The purpose of DI and DDGM

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by HKTidwell, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    My intent for this thread is for a thought provoking Q & A regarding both actual duties and each brothers personal thoughts. I'll preface this by saying that I've only been raised a year and do not have many years of knowledge to pull from.

    District Instructors what purpose do they serve?

    Last year prior to our WM taking his place in the East I was able to meet and watch our DI instruct/grade our WM, SW, and JW. This was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing anything along the lines of a graded procedure(yes, I know it was not a graded procedure but he was listening and discussed different things). Other then that one time I have not seen our DI. Is this common? I would think that DI's would be staying in contact with all lodges and seeing how they can assist them. I know we have talked on here about degrees and lodges doing the degrees but shouldn't the DI be actively helping in these areas? I'm not complaining about a DI or DIs' this is just my observation from a business mindset.

    District Deputy Grand Master
    Besides keeping the GM updated one what is occurring in the district, and dealing with problems/issues what are their purpose? I guess I view this as a Regional Manager to help the lodges grow and prosper, while dealing with issues that might arise. What were their original intended purpose?

    I guess I hear alot of things on here about the different lodges and issues that have occurred or needs that are perceived and wonder if maybe strengthening the roles of these offices would increase the number of "Masons", not in name only but actual masons.
     
  2. Chris_Ryland

    Chris_Ryland Registered User

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    I love this!!!!!

    District Instructors are there to help all of the lodges in the district with all things "ritual." The problem is, they must be requested by the lodge or individuals in a lodge to help. They cannot just come to a practice and start correcting everyone. Most DIs will make every effort to help a lodge that asks them for assistance.

    District Deputy Grand Masters are there to be the eyes and ears of the Grand Master. They cannot interfere in any matter unless instructed by the Grand Master to do so. Lodges can ask for their assistance in any matter, however they may not be able to give any opinion on the matter unless the request is in writing or they call the Grand Master to discuss. Most of the time, the answers to questions can be found in the law book if you know where to look. A DDGM should have an updated copy of the law book and most of the time can lead an individual or a lodge to the information that will answer their question.

    As far as expanding the roles for these officers, it is up to each Grand Master as to how he will use them. They are, after all, his officers to use as he sees fit. I think that you will see a gradually increasing role for these officers with the Grand Lodge line that we have in place. These brothers that we have elected to lead our Fraternity in this state, definitely have the best wishes for our Fraternity as a whole. I think that all of them are some of the best men I have personally met and that they will continue to do what is best for our Fraternity.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
  3. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    I did not know that a DI was not allowed to just show up at different practices. I assumed that it was one of the things that was within their purview. And I guess I wasn't thinking of the DI showing up and pointing fingers but more in line with my time in the fire service where the trainers would come by the different stations and help with practices and also increasing knowledge. I know we call the memory work esoteric work but I could also see putting DIs' into a more active role of increasing esoteric(not memory) work within lodges.

    I'm sure there was a instance at some point in the past where DIs' were restricted to only by request. Is this accurate? Either way has their role ever been more active?

    I'm a new brother so I don't really know the ins and outs of how these positions work. I just look at it from a business mind set and don't see them being an active role but more of a passive role. I assumed that they were limited in scope which was why I mentioned that their roles be expanded, and was not meant to imply the people who have been selected were not doing a good job.

    Also was curious what role everybody here thinks these positions should fill, this is not meant to reflect poorly upon the job as has been preformed.
     
  4. RAY

    RAY Registered User

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    Brother Tidwell,
    Brother Ryland hit the nail on the head with only one word out of place and that is DDGm's " Do "have updated GL constitution books. Please understand this that no DI have a passive roll and or on the road 6 days a week some times. They are Masons also (Lol) but its not often they can be at there own stated meeting due to there job as DI and assisting other lodges in degree work and teaching the craft. They are in no way limited but you must call them for assistance.
     
  5. cambridgemason

    cambridgemason Premium Member Premium Member

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    we don't have DI here in Massachusetts, we have GL instructors, a number of them that are divided into districts. They serve the same purpose as does your DI.

    The DDGM goes back into ealry Masonic History, I do not know when the first was appointed. Early GM prior to the organization of GL's were appointed by GL of England or Scotland and were Provincal GM's(sort of the state or section of the country DDGM's). The DDGM are mentioned in pre 1770's proceedings of GL of Mass.. In some cases if the Lodge or Lodges were in a rural area, then the DDGM was at times was also the Grand Lecturer. He would attend the Lodge, go over the books, receive money due the GL(if they had not paid in a while). He would also check on the work and condition of the Lodge. He was truley the eyes and ears of the GM in those days. Since horse travel from central Mass or the western part of the state could take a day or more to get into Boston, he was there to see that the Lodge did things according to GL regulation. This was the case with some Lodges that did not attend the GL communications. It was a common practice that either attending as the DDGM or the GL, if traveling a distance the lodge would pick up his overnight fees, and sometimes travel expenses.
     
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Brother Tidwell, thank you for asking this question. We have some great answers as well. I feel like it could better be served in the Law section so if a Brother is wondering what the DI and DDGM can help with on he could find it more easily.
     
  7. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    A couple of GMs past the DIs also did education nights, where they went around their districts teaching a class. If I recall the last one was on Symbolism. I think it was 2 a year...
     
  8. david918

    david918 Premium Member

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    Our DI in district 32 is more than willing to help any lodge or brother with the work.I know that he attends at least 2 practice sessions a week and sometimes 3 all on his own time.When we mess things up it's our own doing and not because of our DI.Better stop now or Brother Lins will get a big head.*LOL*
     
  9. Chris_Ryland

    Chris_Ryland Registered User

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    Please Stop NOW!!!!! His head is plenty BIG ENOUGH!!!!!!

    LOL!!!!! Bill you know I love you Brother!!!
     
  10. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    I'm guessing by the comments of Brother Ryland(As far as expanding the roles for these officers, it is up to each Grand Master as to how he will use them) this was an initiative by the GM, and not the DI. What happened to this was it something that didn't gain enough support within the lodges to be continued or just something the next GM did not want? I'm guessing the lodges didn't support it because I can't see a GM not promoting a successful program. Did all the DI's use the same information or was it targeted by district? And do you still have any of the information from these classes? I'd like to look at it if that is a possibility.
     
  11. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    In answer to your question, my DDGM Letter of Appointment states that I would "serve as the personal representative of the Grand Master" in my District. In addition, each DDGM is issued a Law Book with an extra "DDGM" section.

    Mine states that I would make one official visit to each Lodge in my District, and make a written report to the GM thereon, and that I would also make a written report to him on "the state of the Lodges" in my District "and of all official acts" (presentation of service awards, escorting GL Officers when they are in the District officially, such as for cornerstone ceremonies, etc.). I'm sure that each GM's instructions are a little bit different, depending on what he wants to emphasize or accomplish during his year. Mine (R:.W:. Murphey) wanted us to make as many "unofficial" visits to the Lodges as possible, and replaced the 2nd Official Visit with a Workshop.
     
  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    As to the duties of the DI, my letters (they're essentially all the same) state that my "primary responsibility as District Instructor will be to make yourself available to assist the Lodges in your Masonic District in teaching the Masonic ritual to all Masons in the District, and, if necessary, to teach candidates for the degrees in your Masonic District the Masonic Catechism as prescribed by the Committee on Work."

    In addition, last year I was also required make official visits of my own & to attend the DDGM at all of his official visits (2 per Lodge) and grade the Lodges. In my case, that was a total of 27 visits.

    No word as to what to do in my spare time. ;-)

    We don't have to get permission to attend practice sessions but we are NOT to offer corrections unless specifically asked. Apparently, in the past, some DI's were less than tactful & caused problems in the Lodges.

    We are also supposed to attend and assist in as many of the CoW's forums & exams in and around our Districts as we can.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    too late!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :51:
     
  14. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    One of the DDGM's duties is to present all 50 (or more) Year Awards in his District. I'd like to see the DI's given the official task of presenting all esoteric certificates in the District with some sort of formal ceremony, like that of the service awards. I think that, if we made a bigger fuss over the Brethren who put in the effort to earn certificates, we might create more interest in the program.
     
  15. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    You know last night heading down to the Alamo we discussed certifications. After you invited me over to San Gabriel lodge for the workshop/Certification I've been talking to our brethren about hey we need to get some people certified. I think this will lead to us have some A,B,C's in the future. Having said that I do not think we would have had that interest if it was not for you asking me to come over to San Gabriel. I've looked on the GLoTX new site and have tried to find the schedule of Certification in the area do you happen to know where that is now?

    Thank you very much for sharing the duties you have been requested to perform. On reporting the state of the lodges does this help craft future thoughts and policies of the next GM? You will have to forgive my ignorance on this. Also when you visited lodges did most of them ask for guidance when you visited? Were you asked to come back and if so did this encourage you in the work you were doing? I ask because I could see where if the lodges didn't ask and were not encouraging a DI to come back that he could become disillusioned/discouraged with the task he was embarking upon.
     
  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Bro. Hugh, YOU deserve the credit for that, not me, but thanks for the kind words!

    AFAIK, it hasn't been published yet. If I happen to find out, I'll post it here. Otherwise, I guess we'll just have to keep checking the website. The old site had the schedules under the individual Committee members under the Committee on Work selection on the menu. I haven't checked the new site yet.

    No problem- it's a great question. I'd like to think that the DDGM reports are being read & used as you suggested but, if they are, I've seen no evidence of such. :-(

    I've had a couple of Lodges ask me to come & help them with officer certification- dunno if there will still be interest since Prop. 5 passed. Otherwise, usually when I get a call is when a Lodge schedules a degree & realizes at the last minute that either they cannot confer it or they don't have anyone who can give the lecture.

    Yes, it's easy to get discouraged. So many Brethren don't care about the ritual or aren't willing to work at it. Improvement is a process, not a destination. I agree that there is much more to Masonry than just the ritual, but I also believe that it is important- not just because of the lessons contained therein, but also because it is one of the main things that distinguish us from other fraternities or groups.
     
  17. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    Bro. Tidwell, and Lins, Thanks for more great questions and answers. I was not aware of the procedures for the DI, or all of his duties. Now I understand why I've seen ours once since I've been a Mason. We are moving out of a stagnant stage, and have a little movement in our Lodge. That seems to be well liked by those who have been showing up to Lodge, and the extra things we have been doing lately. I don't really expect Prop. 5 to really affect most Lodges, as most I have heard about so far, are serious enough about our Craft to continue to do the best possible, and will ask for help when they need it. I am sure there may be a few who try to use it for other reasons, but I hope not. I would really like to have more visitation and inoput from our DI, but I am not sure how that will be. Now that I know "WE" have to "ASK", I will be trying to do that. At any rate, I do appreciate the information, and hope others have gained something as well.
     
  18. Bigmel

    Bigmel Premium Member Premium Member

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    We are lucky in our District. Our DDGM and DI’s attend our stated meetings and degrees on almost monthly basics. They are always there for us. We discussed the outcome of the Resolutions at Grand Lodge at out stated meeting last night. It is the Lodges responsibility to make sure that our officers are qualified to open and closed our lodge. We have a Lodge Instructor, and the DI and At Large Di are members of our lodge. These Bro’s will work with all who wish to learn the work, and prior to election of officers these Brothers Will address Lodge and state if brother running for office are qualified to hold office. If they are not qualified they will not be elected
     
  19. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    Although I don't have the experience that Brother Lins has had as DDGM and DI, (I've never been either), it has been my observation that DDGM's and DI's may be pointed in certain directions by the GM but ultimately they end up doing what the Lodges in their district want them to do. Where I am, (Rio Grande Valley), there has been little interest in anything educational. It does seem as if DDGM's and DI's can only visit a Lodge when asked but I suspect that is more a case of not feeling welcome than it is of actual rules. There are Lodges who treat visits by either with considerable skepticism. From what I've seen, when welcomed, the DDGM and/or DI can be a big help to any Lodge.
     
  20. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    I realize this thread is about DI's and DDGM's but it is my observation that a Lodge's interest in certification bears a strong relationship to the role of the DI in that Lodge. In our Lodge, seven of the eleven officers hold current certificates and several other regularly participating members also hold certificates. Our DI lives a hundred and fifty miles away and we have never seen him but the DI from a concurrent District visited at a recent meeting. When the meeting was over, several of the us cornered him with questions about how we were doing the work. We needed his input. He knew his presence was appreciated. I'm sure he'll be back.
     

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