Solicitation of funds from Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    So today I was going through all my mail and suddenly I noticed a letter from the Grand Lodge of Texas. Typically I throw their letters away because 9 out of 10 times it's soliciting money, yet for some odd reason I opened it. Low and behold, please send money. Many of you know my views on the Grand Lodge facility, but for those of you who don't, I suggest we sell it.

    Back to the letter, it was a guilt trip letter how honorable Masons built it, the first meeting was in the 1940's and that we need to carry on the burden, I mean tradition, of keeping it up. The funds available for maintenance are currently in the range of $3,000.000.00 but they need $15,000,000.00 to modernize the facility. My jaw dropped. First of all, if we don't have the money to maintain the facility NOW, how are we after blowing $15 mill to modernize it? It would take every member of the GLoTX AF & AM to donate $166.66 to reach that goal, and that's being generous on membership statistics.

    In the 1940s, there were twice as many Freemasons as there are now and we've continued to loose thousands per year, mostly due to age. We're not in the golden age of freemasonry anymore where we can afford such a lavish facility. Why not build an administrative building and museum? For $15 million, you could easily do that. Annual Grand Lodge Communications could be held at different facilities each year.

    Hey Grand Lodge, want to spend some cash? Spend it on education and lets get back to what made Masonry so successful. Having that money pit in Waco is only going to burden Brethren, at least for the foreseeable future.

    /end rant
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  2. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    Better yet, build or buy a multi-story office building with a parking facility and rent everything except for the floor needed for our offices & museum. That way, the building could support itself and maybe even turn a profit. And put it in Austin, NOT Waco!
  3. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    I knew what to expect as soon as I got the letter. Once I confirmed they just wanted more money I tossed it in the trash.

    My mother lodge has enough financial problems, as do other local lodges around me. If I'm going to donate any extra money it'll be local first. The GL is an impressive building but keeping it just so the GM can have his palace doesn't seem financially responsible.

    Has anyone ever looked at pictures of other GLs? Some of them are rather quaint compared to ours.
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    I wish this site had a 10000000000x "Thanks" button! Well said! Pride shouldn't make our beloved Fraternity bankrupt. The purpose of Freemasonry was never to build lavish buildings, but to make good men better. That's a fact. Our Local Lodges are teetering on the brink of demise and with that, our appendant bodies; it's a ripple effect. If our Grand Lodge is healthy, our appendant bodies will be as well, yet under our current policies, everyone is suffering.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  5. masonicknight

    masonicknight Registered User

    Just an insight of California's GL. It is located on Nob Hill in San Francisco. One of the most expensive places to be. The tax rates for tourists and other visitors is enormous compared to the rest of the state. Yet the GL refuses to move to a more centralized area that is less expensive.

    It seems that a good portion of the problem is related to who actually owns the building and why it cannot be sold. The Masonic Homes of California apparently has a big chunk of ownership and controls that well. But the GL is stuck with the bills and maintenance of the building and of course paying the various people who work there.

    They also feel that to move away from this location would somehow lesson the "experience" one has when the Annual Communications take place.

    The local lodge literally around the corner from me has lost membership for years. It finally combined with another a few miles away. It had a high appraisal but has finally ended up being sold for less than half that amount. The city fouled up one sale and the GL then required a re-submission of all documents from the previous sale in order to approve the current sale of the same property. We all asked the question as to what happened to all the documents on file already. No real answer. Feels like the government more and more with them.

    We get the same letters, and like you many of us utilize the round file regularly.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  6. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

    I bet if two GLs met in that building you could find the funds needed to renovate and modernize it............

    Bro. Byron Upton
  7. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

    Solicitation of funds from Grand Lodge of Texas AF & AM

    "I bet if two GLs met in that building you could find the funds needed to renovate and modernize it............"

    • Well stated brother.
  8. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

    Mausoleums are always expensive.
  9. Robert G

    Robert G Premium Member

    We are having the same issue in Florida. We have a GL building in Jacksonville (of all places!) which has been a money-pit for years. The GL proposed raising the per-capita to pay for maintenance. This was voted down at the GL Communication in May. I'm trying to find out what, if anything, is going to be done about the building. We have a very beautiful masonic home campus in St Petersburg where I think the GL should move to. It would make a lot of sense. Parts of the Jacksonville building are disused because of many years of neglect. It's seems rather odd to me how these GLs are clinging to these buildings which we can no longer afford to carry.
  10. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

    At least Waco is still the major city closest to the Texas center of population (although not for much longer, if the trend continues).
  11. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    The California GL building is at least rented out as a conference center. It turned a profit for a lot of years. Note to any lodge planning on buying a building - It may cost more to get a property that turns a profit but that property will be a blessing for a very long time. A lodge in one of my districts meets upstairs from a strip mall. They do great as the renters pay for maintenance.

    Illinois has always voted against buying a GL building. This thread is why.

    Sharing office - You mean like Washington state. An example my brothers worthy of all emulation.
  12. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    `My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away".
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2013
  13. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    I'd like to hear something from one of our Colorado brothers on their Grand Lodge situation. If I'm not terribly mistaken the Grand Lodge there was not long ago in Golden. A year or two ago I was much surprised to see that it is now in Colorado Springs.

    Is this correct? And, if so, what caused the location shift?

    I, too, believe those "pillars half buried in the sand" of which Brother Maloney refers, were also called the pillars of Enoch at one time in antiquity. And that they may have been fashioned by one of his offspring, Jabael.

    Anyone, please free to correct me on this to get the records straight.

    I love this website.
  14. Roy Vance

    Roy Vance Certified Premium Member

    It gets used about as often!
  15. JFS61

    JFS61 Premium Member

    The problem I see with this thread is that everyone assumes that the members will still cough up 15 million dollars even if we go ahead and jettison the building. In reality that won't happen, and in the end we'll end up no better off than before, except that we will now meet in a local No-Tell motel instead of a worthy edifice. We became Masons not because it was easy or without struggle, and to turn our backs on the legacy our forefathers entrusted us with because it has become "inconvenient" is an idea I find troublesome.
  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    I like the version of Ozymandias Revisited that has the ruins turned into a tourist trap offering postcards of your visit. Even more ignominious.

    The lesson of the second degree lecture definitely applies. Too bad the part about this has been moved to the long form in the monitor that is rarely given during degrees. Masonry has survived a lot worse than a crumbling building.
  17. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

    I think what a lot of us wants, both in Texas and elsewhere, is the Grand Lodge actually start talking about some of the problems we have and issues we see out there in the local lodges. Joint affiliation with PHA, economy on local and grand lodge levels, Traditional Observance etc. are all things we talk a lot about, but most of us haven't heard any GL officers address these issues.
    They may be talked about behind the scenes, but not out in the open.

    The various GLs have to remember that they that exist solely to serve the local lodges. If you as a "governing body" lose connection with your rank and file membership it often does not end well.
  18. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

    I'm willing to open my closed wallet if they are willing to open their closed minds...

    Freemason Connect Mobile
  19. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    Why would we need to continue to raise 15mil to refurbish a building we sold?

    I think that's a bit pessimistic, don't you? With the money we made off selling the old place we could probably have a nice place built. It'd be smaller, yes, but the GL doesn't need to rival the capital building, does it?

    We aren't turning our backs on anything, the masonic legacy is still there. By not making financially prudent decisions about our GL building now, however, we are creating a legacy for the next generations of masons...time will tell what kind of legacy that will be.
  20. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

    Sell the current building, take the money from the sale plus the 3m in the fund now and buy or build another, more modern building. The GLoT is like a figure head, often seen but seldom used. It's not like the MWGM and his officers are there daily, they are too busy traveling the state.
    In fact, if you want to save money, curb their travels somewhat.

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