What to do after people are put off masonary

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What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Tazmaniac1977 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:14 pm

I am posting this after a couple of incidents this week. I have just gone into the SW chair and am looking forward to next year but in the last week i found myself asking should i do this. What happened was the new WM has twice had a go at me basically saying i need to get ritual better and that i should not underestimate it. But when he did it it was not that diplomatic. The first time was at a friends 1st Birthday for his son. The second what while out visiting another lodge while we were all eating. He was on the table next to me. The worst part was it was a ladies dining in night so i had potential members with me as well as their partners.

They were astounded that i would let someone speak to me like that as they know me outside of masons and i am not a quiet personality person.

I Know that i am not a ritualist but i do try very hard sometimes even going home after practice as pretty much beating myself up about it. I just had installation which i got bob on. I know i struggle but do my best, The DC from my lodge has even said to me that since i have my new job which allows me more time to revise my ritual has got a lot better.

I also know that the WM means well and isn't meaning anything nasty but i think he forgets not everyone has retired and has all the time in the world to learn ritual.

I have been in masons for a bit and worked my way up slowly not skipping anything as i like to feel i earned the positions that i have gone into and if i have not succeed in doing that role the lodge would not want me to go up till i am ready for a new one.

If someone who has been in for a while feels like this it is no wonder that newer masons are running scared. I was told this is not a job it is a hobby that we can enjoy, how can we beat this element of "if you cant get it right someone should have a go". Believe me if it was constructive i would be the first to say thanks but to have two shots at someone outside of practice just because you are in the chair is wrong.

What are your suggestions?
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Ninth Arch » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:13 pm

Dear Tazmaniac1977,

I joined Masonry in 1977. Over the years I encountered all manner of "ritualists", from "Emulation Silver Matchbox" perfect to some who struggled to open and close the Lodge without copious prompts and had to delegate most of the work. Of course not everyone can find ritual work easy and whilst I will attempt to take the charitable view that the WM is not trying to be a pompous ass overwhelmed at his own magnificence, but is merely concerned at "maintaining standards" I think his attitude is not assisting.

I have nothing but admiration for anybody with the courage to stand up and have a go. I don't care if he needs a prompt every other word. I would much prefer that to somebody who is word perfect but whose monotone delivery has no meaning or emotion.

My advice? Ignore the "mutterers and tutterers" and have a wonderful term as WM.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby allan0406 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:33 pm

The WM is obviously no mentor, trainer or coach and really in public should be out to promote the Lodge and not to demean it in any way, and is probably just a little tactless. That said I think we can put the ritual to one side in this issue, as the man who never made a mistake......never made anything, and your attitude in public, is much more Masonic than never making a mistake with your ritual.
When you take up your Office, as you will.....enjoy your year, and encourage those coming through behind you.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Trouillogan » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:38 pm

What others here have said here is quite correct, Tazmaniac1977, and you are displaying in your post a virtue missing in your detractor - tolerance. Rise above it, it makes you stronger. Do what you can and do that well. Parts you feel uncomfortable over, see if you can delegate. It's not a sign of weakness but one of good management.

Have a good year in the Chair and enjoy every aspect; it's more than ritual and what takes place within the Lodge room - much, much more.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby admin » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:47 pm

There are many I have encountered who have what to me is a rather strange reaction to Freemasonry, the 'Gift of a good Memory', used to have it but someone took it away while I was getting older. Maybe life is not so easy for some as others. But everything in Freemasonry teaches tolerance and understanding and if your complaining Brother has not found this he has filled his head with memories that have done no good at all.

This is one of my pet hates any Mason who thinks he is better or superior to any other Mason.

I have had a few confrontations on this issue and that is because I will not tolerate bullying in any form. For that is what it is. I have been told that a Brother who finds it difficult to learn the ritual will not be allowed to take the chair, I then remind that Brother proposing of the errors he made during his time and my own failings in the same department.

For someone who finds the learning hard then to make it through the Chair, should be given the most praise because it is that a Mountain that has been climbed against all the odds.

Freemasonry is about what is in the heart not what can be retained in the head.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Tazmaniac1977 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:03 pm

Thank you all for the positive comments that you have all said. it does help believe me.

Stewart
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby rjgs » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:23 pm

Although it is important, ritual is only one aspect of Freemasonry. There are so many other wonderful aspects and that's why we appeal to so many men.

That behaviour was very unacceptable socially and also very unMasonic. I am sure that you work very hard to learn the ritual. Encouragement rather than chastisement would have been more appropriate. This is one of the things that (quite correctly in my opinion as it goes against the tenets of Freemasonry) provides Freemasonry with a bad reputation.

I am not great as a ritualist as I do not have the time to learn the ritual and to visit Lodges or to attend LOIs to help my learning. I am incredibly busy as a surgeon and also doing clinical research (about 8 research projects on the go in addition to an MD thesis). I am probably too busy Masonically, as well as being a husband and company director too. We don't have any children yet, but that will probably wipe out my Masonic involvement when they do arrive! That's my excuse!

Good luck as WM! It goes quickly.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby SILVERS » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:25 am

Tazmaniac1977 wrote:Thank you all for the positive comments that you have all said. it does help believe me.

Stewart


You have made a daily advance.
(27)

Your W.M. was out of order.

Learn from that, not to treat YOUR officers (next year) in that manner.
Respect brethren for who and what they are ..

Have a great year !
(27)
S & F
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby DaveLump » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:53 pm

Hi

What a sorry thing for a WM to say.

If you were making no effort what so ever then maybe he "might" and only "might" be slightly justified in his comments but from what you have said this is far from true.

If someone is trying and doing their very best then every effort and encouragement should be given to any brother, who cares if you are word perfect, what is more important is that you can get the story and the emotion of the message across to your initiate, fc or MM. If you can get the story across to that person infront of you so he understands then you are a good WM, after all, he wont know if your not word perfect.

My advice, for what it is worth, dont just learn the words, learn the story and the meaning, once you do that the words naturally follow. This means read through the ritual over and over.

If you are doing your best, a good DC will offer you all the support he has available to him. Also make sure you have a prompter, someone YOU designate, and it is known that only he prompts and only when asked to, makes life much easier.

Dont be put off by people who dont engage their brain before opening their mouth.

Enjoy being the SW and when the time comes grab the role of WM is both and enjoy every single second of it. When you are calm because you know you have put the effort in, you keep your head up and speak in a steady, well paced manner, you will find the words just flow.

Good Luck Bro!
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby CoventrySquared » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:46 am

My lodge has recently had a brother go through the chair who is extremely dyslexic. He struggled through every office, but he did it.

I was his DC and always reinforced that masonry was not a test of acting skills and photographic memory. The lodge will only ask what a brother can give, but it always asks that a brother having made a commitment to a task, then works hard to do it to the best of HIS abilities. Whilst this brother was in the chair, he made a decision to put his energy into what he could excel at, which was being one of the warmest hosts you could want, our festive boards were his personal triumph and that is where he made his impact.

If you do your best and are honest in what you can do, then the brethren will rally round and support you 100%
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby kudos100 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:35 am

hi there 6 yrs in jw, from the sounds of it im a similar sort of man to you out side of the lodge and suffer with a past master in my lodge who sounds the same as your wm although rather than me its the newer and weaker members he seems to target. I to feel he puts newer members off with his constant comments and snipeing in short the guys a bully .from my 1st meeting ive been shocked at his comments and attitude to other brethren even as a new mason he seemed at odds with everything we as masons believe to be right and proper .but the other pm s said its just how he is .recently he chastised me in an open email and some other pm s jumped in and supported my comments and I think finally he might be spoken to.but in the yrs that have passed its very evident that many of the guys who have joined have drifted away from the lodge and those who still attend are not keen to do any floor work.we all know theres a problem retaining members im guessing this type of member is not helping, from reading posts on here it seems a common problem and I for one think it needs addressing ,seems we all know who these guys are and I know that none of us joined to get involved in arguments but some one needs to take the responsibility mybe the group mentor .just ignore him focus on your yr and take help and encouragement from the many good masons in your lodge if you are doing your best that's all anyone can ask .if you are anything like me you would have no problem dealing with him out side the lodge so just dismiss him that's what I do with my guy. good luck and and enjoy your yr
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Mark Master » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:17 pm

rjgs wrote:Although it is important, ritual is only one aspect of Freemasonry. There are so many other wonderful aspects and that's why we appeal to so many men.

That behaviour was very unacceptable socially and also very unMasonic. I am sure that you work very hard to learn the ritual. Encouragement rather than chastisement would have been more appropriate. This is one of the things that (quite correctly in my opinion as it goes against the tenets of Freemasonry) provides Freemasonry with a bad reputation.

I am not great as a ritualist as I do not have the time to learn the ritual and to visit Lodges or to attend LOIs to help my learning. I am incredibly busy as a surgeon and also doing clinical research (about 8 research projects on the go in addition to an MD thesis). I am probably too busy Masonically, as well as being a husband and company director too. We don't have any children yet, but that will probably wipe out my Masonic involvement when they do arrive! That's my excuse!

Good luck as WM! It goes quickly.

Totally agree . A nice resection, with minimal haemorrhaging. Well said 'Mister'!
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Tazmaniac1977 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:31 pm

Just a follow up on this one. We are now two months into this years positions and the new adc has been doing some junior practices in a venue outside of the lodge and it seems to work really well with everyone and everyone is picking up their lines better than I have ever seen before in my 8 years of masonry in this lodge. He seems to be running by the same guide like you guys have been saying and helping all the non ritual masons that little bit more with constructive and helpful advice instead of the do this role.

What you said has encouraged me and a few other members of my lodge to keep our chins up and try our best.

So thank you all
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Kaiser » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:51 pm

I personally find that presenting ritual on the floor an enjoyable experience, especially when the person I presenting it to is a friend and I really work hard on it. I have a long drive to work each day and practice a lot in the car which I find really helps me a lot. Learning ritual is not something everyone finds easy and getting the opportunity to practice can often be difficult too. It is a simple fact of life that we are all different and we all have our strengths and weakness's. Just because a brother isn't a perfect ritualist, does not mean that they will not be a good Freemason, we all have something to give to our lodges and that takes many differing forms. If someone is willing to put themselves out to be active in their lodge, then we should accept that they are doing their best, the fact that they aren't perfect at ritual should not be how we judge a man in his lodge. I hope you have a great year as WM, the way I see it is you are already on the road to being a great WM because despite this set back, you are happy to address the issue in positive way.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Sebastian » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:10 pm

I have to admit that as a younger mason, I was slightly put off by lengthy and tortuous after dinner speeches. It made for an excessively long (and boring) evening. In the officers' mess to which I belonged, there was a tradition that banned speeches after the loyal toast - apart from the most exceptional circumstances - such as a departing member, and a short speech was delivered by the Commanding Officer only, with a reply limited to five minutes maximum. I have known when this was breached (7) for a bread roll soaked in port or maderia to go hurling through the air at the speaker.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Bernie » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:04 am

I also know that the WM means well and isn't meaning anything nasty but i think he forgets not everyone has retired and has all the time in the world to learn ritual.


I really have come late to this discussion; but as it has recently been reanimated I don't feel guilty in adding my tuppence.

I think the quotes above are important from the original post. The WM means well and doesn't mean to be nasty, albeit we all accept that the comments and situations in which they are made are not acceptable. That's probably not him being nasty, it's probably just him wanting the best from his lodge, ritually, during his year, but not having the experience to pick his time and place to make his point.

The second part of the quoted statement, however, really gets my blood boiling. "not everyone has retired and has all the time in the world to learn ritual". I'm sorry, I'm not retired. I work very hard. I spend a lot of my free time working on non masonic projects. However, I know what is expected of me ritually in the lodge and I spend the hours learning, repeating, learning, repeating, learning, repeating.... until I know what I'm doing; or, at least, until when I get it wrong, the other brethren know it's not through lack of effort.

When the OP is master of his lodge, is he going to be happy when everyone makes a mess of their ritual? Is he going to be happy saying....don't worry, everyone is busy nowadays? Or, is he wanting to hand over his work to others, but expect those officers he appointed to have put the hours in and done their work?

The work of the wardens, junior and senior, is minimal. So, if the master has made some comment about the delivery of the work I would support the Master's assertions that the work of the WM should not be underestimated. Even if we are only talking about opening and closing. If this is not done well, it can kill the evening.

I know most commenting on this post have taken the ... poor you... position. Forgive me for taking the opposing point of view. I am a ritualist. I don't expect others to be; but I do expect them to put the time and effort in. Not make some excuse about not being retired!!

Now, I'm stepping off my soapbox and waiting for the flames (1)
Fraternally,

Bernie


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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Mark Master » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:02 am

G'Day Brother Bernie,
As you are not a retiree, it would be difficult for you to fully understand what will happen when you reach his time in life.As a junior geriatric in retirement, may I hasten to assure you that once you are released from the burdens of full time employment you will be amazed how much work will arise. Grandchildren, orders from she who must be obeyed, household chores, caring for elderly parents, personal health issues associated with ageing.....the list goes on!!

As far as ritual is concerned, I suppose one might make an analogy in the sense that many of us drive cars , but are not necessarily good drivers. Personally, I take my hat off to those who are proficient ritualists, however I think that this status is not merely achieved by rote learning. Over the years I've encountered many excellent ritualists that are word perfect in their charges , but fail to impart the import of the charge to the candidate. It is not what one can verbally regurgitate , but the delivery that is imperative

To return [my apologies for straying from the original topic] to the main thrust of this thread I'm sadden to say that unless there is degree work to be conducted, some Lodge meetings can be exceedingly boring. Regrettably, there are always one or two Brothers that cannot resist the continuous temptation to voice of their opinions particularly during business sessions. When this stretches the meeting to over an hour one has a restrained compulsion to seek the nearest exit to escape to sanity!

So there you go , no flames, no burned fingers just my two cents worth!
Happy Easter,
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Bernie » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:38 pm

Merv,

I hope you see that I was actually supporting retirees? The assertion that we are not all retirees suggests that they have all the time in the world to practice their ritual. I agree that family and other commitments begin to take over your time.

My point was simply that regardless of our work, or retired, position, it is hard work and repetition that gets the ritual into our heads. I absolutely agree with you regards the quality of delivery, but that comes from practice after having learnt the work.

S&F

Bernie
Fraternally,

Bernie


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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby allan0406 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:49 am

As regards to the original post : I'm sorry but not many of us would accept the WM's public chastisement .....if the WM has an issue, a quiet word in the ear, with some Brotherly "advice" or constructive criticism would probably have been well received , however the following hardly falls into that category.... to quote "What happened was the new WM has twice had a go at me basically saying i need to get ritual better and that i should not underestimate it. But when he did it it was not that diplomatic. The first time was at a friends 1st Birthday for his son. The second what while out visiting another lodge while we were all eating. He was on the table next to me. The worst part was it was a ladies dining in night so i had potential members with me as well as their partners". I agree with Bernie with regards to the importance of the delivery of ritual.....but I also feel that the integrity and passion of the delivery, is much more meaningful, to a candidate or the listener than the odd mistake here and there.....I often recall my former Senior Officer's in my employment.....the one's who appeared to enjoy belittling staff....always seemed to get less done, than those who encouraged........in that case, it isn't a case of "poor you"........but rather poor him I'm afaid
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Hemlock » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:42 am

Who put the WM in charge? Having been WM twice now and at no time did the lodge feel under my direction. As far as I am concerned all ritual matters are for the DC and if he is happy I am. Not everyone can be a good at ritual, if it was easy none of us would bother.
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