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Brethren Upstanding!


The following is modified from the ‘Lodge of Instruction Preceptor’s Manual—Points and Protocol’ (2006) published by the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales. We don’t quite follow all their procedures. They toast the G.M.; B.C. is an odd jurisdiction in that we toast Grand Lodge. And that toast was moved from second on the agenda to second-last in 1983 by the then-Grand Master to ensure festive boards had a definite end. Also, J.J. Miller’s “honours” instructions are slightly different than N.S.W. today. They use the ‘21’ salute for the G.M.; J.J. has what amounts to the brn. in the FC position. J.J. was explicit the only form of applause be in the form of “eyes, front, present, fire!” led by the D.C (not anyone else). Despite that, various Lodges under NSW have their own individual customs when it comes to honours for specific toasts. Stewards should not be serving during toasts and the bar should be closed.

The W.M. is the host at the Festive Board, “the south,” he should be well organized and assume his rightful place as soon as possible. Seating at the head table needs consideration both at Lodge meetings and Installation Ceremonies. As soon as the W.M. and Brethren are seated, the Chaplain says Grace. The Loyal Toast (not the royal toast) is proposed by the W.M. (not the D.C.) D.C.: “Brethren, please pay attention to the Worshipful Master”. W.M.: “Brethren, please rise and join me in a toast to the Queen”. (Pause to allow time for the Brethren, leaving their glass on the table, to stand with their hands by their sides). W.M.: “The Queen”. (The Brethren then raise their glasses and drink the Toast).

There is no need for further comment and no need to look to or raise one’s glass to a photograph or painting of the Queen. It is incorrect for the D.C. or the W.M. to introduce the loyal Toast as “the first Toast at all Masonic gatherings”. In other countries the Toast may not be given. There are no honours to the Toast. In standing for all Toasts, Brethren should stand with their hands by their sides, their charged glass remains on the table until the W.M. proposes the Toast; then the glass is raised.

Other Toasts:

The W.M. and his Officers: The naming of all Officers should be discouraged as the W.M. is the person in the spotlight. The honours are “feint one, twenty one, last time hand and foot”.

The I.P.M.: Consideration could be given to proposing the toast on the meeting night prior to the Installation.

Visiting Brethren: The reading of all the names from Visitors cards should be discouraged as in many cases the Visitors are well known to the lodge.
However, it would be acceptable to name a special Visitor such as a Brother from another Constitution. Also they are “Visitors, not guests”. The honours are a Masonic Flutter,given three times. Care should be made the hands clap loudly.

The Candidate: It is not necessary for the Candidate to respond to a toast after each Degree progression. Perhaps the one response given on his night of raising would suffice. It is the responsibility of the Sponsors/Mentor to instruct new Candidates in the correct procedure of replying to a toast. The honours for a newly-initiated brother are point-left-right, three times.

The Guest Speaker: It is in order for the Brother proposing the Toast to the Guest Speaker to contact him/her prior to the occasion and request a brief resume of the Speaker’s career.

The Grand Lodge: The Toast is proposed by someone who is not an Installed Master or Warden. The Toast is: “The M.W. Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon.” The toast should not praise individual officers of Grand Lodge, such as the District Deputy. Its purpose is to honour the institution which permits the Lodge to operate. Honours are apron-heart-hand, three times, if ‘Feint-21-fire’ has not been done. The G.M. or his Representative responds after the honours are given.

Tyler’s Toast: make sure the Toast is delivered at a reasonable hour. Honours are pocket-heart-hand, three times (silent), followed by the Tyler reciting, pausing for the brethren to repeat each phrase:

Now here’s to the sons of the widow,
Whenever, wherever they roam.
Here’s all they require, and if they desire,
A speedy return to their home.

Toasts and Responses:

Place yourself in a position where all can see you, organize your thoughts, be specific present your thoughts effectively, speak up and clearly. Prepare in advance, be brief and to the point; do not make apologies. Be prepared to use point-form notes. We use Masonic terminology. There is no “Bro. Toastmaster” in Freemasonry.

Proposer: W.M. and Brethren.
Response: W.M., (name & rank of Proposer) and Brethren.

Should a Grand Officer be present (GM, DGM, SGW, JGW or DDGM):—
Proposer: W.M. (name and rank of Grand Officer) and Brethren.
Response: W.M. (name and rank of Grand Officer, name and rank of Proposer) and

Should Ladies be in attendance:—
The Proposer and Responder would insert Ladies before Brethren.