Merging

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by CajunTinMan, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    I would like to here some views on lodges merging.
     
  2. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    My view? You can only merge so many lodges before you have to get to the source of the problem. :p
     
  3. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    Yeah.... We have a strengthing growing lodge but no building.
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Absolutely 100%. Unfortunately, many Masons have too much price and would rather demise than support a neighboring Lodge. Too many Brethren look at other Lodges as competitors, which is a bummer.
     
  5. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    You gotta separate the concept of lodges merging with them just sharing a building. The latter we see a lot in Europe and is a good way to help with economy and expenses.
     
  6. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a pickle then. To be clear, are you talking about merging so both lodges are under the same charter?
     
  7. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Our lodge shares a building with another, we're trying to source out a building, it's tough though when there is not a lot of cash flow
     
  8. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    Merging of Charters usually doesn't workout well, really it is better for the lodge to demise and the active members find another home. If Freemasonry regains traction in their area, the lodge charter can be revived. Usually the baggage that comes with mergers isn't worth the effort of mental anguish.

    Note that I said "usually", that doesn't mean all the time, but my limited experience has heard nothing but bad outcomes.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  9. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    I am on a committee weighing all options.
     
  10. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    I think Bro_vick is right in his statement. I haven't tried it with lodges, but seen it with other club and company situations. There just ends up being too much bickering. At least if one lodge closes and the members join another there is a clear choice from their side that they are joining what the other lodge stands for.

    If it's purely an economic need that is driving this process I'd suggest to look at how you may be able to share a lodge building. This is often a huge expense that can literally be cut in half with proper planing.
     
  11. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    My Lodge is one that has absorbed another Lodge. When they couldn't keep the building up and the membership dropped off we absorbed them. Most, if not all, of them still maintain membership with us, but you never see any of them in Lodge. There are still a couple of Brothers that show up every so often, but for the most part they stay away. I am not saying that this is the way it usually goes but that is what happened with us.
     
  12. Virgin Islands Brother

    Virgin Islands Brother Registered User

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    I'm wondering Bro. Heilman if the issue with the absorbing of that lodge relates to personality. I am beginning to realize that lodges have personalities. Some businesslike, some focus heavily on ritual while others focus on the fraternal bond. If a lodge of dissimilar personalities merge, I can see where attendance issues will occur. If you haven't done so, maybe your WM and the IPM of the absorbed lodge need to discuss what can be done to make your new brothers feel at home. Maybe adopt some of their better practices and focus some attention on what they deemed important.

    I am more inclined to support lodges sharing a building. Using this model, I think it will all boil down to matter if scheduling.
     
  13. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I think that the main reason for the lack of attendance is distance and time. The lodge we absorbed was about 20 miles away. The bulk of the membership was older and the time required of them to travel made it not worth their time, or so I imagine. This was several years ago, before my time. We are working to improve things to get people back through the doors. It may not seem like much, but we have managed to get 3 or 4 to start showing up regularly that used to not even darken the doorway even for free food. It is a slow process to be sure.

    The sharing of the building with another Lodge seems to be a good, smart choice. What the main problem is what needs to be looked at. If it is a money thing then for sure try to share the burden. If it is a personality thing then there may be no hope.

    I wish you and the Brothers of your Lodge the best. I hope it all works out for the better of the Craft.
     
  14. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    I do go along with the personality issue. After awhile we just all seem to be in sync. I could see how a fly in the ointment could desturb that.
     
  15. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Merging? Absolutely! Would you rather have 5 strong Lodges who can open and close Lodge correctly and confer their own degrees or 10 on the brink of demise? Let's look at it from another perspective, a new candidate. Would you rather him be in a Lodge that operates efficiently and has Brethren lining up to help or a Lodge where the W.M. scratches his head to find someone willing to teach?

    Unfortunately pride gets in the way until it's too late, then every surrounding Lodge suffers.
     
  16. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    one difficult thing for us during a merger was the officers that came to ours wanted to remain in the "line up".... We said "not going to happen"- then they wanted a separate wall to dipict pictures of their lodge officers, then when they transferred money in to our lodge they wanted their old lodge name stated in a scholarship donations to our local school. I guess certain things "rubbed me wrong" with certain stipulations or agreements" that were made. We placed all of their lodge info and artifacts in to our historical library to preserve records, but to me that should have been it. For quite some time during meetings and announcements, references were made about the "former" lodge were made again & again... To me that got old.
     
  17. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    I can see how that could happen.
     

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