Let me begin by apologizing for being late with this month’s Newsletter. One thing led to another but none led here until now.
As your Lodges have their Annual Meetings be sure to file a Certificate of Election as soon as the installation takes place in order for us to have accurate information about your Lodge. This information is used to compile lists for the Credentials Committee at Annual Communication as well as the basis for the Grand Lodge Directory and Proceedings entries for your Lodge. Once filed, the information will automatically make the necessary changes across the whole database eliminating the need for you to make many other entries. They can be filed through MORI, e-mail, or snail mail forms. Be sure that your Lodge Officers of Record are correct.
In the next few days you will be able to run a sample Annual Return on MORI which will give you the opportunity to review the data and make any changes or additions before you print the final Return on or after January first. If you have any questions concerning data entry, please call us. We will help you overcome your concerns. If you do not use the database, you are still required to file an Annual Return (Form 8). You must request this form if you need it. Lack of a form is not and excuse for late filing.
Many of you have experienced problems reaching Brothers who have moved “away” with information about your Lodges, dues notices, etc. Here are a couple of possible avenues to follow.
- When you mail a letter to the last known address write “Address Service Requested” on the front of the envelope. This will prompt the postal service to send you any address change information they have.
- This link — http://www.deathindexes.com/ssdi.html — will take you to an access point for the Social Security Administration Death Listing. The free link will provide information on deaths up to the last three years. The Ancestory.com link to this information will provide information up to six months ago.
I hope this information will be helpful as you maintain accurate records for your Lodge.
Grand Lodge is still deeply involved in updating information relating to member liability insurance and building insurance. This tedious process is necessary as our former carriers neglected updates for so long. Building dimensions, photos, and construction type are essential for accurate rating and billing to you.
If your building association does not purchase their insurance under the Grand Lodge Master Policy you will, in all probability, be billed for member liability twice. The GL Constitution requires Lodges to purchase member liability within the Master Policy. If your building carrier will not delete the member coverage you buy from them you will pay twice. If, however, you purchase your building insurance through the Grand Lodge Policy you will only pay once for member liability. That is a built in savings for the Lodge.
BEWARE – I have heard reports that some building associations who buy insurance outside the GL Policy are being sold coverage which rates the building as an office building. While these premiums may be less, if a claim comes about, you may find the insurance company “walking away” because the policy was improperly representing the property insured. A few dollars saved could cost many dollars and a lot of heartache later on.
From here to all of you, have a happy and joyous Holiday Season. May the peace we seek be evident in your lives each day.
Thanks for all you do,
Mark E. Rustin
Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation
The Trustees of the Charitable Foundation have authorized the “build out” of the Grand Lodge Library into the space formerly the drive through banking area. Fund raising is underway. A Lodge supporting this vital outreach of the Foundation, will be properly noted. Visit the Foundation website for more information and the opportunity to support the project.
The Charitable Foundation Website, www.masoniccharitablefoundation.org,
allows the visitor to become familiar with the work we do to benefit others. As you work your way through the site, you begin to sense the “length of our cable tow.”
The site also allows for you to apply for matching grants online. Fill out the electronic form and submit it. It immediately enters the pipeline that ends with the Lodge’s receipt of a check for the program match.
A new program of District Grants is underway. Each District will nominate three not for profit (501c3) organizations for a $2000.00 grant from the Foundation. People wishing to support a nominee may go the Foundation website and cast a vote. People can vote once per day. Be aware of who your nominees are and spread the word about how to support them.
Share this information with your Lodge Brothers and others. Let them become aware of this website and the enormous good we do together as a Foundation. Encourage them to “Like” the Foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mainemcf or by searching Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation on Facebook. This way everyone can see what other lodges are doing in the community.
FROM THE LIBRARY
Brother Secretaries: There’s ALWAYS something more to do and having been a lodge Secretary (albeit for only a couple of years), I KNOW that there are many, many demands on you.
For your lodge to grow and prosper, however (and, perhaps, to find that erstwhile Assistant on whom you can dump a bunch of stuff!), potential members need to know how to reach someone to talk to.
If your lodge has a website, encourage whoever is in charge to keep it current. Be sure you and the Master have the login and password for (a) the domain name and (b) the website itself. Even if you don’t know what this means, if that Brother ever leaves or fails to fulfill his responsibilities, I can help you get back on track with just those four pieces of information.
If your lodge has a Facebook page, be sure that YOU and the Grand Lodge Webmaster (me – Ed King) are made Administrators. Again, this will help the lodge get back on track if something untoward should occur.
As we enter the new year, we’ll be doing more and more on social media. Be sure that we know your lodge’s website, Facebook page (if any) along with any other locations online that will help bring you visibility. We’ll make sure they’re added to the Grand Lodge locator page so YOU can be found.
Also, don’t forget to use the online activities calendar. It’s SO easy. Last week, a DER called asking for instructions so he could advise a lodge. Within 30 seconds, he was able to make an entry. “It’s THAT easy?” he asked incredulously. Indeed it is. There are still lodges who don’t seem to want anyone to know they exist: don’t you be one of them. Let us help you grow and prosper – and strengthen Freemasonry for us all.
Just whistle if there’s anything I can do. You DO know how to whistle, don’t you??? (That may resonate better with those of a ‘certain age’ – and I know some of you Secretaries are just that!) Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to you, your lodge and all you hold dear for a happy and healthy Holiday Season and New Year!
Ed King, Grand Librarian