GRAND MASTER’S PROCLAMATION Cancellation of Stated and Called Meetings
March 21, 2020
The COVD-19 pandemic has caused substantial and material disruptions in the lives of all Americans, including the activities of Texas Masonic Lodges. For this reason, I issued an Order canceling all gatherings of Texas Masons which were anticipated to exceed ten in number. This Order included stated meetings of Lodges for an indefinite period of time unless, in the discretion of the officers and members of the Lodge, the meeting would be in the best interest of the Lodge and, most importantly, would not pose a risk to the health of those attending.
Since that time, the Governor of Texas and state public health officials have strongly discouraged all meetings of ten or more individuals. At this time, it is not known when the pandemic will end or whether the conditions that are now occurring in Texas will worsen.
The charge of the Worshipful Master given and accepted at every installation requires, among other things, that he “cheerfully conform to the laws of the country in which he resides”. The action taken in this proclamation is consistent with the above affirmation.
Because of danger to human life that presently exists, and the directions of various officials of the State of Texas concerning the risks of holding meetings, I am today issuing the following Proclamation:
It is ORDERED that no Texas Lodge may hold a stated or called meeting until this order is rescinded by subsequent proclamation of the Grand Master.
I and your Grand Lodge Trustees are well aware that this Order will cause substantial disruption in the operations of Texas Lodges, including perhaps the election and installation of Lodge officers. However, the existing world-wide crisis requires the Grand Lodge of Texas to take extraordinary action to protect the lives of its members and follow the lawful directives of Federal, State, and local authorities.
Paul D. Underwood