Several of you have yet to file the Annual Return for your Lodge. Filing is mandated in the Constitution and is date specific. It is not optional. Please file these Returns post haste. The late filing fee is growing each day you put it off. If you need assistance call this office.
When you e-mail an order for supplies from this office please always use the firstname.lastname@example.org address. If you send it to the grand secretary e-mail address and I’m out of the office you could experience a delay in receiving your order. Also, please allow the staff a few days to complete and mail your order. Our goal is same day turn around on all orders but things happen sometimes. If possible give us a little lead time to prepare your time-sensitive materials.
You or an Assistant Secretary from your Lodge should be signed up for and using the MORI database. Your Lodge is being short-changed by your avoidance and, you are causing more work for yourself. It should be obvious to all that centralized, electronic data management in Maine is here to stay. Call this office to sign onto the system and for questions as to its use.
As your Lodges have their Annual Installations, be sure to file a Certificate of Election as soon as the installation takes place. The Constitution requires you to submit this information as soon as possible after officer installation. This information is used to compile lists for the Credentials Committee at Annual Communication. If not promptly and properly filed, your Officers may not be able to vote at the annual session. Once filed, MORI will automatically make the necessary changes across the whole database eliminating the need for you to make many other entries.
Three important dates are on the horizon.
- The end of the Grand Lodge and Foundation fiscal years is March 31st. If you have programs dependent upon matching grants, this marks the beginning of a new fiscal year and eligibility for the grant programs.
- The Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Maine is May 5th and 6th at Husson University in Bangor. Please encourage your Lodge to be properly represented.
- The Grand Lodge insurance renews on June 1st. Now is the time to review your building association coverage (Note: if applicable. If you rent you need only Lodge property coverage in addition to the liability from Grand Lodge) and obtain a quote from the Grand Lodge Master Policy to take effect at renewal. Doing so may save you money and will remove any “double billing” for Lodge member liability.
HERE’S A TIP: If you would like to buy paper perforated into three sections for use in printing dues notices, try this link to Staples: http://www.staples.com/product_PRB04120?externalize=certona It negates the need for cutting the notices apart when printing 3 on a page.
If you or any eligible Brother in your Lodge is interested in offering to be elected a Grand Lodge Officer, you must notify this office in writing on or before March 15, 2015. The elective offices available are Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Senior Grand Warden, Junior Grand Warden, Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary. In addition, there are three openings on the Foundation Board and two seats on the Finance Committee. This is a great opportunity to serve the Craft and build the future of Freemasonry in Maine.
Thanks for all you do,
Mark E. Rustin
Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation
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.
Voting in the District Charitable Grant Program is now closed. Thousands of people have voted from around Maine and around the nation. People from every State recorded their votes for their favorite charitable organization. In addition, many visitors to the site viewed other pages of information about the Foundation and its programs. The number of likes on the Foundation Facebook page skyrocketed during the same period.
When the winners are announced be sure to make it known around your District. These deserving organizations deserve all the notoriety they can garner.
From the Grand Library
You are constantly called upon for information and advice. At meetings and in-between, you hear everything from “Do I own any dues?” to “Was Louis Armstrong a Mason?” (I can’t help you with the former but the answer to the latter is “No!”.)
When you are hit with questions about the history of Freemasonry (and all that encompasses), feel free to direct the inquirer to the Grand Librarian. If I don’t have the answer off the top of my head, I’ll be glad to help them find it if at all possible.
I’m also really good about saying, “And I can recommend a book….” Help your Brethren meet their obligation to have a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge. The catalog of the many books in our Grand Lodge Library is online: check it out. In the bottom right of the home page at www.mainemason.org there’s a tab for the Library. There’s LOTS there and it can help you continue in your role as ‘the answer man’.
Thanks for reading,