You will find the 2015 Dues Cards for your Lodge and a list of your members due awards during 2015 under this cover. You will note there is no charge for this initial issue of the cards. If they need to be replaced, the Lodge will be billed for second and subsequent copies. If you do not receive your Dues Cards by September 19, 2014, notify this Office. After that date we will assume you have them.
If a dues card for a Master Mason in your Lodge is not in this mailing, the Brother is not in the electronic database. Please be sure to enter him or call this Office to do so. No dues card will be issued for a Brother who is not in the database.
A dues card for 2014 and 2015 will be sent to you along with the Diploma for any Brother you raise before the end of December. No blank dues cards will be issued.
Please be sure to attach an Official Form 7 (Instructions to Committee of Inquiry) to each application before turning the application over to a Committee of Inquiry. Official Form 7 provides the members of the Committee with guidance in conducting an inquiry into an applicant. The points covered in Official Form 7 should acted upon before recommendation by the Committee of Inquiry. If not followed, the Lodge’s ability to exercise proper judgment on an application is seriously undermined.
While no system is perfect, these guidelines help insure qualified candidates enter our Fraternity. Official Form 7 can be downloaded from the Grand Lodge Website –www.mainemason.org – in the Grand Lodge Forms section and printed ahead, or as needed by the Lodge.
The blank form for your 2014 Annual Return (Form 8) will not be automatically mailed to you this year. The Annual Return can be readily compiled and printed from the database. If you do not have a login, contact the Office and become a system user. If you do not avail yourself of the database, you must contact this Office and request the printed form. Late filing will not be acceptable simply because you did not request the form.
E-mail has become an essential communications link. As Secretary you should endeavor to maintain an accurate and complete list of e-mail addresses in the electronic database. Brothers may notify this office by using the Grand Lodge website. In the lower left click the link regarding e-mail. This allows them to update their contact information.
Foreign Affiliates: Those who are members of a foreign jurisdiction or hold a demit from a foreign jurisdiction can be admitted as members in this jurisdiction only on the basis of a Certificate of Good Standing. This must be obtained before any voting on the candidate is done. Notify this Office and we will obtain the necessary Certificate. Do not write directly to a foreign Lodge or Grand Lodge. You must go through this Office. We will notify you on receipt of the Certificate. Following this, your Lodge can vote and you will notify us of the outcome. We will make the proper entry in MORI.
Certificates of Election must be filed as soon as the installation takes place in order for us to have accurate information about your Lodge. They can be filed through MORI, e-mail, or snail mail forms. Be sure that your Lodge Officers of Record are correct.
Please order diplomas early enough (4 or 5 days) for this Office to provide them to you for presentation after the Degree Work.
When e-mailing the Office, please include the Lodge name and number in the e-mail. It would greatly assist the staff in responding to your message.
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 just underway and opportunities for you and your Lodge to support this vital outreach of the Foundation will be announced soon. Check 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 various matching grant programs as well as relief assistance encompass a wide swath of the communities within which we live.
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.
The site also offers the opportunity for individuals or groups to make a donation to the Foundation. These donations are part of what it takes to keep our Foundation a Public Foundation and thus tax free.
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.
The Maine Masonic College
The Maine Masonic College Convocation will be held in Bangor this year on October 10th and 11th at the Hollywood Casino. The theme will be “Polishing the Stone” which will deal with the steps in the development of Master Masons. Mark the dates in your calendar. More information will be forthcoming as the event approaches.
From Among the Stacks
We are starting to get caught up on preparing and cataloging book donations received during the spring and summer thanks to volunteer help from Bro. Bill Connell of Seminary Hill Daylight Lodge #220. If you can help out, there’s LOTS to be done including our project to scan all of the papers of the Maine Lodge of Research.
We are still on the hunt for many books which never made the trip during the move to Holden. If you see books bearing a bookplate or stamp with “Grand Lodge of Maine” on it/them, PLEASE help them to find their way to their rightful location.
New members coming in this Fall? Get them started right with the gift of learning. In addition to “The Craft and Its Symbols”, there are several very recent books which will help that Brother feel a part of this wonderful organization. It doesn’t have to be just one book given by the lodge: BOTH petition signers and other friends should ‘pile on’ as well. There’s no such thing as learning too much.
Be sure to check out our library catalog and search by topics of interest: there are new books added almost daily. Have you and your Brethren made your ‘daily advancement’ today???
From The Webmaster
Once in a while, lodge members will express concerns to their Secretary that they can’t find things on the Grand Lodge website. If you hear of anything, PLEASE drop a note. We try to update the site at least every 10 days with address changes of District Officers, dates of upcoming events, and other items of interest. However, don’t just “ASSUME” that we’ve got the information and are hoarding it: if you want something put on the web,
SEND IT TO THE WEBMASTER (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Is your lodge using the District Calendar? If not, why not? The Grand Master is encouraging strong use and, as Fall begins, it is hoped this will stimulate visitations and involvement. There’s a link to the calendar from the lower left quadrant of www.mainemason.org .
Sadly, and despite exhortations by the Grand Master, there are a couple of DISTRICTS whose lodges aren’t yet on board. If yours is one, don’t be! Get involved and make a Brother responsible for keeping us all in touch with your lodge.
Thanks for helping Maine Masonry grow!
Ed King, Webmaster
From the Insurance Corner
Now that fall is upon us it is time to look toward preparing for another winter. Many Lodges have been dark during the summer months and some will be thinking about going dark during the upcoming winter months. The Insurance Committee has been busy getting the new policy issued, preparing the Lodges billing for this year’s insurance coverage and gathering information needed to complete coverage. We still have to gather further information from some Lodges. Has your Lodge Association renewed its filing with the Secretary of State for this year? If you have not it is has to be done. For those Lodges that have not filed with the Secretary of State’s office remember you must have an Association whose name the title to the Lodges building is in and you must be file with the Secretary of State. Not only does the Grand Lodge of Maine’s Standard Regulation state each Lodge that owns a building MUST have the title of the building in an Association name, but the membership of each Lodge not doing this is leaving themselves personally open to possible legal action should a problem arise out of the operation of the Lodge building. If your Lodge does not have an Association and your Lodge building is in the name of your Lodge, please contact the Grand Lodge for more information.
Liability coverage is a very important coverage to all Lodges, Lodge Associations and individual members. We are all susceptible to legal action if there is an occurrence that involves another party that results in property damage, bodily injury, or even personal injury (defamation of character, false advertising) Insurance Liability Coverage is the first line of defense—having an Association strengthens that line of defense to include your personal exposure. The Grand Lodge Regulation requiring each Lodge to pay for liability coverage was put in place to help protect against actions that might happen in a Lodge building and during Lodge activities. If your Lodge has coverage outside the Grand Lodge Policy that policy MUST name the Grand Lodge of Maine as an additional insured. The Grand Lodge is also asking that Lodges having their own coverage to send a copy of the complete policy to the Grand Lodge Office.
Chair, Grand Lodge Insurance Committee