From the Deputy
“Good seasons start with good beginnings.” - Sparky Anderson
Although the calendar year starts in January, for most of us the year really starts in September. That is the season when children return to school and many of us return to our work-a-day routine and our Lodges start up again after a summer hiatus. What an opportune time to look at our members that have not been out to Lodge for a while and see what can be done to re-activate them.
Have you ever considered running a Rusty Mason program? Brethren who have been away from Lodge for a while often are reluctant to return, thinking people will quiz them on why they haven’t been out, or they fear they may not know anyone, or even that they have forgotten the signs and words and will embarrass themselves! By running a Rusty Mason program you can alleviate some of these stresses.
The Rusty Mason program is only one of the suggestions for your Lodge that the Brother-to- Brother Team has. Under the capable direction of V.W. Bro. Dan Hutt, Team Leader, they will continue to update and promote aides that will help your Lodge to function better. The Five Steps to Application document lays out a suggested process to help potential candidates learn about Masonry before they apply, and to help the brethren to get to know the candidate before they have to ballot on him. It’s not mandatory but if you look at it, I think you will see that it could be very useful. It’s on the website under Brother to Brother.
When faced with a request for a demit, do you send a Committee out to interview the brother to see why he has asked for a demit? Or do you just say, “Oh John hasn’t been to Lodge in months. Let’s just grant it?” There are many reasons why a brother may stop coming out to Lodge and many of those reasons involve the embarrassment of having to explain in a large forum. If contacted by a few friends, he may admit that he has fallen on hard times and can’t afford to come. Benevolence can solve that. Or maybe he lost his driving licence. A willing brother to pick him up would maintain his interest and activity. Apart from the fact that such a Committee is mandated in the Constitution (Sec. 190b) it just makes good sense to look after the members we have.
They have also developed a resource for new Masons to work through with their mentors. The first module of this is on the public area of the website so some of the questions a new initiate has can be answered for him the very night he goes home from his first Lodge meeting. Things like, who were those guys with fancy collars? How do I enter the Lodge? There is also some philosophy to entice him. He is constantly pointed back to his Lodge mentor for further information and I would recommend it to both Entered Apprentice and long-term mentor as a starting point for discussion. It is under “About Freemasonry” on the Grand Lodge website. And there is one for Fellowcraft in the members only section under “Education”. The Master Mason resource is being developed this year.
September is also the start of the season when our youth sign up for their yearly activities – hockey, ballet lessons, Scouts and Guides. Do you know about the Masonic youth organizations in your area? Rainbow for Girls and Job’s Daughters are groups in the Masonic family for girls and young women. DeMolay is for boys and young men. The ages for each group differ slightly but are generally from around age 10 to 21. And one no longer must be related to a Mason to join. If you are in contact with any young people, look into whether there is a group for them in your area. R.W. Bro. Les Armstrong, Chairman of Youth Initiatives, can help you with this. And consider volunteering as a leader yourself. The energy you get from working with young people is infectious.
Get active with our youth organizations. Get active with our new members. Get our lapsed members active again. Just get active!
David J. Cameron
Deputy Grand Master