How to say thank you to your Steward

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Michael Hatley, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Check out what my lodge gave me tonight at our installation!!

    DSC_5753.jpg

    Was a challenging year - I really tried to do my best. It put a grin on my face from ear to ear to be awarded this set of workin tools for my labors as I moved inside the door. Metal briefcase full of every imaginable instrument a man who BBQs and cooks could need. A class act on their part in my opinion, and I'll always think back on the year when I use them. Might consider putting something like it on your list for stewards that stand out, it sure made my day in a big way.

    Onward, work to be done!!
     
  2. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    I was a Steward this year and all I got was grief, and people complaining that I brought too much store bought food in for meetings.

    LUCKY!

    S&F,

    -Bro Vick
     
  3. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    They had been catering at my lodge for a few years and that had cost an arm and a leg. So when I started cookin everything to save money I expected a lot of grumblin - but I didn't take into account how many of the old timers had done it that way themselves.

    Thank goodness for the Weber Smokey Mountain - best investment an incoming steward can make in my opinion unless they are already set up for bbqing. It is hard to find someone who doesn't like ribs, and they are hard to mess up once you've made a batch or two :)
     
  4. relapse98

    relapse98 Registered User

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    I thought to myself, and probably to my wife, when I started as Junior Steward "self, you could do this for a number of years if need be". Now that I'm Senior Steward, I'm pretty sure this will be the last year my wife will allow me to be a steward and I'm pretty sure its the last year I'll let myself be a steward.

    We're in the process of moving our lodge to a new building. Our senior steward last year was intstrumental in the move, which meant that I was on the hook for purchasing/cooking/setting up for every meal and he'd help serve and wash dishes. Until you do it, you don't realize how much actual work the stewards do if they are doing a halfway decent meal. I think its probably the #2/#3 time consuming job in the lodge after secretary. The wardens/deacons, yall got it eas(y)(ier) compared to this. Add to the fun a kitchen that is smaller than my closet, a stove that no longer works, a building with only 60 amps coming in and it just makes things hectic!

    This year I've got a great junior steward. His first learning experience will be us at a different lodge for a couple of months while we are completing the remodelling on our new building. I've learned to rely on roasters and crock pots for just about everything now.


    Michael, when do you do your ribs? If I did them for ours, it'd have to be on the weekend and reheat them on Tuesday... can't babysit a smoker while I'm working.
     
  5. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    I actually took off every single lodge day for almost a year and dedicated it to cookin. Went back to grad school after I sold my business a couple of years back and so I was very fortunate to have a window where I could arrange my schedule like that, even with maintaining some of the clients I took with me. So I'd get up every Thursday morning, do the shopping and the cooking and have done with it.

    I'll still be cooking from time to time for the lodge throughout the years though, no doubt - most of the guys who come through the line won't be able to do what I did. So my plan is to cook the meat on the weekend then oven it the day of and see how that goes. Giant cans of green beans, corn, or whatever from Sams does just fine if the meat is good and plentiful I find.

    Brisket ought to reheat pretty well too I'd think, same with pulled pork, but I haven't yet experimented in doing so.

    There are a number of lodges that I've attended that I think would benefit from meeting on Saturdays rather than a weekday, in my opinion, so that talented working age men could move through the line passed the steward roles without having to arrange their lives around it. I can think of one prominent lodge here in Texas in particular where there are a pile of substantive men from attorneys to architects that are stuck fulfilling the non line positions because they just can't make time during the week with their schedule to cook, but that is a whole can of worms and I'm sure there are solid reasons why the system works. But I will say I've noticed it as being an issue, mostly because I've been doing it this year and those guys asked how I managed it so many times.

    Some lodges I've noticed seem to start the line in reality at junior deacon and the steward roles seem to be revolving, like secretary, treasurer, tiler etc - but again in my opinion, I think that is a bit of a loss. This year gave me the opportunity to do a lot of plain, old fashioned talking to people, meeting them, and flat out becoming well regarded by the men of the lodge on a personal level. And then there is the whole humility factor too which goodness knows I could use heavy does of :001_cool:

    I honestly think that the simple things, like offering to get a plate for the brothers who aren't ultra mobile and that sort of thing did more for how my lodge thought the food I put out tasted than anything that was in the recipe. In fact I know so...because if they see you are going out of your way, then they want to like the chow...and if you want to like the chow, you like the chow :)
     
  6. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

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    I have always thought that asking two men to cook , wash dishes , clean up after 30 or more men once or twice a month is too much to ask . This is why in my second lodge next year , as Master , I am creating a food committee of four Brothers .

    I would be happier if it was more like the local OES Chapters in that the food committee calls all the officers and regulars and asks them to bring certain dishes . All food and drink is donated and the Chapter does not spend a dime on food .
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  7. relapse98

    relapse98 Registered User

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    I know our previous stewards, one of which is a PM, the other is now SD, had some issues with getting money out of brothers to pay for the food. But when you are served a pimento cheese or olive loaf sandwhich, it kind of takes away from the wanting to give, no matter how bad that looks. I've served what I thought was good food the entire year and almost always had enough to cover and our steward fund, built up with past extras, was always there if we didn't get quite enough. Sandwhiches are one of the most expensive meals, crazy as that sounds. Good bread/meat/cheese/condiments get expensive quick.
     
  8. relapse98

    relapse98 Registered User

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    I have a friend in Austin and he said their lodge I think has a permanent junior steward. Its an older, retired guy that just likes to cook. I think the SS is in their line and that's where new guys go, but the JS is always this guy helping you out.
     
  9. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

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    Why does he have to be the "permanent " Junior Steward I wonder ? Just do the cooking and allow young Masons to fill the Junior/Senior Steward chairs . ETA : I guess I can understand the reasoning , he may wish to be an officer but not move through the chairs . A lodge in my area has had the same Tyler for decades , he wanted to be an officer but not go through the line .

    I ask because We have a member in my mother lodge who enjoyed cooking as it was his job in the Army and used to do all the cooking instead of the Stewards . The Stewards helped set up for dinner and clean up afterwards along with their parts during degrees of course . But he is no longer able to continue to cook so it reverted back to the Stewards job .
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  10. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    My college fraternity did something similar. Whenever we had a cookout or meal, the fraternity would pay for the meat (burgers for a cookout, turkeys for thanksgiving, etc), and everything else you could think of was on a sign up list and provided by the members with no expectation for reimbursement. This extended all the way to decorations, etc. That way no one got stuck with the expensive dish, but it did save the chapter a lot of money in the long run.
     

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