Lodge Secretary....What did I volunteer for?

Discussion in 'Officers of the Lodge' started by Brent Heilman, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    Our current Secretary will be leaving office in December when we have our annual elections due to the onset of Alzheimer's. I looked for people to volunteer to learn the position, but nobody stepped up. In classic form for me I volunteered when no one else would. As a new Secretary what did I get myself in to? Right now it is overwhelming with the amount of stuff to learn. Being almost completely electronic in regards to forms much of the paperwork is easier. What advice would you give to me? I am eager to serve to the best of my abilities, but I will take any advice I can get.

    P.S. I saw an old thread about this but decided not to resurrect the dead and hijack another Brother's thread.
     
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  2. HoldenMonty

    HoldenMonty Registered User

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    I personally don't have much advice besides talk to other secretaries in your district and find out if they have any classes for the secretary to attend. Our lodge secretary is halfway trying to talk me into taking it over from him maybe in 2019 because he has been doing it for a lot of years. But he says being the lodge secretary is like marriage... until death do you part.
     
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  3. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    Our current Secretary and his predecessor are the only ones in the last 30 years to leave the office alive. They do some Secretary Schools around the state and I will be attending at least one of those. I definitely want to do right by the Lodge and do the best job possible.
     
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  4. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    The lodge near me has one year secretary duties. However, back in Oklahoma, the secretary had been doing it for years, maybe decades. It seems like a position that needs to be revamped and less of something to dread but more of something pleasurable as other officer positions are. We often lay that responsibility on one person and they get 'stuck with it' for years or more. They are usually too kind to step away because they know how difficult it is. They are the most underappreciated people in a lodge. To me, we need to spread some of their responsibilities perhaps to other officer positions to not burn out certain brothers. I think the Wardens and WM could take on some of those duties. At least some of the email duty and organizing maybe. Even the JD/SD could do something. Secretaries tend to get abused in some lodges, almost literally. I wouldn't do it which is maybe why I'm not in line right now because I know what's really at the end of the race, secretary duties.
     
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  5. David Duke

    David Duke Premium Member

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    I’m in Texas but I would bet it is about the same everywhere.

    There is nothing really complicated or hard to learn, the main thing is to understand there are a lot of little things to do and not let them pole up on you because you will never catch back up. Stay as organized as possible and create an annual calendar in addition to the Masters calendar with things that need to be done , when committee reports are due and things like that.

    Also when at Lodge for meetings it never fails that several brothers will have questions and want to know about different things please remember that in most instances this is may be the only time they can see you so I urge you to remain patient.


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  6. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    It definitely seems to the Oklahoma way. I am looking forward to the challenge. In some ways I can see why the Secretary position needs to be a regular person year after year. On the other hand I can see why it being treated like the other chairs would be good also. I am just glad most of the paperwork is online now so I can do some of it from the house or work. My Lodge has been known to appreciate the person in there more than some others. We pay our Sec. a monthly wage. Our current one has not taken it in 2 years though. I don't plan on it either, but I will leave that decision up to the Brothers on whether they want to do that or not. Either way I am okay with it.
     
  7. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I have no experience in this area but wish you the best of luck. Very good of you to step forward into the position.
     
  8. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I'll take it one further and say, I never intend to have experience in this area...
     
  9. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Well, there is hope your appointment will not prove terminal then :)

    Definitely ask for advice from reliable sources. Many will offer advice, but it will more often be wrong or the hard way of getting something done rather than good advice. Know your Constitution and ask if there is a secretaries' handbook or the like.

    Best advice, and I see you're in the military, and trust me, its good advice
    "The man who is clever and lazy qualifies for the highest leadership posts"

    And remember what Clausewitz said about Stupid/Industrious leaders, many Secs are that, Stupid/Industrious = dangerous.

    I think Secretaries are there to facilitate and advise, not to try to be Master - if there is one trap they fall into beyond incompetence, it's that.

    However, like any Master of a Lodge and Leader, delegate often and delegate well - but a lot of the grind you will just need to do it yourself.

    I ended up secretary because we got very disorganized and in debt. Planning is always good. Being organised is good. But knowing what you're supposed to do is the start and you're luck you have your predecessor still alive to ask, assuming he was a decent Sec..
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  10. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Very true, I have seen this myself. On the other hand my mother lodge has a secretary that is content to work in the background and is very wise and experienced in the ways of Masonry. I am going to the East in a few weeks and have already informed him that I will be relying on him to fill the role of chief advisor.
     
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  11. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Congrats on your 'promotion'! First time there?
     
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  12. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Thank you Brother. Yes, first time.
     
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  13. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Nice, that's a very big deal. W. Bro. Warrior ;)
     
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  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Thanks again Brother. It will be a very special evening and year for me.
     
  15. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I thought I was going to go left this year but was voted to continue on the right.
     
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  16. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    I'm racking my brain trying to figure this out......going to JW?

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  17. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Lol, I was a little confused but could only think he was reelected to be WM for a second year in a row??? I guess it's only left or right from whatever perspective you're at.
     
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  18. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I was too.
    Got it.
     
  19. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Nah cause he's currently the Sec

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  20. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Oh I see.
     

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