GRABBING THE FUTURE 2

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GRABBING THE FUTURE" PART II EXTERNAL INFLUENCES

 

YESTERDAY WE LOOKED AT FOUP BASIC INTERNAL ASPECTS THAT WOULD

IMPROVE OUR MEETINGS. WE ONLY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE. WE ARE HERE

TO TRY AND PUT SOME FIRE IN MASONRY -- TO IGNITE SOME MASONIC PRIDE

IN OURSELVES -- TO START THE POT BOILING ON THE FRONT BURNERS AND

COME UP WITH A MENU PALATABLE FOR ALL MASONS. WE CAN DO IT, BUT.

IT TAKES THOUGHT - IT TAKES TIME -- IT TAKES WORK! IT TAKES

COOPERATION AND PARTICIPATION.

 

BEAVER STORY - TRYING TO START THE BOAT

 

NOW, LET'S LOOK INTO THE FUTURE AND SELECT SOME PRIME TARGETS THAT

EXTERNALLY AFFECT OUR FRATERNITY. WHAT CAN WE DO TODAY ?? YOU HAVE

HEARD THE OLD SAYING:

 

"UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL",

 

WELL IT IS A FACT -- HOW UNITED ARE WE IN MASONRY ?

 

THINK ABOUT IT. IT IS A CERTAINTY WE ALL WENT THROUGH THE SAME

RITUAL, THE SAME DEGREE WORK -- WE ALL ANSWERED THE THREE BASIC

QUESTIONS SATISFACTORILY OR WE WOULDN'T BE HERE. YES, WE ARE TO

SOME DEGREE OF A KINDRED SPIRIT AND VERY SIMILAR. BUT THERE ARE

CRACKS IN THE FUSELAGE OF FREEMASONRY THAT, IF LEFT NEGLECTED,

COULD LIFT THE ROOF OFF THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION. I SEE YOU

PONDERING, WONDERING ... WHAT CRACKS ?

 

DETRACTORS

 

WHAT ABOUT THE WHITEWASHING WE TOOK BY THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND -

VARIOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS AND OTHER UNINFORMED CHURCH OFFICIALS? THIS

RESURFACED DURING MY YEAR AS G.M. LIKE SO MANY, I WANTED TO DEFEND

MY CRAFT STRIKE OUT WITH REBUTTALS - SQUELCH THE ACCUSERS -POINT

OUT THEIR ERRORS AND WEAKNESSES IN THEIR PLATFORMS. I DID NOT. I

HEEDED THE ADVISE OF THE LATE M.W. BRO. WILLIAM WRIGHT, THE THEN

DEAN OF OUR P.G.M.'S. HE ADVISED TO LET THE FIRES BURN OUT, LET THE

WINDS DIE DOWN AND LET THE WILD DETRACTORS RETIRE INTO THE

MULTITUDE OR SEEK OUT ANOTHER CAUSE TO CHALLENGE. HE WAS ABSOLUTELY

ON TARGET FOR IT HAPPENED AS HE COUNSELLED. INCIDENTALLY, BRO.

WRIGHT WAS AN ARCH BISHOP IN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH.

 

IMAGE

 

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MUCH OF THE ANXIETY THAT IS CREATED. WHY DO

SO MANY REFER TO MASONRY AS A CULT OR A RELIGIOUS ORDER ? WITHIN

OUR TYLED DOORS, WE INVOKE A BLESSING TO GOD IN ALL THREE DEGREES.

WE LAY A V.S.L. ON AN ALTAR - THE CENTRAL FOCAL POINT OF OUR

LODGEROOM. WE PROFESS A BELIEF IN GOD ELSE WE CAN NOT BECOME A

MEMBER. I FIND NO FAULT IN ANY OF THE ABOVE. WE DO SHOOT OURSELVES

IN THE FOOT WHEN WE CALL OUR LODGE A TEMPLE. A TEMPLE CONOTES AN

EDIFICE FOR RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. REPEATED USE OF THE WORD - TEMPLE TO

DESCRIBE OUR MEETING PLACES IS SO COMMON PLACE IN OUR VOCABULARY

-- MOST -- OF US THINK LITTLE OF ITS USE. THE DICTIONARY DEFINES

TEMPLE AND ALLOCATES AT LEAST 4 RELIGIOUS USES. LODGE IS DEFINED AS

A HOME FOR BEAVERS AND A MEETING PLACE FOR MASONS.

 

I STILL PICK UP MY REGALIA BAG TO GO TO LODGE, NOT TO GO TO A

TEMPLE. BUT WHAT DOES JOHN Q PUBLIC THINK? NOW THAT WE ARE ON THE

SUBJECT OF RELIGION, WHY NOT KEEP THE INVOCATIONS OF BANQUETS AND

SOCIALS NON SECULAR? INFORM THOSE DELIVERING THE BENEDICTIONS TO

KEEP THEM UNIVERSAL IN NATURE. SO OFTEN I HAVE SAT IN LODGE WITH MY

JEWISH BRETHREN AND A CHRISTIAN BLESSING IS DELIVERED. I WONDER

WHY? WHY ARE WE SO INCONSIDERATE AND ILL-MANNERED?

 

THE MEDIA

 

SECRECY -- IF YOU HAVE EVER HAD THE PLEASURE OR DISPLEASURE OF

BEING INTERVIEWED BY THE MEDIA, THERE ARE TWO COMMON QUESTIONS THAT

MUST BE ANSWERED: (A) WHY CAN'T WOMEN JOIN MASONRY?, AND (B) WHAT

ARE THE SECRETS AND WHY ALL THE SECRECY?

 

THE GRAND LODGE OF CANADA IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO HAVE SET A

POLICY THAT ONLY CERTAIN MASONS SHOULD SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE CRAFT

FOR MEDIA INTERVIEWS. WE HAVE A PROFESSIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS

EXECUTIVE (A MEMBER) APPOINTED TO OUR BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES WHO

HAS PREPARED 40 STOCK ANSWERS FOR THE REOCCURRING QUESTIONS -THAT

WILL BE ASKED IN AN INTERVIEW.

 

THE UNINFORMED OR ILL-PREPARED MASON AT AN INTERVIEW CAN SET

MASONRY BEHIND 50 YEARS, NO MATTER HOW GOLDEN HIS INTENTIONS MAY

BE.

 

LODGE ENHANCEMENT

 

MUCH OF OUR BARREN IMAGE AGAIN IS OUR FAULT. EXAMINE THE TYPICAL

MASONIC LODGE -- NO WINDOWS - AND -IF THEY HAVE WINDOWS, MANY ARE

SEEN COVERED WITH PLYWOOD, AND BECAUSE BLUE IS THE COLOUR OF CRAFT

MASONRY, THEY WERE PAINTED BLUE -- NOT TO BE UNDONE BY SOME MASONIC

ARTIST DRAWS A SQUARE AND COMPASS ON THE BLUE PAINTED PLYWOOD,

USUALLY DONE WITH A PHOSFORESCENT ALUMINUM. I THINK ANY BUILDING

WITH WINDOWS BOARDED WITH PLYWOOD REPRESENTS DETERORATION,

DEACTIVATION AND DEPRECIATION -- SIMPLY EXHIBITS NO CLASS -- NONE!

 

IT'S TIME TO RIP THE PLYWOOD OFF THE WINDOWS. IT'S TIME TO IMPROVE

OUR PUBLIC RELATIONS, PUBLIC IMAGE AND OUR COMMUNITY IMAGE. IF YOU

ARE DESIGNING A NEW LODGE BUILDING, USE WINDOWS NOT PLYWOOD,

PLYWOOD IS KILLING US!

 

WE SPOKE BRIEFLY YESTERDAY THAT EACH MASONIC LODGE SHOULD APOINT A

LODGE BUILDING COMMITTEE WITH TWO CHAIRMEN, ONE FOR THE INTERIOR OF

THE BUILDING AND ANOTHER FO0R THE EXTERIOR OF THE BUILDING. THE

EXTERIOR BUILDING COMMITTEE WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE NOT ONLY FOR THE

PATNT AND POLISH OF THE EXTERIOR OF THE BUILDING, BUT FOR THE CARE

OF THE GROUNDS AND LANDSCAPING.

 

LOOKING AFTER PAINTING THE FENCES, SWEEPING AND EDGING THE

SIDEWALKS, THE PARKING LOT, SHOVELLING THE WALKS, ATTENDING TO THE

FLAG OR FLAGS, THE LAWNS, AND THE PLANTING OF FLOWERS, SHRUBS AND

TREES. OUR MASONIC REAL ESTATE SHOULD BE AMONG THE LANDMARKS IN

YOUR COMMUNITY - THAT WOULD STIMULATE THE TOUR BUS OPERATORS TO

SAY: "AND ON YOUR LEFT IS THE MASONIC LODGE". THE CARE OF THE

EXTERIOR OF THE LODGE SHOULD BE DUTY ROSTERED BY THE W.M. ON A 12

MONTH SCHEDULE. THE RESULTS WOULD BE UNPARALLELED. AND THINK HOW

MANY MORE MASONS YOU COULD KEEP ACTIVATED!

 

LODGE SIGNAGE

 

EVERY MASONIC LODGE SHOULD BE IDENTIFIED BY A STANDARD APPROVED

MASONIC LODGE IDENTIFICATION SIGN. THIS SIGN SHOUID BE ILLUMINATED

FROM DUSK TO MIDNIGHT, 7 DAYS OF THE WEEK. ALL SIGNS SHOULD BE OF

UNIFORM DESIGN. WHY UNIFORM?? MACDONALD'S IS KNOWN FOR ITS TWIN

ARCHES -- ALL THEIR SIGNS ARE UNIFORM AND RECOGNIZABLE -- AND

HAVEN'T THEY BEEN SUCCESSFUL?? BUT DON'T WE HAVE A BETTER PRODUCT

TO SELL THAN HAMBURGERS??

 

THE GRAND LODGE OF ONTARIO HAS A SUBSIDIZED PROGRAM FOR CONSTITUENT

LODGES TO PUT THIS MESSAGE ACROSS TO THE PUBLIC WITH STANDARDIZED

LODGE SIGNAGE.

 

A YOUNG MAN WALKING BY A MASONIC LODGE WILL FORM A POSITIVE

IMPRESSION OF MASONRY IF OUR MASONIC REAL ESTATE LOOKS APPEALING

AND REFLECTS THE PRIDE OF ITS MEMBERSHIP.

 

WHAT DOES THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR LODGE PORTRAY ??

 

COMMUNITY ENTRANCE SIGNS

 

IF YOU WERE A VISITOR TO YOUR TOWN OR CITY, AND YOU DECIDED YOU

WOULD ATTEND LODGE THERE... WOULDN'T A CONNUNITY ENTRANCE SIGN BE A

TREMENDOUS ASSET FOR LETTING INTERESTED PEOPLE KNOW A MASONIC LODGE

IS ALIVE AND VIBRANT IN YOUR COMMUNITY -- AND WHERE AND WHEN YOU

MEET?

 

IF ALL COMMUNITY ENTRANCE SIGNS WERE OF UNIFORM DESIGN, COLOUR, AND

SIZE -- THE IMPACT THROUGHOUT THE PROVINCE WOULD BE ASTRONOMICAL!!

NEW ZEALAND HAS MASONIC LODGE COMMUNITY SIGNS ON EVERY HIGHWAY AND

BYWAY WHERE THE COMMUNITY BOASTS A MASONIC LODGE. WHY CAN'T WE DO

THIS IN ALBERTA AND WHY CAN'T WE CONVINCE THE OTHER 9 PROVINCES IN

CANADA ?? THIS IS A SUPER IDEA TO INJECT A LITTLE GUSTO TO ENHANCE

OUR IMAGE!

 

THE PROBLEM OF A UNIFORM LODGE OR COMMUNITY SIGN: MUST BE FINANCED.

BUT FINANCES ARE NOT OUR PRIME STUMBLING BLOCK.

 

YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS? IT'S OUR SQUARE AND COMPASS DESIGN. WE ARE

SUPPOSED TO BE A UNIVERSAL FRATERNITY. TO DATE WE HAVE ALLOWED

EACH LODGE TO CHOOSE TNEIR OWN LOGO DESIGN. THE CHOICE OF DESIGN

HAS BEEN AT THE WHIM OF DOZENS OF MASONS.

 

THE TIME HAS COME TO UNITE UNDER ONE BANNER AND REINFORCE OUR

SOLIDARITY WITH A STANDARDIZED LOGO DESIGN.

 

ONE LOGO -- ONE DESIGN.

 

FREEMASONRY HAS NO REGISTERED TRADEMARK. IN ONTARIO ALONE, 91,000

MASONS HAVE ADOPTED A STANDARD SQUARE AND COMPASS. PRIOR TO 1988,

WE HAD AT LEAST FORTY DIFFERENT DESIGNS OF THE SQUARE AND COMPASSES

CIRCUMVENTING THE LETTER 'G'.

 

ALBERTA USES THIS SAME DESIGN TO SOME EXTENT, SO DOES THE G.L. OF

VERMONT, WASHINGTON STATE, QUEBEC, IOWA, AND SEVERAL OTHER GRAND

LODGES- IT CAN BE SEEN IN ILLINOIS, OHIO, INDIANA, AND SASKATCHEWAN

-- JUST WATCH IT SURFACE! OVER A QUARTER OF A MILLION MASONS HAVE

SEEN THIS DESIGN AND ARE USING IT. WHY NOT MANDATE ONE UNIVERSAL

LOGO?

 

I HAVE A DREAM THAT A UNIVERSAL SQUARE AND COMPASS CIRCUMVENTING

THE LETTER 'G' WILL BE ACCEPTED, NOT ONLY IN CANADA, BUT IN ALL

CORNERS OF THE GLOBE WEERE MASONS MEET. WITH YOUR ASSISTANCE,

THESE DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE WILL BECOME A REALITY.

 

AND IMAGINE THE IMPACT! BUT IT'S NOT A STONE MASON'S SQUARE --

NEITHER ARE YOU -- IT'S ONLY SYMBOLIC. IF YOUR G.M. PERMITS, WHY

NOT GET ON THE BAND WAGON TODAY! I WILL LEAVE CAMERA READY ART -

GRAPHICS WITH YOUR CHAIRMAN.

 

STANDARDIZE AND MAKE UNIFORM YOUR LOGO, YOUR COMMUNITY ENTRANCE

SIGNS AND YOUR LODGE IDENTIFICATION SIGNS. PERHAPS THE G.L. OF

ALBERTA WILL MANDATE THIS DESIGN.

 

OPEN HOUSES

 

HOW DO WE EXCITE, MOTIVATE AND CREATE INTEREST, IN THE COMMUNITY

THAT MASONRY IS A EXTRAORDINARY FRATERNITY? WE MUST LET PEOPLE KNOW

WE EXIST!

 

(E.G.) CAN'T FIND THE LODGE IN AURORA (26 MILES NORTH OF TORONTO -

LODGE IS BESIDE THE POST OFFICE).

 

ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO CREATE AWARENESS IS TO HOLD AN OPEN HOUSE.

SIMULTANEOUSLY INSERT SOME SKILLED, PREPARED FACTS ABOUT MASONRY IN

YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER.

 

YOUR BEST RESULTS FOR ALBERTA WOULD BE FOR ALL TO AGREE ON A

SPECIFIC MONTH TO ADDRESS THE MEDIA AND CONDUCT YOUR OPEN HOUSE.

SPEARHEAD THIS PROGRAM WITH A CONCERTED PROVINCIAL PROGRAM.

PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE! IF YOU ARE TO CONDUCT ANY OPEN HOUSE OR

PUT THE IMAGE OF MASONRY BEFORE THE PUBLIC EYE AT ANY TIME, ALWAYS

PREPARE. PREPARATION ASSURES SUCCESS!

 

NOTHING COULD REVERSE YOUR EFFORTS THAN AN OPEN HOUSE ATTENDED BY 6

VISITING MASONS IN AN EMPTY LODGE ROOM. THE SAME GOES FOR A

MASONIC DIVINE SERVICE... BUT THAT'S ANOTHER STORY.

 

FOUR OF FIVE ADJACENT LODGES MAY BAND TOGETHER IN THEIR EFFORTS.

 

WHAT IS AN OPEN HOUSE

 

IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO INVITE THE PUBLIC, THE NON-NASONE TO ATTEND

YOUR MASONIC LODGE -- AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MASONS TO EXPLAIN THE

GRANDEURS OF MASONFY AND THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP. THE FORMAT IS

KEPT SIMPLE:

 

1. A BRIFF, I SAY BRIEF, HISTORICAL BACKGROUND.

 

2. THE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF A LODGE EXPLAINED. (A

WALKABOUT)

 

3. WHAT WE DO, HAVE DONE, WILL DO -- CHARITIES, BENEVOLENCE

HIGHLIGHTED.

 

4. BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP.

 

5. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

 

ALLOW AMPLE TIME ON THE AGENDA FOR A RELAXED QUESTION PERIOD.

 

WHEN YOU HAVE INVITED THE TOWN FATHERS, THE CLERGY, YOUR FRIENDS -

WHICH INCLUDE YOUR MALE FRIENDS, THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN,

REPRESENTATIVES FROM LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS, ETC .... PLEASE, PLEASE,

PLEASE BE PREPARED! PLAN YOUR ACTIONS AND ACTIVATE YOUR PLANS.

THIS IS A TIME TO MAKE PROGRESS -- AND CAREFULLY EXPEDITED, YOU

WILL RECEIVE SEVERAL PETITIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP.

 

LIGHT REFRESHMENTS SHOULD FOLLOW THE PROGRAM. SOMETHING A LITTLE

MORE IMAGNATIVE THAN DONUTS AND COFFEE!

 

SOCIALS OF THE LODGE ARE OFTEN INSTIGATED OR ORIGINATED WITHIN THE

LODST BUT SO OFTEN PRESENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENPAND OUR COMMUNITY

IMAGE OUTSIDE THE LODGE.

 

THESE IMPORTANT EVENTS ARE NOT A SAGA FOR THE PAST MASTERS BUT AN

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT OCCASION TO INTRODUCE YOUNGER MEMBERS TO THE

FUN SIDE OF MASONRY!

 

BE SURE TO ESPECIAILY INVITE THEM -- THEY NEVER ASSUME THEY ARE TO

BE IN ATTENDANCE - OR WILL DO SO ON THEIR OWN.

 

AT THE ANNUAL DANCE, MIX UP THE MUSIC. SOME OF THE YOUNGER MEMBERS

WERE NOT EVEN BORN WHEN GUY LOMBARDO, ARTIE SHAW, THE DORSEYS, GLEN

MILLER OR HARRY JAMES WERE PLAYING THE BIG BAND SOUNDS.

 

DURING MY TWO YEARS AS G.M. AT THE DISTRICT BANQUETS, I USED TO

INVITE AIL MASONS WHO HAD BEEN INITIATED WITHIN THE PAST YEAR TO

STAND AND BE RECOGNIZED. THEIR ABSENCE AT THESE ANNUAL HIGHLIGHTS

IN THE MASONIC SOCIAL CALENDAR WERE OBVIOUS. WHY ?!!

 

MANY OF US ARE SO DEEP IN TNE FOREST WE CAN NOT SEE THE TREES! NOR

ARE WE AWARE THAT THIS SAME FOREST IS ABLAZE ON THE OTHER STDE OF

THE HILL;

 

DON'T RUSH TO THE LIBRARY TO READ MACKEY OR COIL'S ENCYCLOPEDIAS ON

MASONRY TO DISCOVER A SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEMS. BEST - GO HOME TO

YOUR FAVORITE QUIET CORNER, DO SOME SELFINTROSPECTION -- COME OUT

OF SECLUSION WITH A DOZEN GENUINE THOUGHTS -- PUT THESE THOUGHTS TO

PAPER.

 

IF OTHERS ON YOOR BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES DO LIKEWISE, AND YOU

THROW ALL YOUR IDEAS INTO THE COOKING NOT, IMAGINE WHAT A MENU YOU

CAN SERVE YOUR MEMBERSHIP!

 

TODAY WE TOUCHED ON EXTERNAL INFLUENCES TO "GRAB THE FUTURE":

 

(a) THE DETRACTORS

 

(b) PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY IMAGE

 

(c) THE MEDIA (PREPARATION FOR THE INTERVIEW)

 

(d) LODGE ENHANCEMENT (OUR MASONIC REAL ESTATE)

 

(e) LODGE SIGNAGE

 

(f) COMMUNITY ENTRANCE SIGNS

 

(g) STANDARD UNIVERSAL LOGO

 

(h) OPEN HOUSES

 

(i) SOCIALS

 

IF IT IS TO BE -- IT IS UP TO ME AND WE MAY NOT HAVE IT ALL

TOGETHER, BUT TOGETHER WE HAVE IT ALL!

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