Grand Secretary “Stuff” Information for Lodge Secretaries – December 2016

Well the Holidays are upon us and so are Annual Meetings for many of our lodges.  I urge you all to take time to enjoy fellowship with your lodge Brothers in some way shape or form.

Constitutional Corner

Section 111:  One lodge cannot confer a degree at the request of another lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction, unless the requesting lodge waives jurisdiction and the other lodge accepts the candidate in the usual manner and for its usual fee.

This has come up several times in the past few weeks so it topped the list of potential topics for this section.

In simple terms, courtesy degrees are not allowed between lodges of this Grand jurisdiction.  The lodge who initiated the Brother must waive jurisdiction.  That waiver process begins with the Brother desiring to finish his degrees in a different lodge completing Form 31, Application for a Waiver of Jurisdiction.  Section 105.3 details how the process goes from there.

Now I know some are shaking their heads reading this and thinking “what about concurrent jurisdiction”?  Good question! And one I answer by saying that I do not create policy, I simply carry out the policy and as long as Section 111 is written as it is in our Constitution you need to have that Brother fill out Form 31 and process it accordingly.

Friendly Reminder:

The definition of a foreign affiliate is a Brother who is affiliating with a lodge in Maine who comes from a lodge not in Maine.  Pretty straightforward but entering a foreign affiliate in MORI is anything but for most of us, me included at the moment.  Thankfully, we have two very capable women here who are well qualified to enter your foreign affiliate.  Please call us and have us do it.  We are always coming upon foreign affiliates in MORI that are not correctly entered and it is very time consuming to correct it.  Remember last months ending here ..bad info in, bad info out.  Please let us take care of these for you.

Save the Dates

  • Dec 13th-Special Communication of the Grand Lodge at Adoniram Lodge, Limington. 6:30 pm Supper, 7:30 pm Ceremony to Return Charter
  • Dec 26th-Grand Lodge office will be closed for the Christmas holiday
  • Dec 28th-Special Communication of the Grand Lodge at Piscataquis Lodge, Milo.  7:30 pm. Consolidation of Composite Lodge with Piscataquis Lodge

The 5 P Theory

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.  While this certainly can apply to our work as Secretaries my slant here is about the upcoming season.  It’s tough around here in the winter.  As I write this the next couple of nights have forecasted wind chills near or below zero and there is snow in the forecast for Monday for many of us.  A little planning and forethought can go a long way to keeping ourselves and those around us safe.  Many of us travel to lodge meetings and we head home late in the evening on rural roads that are not heavily traveled.  Slow down, drive carefully and make sure someone knows your schedule.  Failing to plan is planning to fail.  Think ahead!!

Finally, keep tabs on our elder neighbors and Brothers who you know may be alone or struggling.  Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends and remember we are here at Grand Lodge to serve you.


YOUR Library and Museum

Brother Secretaries,

HAPPY HOLIDAYS and best wishes for your survival during these days of dues notices, elections, installations, and SO much more. Yes, I’ve walked a mile in your moccasins and lived to tell the tale. My poor successor took a couple of years just to get things back on track so, in short, ‘I feel your pain’!

If you or your Brethren want to give ‘a little something’ to the Library this time of the year, we have a wish list on Amazon (click on LISTS, find lists, and enter to find both our book and Kindle wish lists) or you can just send along a gift card from ANY bookseller to  Believe me, we’ll make good use of it!

And on a slightly different note, if your lodge has done anything significant during this past year (200th Anniversary, special program for veterans, whatever), PLEASE send me a copy of the program for the lodge files. While this should also be included with your lodge history (due very soon now: due warning!), having a specific copy to include in the online museum we’re building would be a great touch and might give your lodge some additional web notice. If you have any of those things from years past kicking around in your desk or a file cabinet somewhere, put them in an envelope and send them along to my attention at the Grand Lodge office. I’ll take care of the scanning….

Thanks again for all you do for your Brethren and for our Craft. Try to get a few minutes for yourself amidst the madness!

Ed King

From the Webmaster:  IMPORTANT!!!

Brethren, this is NOT a political message in any way but the many stories about email ‘hacking’ cry out for more understandable explanations. I apologize for the length.

FIRST: anyone who is online should clearly understand that, regardless of the insistency of the appeal, no Nigerian prince, widowed heiress to a fortune, army soldier stationed in some combat zone, or Grand Master of Masons is going to be writing to you asking for or offering to give you a specific amount of money. DELETE THESE MESSAGES!!! No, don’t think about it. Don’t ponder over them. DELETE!!! Don’t click on anything ‘just to check it out’: JUST DELETE!

(Can I be much more plain?) Move on and forget about it.

Now if you want to ponder just a bit more, let’s take a recent example: why would Tom Pulkkinen, our Grand Master, contact YOU – YOU!!! – for $2,000 to assist someone whose house has been destroyed last night? Why didn’t he mention who so you might have mustered more help from your lodge? And don’t you think the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation might have enough money to cover this particular need? Moreover, if the GM REALLY needed $2,000 for something like that and there just wasn’t enough money in the checkbook why would he go to YOU instead of your lodge – or the Deputy Grand Master – or, well, anybody else EXCEPT you?

SECOND: don’t EVER click on links that ask you to change your password. In the case of the email account of John Podesta (again, regardless of whether you think that was a blessing or curse), the apparent cause was an email ostensibly from Google/Gmail which said his account had been hacked by the Ukranians. DANGER!!! If your account was hacked by someone (like in the recent LinkedIn debacle), no one from the REAL company is going to release specifics about who did the hacking. They don’t want to get sued. It’s that simple. Some evil force is involved and they’re here to help you? DELETE!!!

On a morning tv show as I was getting dressed and only partially paying attention, they flashed a picture of the message Mr. Podesta had supposedly received. One blink was all I needed to know it was a phony but regardless, the rule applies: NEVER, NEVER, EVER click on a link in an email to change a password.

As I’ve looked more carefully into the Podesta story, one report said that their IT Security folks said it was likely a legitimate request but told him to go to the site itself and not use the email link. First, those advisors should be fired immediately as grossly incompetent. Heck, a simple medical practice administrator (and aged person!) such as myself knows how to read email headers better than people who’re getting paid to do this stuff all day long? C’mon….  But further, it would appear that Mr. Podesta or someone on his staff disregarded the advice to go to the site directly and did exactly what they were told not to do: they clicked on the link. Brethren, PLEASE: NEVER click on a link to change your password for ANYTHING! No matter how urgent it appears. Take the three extra seconds and go to the site directly. It’s really easy and will save you winding up in the middle of a political scandal – or having to change your bank accounts!

Just go to the website, whether it’s Dropbox, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft, or whatever. Changing passwords is a good thing from time to time (don’t use the same one for everything!) but please do NOT click on a link in an email.

THIRD: Don’t open attachments that you aren’t expecting. If your local roofing company sends an invoice and you’ve just had repair work done, you’re likely ok. If someone from a company you’ve never heard of sends you a zip file or whatever, DELETE! (Have you sensed a theme to this message?) Don’t get curious or impulsive. You’ll be very sorry if you do. JUST DELETE!!!

FINALLY: SO many of you send group emails and toss all of the addresses in the TO line. STOP IT!!! Put your own address in the TO line and put the rest in the BCC (Blind Copy To) line. That way all of the rest of us won’t be subjected to spam emails because somebody has a virus and you’ve now exposed our addresses, causing us to get even more crap. If you want to make sure that the sender also sent this to someone else, write him/her back and ask. (I’ll often say: “This message is being sent to all lodge members.” or something similar.) Just don’t put everyone in the ‘to’ line. It helps the scammers and virus infectors more than you can possibly imagine.

If anything in here needs clarification, call (or even email <wink>). I’d be glad to explain further.