"Lodge Politics"

Discussion in 'Officers of the Lodge' started by JMartinez, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. JMartinez

    JMartinez Registered User

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    Brethren, election time is just around the corner. I have been a master mason for so short a time compared to most (3-4 years). I am an officer in my lodge. I have noticed however that their are many ambitious men who want nothing more than to go into the east. Personally I think it is great that brethren devote so much time and effort to the craft and to the lodge. However I think elections cause a lot of "plotting" and "drama" in the lodge. I just want to ask... who has the power to take your lodge in a certain direction? who has the power to change things in your lodge? etc. The answer is...YOU. The BRETHREN. The members of the lodge. The purpose of the worshipful master is to maintain order in the lodge, he is the voice of wisdom and moderation. The lodge is no place for tyranny. I am sure we all know that the seats in a court room are situated similar to the lodge room. The judge is the "wm" of the court room, who's job it is to make sure the trail runs smoothly, because the trail can run its self. just like the lodge will run itself. There is no point for drama in the lodge. Brothers ambition is a good trait kept in moderation. We as a fraternity need to stand united against all the turmoil and obstacles we face all over the world. "United we stand, divided we fall". The masonic lodge is a "safe haven" of love, peace, prosperity, and equality.
     
  2. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Those who desire power are rarely those fitting to receive it. The best WMs are those that lead by serving others, not through authority alone. Just my opinion.

    SMIB my brother, elections are always a stressful time for me.
     
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  3. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    In NM, campaigning or electioneering are forbidden. The lodge generally votes in a linear fashion, but I have seen some shake-ups over the last few years.
    It's a shame to see someone rushed through the chairs just so he can have "PM" at the end of his name.
     
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  4. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    I saw a recent post from a masonic page on Facebook asking opinions about brothers who don't want to sit in the east. I was shocked how many responses stated "some are born to lead, others just follow". Personally I think that's BS.

    I don't want to sit in the east, EVER... not because I don't think that I could do it, but because my ambitions don't include it. In fact, though there is a long line for the east, there weren't any lines for the job of cleaning the lodge. Since I have the day off on our meeting nights, I've felt it was my way to contribute... and it's a job I'll be happy to fill for the rest of my masonic life. There may be no glory or honor in it, but I'm damn proud to be a mason and I'm proud of our lodge.

    Plus, I've never heard anyone politick for "lodge cleaner". ;-)


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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  5. vangoedenaam

    vangoedenaam Premium Member

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    Well said, brother!

    I believe, though, that every job should be done at least once in a masonic lifetime, as there are valuable (possibly life changing) experiences to be had in each one, especially those that are the most challenging. And every job can be done and done well with the aid and support of our brethren.


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  6. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    Good point... I hadn't considered that.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that though there are brothers who do a great job in those positions... titles, accolades, and awards don't impress me much (and I get a kick out of reading some of the "signatures" on here).

    I'm not against guys who seek out those positions... it just strikes me as odd that there are those that feel those things validate their self-esteem. I think I'd rather be the guy that, though maybe never sitting in the east, can always be counted on for a kind word, and can be called at 2 am for anything... and willing to sit in the shadows doing the stuff no one else is willing to do, like scrub toilets. I'd rather trade the title of "worshipful master" for "hell of a guy and true brother".

    Sorry for the rant... after having read that post on facebook, I got a little fired up because it seemed a lot of guys were dumping on their brothers who didn't share the same ambitions.

    PS- LOL... maybe an "Order of the Mop and Brush"... with the master donning a toilet seat.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  7. vangoedenaam

    vangoedenaam Premium Member

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    Worshipful Brother of Sanitary Cleanliness, bringing light to the white services, Tyling the lodge to keep out invisible cowan critters.

    There's a title in there somewhere. You are showing brotherhood as it should be. It isnt important wether the works are visible or invisible, big or small, its the intention with which you serve your brothers, lodge, the craft and humanity that really counts.

    And to sit in the east - when done well - is all about serving the lodge, being the support of all, carrying all brothers while all brothers carry you. If only all brethren would see it that way.




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  8. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    It's no wonder that Brethren aspire to be in the East, whether it is the right thing for the Lodge, or for them. Past Masters are treated with a deference and respect (at least here in Massachusetts) not extended to others. I have not been a Mason long, but the difference is obvious. We say we meet on the level, but if you have sat in that chair, you are set apart the moment you walk in the lodge. You wear a different apron. You are recognized by name, you are generally greeted by a different title. Rightly or wrongly, this sends the message that Past Masters matter more. They may serve for one unremarkable year, and they are recognized and honored more than a Brother who has contributed more, but did not aspire to formal leadership.

    It's a shame, because I am sure there are men whose talents are better used elsewhere, and are wasted in the East. I have seen this in my professional life as well: Brilliant technicians wasted in management, because management is set up as the goal or reward.

    I'll jump off my soapbox now.


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  9. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I think being a Past Master is the only way you get a vote at Grand Lodge unless you're a sitting WM or warden here in Texas. I understand the logic but I think it also inadvertently puts the PM title on a pedestal for the wrong reasons.

    Other than that, PMs don't really get treated much differently but my experience is somewhat limited to smaller, rural lodges where the majority of the active members are PMs. If anything, non-PMs get treated differently since they're the minority. :p
     
  10. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    Always remember that the white apron is the most important apron.

    A Past Master that did his time in the chair may know more men than you but that does not make them a better Mason than you. (So long as they remember their roots!)

    Remember, A mason who intends to go east should travel to get to know their counterparts in their district once they hit the SD chair. It promotes friendship between lodges and they will be there for him if needed. It is nice to have a sitting WM who put in his time traveling while moving through the SD and warden chairs who can call on someone in a pinch for that lecture you need for a degree because your main guy got sick or had an emergency.
     
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  11. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    Thank you for your response, Bro. Steve.

    I do know this, and we all know it in theory. In practice, though, it can feel very different.

    This is very true, but perhaps I wasn't clear by saying they are recognized by name. I should have said that they are publicly acknowledged by the WM by name at the end of every communication.

    I don't want to denigrate in any way the work it takes to be Master of the Lodge. That should be recognized. However, we should be careful not to devalue the contributions of those brothers who choose to work for the Lodge in other ways, and lead in other ways. Someone may be a great leader but know he is a terrible manager, and therefore wisely choose not to serve in the East. That brother should be no less celebrated than one who had chosen the Master's path.

    When a newly made brother sees a special apron, a lapel pin, the presentation of certificates, and the public acknowledgements, we should not be surprise when he aspires to the Oriental Chair, whether or not it is the right fit for his skills and temperament. I am not saying that we should not acknowledge Past Masters, but we must be careful to recognize and honor all contributions. Our symbols and rituals may say that the white apron is the most important, but our actions speak loudest of all.

    With the greatest respect to Past Masters, mentors, instructors, committee members, cooks, cleaner-uppers, and everyone who gives of themselves to the Craft,

    I am cordially and fraternally yours,

    Bro. Ari



    Initiated: 11NOV2013
    Passed: 09DEC2013
    Raised: 13JAN2014
    Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts

    The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
     
  12. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Don't be so fast on that. Some jurisdictions have a "Mason of the Year" type award that is specifically for a brother who does above average service but for some reason never went through the line. "Praise in public, chastise in private" works and that's why there is a steady stream of certificates and titles. Keep it up and you may be unable to dodge a certificate coming your way for your service.

    As to honor in it, yes there is. Honor is something personal, something internal. Honor is gained through service. You may or may not end up with the glory of a Hiram Award or whatever your jurisdiction calls the local Brother of the Year award, but slow steady service builds an internal state which does get recognized externally and informally. The brothers notice who's always there.
     
  13. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    We have what is called a Distinguished White Apron that has the seal of the New Jersey Grand Lodge on it. It is for Masons who go above and beyond the service of the lodge or community but do not intend to get in line for the oriental chair. Edited: To clarify: No intentions in going to the east.

    We introduce all MW, RW, PM, sitting masters and distinguished white apron brothers just after the lodge is at labor.

    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the bad picture. These are worn by a DWA brother in lodge at all times.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  14. JCmasonSquared

    JCmasonSquared Registered User

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    Part upon the square.
     
  15. JCmasonSquared

    JCmasonSquared Registered User

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    Don't mind me, still figuring out the app, but this goes with the above quote....

    You couldn't be more spot on Jamie, there are so many that strive to be master of their lodge not because they feel that they can help to improve their lodge, but because they want the praise, the title, the glory, all selfish reasons.

    On the other hand, every lodge suffers from a need of people to do the work that needs to be done, cutting the grass, landscaping, cleaning the lodge, etc.

    You're doing noble work, necessary work, and much more important work than many WM's ever accomplish while sitting in the East. Well done good and faithful friend.



    Part upon the square.
     
  16. Gerrydxb

    Gerrydxb Registered User

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    Greetings Brothers
    I am entered, passed, raised & advanced through Lodge Mosspark 1329 SC in Glasgow. Been in Dubai for over 14 years now & currently working in Doha, Qatar. Would love to here from any Brethren either in Dubai or Doha
    Gerry


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  17. Billy Jones

    Billy Jones Registered User

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    I am serving as WM this year and so far it has been a blast. We are a small lodge with little participation I was the only one who had not been in the east but before that I was very ambitious to sit in the east for section reasons one I love conferring degrees two I hope to serve in GL somewhere someday and in MS you must be a PM to do so. In our laws electioneering is illegal and states the office should seek the man never the man seeking the office but when asked if I wanted to sit I. The east I did not lie I said yes I was and still am humbled to serve as master amd I still every month get the early to make coffee set out the jewels and all the other small things
     
  18. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    A few years ago we had a newly raised MM sit in the South for the last 2 meetings before elections. This was done because the JW had moved out of town so the WM asked him to pro-tem because those in line behind the JW have to sit in their places per TXGL law.
    When he was not even nominated for the south he was really mad and has not returned since. It was explained to him that he needs to go through the chairs but he didn't see it that way.
     
  19. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    did anyone explain to the newly raised mason that it was temporary? Lodge can be overwhelming and when people don't explain what they assume to be then that makes for a world of trouble.
     
  20. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    This doesn't sound correct to me. In my Texas lodge it's common for installed officers to shuffle chairs pro-tem to fill in for brothers who are not present at a specific meeting. Yesterday evening both stewards filled in for both deacons for the opening. By the end of the evening both deacons had arrived and the pro-tem assignments had been reversed. There are no re-installations to progress an officer during a Masonic year but pro-tem advancements to fill a vacant chair or for practice happen regularly in Texas lodges I attend. This happens at both degrees and Stated meetings.
     

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