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From the Desk of the Junior Grand Warden:

From The Desk Of A Traveling Man

As I was sitting in front of my computer staring at a blank screen, tired from a late night at a meeting the day before, thinking about what I was going to write for this article, I started thinking about what I wrote about in the past issues. I looked up my first article I wrote after being elected your Junior Grand Warden and it jumped out at me immediately. I know every one of you read my articles and can’t wait for the next one, but I would like to include a small part of that article;

Lodges need to build Lodges. We have a problem throughout our state. We have very successful Lodges that have great turnout for meetings, they do great ritual and they bring in new members every year, and then we have the struggling lodges, they have poor turnout to meetings, ritual work is not the best and the few members that are involved spend most of their time trying to get the fuel bill paid, repair the leak in the roof, or just try to muster up enough brothers just to open a meeting.

Since May of last year I have traveled to over 65 Lodges in New York State. I have seen exactly what I described above. Some very successful Lodges that are very enthusiastic, do great ritual work, bring in new members every year and are involved in their community “The Smooth Ashlar”. I have also seen some, middle of the road, Lodges. Their ritual work is “got the job done”, they bring in new members sometimes, but not every year, member retention is not good and they are just keeping their heads above water financially, “The Rough Ashlar”, with a little education, structure and perhaps assistance from a sister Lodge they could become a “Smooth Ashlar. Finally, the third group. They have “a little bit of each and not enough of neither”. They cannot muster enough members to open, and scare off others with the burden of maintaining their Lodge building “The Money Pit”.

I want to emphasize that it is not the building that makes a Mason, it is the Man that makes the Mason. With enthusiasm, hard work, pride in our ritual, being a part of our communities and cooperation with other Lodges we will strengthen our struggling Lodges.

If you have not attended The Deputy Grand Masters Town Hall meetings please do so. We face a tough future that will require us to take a hard look at how we do business.

R∴W∴ Richard S. Morley