THOMAS W. JACKSON
Honorary President and Past Executive Secretary, World Conference of Grand Lodges;
Honorary Director, MASONIC FORUM Magazine
It is a great pleasure for me to extend my congratulations to Brother Claudiu Ionescu who created Masonic Forum magazine 20 years ago and continues to serve as director and editor.It has also been my privilege to serve as Honorary Director of this publication for the past 17 years.
During my 58 years as a Freemason, I have read many Masonic periodicals and have expressed on a number of occasions that in my opinion it was one of the best that I had encountered. It is to the credit of the director and his dedication to produce a publication with a definitive value to Freemasonry. I appreciated the opportunity that he gave to me on several occasions to air my thinking in print.
He has consistently had the capacity to attract articles from some of the most prominent contemporary Freemasons. Coupled with his ability to conduct probing interviews this capacity has added greatly to the value of the publication.
Masonic Forum has for two decades served as a select quality publication providing educational information to Freemasons and exposing the Freemasonry of Eastern Europe to the world.
Much has changed during those 20 years that impacted the world and influenced Freemasonry both positively and negatively.
There have been 30 new regular grand lodges consecrated in the world in the last quarter of a century. Most of those new grand lodges were consecrated in Eastern Europe and it has been an exhilarating experience for me to watch and even to assist these new grand lodges in their struggles to rise in their new birth of freedom and participate in world Freemasonry. Masonic Forum magazine effectively reviewed this historic transition and growth of the Masonic fraternity.
The Grand Lodge of Romania was reconstituted in 1993 and struggled to gain international recognition. Masonic Forum magazine served as a valuable tool for the Grand Lodge in gaining respect and recognition from the regular grand lodges of the world.
Now our craft is facing a new challenge. For almost a year the world population has experienced a challenge unprecedented for over a century. We are facing trying times created by a virus that has generated an impact that our generations have never faced. Not since 1918 when the world was subjected to the Spanish flu have we faced such a monumental trial. For us, it is a totally new experience.
When it is over, there will be a considerable readjustment and rethinking. Perhaps it will contribute to a more constructive world society along with a greater appreciation regarding the Masonic fraternity.
This experience will have an impact upon the future of our craft and hopefully, the impact will be positive. Freemasonry has always shown its greatest strength when its challenges have been the greatest so this challenge should offer to us the opportunity to display to the world what we truly are and what we have meant to world society. Publications such as Masonic Forum can play a vital role in disseminating that information.
As a result of Covid-19, the printed word has taken on an even greater significance. Therefore, we should expect publications such as Masonic Forum to assume and even greater responsibility in the quest to educate our members of our importance to world society.