From the Deputy …
Who says your Grand Lodge doesn’t listen to its members?
After the first month of socializing the proposed Constitutional amendments, your Grand Lodge has listened and have revised our plans based on the feedback we have heard.
The initial proposal was to re-introduce all the twelve proposed Constitutional amendments from 2020 that were held in abeyance last Summer when a very short form of our Annual Communication was held. The plan was to add those twelve to the six, rather lengthy proposed Constitutional amendments from 2021. This would mean that we were going to have eighteen proposed Constitutional amendments amounting to twenty-nine pages of material on an electronic ballot that we were also experimenting with for the first time. And that doesn’t count the allowable explanation capability for each that our new e-balloting system would allow.
The determination of your Grand Lodge to get caught up on all these proposed amendments has been perceived by some as a daunting task. The expectation of each member to work through every one of these proposals, spending the required amount of time to make a conscientious decision on each, was wishful thinking and that the process may not receive the appropriate attention it deserved.
So, we spent last week deciding which of these proposals were essential and which we could hold over until the Annual Communication of 2022 with the hope of having two manageable lists of proposals rather than one daunting list.
Again, as I mentioned last month, the Grand Secretary will be addressing all the new amendments from this year that deal with the proposed revisions to the Annual Communication including electronic voting on the proposed Constitutional amendments and the election of Grand Lodge Officers that will enfranchise every eligible voting Mason. As you will see by reading this Communique further, the Grand Treasurer will continue to communicate the very important amendment to increase the Grand Lodge assessment. That leaves me with only four proposed amendments to review.
Two of these proposals regarding Section 104 of the Constitution as discussed last month were to add the Form L4 Lodge Master’s/Treasurer’s Report to subsection (b) to be inclusive of all the reports required to be submitted in the report to Grand Lodge after an Official Visit of the District Deputy Grand Master and the addition of subsection (c) and (d) to deal with the suspension of Lodge Warrants for failure to submit these said L forms within forty-five days of an Official Visit.
Another proposed amendment under the category of Lodge Changes is to revise Form 4, Section 298(a) found in Part VII – Forms, at the back of the Constitution. Form 4 is an example of how a Lodge Secretary should set up the Lodge Minute Book. The revision here was to add Masonic Education as an item that should be a part of every Lodge meeting and so recorded in the Minute Book. As you know, this is one of the important strategic initiatives of the Grand Lodge Ritual, Education, Mentoring focus for the next several years.
Be sure to tune in next month when I will review the final proposed amendment for this year on Grand Lodge branding.
We are continuing to take this opportunity to socialize the proposed Constitutional amendments now before voting day when you have them all in front of you at once for your decision. We want to ease this stress and make sure everyone has every question answered long before the vote. Your responsibility is to be a well-informed voter. We have decided that an integral part of this is to make the process manageable by holding some of the less essential proposed amendments back until next year.
If you have any questions related to these proposed amendments, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavor to make you more comfortable with the amendments and the process going forward.
- Thomas W. Hogeboom,
Deputy Grand Master