WHITHER DIRECTING OUR COURSE?|
I refer to the article (MQ, Issue No. 15)
where the Pro Grand Master expressed
the concern of Grand Lodge regarding
the problem of falling numbers.
In my 27 years in London Masonry I
have seen many members come into my
Mother Lodge, but in some of the Lodges
that I have visited I see that most of the
members are in the older age bracket and
nearly all are Past Masters of the Lodge.
It is very difficult for them to bring in
new members because of their age, but if
we all spoke openly about Freemasonry,
and raised the subject when the occasion
arose, some of our friends and business
colleagues – and even family – would
show some interest in finding out a little
more about what it involves.
This has worked for me. I have
recruited seven members into my Lodge
and I am working on one more for my
Mother Lodge and another for a Lodge I
have joined that is struggling to survive.
These are all contacts I have
introduced into Masonry by telling them
how much I have enjoyed my involvement
and how many new friends I have made
during the years I have been involved.
We need to maintain our membership
so as to keep the cost within our budget.
If we continue to have falling numbers
we will find the cost of membership
increasing far higher than some of us
can afford, reducing numbers still further.
Finally, I hope that Lodges are finding
more time and involvement in organising
open events, such as white tables, to
bring people into our friendship.
Goose and Gridiron|
With reference to the article in MQ, Issue
14, July 2005 and the letter from Michael
Plaskow (Issue 16, January 2006), regarding
the Goose and Gridiron, the photograph
on the left shows my Past Master’s jewel with
that emblem on it.
Anthony Sayer Lodge No. 4225 was
founded in 1921 and is the only Lodge
under the Constitution of the United Grand
Lodge of England to bear the name of the
first Grand Master.
Don Phillips, Towcester, Northamptonshire
Exemption from dues
Grand Lodge has stated that it is conscious
that Installed Masters’ Lodges fulfil an
important role in Masonic education and
dissemination of information as well as
providing a forum for discussion.
It has, therefore, approved exemption
from payment of Grand Lodge and Grand
Charity annual dues from 1 January this year
by members of Installed Masters’ Lodges,
with the proviso that they are also members
of another Lodge.
If the Provinces were to take note of
Grand Lodge’s reasons for its action, and
follow suit by exempting members of
Installed Masters’ Lodges from Provincial
dues – with the same proviso – it would surely
be a further incentive to the recruitment of
new members, as Lodge subscriptions could
be reduced to a nominal sum.
Louis Lunn, Filey, Yorkshire
“Hele” or “hail”?
I want to enquire when and why “hele”
became “hail”. I was initiated in 1959, and it
was then always “hele” to rhyme with “heel,
conceal and reveal”. Every Lodge I visited
around that time used that pronunciation.
The word comes from Old English
“helian” and meant to set (a plant) into the
ground and cover up its roots. What more
appropriate for the purpose we employ it!
To hear it pronounced “hail” jars on my
senses and I was quite amazed to see it given
as an official pronunciation in Emulation
As DC of my Lodge and Preceptor of the
Lodge of Instruction, I shall continue to teach
“heel” in accordance with the old Southwark
working, but should be very interested to
know why a change was implemented and
when and by whose authority.
Russell Titford, Upminster, Essex
Repetitive toast list
Jim Pryor (MQ, Issue No 17) calls for a
shortening of the toasts. May I be even
more radical? There is no evidence that
any benefit, health or otherwise, accrues
to those toasted, so why not abolish them?
Likewise, why have speeches – who
remembers them the next day? All matters
relevant to the Craft in general and the
Lodge in particular can be covered in the
Risings. We have the formalities in the
Lodge room so the Festive Board should
be a time for enjoying the company and
companionship of our brethren. We might,
however, retain the Tyler’s toast as that
nicely rounds the evening off.
John Grange, Northwood, Middlesex
I fully concur with Jim Pryor’s Star Letter
(MQ, Issue No. 17) on the festive board.
Several of my friends and I resigned from
our Lodges in the past years for this reason.
The toast list becomes repetitive and
boring at a time when brethren should be
relaxed and, more to the point,
communicative with each other.
The seating arrangement in ‘pecking
order’ also precludes the senior members
of a Lodge from breaking any barriers
(and there are some to break) with social
conversation, and so be able to lead to a
much better harmony with, and among,
the junior brethren.
Frank Hughes, Wigan
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