Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Maine is May 5th and 6th at the Gracie Theater on the campus of Husson University in Bangor. Please encourage your Lodge to be properly represented. Be sure your Proxy brings the signed Proxy Form with him to Annual Communication. Without the form, no ballots will be issued.
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.
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. Once filed, MORI will automatically make the necessary changes across the whole database eliminating the need for you to make many other entries.
HERE’S A TIP: Once you file a Certificate of Election, the offices your Brothers have been installed into will automatically be noted in the other applicable sections of the database.
The “List of Lodges – Masonic” (The Tyler’s Book) for 2015 is available through this Office. There is a requirement that each Lodge have a current copy available. It is also part of the DDGM’s inspection checklist. You may order either by telephone or e-mail.
When you are entering a new member into the database you will encounter the question as to whether or not he is a permanent member. The word “Permanent” in this context refers to his voting status in Grand Lodge not the fact that he is going to remain a member of your Lodge. Permanent Members as defined by the Constitution are past elected Officers of the Grand Lodge who are allowed to vote at Grand Lodge after leaving office. For the most part, you should not check “yes” to the Permanent Member question.
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.
From the Grand Lodge Webmaster
I’ll bet at least 50% of the members of your Lodge have a smartphone by now. PLEASE, Brother Secretary, encourage them to take pictures of Masonic events that your lodge holds! I know a number of Brethren feel that a smartphone is smarter than they are and they simply don’t know how to use their camera but taking a couple of minutes to read the instructions will make things much more understandable. If your lodge is going to grow and prosper, you’ve got to be SEEN – and pictures are what people want to see.
Being online, through use of the Grand Lodge calendar for your events and through online venues such as your lodge website, Facebook, and more, gives the public a chance to see (albeit from afar) what we’re doing – and that might very well lead to inquiries and, ultimately, membership.
TAKE PICTURES – PUT THEM ONLINE – and BE PROUD OF YOUR LODGE!
Oh, and please tell your members that all of the membership cards of (deceased) Maine Masons from 1820 through 1995 are now freely available online. Those doing genealogical research may fine these helpful and we’re one of only two Grand Lodges who’ve done this. It’s a real asset but not all Brethren have heard about this yet. Please let them know. Go to www.mainemason.org and look in the lower left area for the link titled “Attention Genealogists”.
From the Grand Librarian
The Grand Lodge Library expansion is well underway. I think we can confidently say that soon, ‘This ain’t your father’s library!’ but in the most positive sense of the phrase. We’re expanding not only the building but the collection as well. We’ll also be adding a section for children so that when you visit the Grand Lodge building, the kids or grandkids will have something to do rather than just sit in the car and wait…. You’ll hear me say “Thank You” a million times more but please convey this to your members. Through them, and a very supportive public, we’ve been able to achieve far more than we’d hoped. Check our frequent updates online. There’s a graphic at the top of the Grand Lodge website for the Library. Click on it and watch us grow! Remind your members, please, that this is THEIR library and it’s a great way to achieve their ‘daily advancement in Masonry’.