The Educator Concept
Proposed Lodge Officers & Brethren Structure
The following paper was created by V.W. Bro. Norman McEvoy as his answer to
a course assignment under the heading of Governance and titled “Effective Leadership & Communication” The course was provided by “Ashlar College of Freemasonry” which is a Grand Lodge of BC & Yukon In-Jurisdiction Masonic Education Body.
The answer was submitted Sept 16, 2014. and Updated Feb 03, 2015.
Incidentally I achieved a PASS grade!!!
Through my years in Freemasonry TWO of the larger complaints regarding
Non-Attendance at Regular Lodge Meetings have been Boredom ( by older & more experienced Brethren ) & the difficulty with Ritual &/or boredom (by younger & less experienced Brethren)
The structure I am about to present has the benefit of dealing with both of those issues while making the Lodge more energetic; efficient & fraternal all at the same time.
It is based on the concept that, generally speaking, busy & involved people are HAPPY people.
May I premise that the Hypothetic/subject Lodge has been in existence for some time & has a membership of 50. Max 80.
The structure, I propose would look like this:- (assuming our current year is 2015)
Worshipful Master Immediate Past Master (2014) Mentor, Advisor
Senior Warden Past Master (2013) Mentor, Advisor & Stand in.
Junior Warden Past Master (2012) Mentor, Advisor & Stand in.
Senior Deacon Past Master (2011) Mentor, Advisor & Stand in
Junior Deacon Past Master (2010) Mentor, Advisor & Stand in.
Inner Guard Past Master (2009) Mentor, Advisor & Stand in
As all the above are highly responsible & ritually demanding offices & I believe it MUST be considered a compliment to the Past Master who is requested to act in the capacity of Mentor; Advisor etc. to the officer designated in this structure.
He has the benefit of having been there/done that and now would have the opportunity to share his experience & personally developed skills.
From my own personal experience, as a Past Master; plus having reached the pinnacle of a Concordant Body and suddenly finding oneself as an outsider looking in, attendance is not always that comfortable and in fact awkward at times.
This is especially true should the Master in the Chair have quite a different approach that my own. The obvious answer to this type of dilema is typically to remove oneself from being there in the first place.
Now, if it were the case that I have accepted a role whereby I am involved , albeit in a lesser role, then I retain a vested interest in the Lodge/Masonic Body and the pride & joy of being able to assist a fellow brother in his endeavours & watching as he & the Lodge grow & prosper.
Should an abundance of Past Masters or Affiliated Past Masters be available they could easily be assigned Stand -In Roles for officers such as Chaplain or Education Officer.
Secretary & Treasurer
Probably among the most difficult and least appreciated offices in any Lodge!!
These officers have generally been members for some time and have natural &/or acquired skills to occupy the position in a competent & efficient manner.
The problem, as I see it, is that the Brethren of the Lodge fall into the trap of taking these officers for granted and assuming that they will be there forever.
On top of this, is the often encountered unwillingness of the officer himself to step down & pass on the experience to a fellow Brother and, on occasion, due to no fault of the officer, severe illness or accidents have occurred leaving the incumbent & the Lodge in administrative strife.
My though is that the Lodge By-Laws be amended (if not already done) making the term for each of these offices no more than 5 consecutive years, and the NON-Official positions of Assistant Secretary & Assistant Treasurer be created to understudy & stand in as the occasion may require.
Director of Ceremonies
MUST be experienced, competent & patient. (a good teacher).
Such a Brother should be able to identify another Brother or Brothers who, in his opinion, could adequately fill his role on short notice & even aspire to the role himself.
With the Junior Steward assist the Junior Warden with all festivities planned by the Lodge and include as many of the non-committed Brethren as possible to assist in greeting Brethren to the Lodge Meeting (be at the door with a warm handshake) or one at the Door and the other at the top of the Stairs & getting to know all Brethren by name.
The Festive Board would be infinitely less demanding if chores such as set-up ; serving ; pouring; selling of Raffle Tickets and Clean up were all assigned to otherwise non-committed brethren.
MUST be experienced in the proper setting up of the Lodge Room.
What a wonderful opportunity exists to assign a few newer Brethren to assist him with his duties and by doing so get to share in his knowledge & learn the WHY’s of it all.
If not already in place, an Executive Committee be established consisting of the Three
Senior Officers ; Secretary ; Treasurer ; Immediate Past Master & possibly the Director of Ceremonies. Their responsibility is to manage the Lodge according to the By-Laws and within approved Budgets etc.
Two General Purpose Meetings held per annum. Possibly Spring & Fall.
Personally, I find the bane of GP Meetings is that the majority of time & effort is used in bringing poor attendees up to speed with the matters at hand. Very frustrating!!!!
I am a member of a Masonic Body where this structure has been in place for the past 10 years and it works.
My decision to share this paper has been predicated by what I have seen to be an out-pouring of papers focusing on challenges being identified & shared, but largely without workable suggestions for correction or improvement. Lots of WHY’s
You will note that the structure, here presented, includes implementation of Mentorship a subject very dear to my heart.
Each and every one of us are where we are today as a result of the efforts & sharing of others, surely we can find the time & effort to give back by looking forward.
Hopefully, this paper will get us all thinking & possibly even encouraging some to give this Strategy a try. This is my attempt at the HOW.
Feedback both Positive & Negative would be wonderful & will be shared.
Have a Wonderful day & God Bless