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Entire Progressive Line quits!

Number4

Registered User
I've just discovered that our SW has been approached and asked to step aside after four years of hard work so that a PM can be elected and installed; several of the line officers have also be approached and to their credit, all have declined. Said PM was in the East for five years, during which time the lodge stagnated with no activity save for paying the bills every month and initiating candidates that we never saw again.
Now with step up night just two weeks away, I have decided to follow suit and resign as an officer;the SW and myself have already inquired about affiliation with another lodge nearby in the same district before we formally demit. It is sad that one of the oldest lodges in the country (chartered 1786) has come to this.
 

Keith C

Registered User
Wow, it is hard to fathom that some group would be that intent on putting someone in the East, especially someone who is already a 5x PM.

I can't say I blame any of the current Officers for resigning. I also can't fathom that the DDGM would let this go forward. In our Jurisdiction, the DDGM has to approve anyone running for elected office.
 

Glen Cook

G A Cook
Site Benefactor
Question: you are resignIng during your term, or declining to accept office in the next Masonic year?
 

MarkR

Premium Member
Somebody nominate the SW for WM, let somebody else nominate the PM, and let the lodge decide. Or can't it be done that way in your jurisdiction?
 

Number4

Registered User
Question: you are resignIng during your term, or declining to accept office in the next Masonic year?
Both the SW and I have resigned (letters went in today) in our current year. Academic really as step night is in two weeks, with election/installation in December
 

Number4

Registered User
Somebody nominate the SW for WM, let somebody else nominate the PM, and let the lodge decide. Or can't it be done that way in your jurisdiction?
Normally the SW nomination is automatic, but since this all came to light, the SW has decided that even if elected, he does not want to preside over a divided lodge, and after 22 years loyal service and hardwork to get to this point, will move on
 

Number4

Registered User
UPDATE
The SW had a conference call with the DDGM last night and while there were things discussed that I'm not privy to, he said that we are doing the right thing by moving and that this unmasonic conduct is part of a pattern going back well over a year, but that there was nothing that he (the DDGM) could do about it. Which begs the question, how much longer will the GL tolerate this destructive activity? I would like to think that there are things in motion behind the scenes to deal with the situation, and as we all know the wheels of Masonry turn with glacial speed even at the best of times, but somehow I have my doubts.
 

Glen Cook

G A Cook
Site Benefactor
UPDATE
The SW had a conference call with the DDGM last night and while there were things discussed that I'm not privy to, he said that we are doing the right thing by moving and that this unmasonic conduct is part of a pattern going back well over a year, but that there was nothing that he (the DDGM) could do about it. Which begs the question, how much longer will the GL tolerate this destructive activity? I would like to think that there are things in motion behind the scenes to deal with the situation, and as we all know the wheels of Masonry turn with glacial speed even at the best of times, but somehow I have my doubts.
What do you believe the GL should do?
 

Bloke

Premium Member
I've struggled in both my Craft Lodges at times, but for different reasons. That said, I once thought I (as a PM) would have had to stand against my proposer for the election of WM. He wanted it so he could say he was in the Chair more than any other PM in our Lodge. He was a good enough Mason to withdraw, but if he had not, we would have been good enough masons to run a vote and the unsuccessful candidate for WM would have got behind the successful candidate. For me, when a PM is in the Chair, it kinda represents a failure to bring up new talent and develop leaders... but time and circumstance sometimes does see only a PM available or the potential MM candidate for WM unfit. And when I say "unfit", although most of our WMs preside over the lodge the whole night, as a leadership position, being able to Lead is much more important than being able to preside over Degrees. A few years ago we put a MM into WM who could only open and close - and not well at that, but he shone as WM because he might not have been a good ritualist, but he was a great leader...

For me, this is about culture. The culture in my lodge is give the MM a go before a PM.. but was there any reason you can see @Number4 for passing over this Warden ? What do these men see that you don't ?

I would assume the WM is elected ? I would go to ballot, then; a ready acquiescence to all votes duly passed by a majority of Brethren...

For me, we're not kids, I don't go running to the teacher (GL) when we have problems.. it's for us to sort out.. A GM should not get involved in the running of a lodge unless by invitation by the majority of members, or unless the law has been broken.

I always use this guide - it's not about me. It's not even about my mates - it is about the Warrant - because that is the device which allows us to meet as Brothers. Every decision I make in a lodge is guided by "what is good for the warrant" - especially its sustainability within the values of Freemasonry... that's the discussion my lodge would be having in this situation.
 

Number4

Registered User
I've struggled in both my Craft Lodges at times, but for different reasons. That said, I once thought I (as a PM) would have had to stand against my proposer for the election of WM. He wanted it so he could say he was in the Chair more than any other PM in our Lodge. He was a good enough Mason to withdraw, but if he had not, we would have been good enough masons to run a vote and the unsuccessful candidate for WM would have got behind the successful candidate. For me, when a PM is in the Chair, it kinda represents a failure to bring up new talent and develop leaders... but time and circumstance sometimes does see only a PM available or the potential MM candidate for WM unfit. And when I say "unfit", although most of our WMs preside over the lodge the whole night, as a leadership position, being able to Lead is much more important than being able to preside over Degrees. A few years ago we put a MM into WM who could only open and close - and not well at that, but he shone as WM because he might not have been a good ritualist, but he was a great leader...

For me, this is about culture. The culture in my lodge is give the MM a go before a PM.. but was there any reason you can see @Number4 for passing over this Warden ? What do these men see that you don't ?

I would assume the WM is elected ? I would go to ballot, then; a ready acquiescence to all votes duly passed by a majority of Brethren...

For me, we're not kids, I don't go running to the teacher (GL) when we have problems.. it's for us to sort out.. A GM should not get involved in the running of a lodge unless by invitation by the majority of members, or unless the law has been broken.

I always use this guide - it's not about me. It's not even about my mates - it is about the Warrant - because that is the device which allows us to meet as Brothers. Every decision I make in a lodge is guided by "what is good for the warrant" - especially its sustainability within the values of Freemasonry... that's the discussion my lodge would be having in this situation.
G'Day! In our jurisdiction, a candidate for WM has to have a Warden's certificate signed off by the District Instructor of Work before he is eligible for election. Basiclly you have to be able to open, close, dispense with the Lodge, and go from labor to refreshment as well as conferring all three degress including second section MM. This certificate lasts eighteen months, so even a PM would have to have it renewed before standing again.

To answer you other question, our SW has been effectively running the Lodge for the past several months because the WM was largely unavailable due to personal and business issues. The SW has done a first class job, reviving the extinct newsletter, reaching out to Brethren new and old to improve attendance, and building good relationships with appendent bodies and other organizations such as the PHA. This apparently has offended certain people who want to return the Lodge to the 'old ways' i.e. inactive and insular, by installing a PM who ran things that way for five years.

Not my problem any more, as my affiliation papers and demit request have now been signed off on and are on the secretary's desk at my new Lodge, where I received a warm and hearty welcome from the WM and a PGM last night.
 

Bloke

Premium Member
G'Day! In our jurisdiction, a candidate for WM has to have a Warden's certificate signed off by the District Instructor of Work before he is eligible for election. Basiclly you have to be able to open, close, dispense with the Lodge, and go from labor to refreshment as well as conferring all three degress including second section MM. This certificate lasts eighteen months, so even a PM would have to have it renewed before standing again.

To answer you other question, our SW has been effectively running the Lodge for the past several months because the WM was largely unavailable due to personal and business issues. The SW has done a first class job, reviving the extinct newsletter, reaching out to Brethren new and old to improve attendance, and building good relationships with appendent bodies and other organizations such as the PHA. This apparently has offended certain people who want to return the Lodge to the 'old ways' i.e. inactive and insular, by installing a PM who ran things that way for five years.

Not my problem any more, as my affiliation papers and demit request have now been signed off on and are on the secretary's desk at my new Lodge, where I received a warm and hearty welcome from the WM and a PGM last night.
Sounds like they are on a path to damage their lodge... but as you say, not your problem now..
 

Number4

Registered User
Postscript: I was notified by our WM late last night that PM behind this takeover has been suspended from Freemasonry for six months, effective immediately! No details on what the charges were yet, but it must have been pretty serious.

We live in interesting times.
 

Brother_Steve

Premium Member
What would have happened if you ran against the PM and won? Would those who were sided with the PM eventually leave?

What would the condition of the lodge be if your line stayed and each progressive officer finally made it to the East?

I take issue with some of the thought processes of the JW Elect which may influence my future decision as one who has gone through the chair but I feel it’s nothing compared to what you’re talking about.
 

Number4

Registered User
I cannot speak for the thoughts of others, nor can I speculate on what might have happened. The three of us (SD and both Wardens, JD resigned as an officer but remains a member), have already moved on, so that peace and harmony may return to our mother lodge; I am told another PM has volunteered to be WM there on a pro tem basis, and I wish him every success in healing the rift.
 

Matt L

Site Benefactor
Sounds very destructive to the peace and harmony of the lodge. For this to come to a head it must have been brewing for a while. For what it's worth, even with two weeks to go, I would have remained in the office I accepted the previous year to fulfill my obligation of office, whether elected or appointed.

The S.W. should have had formed a plan for his upcoming year as W.M. and had his officers ready to go. It is unfortunate that someone with two weeks before election asked the S.W. to step aside. As I wrote earlier, I would have fulfilled my obligation and than let the chips fall where they may. It's the only way to change lodge culture.

This is just my humble opinion only, and mean no ill will to those that resigned. May you all find a lodge that values you as a person, and Mason. Good luck.

Matt
 

Number4

Registered User
Sounds very destructive to the peace and harmony of the lodge. For this to come to a head it must have been brewing for a while. For what it's worth, even with two weeks to go, I would have remained in the office I accepted the previous year to fulfill my obligation of office, whether elected or appointed.

The S.W. should have had formed a plan for his upcoming year as W.M. and had his officers ready to go. It is unfortunate that someone with two weeks before election asked the S.W. to step aside. As I wrote earlier, I would have fulfilled my obligation and than let the chips fall where they may. It's the only way to change lodge culture.

This is just my humble opinion only, and mean no ill will to those that resigned. May you all find a lodge that values you as a person, and Mason. Good luck.

Matt
Yes it was. The SW did indeed have his officer line and programs for the year planned out when he was blind sided; as the remaining events were step up night and election/installation was problematic as in theory at least, he had no chair to step up to. The JW and I did attend though, because there was a petition to ballot on so we fulfilled our duty, but the atmosphere was so toxic it only confirmed our decision to demit. Our 'new' lodge is the one where we hold RA Chapter and Commandery, so we are not exactly strangers there, and it feels like coming home, in a way. Thank you for the good wishes, may you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving

Stuart
 

Adam Cockerham

Registered User
Postscript: I was notified by our WM late last night that PM behind this takeover has been suspended from Freemasonry for six months, effective immediately! No details on what the charges were yet, but it must have been pretty serious.

We live in interesting times.
The charge may have been "Electioneering". I know that's what they call it in North Carolina and it is prohibited. If it's found that a lodge in NC has committed electioneering, the lodge can lose its charter. But things are different from one jurisdiction to another, and that's what makes this Forum so interesting to me.
 
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