More younger Masons

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More younger Masons

Postby freemason » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:31 am

When I joined FM I was surprised by the average age in my lodge. That's not a problem for me. I always enjoyed the company of people older than myself.

But when I took a friend to an open day in the Temple, his first comment was: people are really old in this organisation.

We need to find a way to attract younger people. Maybe by creating student lodges or some schemes to attract more people in their twenties / thirties. Would they be mature enough? Often this is the issue.
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby eckywan2 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:30 pm

IOm an Hon Member of Scotland first University lodge
IE St davids 36 now renamed
and we have plenty youngsters but they come with the problem of lack of connections / mentors and expectation that they will just move away in a few years time
while we expect a lifetime oath / commitment.
So there is no easy answer in a modern world with so many alternative opportunities !
You are doing the right thing in taking young friends to open events keep it up !
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby admin » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:49 pm

Have a look at what is already being done

http://www.universitiesscheme.com/web/index.html
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby Trouillogan » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:29 pm

As well as the Universities Scheme (there are now 72 UGLE Lodges in the Scheme accepting University Students from the age of 18), in many provinces there are 'light blues' clubs where younger members can congregate outside the Lodge formalities and bring their non-masonic friends. These can be useful in seeing whether a non-mason does find it attractive and, over a period, to see whether or not he is interested enough to become a suitable candidate.
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby Tamino » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:04 am

This topic is also debated in France. In Spring, the Grand Lodge of France organised conferences over a weekend at Palais Brongniart, Paris on freemasonry and youth. A few years earlier, the Grand Orient of France also hosted a conference. Young freemasons were invited to speak.

The average age is more around 55, if I am correct. It is not often that a candidate is under 40/45 years. It apparently seems less difficult to attract people in their theirties than people in their twenties.
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby David H » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:47 pm

freemason wrote:When I joined FM I was surprised by the average age in my lodge. That's not a problem for me. I always enjoyed the company of people older than myself.

But when I took a friend to an open day in the Temple, his first comment was: people are really old in this organisation.

We need to find a way to attract younger people. Maybe by creating student lodges or some schemes to attract more people in their twenties / thirties. Would they be mature enough? Often this is the issue.


I have to say I think the current vogue for concentrating on attracting only young people is wrong headed and contrary to age profiles in the UK. I was an old codger when I became a Freemason because for a variety of reasons I was forced to wait until I retired. When I joined I was frankly surprised by the substantial number of people who had done as I did and waited until they had either retired or got to their 50's before they had the time to join and I think it is extremely sad that this grouping is apparently completely ignored in "recruiting" in favour of young people. I feel VERY strongly that Freemasonry should be seen to be actively interested in having GOOD men IRRESPECTIVE of age.

The OP is in my opinion to be applauded in stating "I always enjoyed the company of people older than myself." You would have thought that to be a perfectly natural sentiment but seemingly not amongst the "powers that be" in Freemasonry - a situation which is the polar opposite of my experience within the group of Churches I attend where such ageism simply does not exist, to the extent that it has caused me to seriously consider why I continue to be a subscribing member of the former,
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby Trouillogan » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:41 am

I came in at 22 and am now a fairly aged old fogey. During my early and mid working life I was not particularly active Masonically but did first take the chair in 1972. Although I support - and in fact instigated one of my Lodges joining - the Universities Scheme, I in no way support 'recruitment' into Freemasonry. Recruitment is for businesses, the civil and military services, not for a fraternity. I see the University Scheme as opening a door, so those who might find it attractive can get a taste at a stage when they have some leisure time. They are unlikely to stay but may well leave in order to set up their careers and families, perhaps re-joining later in life - if they found it an attractive option.

I keep banging on that Freemasonry is not a numbers game and never has been. It is selective and rightly so. If a man is to improve himself, he needs to be among those with like aims and to mix with those whom he sees as his betters, in order to emulate their characteristics. He then stands a better chance of becoming one of those whom others may wish to emulate in turn. Others, like me, are irredeemable and consequently bury our heads in research.
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby Peter Taylor » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:00 pm

Trouillogan wrote:I keep banging on that Freemasonry is not a numbers game and never has been.

Agreed! If someone could tell me what the optimum number of Lodges is or the appropriate number of Brethren in a Lodge then I'd be grateful! It has never ever been about numbers, except when the intake was hugely increased after both wars, as it boosted the coffers of GLs and Lodges!

Trouillogan wrote:It is selective and rightly so. If a man is to improve himself, he needs to be among those with like aims and to mix with those whom he sees as his betters, in order to emulate their characteristics. He then stands a better chance of becoming one of those whom others may wish to emulate in turn. Others, like me, are irredeemable and consequently bury our heads in research.

A Brother can only grow if he is among like minded people. Opening the doors without respect to the ideals of Freemasonry, as has already been on a huge scale, will only result in the level of Masonic competence being eroded.
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby Trouillogan » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:26 pm

Peter Taylor wrote:
Trouillogan wrote:I keep banging on that Freemasonry is not a numbers game and never has been.

Agreed! If someone could tell me what the optimum number of Lodges is or the appropriate number of Brethren in a Lodge then I'd be grateful! It has never ever been about numbers, except when the intake was hugely increased after both wars, as it boosted the coffers of GLs and Lodges!

In the Edinburgh Register House MS of 1696 and in others of that era, we have an answer to how many in a Lodge: 'The more the merrier the fewer the better chear[sic]' From my own reading of Lodge minutes and records, the number in Lodges seemed to hover around the two dozen mark or fewer througout the eighteenth century and in much of the nineteenth.

There seems to be a possible link, though I've not researched this aspect, between the need for higher numbers and the gradual introduction of dedicated premises and hall complexes. The need nowadays to rent out our legacy halls for other purposes could be a confirmation of this. One hall with which I am familiar and for which I have concrete figures, was purchased in 1970 for a Masonic craft 'population' of 420 (in six Lodges). The current craft 'population' is now 160 and the building is, of course, unsustainable.

Others on this forum might be able to obtain figures for their buildings. It's only necessary to count the craft population, because the money from other Order units still comes from the same craft wallets.
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby russellholland » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:14 am

In times gone by it was that not until a man was quite matured was he likely to have much interest in more subtle activities such as Masonry.

Meanwhile the human race has unfolded somewhat morally so that activities common in the 20th century are no longer seen as ethical e.g. smoking in public places or evasion of taxes by the wealthy.

So the question arises: are men (and women) more developed morally at say 20 years of age than they were 50 years ago? If so, should they not be attracted to Masonry?

If they are not attracted or are but soon leave, is there something missing or ineffective about how we conduct Masonry?

I suspect that this is an existential question for our current Grand Lodge system.


Meanwhile I learn what I can to assist if a significant reformation of Masonry occurs in my lifetime.
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby David H » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:04 am

Trouillogan wrote:There seems to be a possible link, though I've not researched this aspect, between the need for higher numbers and the gradual introduction of dedicated premises and hall complexes. The need nowadays to rent out our legacy halls for other purposes could be a confirmation of this. One hall with which I am familiar and for which I have concrete figures, was purchased in 1970 for a Masonic craft 'population' of 420 (in six Lodges). The current craft 'population' is now 160 and the building is, of course, unsustainable.


As a retired Chartered Surveyor who specialised in commercial property management it pains me to say that I am aware of far too many instances of poor management of property resources which had they been dealt with more effectively would not be causing many of the current problems.

Certainly "dedicated premises" bring problems of their own but a little creative/lateral thinking can often achieve worthwhile results. Basically the problems currently besetting UGLE and GLoS are multi faceted and I am left wondering if there is a real understanding by the "powers that be" of the entire span of these problems. It simply is not in my opinion sensible to rely upon the results of surveys of members frequently ill informed or biased opinions (and yes of course you dear reader might well assign such inadequacies to me). I am far from convinced by much of what I currently see happening - I think it is time for a more professional objective approach. We have all heard of the old saw referring to lies, damn lies, and statistics!
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby Trouillogan » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:15 am

David H wrote:As a retired Chartered Surveyor who specialised in commercial property management it pains me to say that I am aware of far too many instances of poor management of property resources which had they been dealt with more effectively would not be causing many of the current problems.

I believe you are absolutely right David. From my own far from comprehensive travels I see hall administration being handled by people who seem to me to have no relevant qualifications either of premises management or of marketing in the hospitality sector. In my view there is insufficient distinction between running the fraternity and the commercial business of running premises sustainably. Beyond that private view, i freely admit that I'm completely unqualified. But is is plain for all to see that in general, our buildings are millstones. Yes, there are notable exceptions and I know of a couple at least but, as they are exceptions, they simply prove the general point.
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby NewFreemason » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:06 pm

My two-pence worth.

I'm 34 and I am literally a brand new Mason. I live in a Scandinavian country and there is only one English-speaking lodge in the area and as a native English speaker, it was my natural choice. The membership is quite diverse with people hailing from all corners of Europe and since the local workforce is made up of mainly expats, this is naturally reflected in the membership. Prior to my initiation, I really was under the impression that the Fraternity is made up of older men rather than younger. I might be showing my naïveté here but surely age is less important than attracting the right type of people?
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby eckywan2 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:20 pm

I remember pennies !
Quite right age should not matter and neither does large numbers
I'm concerned about the numbers game being played in accepting students from unknown , untested backgrounds purely to get candidates as per St Davids 36 now the University Lodge
David and Troullogan are so right
BUT just to show the opposite, my mother lodge is very proud of display in east of names of brethren from our lodge that were members of forces 100 years ago, including one with surname on display same as 1st word
but its also amazing as there are 400 names so how many more were in restricted occupations ie not allowed to join up as they were shipbuilder fishermen merchant marine etc How many lodges nowadays have such numbers ?
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Re: More younger Masons

Postby David H » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:31 pm

NewFreemason wrote:My two-pence worth. - I might be showing my naïveté here but surely age is less important than attracting the right type of people?



Absolutely spot on! Try telling that to the people in GQS who have made so many people feel so completely alienated. I hope you enjor Freemasonry for many years to come.
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