Anderson’s Constitution and the 47th Problem of Euclid

498px-anderson_constitution_1723W Martin Wiggins, PM of Riverside Lodge gave a talk tonight at the meeting about the 47th problem of Euclid. He mentioned this picture being included in the Anderson’s Constitutions.

W Wiggins also recommended that the Masons present should research this topic.

I found many explanations. Without reinventing the wheel you can search yourself or start with this article. I recommend pouring a cup of coffee, closing the door to your computer room and spending some time going over it.

Get The Latest Scoop

Brothers,

There are a few items in the February Monthly Mail of particular interest to the 11th and 12th Districts.

1. Lodging reservations for the upcoming Annual Communication in Orlando.

2. Ezra Lodge outdoor degree to be held March 22, 2014

3. The 37th Annual Chitlin Degree to be performed by Albert J. Russell Lodge No. 126

4. Chili Cook-off at Amelia Lodge No. 47 on March 25, 2014 //CANCELLED as reported at MA Meeting 2/26/2013

5. Pilgrimage Day at the Masonic Home on Saturday, March 15, 2014. This is of special interest to local lodges because our own Lady Betsy Griffith’s Project, renovation of the Chapel at the Masonic Home, will be unveiled. We have a bus going and there are still seats open. Contact RW Frank Kleese for info. He needs your money by this Wednesday at the Masonic Association meeting which will be held at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.

The complete Monthly Mail page can be found here:
http://glflamason.org/documents/MM-02-2014.htm

Fraternally,

Pat


Patrick Farrell, PDDGM
Secretary, Masonic Association
11th and 12th Districts
http://jaxmasons.org

Dues That Don’t Anymore by W. Bro. Nathan C. Brindle

“A high quality lodge must be paid for — therefore dues need to commensurate with this.”

- The first of the Two Great Pillars of Lodge Epicurean, the premiere “European Concept” lodge

“Masons are cheap, and they love to bitch.”

- unattributed to protect the guilty

Many years ago, Dwight L. Smith, PGM, and editor at the time of the Indiana Freemason, wrote the following in his pamphlet entitled “Whither Are We Traveling?”:

Has Freemasonry become too easy to obtain? Fees for the degrees are ridiculously low; annual dues are far too low. Everything is geared to speed-getting through as fast as possible and on to something else. The Lodge demands little and gets little. It expects loyalty, but does almost nothing to put a claim on a man’s loyalty. When we ourselves place a cheap value on Masonic membership, how can we expect petitioners and new members to prize it?

How, indeed? And Smith was writing on this problem in the 1960′s — nearly fifty years ago. Fifty years later, the situation has not improved; it has only gotten worse as the worth of our money has devalued and Lodge dues and fees have remained, in large part, numerically the same.

What’s worse, we’ve lost half of our membership since Smith wrote those words. And what’s worse than that, we have a huge cohort of members, well out of proportion to their numbers in the general population, who pay no dues at all because they have reached 50 years in Masonry. (In my Lodge alone these members amount to nearly a third of the total. And I doubt that we are exceptional in this regard.)

Forget reforming Social Security — we’ve got a crisis in our own midst, and the pinch is being felt right now.

So why are we facing this monetary crisis? As Al Smith (no relation to Dwight) used to say, let’s look at the record.

  1. 1/ Lower membership numbers: A case can be made that lower membership numbers aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but they do suggest that the amount of money required to keep the fraternity solvent is going to have to come from a smaller cohort in future. And in all likelihood, Masonic membership numbers will never again reach post-WW2 levels.
  2. 2/ Lodges are too quick to pull the trigger on non-payment of dues and requests for demits: In many Grand Lodges, annual losses from death are beginning to bottom out, but are being eclipsed by suspensions for NPD. And demits are higher than suspensions.
  3. 3/ More and more members on “fixed incomes”: Many Lodges opt to keep dues low because they have enough members paying dues to get by at the lower rates, while trying to protect older members who are on reduced or fixed incomes.
  4. 4/ More and more members being remitted for seniority: By this is meant Lodges in which all 50-year members are excused from paying dues, usually by Grand Lodge fiat.
  5. 5/ Public fundraisers traditionally held to help keep dues low don’t work: In many venues, the summer Lodge fish fry and the winter Bean Supper are no longer the big draws that they used to be.

We’ve identified a few areas of trouble. There are unquestionably more, but this paper has to end at some point, so let’s take a look at the ones above in more detail.

1. Lower membership numbers are a fact of life. Every since the 1970′s and the near-total inability of the Craft to attract the “lost generation” of baby boomers (sons of our older members, fathers of our younger members), our membership curve has been heading for the basement, with little or no recovery predicted.

In Indiana, we have recently found that our losses from death have rounded the downward curve and have been slightly lower than in previous years. Annual losses from deaths topped out at 4,077 in 1968 and hovered in the 3,500-3700 range for much of the next few decades. By 2004 they had dropped to 2,651, and have in fact been below 3,000 since the turn of the century.

But this is still a large subtraction for a Grand Lodge that has raised only, on average, 1,666 new Master Masons each year since 2000. The Grand Lodge has added in total only an average of 2,791 members (including affiliations, restorations, and “other reasons”) each year in the same period, while losses from all causes averaged 4,512 per year. Why are our losses continuing to mount?

2. As it turns out, the largest loss of membership (in Indiana, at least) comes from demits and suspensions for non-payment of dues. Consider the following table:

 

Year Total Losses
(incl. Deaths)
Deaths Demits Suspensions
2000 5,084 2,928 1,360 785
2001 4,955 2,914 1,155 909
2002 5,158 2,679 1,635 827
2003 4,660 2,610 1,123 917
2004 5,329 2,651 1,612 1,055

 

It is clear that while deaths may be bottoming out (remember — they topped out at 4,077 way back in 1968), both demits and suspensions are trending significantly higher.

In the old days, a man didn’t demit or get himself suspended for non-payment of dues unless and until the Lodge had exhausted all means of investigation and remedy. For the man who wanted to demit, it might not have been as simple as “I can’t pay my dues” or “I’m moving out of state and transferring to the Lodge there”. There was always the possibility of disharmony that could be patched around to alleviate the problem. And for the man who couldn’t pay his dues, there was remission, or a generous brother who would step up and fulfill his duty to contribute relief.

Today Lodges often don’t want to go to the trouble. After all, we send dues statements out, and when the dues don’t get paid by the due date, the secretary sends a notice to the members in arrears. Finally, there is a set procedure for the dues committee to follow each month until finally charges are filed and trials held for non-payment. Not all Lodges, however, take heed of the admonishment to contact personally each brother who is in arrears and ascertain if there is a problem — and unfortunately, many of our older brethren consider asking for remission something akin to the mark of Satan. As a secretary, I’ve heard “I don’t want charity” far too many times from brethren who know full well that the Lodge is there to help them if needed.

And demits — every Mason has a right to demit. I suspect many Lodges just accept requests for demits unquestioned, even though they are supposed to make personal contact to investigate the brother’s reasoning.

In sum, while annual losses to death are bottoming out, it’s not time to wipe our brow and sigh in relief. We’ve got other problems to deal with that cut into our numbers just as badly.

3. The “fixed income” issue is to some extent quite real. While it’s true that retirees typically do not draw the kind of monthly income from pensions and Social Security that they did while working at their pre-retirement careers, the fact of the matter is that senior citizens today have more disposable wealth than at any time in the nation’s history. But not all of our members are among the group that can comfortably cruise, travel, play golf, maintain a second home in Florida, or otherwise enjoy a relaxing life after 65. Many of our members continue to work in lower-paying jobs after retirement, not just for “something to do”, but because they wouldn’t be putting food on the table if they didn’t. But that doesn’t translate automatically into an inability to pay dues.

The fact is, though, that most of our Lodges aren’t charging anywhere near the percentage of household income for dues that they were even 50 years ago. The burden of Lodge dues is not nearly as great for today’s retirees as they were in earlier times. Even a lodge charging $100 a year — as mine does — is asking for less than $10 a month to fund its programs. You probably can’t get the senior citizen’s plate at the local cafeteria for $10 anymore, and your monthly newspaper subscription probably runs at least that much, and probably more. And let’s not get into how many — or in fairness, how few — Starbucks lattes you can buy for that.

4. Fifty-year awards are great. They are a landmark on a long and well-lived life, regardless of whether the brothers receiving them have been active members in their lodges. At some point in the middle 1940′s, Indiana decided that 50 year members should also get something a bit more financially rewarding — they would be excused from paying dues (including Grand Lodge assessments, Masonic Home assessments, and lodge dues) for the rest of their lives — in other words, they would be granted seniority remission.

Now, in a time when the actuarial tables suggested that very few men would live to the age of 71 (the minimum age for a man to receive such an award, given that at the time one had to be 21 in order to petition a Lodge in Indiana ), and in fact the life expectancy at birth for a male in 1940 was only 60.8 years , this meant both a great deal and not much at all. A great deal in that a man who lived that long probably deserved a special recognition, and not much at all in that very few men ever got the 50 year award and no longer had to pay dues.

Flash forward to 2006. In my lodge, there are about 170 members, 44 of whom have received the 50 Year Award of Gold and are excused from paying dues. That means almost 26% of the members of my lodge are paying no dues at all, and five more will receive the AWG in 2006.

I would suggest that this is untenable, and I’m not alone — the Grand Master of Masons in Indiana recommended at the 2005 Annual Communication that we begin a 10-year process of raising the seniority remission age to 60. (The AWG would still be awarded at 50 years.)

Of course it was voted — if not shouted — down. The general attitude seems to be that 50 year members have “paid enough”, a curious concept given that plenty of men reach retirement (as I myself will) without the faintest chance of ever becoming 50 year members. We will continue to face the reality of ever-rising costs to the lodge that will require higher and higher dues, while significant numbers of our lodge brethren who happened to come into the fraternity years before we did are able to sit comfortably and not pay dues for perhaps 5, 10, 15, or 20 years (or more). In an organization based on fairness and meeting on the level, how exactly do we justify this?

At any rate, the life expectancy of males today is 74.5 years. So here’s a radical proposition: Why aren’t we giving the AWG at 50 years and granting seniority remission of dues after 75 years, when we give the 75 year award? That would put things back very much as they were when the Grand Lodge originally envisioned them. When the 75 year award was instituted in Indiana in 1995, it was clear that the number of Masons making it to that threshold was significant. That means that, in Indiana, we actually have living members who have spent 1/3 of their Masonic lives paying not a dime in dues to their lodge, or in assessments to their Grand Lodge.

This is not to say that they should have, but at the very least we should not grant automatically seniority remission at 50 years without an investigation into whether or not the remission is actually needed. We should be “means-testing” for this, much as the local Scottish Rite Valley currently does, and remission should be turned down if the brother can afford to pay dues.

As with Social Security, we’ve gotten ourselves into a situation where fewer and fewer of us are subsidizing more and more of us who don’t pay dues. And it will be difficult to make those who have fully “bought” into the program see its inherent unfairness. In 1994, there were 14.58 dues-paying brethren for every 50-year member being remitted. In 2004, there were 6.5. Is this program indefinitely sustainable? You tell me.

As for having “paid enough”, well, that might be true if dues money was an investment that would continue to pay dividends for the rest of time. For my part, I believe that Grand Lodges offering Life Membership or Life Endowment programs need to expand their scope, and make it easier for members to join those programs earlier in life when they may be making more money, but also have families to support. For Indiana, my recommendation would be to ease into a program of exchanging remission for life endowed memberships. The existing life endowment program, which allows one to buy in with a single payment or by dividing the full payment into three annual payments, needs to give members more time to buy in. Perhaps there should be a sliding scale of number of payments allowed based on the dues amount (if dues are under $75, 3 payments; dues $76-$100, 4 payments; and so forth; or it could be based on the total amount required to be paid into the annuity instead). To be completely crass and mercenary, but at the same time entirely truthful, it is only with a lifetime endowment that pays off even after a brother dies that a brother can ever truly be said to have “paid enough” to warrant not having to pay dues any longer.

5. Traditional public fundraisers don’t work anymore for many lodges, primarily for two reasons: First, the older generation is tired of doing them and the younger generation wants to be of service to the community, not so much to themselves; and second, because so many charitable organizations are competing for our shrinking discretionary income these days, the public perception of Masonic fundraisers — if there is such a perception — is more than likely that they are just one more hand sticking out palm up.

The damage in this situation is that Masonic fundraisers usually don’t benefit the community at large, but rather, are designed to raise money to fix the roof, or replace the furnace, or paint the lodge hall. Most younger Masons rebel at the thought of becoming cod batterers at the fish fry, or serving up beans at the annual bean supper to begin with. Most older Masons don’t understand why not — after all, those things are traditions. But the real fundamental misunderstanding is that the younger generation have been brought up in an environment that encourages service to others, while the older generation sees nothing wrong with the public at large helping support the Masonic Lodge.

So what is the obvious solution to these problems? Well, raise dues and fees, of course! I can hear the arguments already:

“We can’t do that! We’ve never had to do that before! We make enough from our fundraisers to get by! Why, dues and fees are too high now!”

Really? Are they? Let’s look at what Dwight Smith had to say about that 50 years ago:

In 1911 Floyd F. Oursler was making ten dollars a week as an apprentice printer. The fee for the three degrees in Winslow Lodge No. 260 was twenty dollars. That was the full amount of two weeks’ pay.

Of course, in 1911 a dollar was worth a dollar, and there was no withholding tax for printers making ten dollars a week, no gross income tax, no social security. Just the same, twenty dollars was two weeks’ pay – all of it. And Floyd Oursler thought enough of Freemasonry to empty his pay envelope twice to enjoy the privilege.

Today, fifty years later, the minimum fee that may be charged by Lodges in Indiana has been increased to thirty dollars – and one Lodge out of every five charges the absolute minimum that the law will permit. (If the minimum fee were still twenty dollars, I daresay at least 75 Lodges would be charging that figure.) If the same relationship between wages and fees as prevailed in 1911 were maintained in 1962, Lodges now charging from thirty to sixty dollars would be charging $100 to $150 – and the Fraternity probably would be stronger and better thereby.

MWBro. Dwight wanted lodges in 1962 to charge between $100 and $150 in fees. According to the US Government’s Consumer Price Index inflation calculator , that means he would want lodges in 2006 to charge between $675 and $1000 in fees! A grand to petition? Are you kidding?

Why, that’s enough to give a whole sideline of Past Masters sprained index fingers!

And so far as dues are concerned, Broad Ripple Lodge in 1904 charged $4 per annum. We raised our dues in 2003 to $85 (effectively $58.30, exclusive of all Grand Lodge assessments). In 2005 our dues were raised to $90 (effectively $59.05), and in 2006 to $100 (effectively $68.05).

$4 in 1904 was equivalent to $82.09 in 2005. Are we keeping up with inflation? I don’t think so. And at Broad Ripple our dues and fees put us among the top 10 or 15 lodges in the state. Imagine what the Lodge still charging $15-$20 per year, exclusive of Grand Lodge assessments, is doing for operating revenue. (In 2005 there were 8 lodges in Indiana charging in that range; the average per lodge was $47.18.)

Dues are low today because fifty years ago, volume made up for value. When membership peaked in the 1950′s, there were so many Masons that you didn’t have to charge much for membership in order to keep a lodge solvent. And members got so used to cheap dues and low fees that, even as membership tumbled in the late 1960′s and 1970′s, they refused to raise them to at least keep pace with the losses and with inflation — because “we’d never had to do that before!”

Well, brethren, with all due respect: What’s the alternative?

Several years ago, I considered — very briefly — joining a prestigious downtown club here in Indianapolis. I knew from the start that it was a budget-buster for me, but I was interested to see what the dues structure was like. My eyes were opened quite wide. As a resident member of age 37 and above, I would be charged an initiation fee of $3,000. Then, monthly (not annual) dues of $120, plus $15/month for the capital building fund. In other words, in the first year I would be dinged for $4,620, and then $1,620 each year afterwards — assuming no increases in dues.

The first year I was a Mason, it cost me $141.50. The year after, $60.

Brethren, we’re selling ourselves FAR too cheaply. Our dues simply don’t, anymore. Our initiation fees are a disgrace to the Craft, and encourage far too many unworthy men to challenge our West Gate. It’s time to raise dues and fees to what the market will, demonstrably, bear. And it’s time to stop automatically granting remission of dues to a significant and growing segment of our brethren. In states that have Life Membership programs, it should be made easier for brethren to get into those programs, possibly by stretching out the number of years over which payments can be made into the annuity.

Otherwise we can look forward to more years of dwindling and mediocre membership, decaying buildings, and lost opportunities. As a member of what was once considered the premier society of gentlemen, that prospect holds no joy for me.

- Source: Knights of the North Masonic Dictionary

more masonic papers articles

Application for Membership

Brothers,

At our meeting tonight we ran out of blank membership applications. Please feel free to share this post with any brothers who did not get an application to join. It can be printed and mailed to the address on the form, or bring it to the next meeting on February 26th at the Jacksonville Scottish Rite building.

Below is the Application for membership in the Masonic Association. It is open to all Masons who belong to a Lodge in the 11th or 12th Masonic Districts of Florida.

Life Membership App

Patrick Farrell, PDDGM
Secretary, Masonic Association
11th and 12th Districts
http://jaxmasons.org

Boring Our Members To Death

By Christopher Hodapp
author of Freemasons for Dummies

The Spirit stood among the graves, and pointed down to One. He advanced towards it trembling. The Phantom was exactly as it had been, but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape.

“Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”

Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood.

“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me.”

The Spirit was immovable as ever.

-Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

Sit down and chat for about ten minutes with an insurance agent, and let him quote you chapter and verse about the death rate among the World War II generation. Okay, I’ll grant you, there’s a certain ghoulish aspect to it. I’m bringing it up because, like Scrooge’s portentous Spectre, Freemasons have spent the last fifteen years pointing an empty sleeve at the grave, and blaming our declining membership numbers on the four-million Masons who were members during our boom years, who have had the very bad timing to pass on to the Celestial Lodge Above in record waves over the last dozen or so years.

Once you’re sufficiently bored by your insurance guy, give your Grand Secretary a call and ask him how the numbers compare between the death rate of members every year, versus the losses from demits and non-payment of dues. Prepare yourself for a shock. In most jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada, the losses of members from deaths has been statistically tapering off, while the losses due to Freemasons walking away from the fraternity have been rising at an alarming rate. Oh, we’re initiating a very healthy dose of new Masons every year all right. But men whom we have initiated, passed and raised are deciding in increasing numbers to say no thanks to what their local lodge offers. Masonic membership rolls are still dropping, but not from natural causes. The truth is, we are boring our members to death.

It has long been understood that the Baby Boom generation didn’t join the Masons. As a result, there is a five-decade difference between the generation of men who kept Freemasonry alive for us and the men who are now moving into leadership positions throughout the fraternity. At any other time in the history of Freemasonry, each succeeding generation came along approximately in twenty-five year intervals, making changes in their lodges, and in Freemasonry as a whole, to reflect their needs and desires. Masonry has always adapted to serve the societies in which it resided. Until recently. Now, instead of a twenty-five year adjustment in direction, Freemasonry is suffering from fifty years of habit and hardening of the arteries.

Not long ago, I visited a lodge that had fallen on hard times – very hard times indeed. At one time, their rolls held the names of more than 1800 members. Today, they are down to 200. That’s not an unusual state of affairs for a fraternity that artificially swelled in size after World War II, but for men who see success and failure only in the narrow terms of numerical statistics, it is an emergency of epic proportions. There were members in that lodge who remember those heady days like they were yesterday. They remember the degree nights with 150 Masons on the sidelines. They remember the dances, and the Christmas parties, and the big group trips. They remember the dinners when the dining hall was packed to the rafters, with their kids running up and down the room, while some successful member from the civic or business world tried to give a speech. They look on those days fondly, and are bewildered by the fact that no more than eight members show up for the average meeting today. They’d had no candidates in four years, and they literally begged their members to come and participate. No one did.

The men who kept that lodge barely alive tried to do things the way they have been done when most of them joined a half century ago. The same eight men met for a meager meal before their monthly meeting. They opened lodge with perfect ritual. They read the minutes and the bills. There was rarely any business, new or old. They closed and fled the building, and were home by 7:30, before prime-time network programming got started for the night. Over the last five years, the same eight members have been trading officers’ positions, and they just got tired. They were fed up. So, they decided to merge with another lodge and be done with it.

As with any turning point of this magnitude, all 200-plus members had to be notified of the meeting. Only twelve cared enough to show up to vote to euthanize their lodge. They had no fight in them to save their lodge. They wanted to simply slip into the ranks of another, give up their charter and their 140-year history, and vanish from memory. They had killed their own lodge with their own failure to embrace any change, and in fact, many of them were enraged that some brethren from outside of their lodge had come in to try to resurrect them at the eleventh hour and interfere with their plans for a quiet suicide.

They didn’t do anything to appeal to new members. But neither were they serving their existing ones. They weren’t broke. These were children of the Depression. They had almost $200,000 in the bank. So why did they do nothing to interest their aging members? Bus trips to Branson. $100 cruises to the Caribbean. Casino boat trips. Tours to Masonic sites in Britain. Trips to the Holy Land. Catered dinners. Sponsored movie nights. Loads of public awards. Medicare drug program presentations. Estate planning seminars. Computers at lodge to send emails to the grand kids. Power-chair races in the halls. In short, give their existing members a reason to keep coming to lodge, to keep enjoying it, to love it.

Neither did they do anything to attract new members. They rent the lodge room in the big downtown Temple building, so like most tenant/landlord relationships, they figured they didn’t have to put a dime into the place if they didn’t own it. That’s somebody else’s job. Really? If only they had tried investing in their lodge. Put in new lighting so members could see three feet in front of them. Upholster the sad looking chairs and benches that have the original leather from World War I on them. Tear up the worn and moldy carpet and replace it – maybe with one of the only black and white checked carpets in the U.S. that we talk about in our ritual but almost nobody seems to have. In short, make it look like something worth coming to. Make it look like something worth joining.

Then start kicking the members into participating in lodge – not worrying about who was going to be what officer or memorize which part of the ritual. Actually talk about Freemasonry, its history, its symbolism, its philosophy. Actively visit other lodges and help with their degrees. Get members interested in other activities in the building, or volunteering to help some of the community groups that have been meeting there with greater frequency. We talk a big line about charity and helping the community, so let’s start giving time, and not just checkbook generosity. And if they still didn’t have a full lineup of guys willing to be officers, just sideliners, it wouldn’t matter.

Because, once the place looked like living inhabitants occasionally might be in the place, and that it was actually a vibrant, active lodge, maybe, just maybe, some of their grandkids might get interested in Freemasonry, because they were seeing Freemasonry in action, instead of Freemasonry inaction. The business author James O’Toole says, “People who do not think well of themselves do not act to change their condition.” Even a lodge that only has eight regular attendees has within its active ranks the resources to wake itself up, to do things that make them truly happy to be there, and sometimes to even surprise themselves.

Leadership has no age, and there are no limits on imagination. But a lodge has to mean something to its members. It has to remain part of their lives, every day, every week, every month. Because once it’s more fun, or less hassle, to stay squeezed comfortably in the LaZBoy, curled up with a remote control, than it is to go to lodge, we have lost them. No one would ever voluntarily join a memorization club, and no one wants to join the oldest, greatest, most legendary fraternal organization in the world, only to be sentenced to a lifetime of cold cut sandwiches made with suspicious meat, generic cola, and monthly meetings of nothing but minute-reading, bill-paying and petulant sniveling over why no one comes to meetings anymore. Be honest with yourself. What rational human being seriously wants to go to the trouble of leaving home to go and listen to someone spend twenty minutes reporting that nothing happened at last month’s meeting either?

It will be the lodges that provide programming for their active members – whatever their age may be – that will survive and prosper into the future. But those that stubbornly cling to the notion that lodge is no event, that lodge is just one more meeting to be borne, that lodge is that most terrible of things, Ordinary – those are the lodges that will literally bore themselves to death. Those are the lodges that will slip silently away in the night. And the shadows of things that Might Be will have faded into the concrete Reality of a deserted lodge room.

“Ghost of the Future!” Scrooge exclaimed, “I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear your company, and do it with a thankful heart.”

- Source: Knights of the North Masonic Dictionary

Happy New Year!

TheJourneyBeginsGreetings my Brothers!

As we embark upon a New Year, many have faithfully set their goals for 2014 and resolved to make them come true. Others have decided that a New Years Resolution is just a waste of time. Wherever you stand along this continuum you know that we are at the beginning of a year that you will create for yourself. I wish you amazing success as you step forth on this new beginning. For help, aid and assistance remember to call on your Brothers to make the journey better and filled with Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love. As you can see with this article we mark a new beginning for our website.

While on the subject of goals for 2014, I’m going on the record here so you guys can help me keep on task. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the check-in process at our meetings. Being one who loves to use technology to make life easier, I think we need to get to the point where we have membership cards that can be scanned as you come through the door. This will make life easier for everyone. So, that is my big push this year. I’ll talk more about it as we move forward. If you happen to have any experience that may apply, I’m interested in hearing from you.

As you can see, I did a little facelift on the website which I trust you’ll appreciate. I’m gaining more experience with the multiple websites that I’m designing, building and maintaining. I dare say this is a vast improvement over the first one. I’ll be adding a few new features and making some of the old ones better. I’ve been playing with another calendar that will show some improvement over the presentation we have currently. Don’t worry. It will take the same Google calendar inputs you have been making for a couple years now and just do a better job of displaying them. Look for that in the coming days. There are also a few changes that need to be made to the current content but that will be easy enough.

MasonicBodiesStepsThe new website also has a familiar picture tiled across the top. Because of the design of the website you can’t see the whole thing. So, take a look at the picture on the right if you wish to see it in its entirety. Unfortunately, it doesn’t blow up very well for a detailed view. But, you get the idea. We are all one big happy family!

As always, I love to hear your feedback, comments and suggestions. It is my desire that this website help to facilitate better communication amongst the lodges and members of the 11th and 12th Districts. So, please don’t keep your opinion to yourself. Email me or use the comment option below this article. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your lodge brothers and friends.

May 2014 be a great year for you, our fraternity and these United States of America as well as the world. Let us become enlightened together.

Fraternally,

Pat

Patrick Farrell, PDDGM
Secretary, Masonic Association
11th and 12th Districts
http://jaxmasons.org

Fundraiser Breakfast at Riverview

See the flyer below for details. You can print it and distribute if you like. Or, see the links below this post for options to share in a variety of ways. Please help get the word out.

Fraternally,

Pat

Patrick Farrell, PDDGM
Secretary, Masonic Association
11th and 12th Districts
http://jaxmasons.org

 

Riverview Breakfast by secjaxmasons

City of Kissimmee Declares Grand Master of Florida’s Visit A Special Day!

On Saturday November 16th, during the Annual Steak Dinner, the Brethren of OBL80 were very honored to have the Mayor of Kissimmee, Jim Swan; sitting Commissioner, Jose Alvarez, who is also a member OBL80, and the City Attorney, Don Smallwood, also a member of the lodge, present our Grand Master of Florida, M:.W:. Danny R. Griffith, with the following Proclamation. This declares the Day of Special Observance for the community, for Orange Blossom Lodge, and all Florida Freemasons, thereby naming the special day:

“Grand Master Danny R. Griffith Day.”

 

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Might you be eating supper on Wednesday, December 4, 2013?

Well, since you’re going to eat supper that day anyway, why not help out a deserving organization and treat your family and/or friends to a sit down supper?

Jax Rainbow Assembly #21 invites you have supper at Sweet Tomatoes, 1115 Mary Susan Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32246 MAP

Sweet Tomatoes will donate 15% of sales generated by this promotion. Purchase a meal and a beverage and enjoy the great meal and help a great organization.

For your meal to count you must print out the flyer below and present it when you pay for your meal. It’s that simple. Each register receipt must be accompanied by one of these flyers to be counted toward the total. There are some rules printed on the flyer as well.

 

Sweet Tomatoes.pdf