The world has turned over many times since I stood before the Centennial No.55 altar, and for the first time heard the solemn Order of the Temple and sipped Templar wine from the boney cup.
Many things have changed during those three decades. Pennsylvania Templary has grown much smaller, and currently is being relentlessly tugged toward a managerial and demographic singularity, from which there will be no escape without a firm commitment and sincere effort from each Sir Knight.
As Grand Encampment celebrates our Bi-Centennial, we are no longer attracting new members with years of management or supervisory experience. Regrettably, many of our elected officers decline to avail themselves of regularly scheduled leadership seminars.
Templary, as with all Freemasonry, is aging rapidly with our median age now exceeding 71 years, with nearly seven members over age 80, for every one member under age 40. Many Commanderies barely turn out enough uniforms to fill the officer stations, and multi-time Past Commanders in the east have become the norm rather than the exception.
Fortunately, many of the things that made Templary great have not changed since I pinned on the Malta Cross that April evening. The obligations I, like every Templar before and since, have sworn to uphold remain as profound today as they were then.
- Feed the Hungry, Clothe the Naked
- Bind Up the Wounds of the Afflicted
The theme for my year as your Grand Commander will be encouraging every Sir Knight to understand and endeavor, in the asylum and out, to live their lives according to those words and precepts.
I accept the responsibility and honor of serving as your Grand Commander, not from feigned humility, rather with the sincere acknowledgement of the confidence placed in me by every Sir Knight in the Commonwealth. Understanding last year is a cancelled check, and next year is a promissory note, we must live in the present, facing each and every challenge with fortitude, while making Templary the best it can possibly be.
George H. Taylor,
Grand Commander 2016-17