those of you who were able to attend the DDGM reception you will know that my
theme this year is related to Membership and that my talk at the reception was
specific to Attendance, in particular that by attending and taking part.... to
whatever extent... we add greatly to the success of the event. As individual masons we often underestimate
the value of our attendance.
would like to carry on this theme this evening by talking about how we might
target the membership to encourage them to become more active within the lodge....to
increase attendance. In particular I
want to talk about the lodge summons, newsletters and the general dissemination
of information from the lodge to the membership.
start with perhaps the most basic and most familiar of these communication
tools....the LODGE SUMMONS....
most cases the lodge summons is basically the same from month to month....the
Master’s message changes.... as well as a short piece covering the work for the
upcoming meeting, but other than that, one month tends look much like the past
with a relatively minor updating once per year.
summons is usually the major printed contact material between the lodge and the
member and for some its purpose is merely to announce the time and date of the
meeting, and to provide minor details about the work planned as per the by-laws
and the constitution of Grand Lodge.
in all a pretty straight forward publication....but I ask myself.... are we missing
an opportunity here?
Secretaries..this is not a condemnation of what you put out...all the summons
in our District serve well the purpose to which they are designed…..but I want
to try to awaken within you the desire to say and do more.
if we added some Masonic education to the summons, what if we added some
pictures....what if we recognised birthday’s and Masonic anniversaries….and I
know for all of these that some lodges do this…
might ask how does a more interesting summons improve the activity of the
it generates interest in what the lodge is doing, makes one feel more a part of
the lodge activities and is a STEP towards increasing the activity level of the
it a magic pill?....NO ...will it in itself increase participation...probably
not, but as I said .................it is a STEP along the path and in
conjunction with other elements I feel that it has a good chance of reaching
many of the members and thereby meeting the goal of increasing the
participation of the membership in the activities of the lodge.
of the reasons for a lack of body to a summons is the additional cost to mail
it out....paper, ink and postage...yes this is true, but if we have a summons
that either keeps or encourages participation, is the additional cost not worth
to this is that many lodges have a lodge newsletter...or alternatively many
districts have a District Newsletter.
believe that one of the fundamental aspects of membership is the desire to
belong to something that is worth belonging to! So we need to promote the lodge, district or
Masonry in general to sell the concept that it is something worth belonging to
and in particular it is something that is worth taking part in.
is where the newsletter comes in....what better way to promote what we do, our
successes, anniversaries, our activities and to promote all that Masonry has to
offer. Our district for many years had a
very successful newsletter which was orchestrated by a dedicated individual and
involved a great deal of work......it served to promote what I have
outlined. The basic concept here is
that, it promoted what we do and increased the chances that our members would
want to participate...... there’s
that word again...
are having some difficulty in resurrecting the district Newsletter in that the
commitment needed is great and the present editor is undergoing some time and
work pressures. That is why I have
authorised the creation of a blog for the district as a way of quickly
disseminating pictures and information.
I would like to thank W.Bro. Roger Kitching and Bro. Ray Thoms for their
efforts in this regard. We need to tell
the story, we need to get the message out….but the greatest challenge is
getting that message to the people who are not participating.
is a fair bit of interesting information that is disseminated to the lodges via
the DDGM, mostly from Grand Lodge. Add
to this a wealth of information that exists in print and on the internet and we
have a wealth of information that if disseminated to the membership could
improve the DESIRE to be active...TO PARTICIPTE.
your presence here this evening and your general participation in our district
you are not really the audience that my message needs to reach.....
can be the medium that allows the message to be passed on to those that need to
lodge needs to communicate with its members to promote what we do and induce or
reignite the desire to increase PARTICIPATION in our less active members.
believe that the most useful way of promoting what we do to the less active
members is by getting each of you to convey the message personally....there is
nothing better that a friend/brother talking up the goings-on at lodge....we
need to make our “missing members” want to be active....as I keep saying,
people want to be part of something that is good...start the fire...a spark
that if the conditions are right....interesting and enjoyable brotherly
interaction...then the blaze will erupt and we will have an active, valuable
member of our beloved craft.
simply do not promote enough....the lodge could do more via their summons, by
ensuring it shares as much interesting information as possible via email or
other means. The blog or a newsletter
will I hope, serve to promote all the good we do and to promote the
desirability of being part of what we do.
lastly and more importantly, each one of you needs to be more cognisant of promoting
our activities to our less active brethren...many them want to be part of what
we do....they have just got out of the habit or perhaps the habit was never
there….whose fault is that? open the door for them...I believe that we can be
successful if we apply ourselves properly....will there be a quick turnaround
in the level of activity?....will there be a deluge of now active
members?...probably not...at least not initially....members did not stop being
active in one step...they faded away...so let’s get them back the same
way...one step at a time.....and if we can reach only a few them we will still
have been successful. We are fortunate
to be members of this beautiful craft; it has much to offer and it is incumbent
on each of us to encourage our brethren to share in it with us.
Master....I thank you for your indulgencies this evening and my Brethren I
thank each and every one of you for your kind attention and hopefully my
address was not too long, too boring and met my target...that being to start us
down a path to ignite a desire in each of you to improve the activity of our
The attached photos are of members of the
Scottish Rite who are making the latest batch of pork sausages to raise funds
for the refurbishment of regalia. This
is the 4th time over the past few months that these brethren have
pulled up their sleeves and got the sausage machine churning. So far the fundraiser has been very
successful which is in no small measure to the quality of the product. I can personally attest that the sausages are
extremely tasty and value for money given their quality. The sausages are made with freshly ground
pork, natural casing, salt, garlic and spices.
They have no fillers of any kind and come in mild, medium and hot
Apart from working for a worthwhile cause,
these sausage makers appear from the pictures to be having fun....another
important ingredient in anything we do.
If you want delicious sausages in the future watch for the next announcement
and get your order in.
Sudbury-Manitoulin Masons Presentation to Northern Ontario Medical School, Sudbury Campus.
On October 6th, 2015,
members of the Sudbury-Manitoulin District Masons attended at the Northern
Ontario School of Medicine, Sudbury Campus, and made an additional contribution
to their existing bursary fund. Shown in the photo are (l-r); Bro. Ray Thoms, District
Photographer; W. Bro. Rodd Junkala, District Rep. for the Masonic Foundation of
Ontario; R.W. Bro. Dave Hodgins, PDDGM for the Sudbury-Manitoulin District;
second year medical students, Allyson, Julie, Sara and Sean; and Kathryn
Needham, Advancement Officer with NOSM.
contribution to NOSM was made by virtue of a District Project under the
auspices of the Masonic Foundation of Ontario. The Masonic Foundation of
Ontario is a public foundation registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. It
was founded in 1964 by a special Act of the Ontario Legislature to provide the
means for using the Craft’s financial resources for the benefit of the
community at large. The objectives of the Masonic Foundation are: to receive,
maintain, control and use donations exclusively for charitable purposes within
Ontario; to use donations its donations for the relief of poverty, the
advancement of education and the advancement of other purposes beneficial to
the community; and to fund bursaries, hearing research, drug and substance
abuse education in the school systems and to other specific community projects
that fall within its guidelines.
Funding is provided
primarily from three sources: investment income earned on the capital; personal
contributions from Masons and friends of the Foundation; and bequests from the
estates of individual who made provisions in their estate planning.