Master's Message - Membership & Friendship
With three EA’s and three FC’s, I think we can safely say we are supporting our MWGM’s worthy strategic focus on building membership.
Some say when thinking on membership, you should anticipate an attendance rate of about 50%.
I don’t think that way about Devotion.
I think of lodges as a coherent group of friends and if you had a function where only half of invited guests turn up, would you consider that a failure and something terribly wrong? How is a lodge different – simply, it isn’t.
Yes, we all have other commitments (family being the most important) and need to keep Freemasonry in balance with other aspects of our lives, but we also need to create a vibrant night in lodge where people want to come.
Every member has a role to play in achieving that – something I saw very clearly last meeting. Something in me rejoiced when one of our EA’s was locked out of the building (disaster!!), but he waited until after our meeting upstairs and at the end of the night said “I almost left, but am so glad I didn’t”.
One of our wise old hands, so important to lodges, recently asked me what advice I would give on creating a good lodge - above all, realise that harmony is critical and to keep in mind a great lodge can be shaken by a single meeting where friction rules. Disharmony has crippled and destroyed many lodges in a single meeting. Also realise that the engine of a good lodge (and Freemasonry) is friendship and all the ingredients which go with it – respect, enjoyment, mutual support and loyalty, understanding, generosity and especially communication.
By far the most important working tool I have used over my last two years in the Chair is one which never gets a mention in our ritual– the telephone. Keeping in contact is critical. You can’t expect good friendships to be built on a single meeting for a few hours each month. I strongly encourage Devotion members to seek opportunities to get together or even just call each other between meetings.
When I think of our wonderful members and look at our success over recent years – I know Devotion has a great future under the capable leadership of our WME Andrew.
Fraternally, Damien WM 2009-20010
Masters Message - June/July 2010