world, Freemasonry is being practised in the many languages, dialects, and accents of its membership.
Brothers of diverse backgrounds, of diverse beliefs’, and of diverse native languages all gather within the body of a lodge to practice Freemasonry.
The above caused the author to think: since many masonic lodges have memberships with multiple native languages, to what extent do lodges (or other masonic organisations) communicate with this multiplicity in mind.
Also, in many jurisdictions (including our home jurisdiction of Ontario), there exists multiple Official Languages. Communicating in Official Languages demonstrates that respect for civil society which is expected of Freemasons.
In 2023, Square & Compass Promotions vastly increased the number of communications that included both English and French. You can see that increase in the above holiday/Christmas greeting. You can also see that increase in our social media posts and shares that include both English and French content.
We have also encouraged Masonic Lodge(s) to include in its communications English and French content-and we are proud to say that several masonic lodges have started to include multiple languages in its communications-especially French.
In 2024, we intent to continue this work, and look at additional languages in which we can communicate with our audience and Brethren (including First Nations languages-an important part of many countries history).
Diversity in Masonry (& Beyond)
In 2023, we increased:
- our French Language messaging both on our social media and in these e-mail blasts,
- the voices of diverse groups (such as UGLE participating in London’s Pride parade and travelling to a special day for local First Nations in Windsor, and an Order of Women Freemasons podcast);
- accessible communications by (for example) use of ALT text.
- Our Masonic home also increased its accessible communications by increasing braille signage within its spaces.
Freemasonry is diverse, and Square & Compass is proud of its success in exploring and promoting that diversity!
Showcasing Local Products & Services
The mission of Square & Compass Promotions is to explore the many ways in which Freemasonry was and is relevant to the communities in which it is located.
One of the ways in which Freemasonry is relevant to the communities in which it is located is through support for and of local small businesses.
In 2023, our Masonic home had a great deal of success in supporting small businesses. In our masonic bodies, we organised:
- A soda-pop tasting catered by a local soda-pop business;
- A coffee tasting catered by a local coffee business;
- A wine & cheese night catered by a local cheese business; and
- A First Nations inspired dinner catered by a local First Nations business.
Square & Compass Promotions also connected with “519Culture,” a “premium gift service, specializing in corporate and custom gifts…[b]y using locally sourced products and services, together we strengthen our community and economy,” to create gift packages (containing local products) for our friends, family, Brethren, and supporters.
519 Culture will be at the Windsor Masonic Temple January 19th and January 20th, 2024!
The more masonic bodies connect and support community businesses and services, the more relevant that body will be to and for the community in which it is located, and the more successful that body will be.
Connecting with New Topics
Connecting with the community is important; connecting with new topics and ideas is also important. One valuable by-product of Square & Compass’ celebration of the Temple’s “For The Next 100 Years” project is that it has caused Square & Compass to successfully connect with and explore new topics, such as:
- Freemasonry’s relationship with First Nations groups. We write about this in: “Freemasonry & The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report’s “Calls for Justice.” Square & Compass also increased our use of land acknowledgements.
- Freemasonry and sustainability/environmental responsibility. We write about this in: “Square & Compass Signs Sustainability Tourism 2030 Pledge & Takes Sustainability Assessment”
- Freemasonry and accessible communication;
- Freemasonry and accessibility. Being accessible is an important part of the Temple’s responsibility to the community. The Temple also added braille signage. It is also a more secure experience for the Temple.
- We marked #NAAW2023 by putting the spotlight on the Windsor Masonic Temple’s “For The Next 100 Years” project, an inspiring Windsor accessibility & disability inclusive project!
- Nous soulignons la #semainenationaledelaccessibilité2023 en mettant l’accent sur “For The Next 100 Years”, un projet inspirant visant l’accessibilité et l’inclusion dans Windsor.
- Freemasonry and minority Official Language(s) communication
The National Trust & National Trust Conference
In October 2023, the National Trust hosted its annual conference. Square & Compass Promotions attended and had a great deal of success in connecting with other attendees; and in promoting the idea of Masonic buildings as heritage and tourist destinations worthy of preservation and protection.
This was also a very special conference for us, as it allowed us to return to Ottawa, Ontario (a place we consider home).
The National Trust of Canada organises “Historic Places Days: Every Place a Story.” In 2023, Historic Places Days took place from July 8th to July 23rd (it also took place in 2022). The Windsor Masonic Temple successfully took part in Historic Places Days 2023 and 2022).
Travel, Travel, Travel
To be a Freemason is to be a traveller. 2023 marked another successful year of travel for Square & Compass Promotions, including travel to:
- Nashville (and surrounding areas like Franklin), Tennessee
- Ottawa, Ontario
- Toronto, Ontario
- London, Ontario
- Woodstock, Ontario
- Essex, Ontario
- Fort Worth, Texas
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Brantford, Ontario
- Chicago, Illinois
- Glenview, Illinois
To travel is a success in and of itself, but in particular these trips were successful due to the connections made, the ideas shared (and discovered), and the Brethren with whom we developed partnerships!
This travel is also virtual; through social media and email connections we have had success in promoting masonic events and anniversaries from around the world, and in many cases featuring these events and anniversaries within our podcast or medium page.
We at Square & Compass always try to promote Masonic events happening throughout the world-if you have an event we can promote or otherwise cover, let us know!
Providing local citizens opportunities to engage in the community through local arts and heritage.
Our masonic home has found success in putting its wall and shelf space to good use (the wall space is especially nice because it comes with a lot of natural light, owing to the Temple’s beautiful, window-covered facade).
Since August 2023, the Windsor Masonic Temple has provided this wall and shelf space to local artists, to engage both members and the general public with their artwork. The artists include:
- Jason (painter and wood-carver)
- JP (illustrator)
- Jim (wood-carver)
- Memphis (photographer)
- Guy (painter)
- Maria (poet)
- Gene (author)
- Andrea (painter)
- Gerry (painter)
- Lexington, Kentucky
The first (Jason) recently turned his artistic talents into creating a beautiful Windsor Masonic Temple portrait. You can see it on Instagram.
Providing this space has both gives local artists with the opportunity to engage the community with their work, but also allows local citizens to be exposed to the same.
More artwork will be displayed in the coming months.
The Temple is a home for ballroom dancing-through the amazing “Ballroom At Its Best.”
Art equals success.
Art equals culture.
The Ontario Culture Days Festival is an annual celebration of arts, culture and heritage taking place each Fall across the province. This year, it took place from Sep 22nd, 2023 — Oct 15th, 2023. The Windsor Masonic Temple proud to showcase local art, and allow local artists to engage with the community!
Success does not stop with inviting artists into the Temple-the Temple must engage with artists in the community. In July 2023, Temple representatives attended the Art Council of Windsor’s summer exhibition (where they met painter Guy Williams, who subsequently displayed his artwork within the Windsor Masonic Temple). Temple representatives have also attended two events organised by the Can-Am Indian Friendship Centre, to celebrate and acknowledge our original people’s history. Temple representatives also attended “A Blaze of Story” (Oct 2023) to support our member Bon Sotto and his daughter in the telling of their story, and sharing their singing and performances.
The Temple has also gone into the community. In March 2023, the Temple presented the beautiful and historical Windsor Masonic Temple to the St. Clair College Interior Design Students; in April 2023 the Temple (with Square & Compass Promotions) promoted tours and the history of the Windsor Masonic Temple at the “Staycation Expo.”
Public tours continue, both organised by the Windsor Masonic Temple (for special events) and Square & Compass Promotions.
We (Square & Compass Promotions) recently had success in connecting with and booking tours through the Detroit Historical Society-showing interest in the Windsor Masonic Temple and Freemasonry is international!
“For The Next 100 Years”
Square & Compass has to take a moment to celebrate the successes of the Windsor Masonic Temple’s “For The Next 100 Years” project. We also have to note the heritage specialists (three), construction workers, dedicated professionals, and volunteers (over 20 who have dedicated thousands of hours) that made this success possible.
Its been great to see our masonic home, the Windsor Masonic Temple, featured in different media, including the Amity…Travel Safely App as part of its Travel Safely Tuesday feature. The Windsor Masonic Temple will be featured in more media in 2024-especially after the January 20, 2024 Public Unveiling.
Windsor Masonic Temple Events
The Windsor Masonic Temple and Essex Masons have had so many successes this year (and we have to celebrate these successes as Windsor is Square & Compass’ home), including:
- an amazing Halloween “Haunted Masonic Temple” event;
- “Empty chair ceremony” honouring those Masons lost in war or passed to the Grand Lodge above;
- a very well attended Malden Park Remembrance Day Ceremony;
- the inclusion of Essex District Masons at the City of Windsor Remembrance Day ceremony;
- well-attended Lodge meetings, including the stability of Border Cities Lodge №554 (the newest lodge to which this author became a member);
- the “For The Next 100 Years” project noted above;
- the development of successful community connections with artists and small businesses as noted above;
- growth in the Windsor Masonic Temple Coffee Club;
- growth in the Windsor Masonic Temple’s Wednesday Night Mentoring sessions;
- growth in the Windsor Masonic Temple’s youth group-the International Order of Rainbow Fort Assembly
YouTube Channel(s) & Social Media
Square & Compass Promotions hosts a variety of social media accounts (including “X” (formerly twitter), Facebook, and Instagram). We also host a main YouTube Channel and a YouTube Clips Channel, on which we post both long-form podcasts and clips. We also post the audio versions of these podcasts on a variety of sites, including Audea and Vurbl.
We also have, as you are aware if you’re reading this, our medium page.
Creating content on social media, or creating podcasts, or creating any digital content is a scary prospect. It was also, for us, a new prospect when we started in February 2021.
While there have been challenges (and we are still working on these challenges), there have also been successes! Successes in growth via subscribers, watch-hours, engagement, and the audience in general.
We have also had success via growing our Patreon account. If you would like to support Square & Compass Promotions, check out our Patreon page.
Freemasonry is our first love-but it isn’t our exclusive love. No Mason can spend the entirety of his life involved in the masonry (that is a sure way to burn-out).
Personal successes are vital to Masonic career. Now would be a good time to switch from the impersonal “we” to the personal “I,” these are things outside of Freemasonry for which “I” am thankful!
I love professional wrestling. I was successful in engaging “up-close” with professional wrestling through my involvement with Can-Am Wrestling School, Border City Wrestling, and Impact Wrestling. I shared a professional ring (as a referee) with legends old & new. I am so thankful that I am a very small part of some very big organisations, including Impact Wrestling. On Oct 7th, 2023 I refereed at Border City Wrestling’s 30th Anniversary! I am thankful for all the training (and trainers) that got me this far. I look forward to doing more in 2024!
I love horror movies. I successfully combine my love of horror with my love of Freemasonry through my interviews with “Tales of Terror” founder Steve Hutchison.
I know there will be many challenges and many problems in the future (that is life)…but that is for the future.
For today, right now, I am thankful for my (our) successes.
In 2023, we had many successes-we can’t wait for 2024!
All opinions expressed are those of Square & Compass Promotions and the guest(s), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Windsor Masonic Temple and/or any other Masonic group.
- EDIT: We also had successes of: in March 2023, we presented the beautiful and historical Windsor Masonic Temple to the St. Clair College Interior Design Students; in April 2023 we promoted tours and the history of the Windsor Masonic Temple at the “Staycation Expo.”
- EDIT: The Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario’s (“Grand Lodge”) amazing new technological program is also a success. We have been lucky enough to become acquainted with this program. It will make the role of Lodge Secretary much easier and improve for every Mason his Masonic experience. Windsor Lodge №403 also has an excellent website, and the work being done within that Lodge to maintain and grow the website is first-class! The growth of a Masonic virtual presence is a 2023 success.