"Lodge Politics"

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

  1. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    OK- here's the straight skinny:

    Art. 286. (323). Junior Warden: Not Affected: When.
    The Junior Warden is not affected by the Senior Warden having to act as Worshipful Master, nor by the absence of the Senior Warden from a meeting at which the Master is present, nor by vacancy in the office of Senior Warden, but retains his station and a pro tempore Senior Warden shall be appointed.


    As one can read, only the JW is affected. He leaves his station only in the absence of both the WM & SW, in which case he presides over the Lodge. None of the minor officers are affected by this.
     
  2. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Thankfully I didn't experience politics within my home Lodge. Now when you get to the Grand Lodge level, it's all about politics.
     
  3. Billy Jones

    Billy Jones Registered User

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    It is the same in Ms when the SW accends to the east his chair is filled pro tem and the JW remains in the south he only takes the east in the absence of both the WM and SW Everyone has to have a starting point. My pet peeve is putting a new Brother as Tiler just because it has the least words imho he needs to be inside the lodge to me the best place for anyone to start is JD and if he truly learned his proficientcies then he has most of the work for that chair
     
  4. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    On of my lodges has a tradition of putting the outgoing PM as Tiler. He generally wants or needs a break. I served two consecutive years in the east and by that time I very much needed the break.

    How the Warden chairs work is interesting. Immovable as installed in some jurisdictions, immovable as pro-tem in other jurisdictions. Every so often you'll have some business at a stated meeting that takes so long more and more brothers sign out and go home. The wardens have to stay until it's over. The master's gavel and knowing when to use it matters greatly in such a meeting. I rather like the option of a "dress rehearsal" for advancement that is available in the immovable as pro-tem jurisdictions.
     
  5. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    I don't know if this is similar to what you are speaking about but if the WM is absent we do what is called advanced chairs. Each station and place moves up one chair for the evening and a steward seat is left vacant. If there is no degree work the vacancy does not affect the workings of the lodge.
     
  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Yes. That's how it works in 2 of my 3 jurisdictions. I described it as pro-tem immovable. Once at a pedestal for a meeting you're there until the meeting is closed. W Bro Bill cited Texas law on the situation so that's not how it works in my 3rd jurisdiction. I described it as as-installed immovable. Once installed in a pedestal office you serve there until the year is closed. No advanced chairs in stated meetings for the JW/SW.

    Degree slates don't seem to apply to the rule, nor do practice meetings. I'm trying to recall if I have seen Wardens move to other warden chairs in Texas. Shuffling officers among chairs is so common it's not something I would notice so it's not something I have a recollection on either way.

    Before I was installed in the east for the first time (in California) one of the better pieces of advice handed down to me is that near the end of the year I would have business travel that kept me from attending one of my Stated meetings. That way my Wardens would have to practice advanced seats at least once before they were installed. If my business travel in question was to take my wife to a movie, that works. I was taught this as an SW when my own WM returned from his travel and got a report on how we'd done. According to Art 286 as cited by W Bro Bill, Texas Wardens don't get this type of "dress rehearsal" advanced chair meeting.
     
  7. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    As you may know, prospective WMs & Wardens have to be voted upon as to their proficiency by the Brethren of their Lodge prior to installation. Our WMs have the authority to pro-tem any position for any Masonic purpose. In our Lodge, our WM will pro-tem the Wardens' chairs and his own with the prospective incoming officers for the purpose of demonstrating their proficiency @ the stated meeting one month before elections. The Brethren vote at that meeting. Some Lodges do the same thing, but at a called meeting rather than a stated meeting.
     
  8. Bro. Staton

    Bro. Staton Registered User

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    Well said ....Many only plot for the advancement of a title. Many should seek to do well for the lodge in any position in which they hold be that of a regular lodge member or officer. Start your work right after you are raised is what I say and that will define who and what you are all about.
     
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  9. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Same here in Kentucky. No campaigning and usually an orderly progression through the chairs.
     
  10. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    We don't have the requirement here to certify prior to being elected to the East - only that the prospective WM have served one complete year as a Warden. I really like that Texas rule - we have a deep running problem here with officers holding the chairs who are not all that proficient in opening and closing, and have difficulty in picking it up on the job, as they've let the pool of "proficiency men" run dangerously low. My home lodge has that trouble now - the Director of Work has focused almost all his efforts in trying to work with the past two masters and not so much on the new guys coming up.

    I've been working to try and fix that for the upcoming year; working with the junior guys in their work... my prospective JW just earned his officer's proficiency certification from the Grand Lodge last week, and my prospective SW is closing in on his. For myself, I went out and finished my A-level certification (Red and Blue instructor cards). I have a hole in the prospective Senior Deacon chair, but a couple of good candidates to start out in the JD chair.

    We have a designated "step-up" night at our October stated meeting where the Master retires to the Amen Corner with the PMs, and the SW, JW, and SD step up to the next chairs for opening and closing, much as you described in your post, to give them a little experience in those chairs, and let the lodge have an idea as to how they'll do. We've also had regular practice nights where, when possible I've placed the new guys in their respective new seats and let them work. So far, it's paying off so that we should be a good bit stronger in our ritual program for the next few years...
     
    Bill Lins likes this.
  11. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    In the 4 years of being a mason, except for this last year, I really became to hate elections. It really brings out the ugliness in brothers. This past year I demitted from my mother lodge to become a member that I was a honorary member of, and the election for officers for the new year was very civil. And I was also appointed jr. Stewart.
     
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  12. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Good for the appointment (though to steward, vice stewart).
     
  13. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    These smart phones aren't as smart as they claim. I didn't notice it till after it posted.
     
  14. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Send it to summer school. Mine has learned some of my Masonic phrases.
     
  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Congratulations Brother.
    lol!
     
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  16. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    Interesting stuff here.

    Generally in our Lodge the elections of WM, SW and JW are generally linear and non-contested. Additionally you must have served a full Masonic Year as a Warden in order to be eligible for election to WM and there are competency requirements as well as training in order to be eligible to run for each of these offices. Last year our Senior Deacon, who was on track for election to JW in December had some life changes and had to decline the opportunity at the end of August. At the time I was Junior Deacon, having been appointed to that Chair in April when the originally appointed JD had some health issues. I had to really step up my game as I had to memorize the work for Business of the Lodge and the EA Degree by mid-November and be signed off by a District Senior Instructor before then to be eligible for election.

    In our Lodge, the issue is more finding those willing to do the work to move through the Chairs to the East, not quelling over ambition of someone wanting to be in the East for some self-serving purpose.

    Another thing I noted, for Degree work the JW assigns the various Chairs and anyone can sit anywhere, with the exception that the person in the WM Station must have been "signed off" on the given Degree. For Stated Meetings, in the absence of the WM the SW takes his place and the JW takes the SW Station and whoever is to fill the JW Chair must be qualified, so it is usually a PM. In the absence of both the WM and SW the JW takes the Station in the East and the two Warden chairs would be filled by PMs. We can't put just anyone in a Warden's Station for a Stated Meeting.
     
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  17. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    I sat in JW chair for a degree work a couple 3 times, with a grand lecturer sitting next to me in case I forgot something, and did great. And then got to fill in during a business meeting. I loved the feeling of sitting in that big chair, that I am hungry to learn all of JR. & SR. D , so, I can rightfully sit in the south.
     
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