What to do after people are put off masonary

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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Dave B » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:09 pm

I have been told on more than one occasion that it's the DC that is in control of the lodge, rather than the WM and in my short time within the Fraternally I can see what they mean.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Trouillogan » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:53 am

Dave B wrote:I have been told on more than one occasion that it's the DC that is in control of the lodge, rather than the WM and in my short time within the Fraternally I can see what they mean.


I hope that was said to you in in a light-hearted way.

It is indeed unfortunate that sometimes a DC does get out of hand, perhaps after one or two Masters who might be somewhat lax in their understanding. It is ever the Master who rules and directs his Lodge with the assistance of his Wardens and each has a gavel as his emblem of that power. The duty of the DC, under the Master, is to ensure the smooth running of the Lodge floor work. He has a staff of office, as do the Deacons, and not a gavel, so he is not supposed to exert any power of his own.

In a practical sense, his work is mainly done outside the Lodge at rehearsals, as is the parallel case for a theatrical stage director. If he needs to intervene during Lodge proceedings, that would be a public demonstration of his failure over that work - imagine a stage director bouncing onto stage to correct some minor infraction! Nonetheless, his is a key post within the Lodge, having many and varied tasks of his own to undertake, mainly escorting, but he should never usurp the Master's power or be thought to be doing so. Further, he should never ever take the gavel at the after proceedings, as I have occasionally seen - that continues to be the Master's personal prerogative.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Richard George » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:26 am

Having said that Trou; I personally have been in a situation where, as DC of a Mark lodge, I'd arranged everything at the rehearsal - everything went like clockwork; everyone knew their words and the comments flying round the room were so encouraging and about how impressive and memorable it was going to be. Come the meeting, what happened? It was a complete shambles - and who carries the can? The DC (me) .. who by that time has no control over what was going on. I was livid but could do nothing - so much so that a couple of visitors (GOs actually) came over to me at the end as they could see how I was angry and helpless about what had happened. None of that reflects on the WM!

I was even castigated by the secretary - who, incidentally, hadn't attended the rehearsal, to the effect that "we appointed you to make the ritual better but if anything it's got worse"! To say I was pi**ed off was an understatement - so much so, that after I was replaced at the next Installation (my wife was taken ill and we had a 3 year old and a 1 year old) - after I'd spent the afternoon ringing round to arrange a stand-in .. I discovered I'd been replaced AFTER the meeting(!).

Suffice it to say that 5 years later, I've attended one meeting I was that hacked off. What happened the one meeting I've attended? (late last year) .. I get asked to stand in! I refused - and it's just as well I did, because THAT meeting was ALSO a complete shambles .. the DC (my successor) was absent, and I ended up quietly stage direction from next the the SW chair as neither he nor the SO knew what to do!!

Oh and they've pleaded with me to come back! - Can't attend that much now though as the family (now 9 & 6) come first .. whereas I was guilty of putting the lodge a bit before them 5 years ago.

I even missed the centenary meeting.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Ninth Arch » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:51 am

I can certainly sympathise with that having been DC of a Mark Lodge for 10 years. The most onerous offices in any Lodge are the Secretary, the Treasurer and the DC. When everything goes swimmingly it is taken for granted. When things go to rat-poo it's one, both or all of their faults. They are also the hardest to replace as no one wants the hassle. Some just want to come, sit there and enjoy (or not - "mutterers and tutterers" take note) the meeting and go home again without lifting a finger or troubling their minds to help.

I have discovered over the years (amazing really) that it is most helpful if all the donkeys pull the cart in the same direction. Having said that there is no excuse for rudeness, arrogance or the belittling of any member on any excuse whatsoever. "We are all equal on the Square" is more than just a slogan that is only intended for someone else to abide by.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby gcoudert » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:03 pm

Trouillogan wrote:If he (the DC) needs to intervene during Lodge proceedings, that would be a public demonstration of his failure over that work.


That's a harsh and unfair comment, Brother, which does not take into account the Officers' levels of ability and effort.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Trouillogan » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:33 pm

gcoudert wrote:
Trouillogan wrote:If he (the DC) needs to intervene during Lodge proceedings, that would be a public demonstration of his failure over that work.


That's a harsh and unfair comment, Brother, which does not take into account the Officers' levels of ability and effort.

Yes, perhaps that was a bit harsh and I should really have reworded that. I offer my apology to anyone offended.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Richard George » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:44 pm

Apology accepted. Would that my secretary had apologised as quick rather than waiting 5 years to do so - after being told rather bluntly why when he asked why I'd not been to meetings for 4 and a half years!
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Trouillogan » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:19 pm

Richard George wrote:Apology accepted. Would that my secretary had apologised as quick rather than waiting 5 years to do so - after being told rather bluntly why when he asked why I'd not been to meetings for 4 and a half years!

Thank you Richard - most magnanimous. Did you not receive any contact or visits from your Lodge Almoner during your absence to see if you were OK or if you had need of anything?
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Richard George » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:16 pm

Not a thing. I do actually see one of the members once a week (assuming he's up and about - I'm Craft ProvAGSec and he lives/works where the office is located). A number of the other members who are friends (rather than just other lodge members) knew why I wasn't attending. I also happen to know that the PProvGM (Peter Rollin) knew what was going on and why I wasn't attending as he happened to be present the last time I got to a meeting and spoke to me about it and said he was pleased to see me back. I've since discovered how he found out about it - I understand a couple of members thought he needed to know. Ironically, it was just the secretary who seemed oblivious ...

BTW - I just wanted to point out that sometimes DCs get unfairly treated by things outside their control .. but I know you're aware of that and realised that it wasn't really intended the way it read, so wasn't too bothered .. it's worth making the point anyway for new members who are not as 'long in the tooth' as thee and me :)
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Trouillogan » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:41 pm

Richard, having recently been a Lodge secretary for as long as it took Solomon to build his temple, I know that sometimes the secretary is the last to know about something! I had an instance not long ago when a brother decided to resign and had mentioned it to one or two of the others but not done anything else. Of course, when he was chased for his sub, things got a bit sticky. He thought he had resigned but since he'd not written to the Secretary, his resignation was unknown to the Lodge. Needless to say, it was eventually sorted out. People do tend to think that secretaries just scribble a new notes - little do they know!
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Richard George » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:39 am

I've also been a lodge secretary and I'm currently a Scribe E (and ProvAGsec and Provincial yearbook editor).
But in this case, remember that it was he that made the initial comments that caused the problem and was instrumental in the officer 'change' - so no real excuse for saying he might not have been aware!
Anyway, all water under the bridge .. which has long since been mended. As I said, I only raised the point to show that DCs sometimes don't have any control over what happens in a meeting, but get the blame anyway.
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Trouillogan » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:17 pm

Richard George wrote:As I said, I only raised the point to show that DCs sometimes don't have any control over what happens in a meeting, but get the blame anyway.

To be quite honest, once that door is shut, does anyone have have any control over what happens! (2)
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby jackal » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:56 pm

It's always a two way street though. Nine years ago I was JW in my mother lodge and the 2nd meeting after installation we had a candidate for initiation.

I delivered the charge for the first time in lodge and thought I had done a reasonable job of it, having not needed any prompt at all.

In the car on the way back with a guest and the Lodge DC my guest congratulated me on a "superb" piece of ritual and asked the DC his opinion. She replied it was ok for a first stab at it but nothing better than that.

Taken aback by this I enquires why he said that to which he replied you said "it's and the book clearly says it is"

So all he could do was criticise this one minor error, which it was.

I was so down hearted at it I have never returned to the lodge.

Some years later through the Almoner, I discovered he thought he was encouraging me to do better and I thought he was just a whining old moaner.

Both of us were wrong!

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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby gcoudert » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:27 pm

jackal wrote:You said "it's" and the book clearly says "it is". So all he could do was criticise this one minor error, which it was.


Some people find it difficult to compliment others and feel they have to say such things. If it's meant to be a joke and it sounds like one then fine; our DC does it all the time and it's funny. If it's meant to be an encouragement then there are better ways to go about it. I really don't think this qualifies as an error, actually, not even a minor one. After all, doesn't the ELOI accept 'among' instead of 'amongst', etc.?
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Tazmaniac1977 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:38 pm

A follow up from what i originally posted. I went through the.chair and loved it. I looked at the posts that were put up here and it helped me get through all the rubbish i had leading into it. I didnt know at the time but there was some people in my lodge that were trying to prevent getting into the chair as i wasnt a ritualist. I decided to get my head down and with support from a couple of members of my lodge and others from other lodges i went into the chair. I decided to do what i do best and help organise socail events and became an assistant to the group publicity officer.

I am still helping the group/province and other provinces with publicity. I also have got provincail honours just 13 months after leaving the chair. If there are any people out there who are put off masonary, speak out on here the people help.

Thank you to all those who helped me and i hope in the future i can help others!

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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby MrBenn » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:02 pm

Good for you Stewart - and congratulations on your provincial honours - they aren't handed out like smarties so you have obviously put in good effort, and been recognised for them
"The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."

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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby kimosabe » Thu May 25, 2017 2:43 pm

Tazmaniac1977 wrote: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?


Here's some of what I think.

Short answer: Tell him to f*ck off to his face for talking down to you infront of people.
Family first, then work, then hobbies.

1. Freemasonry is a social organisation which
2. Raises money for charities and
3. The ritual is the last of the three main things which binds it together, not the first.

Maybe it's not because he's in the chair that he spoke to you the way he did but as he is in the chair, he should not have done so. He clearly hasn't absorbed the vast array of lessons on morality and how he should steer his barque o'er the rough seas of life blah-dee-blah...... he should behave outside the lodge in the same way as he does during meetings; if he takes his Masonry as seriously as he dictates to you that you should, that is.

Perhaps, if you don't feel ready for the chair yet (and millions of people have been there), consider the options of either not going into the chair next year and instead have a year of attendance with no active office so you can learn the ritual or that of leaving the lodge and finding any one of the thousands of others which would readily accept your application as a joining member. Lodges are on very thin ice as it is and if the man in the chair doesn't mind that, sod him and sod the lodge for letting him get away with being like that.

that's what I think anyway
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Lazza21 » Thu May 25, 2017 5:48 pm

I am disturbed by some of the vitriol in this exchange. Ritual done well is a joy to see but more important is that it is done to the individuals best.
I applaud those I know who struggle to learn and deliver the ritual but make an honest attempt, better that than someone who knows their stuff and
reels it off like a robot with no sincerity.
After all ritual i.e.passing through the ceremonies as a candidate is the one thing we share in common otherwise we are just a charitable dining club
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Re: What to do after people are put off masonary

Postby Richard George » Sat May 27, 2017 7:33 am

Kimosabe; why on earth are you posting this now? If you read the thread, you'll see that Stewart has now been through the chair and been given Provincial recognition! The thread was over 2 years old! His last post was a follow up on what happened.
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