Freemason Insight

“Strengthen The Core”

On May 13th, 2024, Windsor’s City Council voted unanimously in favour of its “Strengthen The Core” plan; a seven-point plan designed to “address safety concerns and implement measures to encourage new investments in [Windsor’s downtown], while encouraging residents to locate downtown.”

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This author, on behalf of the Windsor Masonic Temple, wrote into Windsor’s City Council in support of the plan;

This author also highlighted how well the plan dovetails with the Windsor Masonic Temple’s “For The Next 100 Years” plan.

As we have noted several times, the success of Freemasonry and the success of the communities in which it is located cannot be separated.

[Square & Compass Promotions recently discussed this idea with M.W. Bro. Lynn, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Florida on an upcoming podcast episode. We will release the episode shortly on our YouTube channel]

Pursuant to the above, I wanted to share this written submission with our audience. My hope (and the hope of Square & Compass Promotions) is to encourage other masonic bodies and buildings to consider the ways in which they can support their communities.

Let’s grow “stronger together.”

Written Submission

As a Windsor Masonic Temple Committee Chair, please see below for my support of:

  • Windsor City Council Meeting Agenda Item 11.2 “Strengthen the Core — Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan (Meeting Date: May 13th, 2024)”

The success of the Windsor Masonic Temple and the success of the City of Windsor cannot be separated. Windsor’s success is the Windsor Masonic Temple’s success. The Windsor Masonic Temple’s success is the City of Windsor’s success.

The Windsor Masonic Temple is an integral and proud part of Windsor’s downtown. The Windsor Masonic Temple is an integral and proud part the entire city and region.

The Windsor Masonic Temple adds to the historical and architectural character of Windsor.

The Windsor Masonic Temple is a community space, home to the cherished memories of countless Windsor residents and visitors; it provides space for youth groups, educational programs, and much more.

The Windsor Masonic Temple is a tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world.

The Windsor Masonic Temple supports local businesses and artists.

Presently, the Windsor Masonic Temple is engaged in a program called “For The Next 100 Years,” This program has resulted in:

  • improved accessibility;
  • improved energy efficiency;
  • preserved and restored unique heritage features;
  • increased security and safety; and
  • an extended useful life.

On numerous occasions, the City of Windsor has demonstrated its commitment to and support of the Windsor Masonic Temple.

The Windsor Masonic Temple is now demonstrating its commitment to the City of Windsor by supporting the “Strengthen the Core — Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan;” a plan which dovetails well with the “For The Next 100 Years” program.

The Windsor Masonic Temple is not immune to the challenges being faced by and in Windsor’s downtown; challenges including vagrancy and disorderly activity, vandalism/damage to (amongst other things) the Windsor Masonic Temple’s facade, waste/hazards (including syringes) being left on the property, and theft/break-ins.

To combat these challenges and protect the property (including and especially its iconic facade), the Windsor Masonic Temple installed security cameras with active monitoring. These security cameras have reduced vagrancy, vandalism, and damage while increasing security, safety, and accessibility. The Windsor Masonic Temple also installed additional security features, resulting in the same.

As security cameras with monitoring are assisting at the Windsor Masonic Temple, they should also assist downtown as a whole, via implementation of “Project SafeStreets.

The Windsor Masonic Temple is protecting both the investments in and results of the “For The Next 100 Years” program.

In the same way, the Strengthen the Core plan will protect Windsor’s downtown.

The Windsor Masonic Temple would welcome a new “tailored to Windsor police response model focused on sustained high visibility and collaborative cross-sectoral response, Windsor Police Service will use all approaches to promote lawful behaviour, and disrupt and intervene in open drug use, property damage, petty crime, and disorderly conduct [all issues the Windsor Masonic Temple is facing] in the downtown core.

Downtown needs the enhanced Windsor Police Service City Central Patrol Team (CCPT) referenced in the plan.

In April 2024, the Windsor Masonic Temple welcomed police officers for a “Coffee With A Cop” event. In May 2024, the Windsor Masonic Temple welcomed fire services for a “Coffee With A Fire Crew” event. During both events, downtown safety issues (especially those issues referenced above) were discussed.

The Windsor Masonic Temple practices high standards and healthy space(s) in its day-to-day operations. Seeing these practices reflected within the Strengthen the Core plan is very promising.

As noted above, the success of the Windsor Masonic Temple and the success of the City of Windsor cannot be separated. As the Strengthen The Core plan notes, we are stronger together.

As Councillor Renaldo Agostino stated when discussing the Strengthen the Core plan, “we need an all-hands-on deck approach to strengthening and improving downtown Windsor…”

Through the “For The Next 100 Years” program, the Windsor Masonic Temple is one of the hands strengthening and improving downtown Windsor.

The “Strengthen The Core” plan will provide more hands and more resources to strengthen and improve downtown Windsor for everyone.

The Strengthen the Core plan our full support.

[On a personal note, as a resident of Downtown Windsor since 2009, I support the Strengthen The Core plan. Windsor is a wonderful city, with a wonderful downtown. Like every downtown, it is presently facing challenges that must be addressed. The Strengthen The Core plan will address these challenges in a comprehensive and balanced manner. As a downtown resident, I am proud of the work done by all involved in creating this plan.]

Follow-Up

As the Mayor stated on social media (May 13th, 2024):

  • It is exciting and inspiring to see our ‘Strengthen the Core: Downtown Windsor Revitalization Plan’ receive unanimous approval at today’s meeting of City Council. This well thought-out and researched strategy is based on findings from a survey completed by more than 3500 people and an overall consultation process that included police, service providers, residents, business owners, healthcare professionals, and more. Each one of those individuals and organizations recognized the possibilities of this plan that puts all of the right pieces together and sets the stage for success. The economic development opportunities that will result from this strategy will be transformative. Our downtown is filled with opportunities, and we needed this plan to see those opportunities become real investments, real jobs, and real homes. This plan gives us the direction and support to focus first on safety, then on cleanliness, and then on additional activations and investments for downtown. This endorsement from City Council was an important step, illustrating true leadership and commitment.

Congratulations to all involved in passing, unanimously, the Strengthen The Core plan. Now the work begins!

How does your Masonic building or body support the community in which it is located? Let us know in the comments/replies. Maybe we can feature your building or body’s support on Medium!

Regarding the “For The Next 100 Years” project:

  • the project is funded in part by the government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund and in part by the Government of Canada;
  • ce project est en partie financé par le gouvernement du Canada par le biais du fond pour l’accessibilité et partie par le gouvernement du Canada.

All opinions expressed are those of Square & Compass Promotions and the guest(s), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any Masonic organisation.

References

[1] Learn more about the 3.2 million dollar plan at: https://www.mayordrewdilkens.ca/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Downtown-Windsor-Revitalization-Plan.pdf

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