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News & Events from The Grapevine

November 2017 DDGM Article for The Word

My Brothers,

Official Visits for this term are winding down. We still have much work to do around the District and in our Lodges. To that end, we are in the planning stages for a number of training classes.

As R∴ W∴ Brooks mentioned, there will be a Masonic Development Class in Cortlandville beginning in November. Please contact him to register, or for more details.

The NorthStar Program is coming to Hamilton Lodge! R∴ W∴ Joseph Passaretti, II, Chairman of the Membership Development Committee, will be presenting the NorthStar Program at Hamilton Lodge, No. 120 on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Lunch will be served at noon and the training will follow immediately afterward. This important training demonstrates how we can not only attract better candidates to the Fraternity, but also retain them as lifelong members. Every Lodge should have at least one certified Success coach, as we have repeatedly seen that Lodges who utilize elements of the Program have much better rates of retention. The training is open to Master Masons from the Cortland-Madison and neighboring Districts who are interested in becoming certified as Success Coaches. All those interested in attending are asked to please make reservations with the Master of Hamilton Lodge, W∴ Jim Boss, by email ( no later than November 12.

We are also planning to offer a Road to the East class in the near future. Unfortunately, last year’s offering had to be cancelled and we would like to hold one before next year’s officers are elected (or appointed) and installed. This class is not just for Wardens who plan to become Master. Any Brother who is planning to move into or advance in the chairs should seriously consider taking this class. If you are interested, please email me as above and I will make sure that you get the class information once the planning is finalized.

Masonic education is more important than ever. Historically, however, attendance rates have been low. Our next generation of leaders is joining the Craft now and we must make every effort to ensure that they are well educated and well trained.


November 2017 AGL Article for The Word

Greetings Brethren,

Happy Thanksgiving to all Brethren and their families! It is hard to believe that the Holiday season is upon us already.

The Official visits are winding down. Marathon will hold theirs on November 6th and Homer will have theirs on November 13th. The Brothers of the District are doing well with the opening and closing of their Lodges. RW Charles Dellow and I have noticed that the Brothers know the ritual, they just need to slow down in their presentation.

Degrees are going on throughout the District. The Lodges that have 3 or more practices are having great Degrees. Practice makes perfect my Brothers and that certainly shows the night of the Degree. Knowing the candidates names, floor work and ritual are key to a successful Degree. Please call RW Dellow or myself and we would be glad to help you prepare.

We will be conducting the Masonic Development Course on November 29th and January 31st. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and classes start at 6:30 p.m. and will be completed by 8:30 p.m. Please call me at 607-597-9309 at email me at if you wish to attend. We would love to have a great turnout!

As always, RW Dellow and I will be around the District to help our Brothers anyway we can.

Clinton S. Brooks

2017-2018 Cortland-Madison District Trestleboard

Click the graphic below to download an updated copy of the District Trestleboard for this year:


Worshipfuls and Wardens Association

The newly formed Worshipfuls and Wardens Association of the Cortland-Madison District met for the first time last evening to adopt by-laws and elect officers for the remainder of the current Masonic year.  The newly elected officers are as follows:

President: R∴W∴ Scott A. Cary

1st Vice President: R∴W∴ Wade A. Caler

2nd Vice President: R∴W∴ Clinton S. Brooks

Secretary: R∴W∴ David H. Fuller

Copies of the finalized by-laws will be distributed to the Secretary of each Lodge and on The Grapevine.  The next scheduled meeting of the Worshipfuls and Wardens Association will be on October 30, 2017 at Homer Lodge. Dinner will be served at 6:30 PM and the meeting will begin at 7:30 PM.


October 2017 DDGM Article for The Word

My Brothers,

Fall is here and the various animals are busily preparing for winter. As Masons, this should also be a season of preparation for us. Before we know it, the next Grand Lodge session will be upon us and now is the time to prepare.

During the past year, I have heard many voices express dissatisfaction with the direction our Fraternity is heading. I’ve heard talk of dimits and I’ve heard some say that they’re ready to simply walk away and wait for the NPD to happen. My Brothers if you fall into one of these groups, then I urge you to reconsider.   Meaningful and lasting change is almost never effected from outside of an organization. In other words, if it’s going to be changed, it’s going to be changed from within.

Grand Lodge is your Grand Lodge. Now is the time to educate yourselves on the issues facing the Fraternity. Now is the time to tell the Master how the Brothers of his Lodge want him to vote. If your Master won’t be attending, then now is the time to select who from your Lodge will be.

Last year, a scant 3 of our 8 Lodges were represented in Grand Lodge. That’s ok, right? After all, it was an “off year”, right? Wrong. Last year showed us, perhaps better than any other year in recent memory, that every year counts. Last year, quite literally, the entire direction of the Fraternity was changed. Most of our Lodges weren’t even there to cast a vote. If we can’t be bothered to participate in determining our own future, then we shouldn’t be surprised when things don’t go the way we want them to.


October 2017 AGL Article for The Word

Greetings Brethren,

Our Lodge year is now in full swing. We have had Official Visits at DeRuyter Lodge and Otselic Valley Lodge in the month of September. October is just as busy with Official Visits at Cortlandville Lodge on October 3rd, Hamilton Lodge on October 9th and TriValley Lodge on October 19th. RW Charles Dellow and I will be working with these Lodges in preparation for these visits.

The Grand Lecturer’s Convention will be held on October 27th at Hamilton Lodge #120. Dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. and the Convention will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. The program for the evening will be the proposed Ritual change for opening and closing the Lodge meeting on the First and Second Degree.

Degree work is being done around the District. Please attend as many as possible. If you would like RW Dellow or me to attend your Lodge practices just give us a call and we would be happy to help. I can be reached at 607-597-9309 or by email at

See you around the District.

Clinton S. Brooks

September 2017 DDGM Article for The Word

My Brothers,

As we did not receive a sufficient number of applications to fill our District Officers for the 2018-2020 term, we have reopened the application period. The new deadline is September 30, which is as late as we are able to make it and still be guaranteed enough time to complete the remainder of the selection process prior to the deadline for submission of names to Grand Lodge.

Past Masters, including Right Worshipful Brothers, who are interested in serving as a DDGM, Staff Officer, or AGL are encouraged complete the application materials (available from either myself or your Lodge Secretary) and contact me as soon as possible to discuss their future plans. I have recently been informed that any position for which we do not have a completed application, from a qualified candidate, will not be filled, thus leaving the District short-handed for the next two years.

I hope that you and your families enjoy the remaining days of summer and Bart and I look forward to seeing you back in Lodge soon.


September 2017 AGL Article for The Word

Greetings Brethren,

Welcome back to Lodge after a nice summer break.

RW Charlie Dellow and I will be attending Lodge meetings this fall working with Officers in preparation for RW Scott A Cary’s Official visits. The first Official visit will be at DeRuyter Lodge on September 14, 2017.

The Grand Lecturer’s Convention will be held at Hamilton Lodge #120 on October 27, 2017. Dinner will be served at 6:30 pm and the convention will start promptly at 7:30 pm. The program for the evening will be the newly proposed Ritual for opening and closing the Lodge  on the First and Second Degrees.

Degree work continues throughout the District this fall. Please attend these Degrees if you can. Full sidelines make a great impression on a new Brother going through the Degrees.

The District is always in need of Brothers who can do the work of historical lectures, questions and answers, whys and wherefores, middle chamber lecture, craftsman, ruffians and kings in the Hiramic legend. Many hands make light work.

As always, RW Charlie Dellow and I will be about the District and are willing to help in any way we can. I can be reached at 607-597-9309 or by email at

See you around the District,

Clinton S. Brooks

Applications Are Now Being Accepted!

If you are a Master or Past Master and are interested in serving the Cortland-Madison District as an Assistant Grand Lecturer, Grand Lodge Staff Officer, or District Deputy Grand Master for the 2018-2020 term, please contact me by email here to request more information or an application packet.

All application materials for all of the above offices must be received by me (not just postmarked) no later than August 4, 2017.  No incomplete applications and no late applications will be considered, so please submit your materials early.

The Selection Committee will be interviewing candidates in late summer or early fall and the final nominees will be selected by late October.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions and thank you for your interest in serving our District!



June 2017 DDGM Article for The Word

My Brothers,

The 236th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York has closed and, with it, we begin a new Masonic Year. This year has special significance for me, as it marks the 150th anniversary of Cazenovia Lodge, No. 616.

Serving as District Deputy Grand Master during the sesquicentennial celebration of my mother Lodge is rarer than a once-in-a-lifetime event and I am truly honored to have the opportunity to do so. My first official act after returning from Manhattan was to install the newly elected and appointed Officers of the Lodge. As I performed the Ritual of Installation, the rarity and enormity of the evening settled in and I began to think about the words being said and the following occurred to me:

Throughout my term, thus far, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss with many of my colleagues the difficulties that they have encountered within their Districts and throughout the State. Although the details of the various incidents and problems are rarely the same, one theme seems to underlie many of them – unmasonic conduct. Most of these incidents never rise to the level of Masonic charges or disciplinary action, but it is clear that many of our Brothers either never heard, never understood, or, perhaps more troublingly, have chosen to disregard the lessons of our Ritual and the bindings of our various Obligations.

My Brothers, we simply cannot claim that our Ritual is what makes us special when we all too often disregard the important lessons contained therein. To do so, is the very definition of hypocrisy! It is not good enough to talk the talk; we must walk the walk.

I could list trite expression after trite expression, but what it all boils down to is this: do the right thing, treat people the right way, and forgive those who fail to meet the standard of perfection (which includes every one of us). If we do this in our Lodges, our Fraternity will prosper and grow. If we do this in the larger world, all of humanity can benefit. We can make a difference, one incident and one person at a time, but only if we make the conscious choice to do so – let each of us choose to make this our resolution for this new Masonic year.