Letter of the month: June 2005
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 14:19:31 -0500
From: Steve <>
Subject: Funeral letter
I read your letter about the masonic
funeral with quite a bit of interest as there has been a great deal
of confusion regarding when they are to be done in this area also.
We had a long lost brother pass earlier last year who had not
paid dues for about ten years. This was all due to illness.
There was a good bit of debate as to whether or not this man was
to be given the burial services. The Grand Lodge of Texas told me
that if the only reason a brother went suspended was for NPD then
the funeral is to be given if requested.
Here is the kicker. It was later determined that the lodge had
voted years earlier to pay this member's per capita to Grand Lodge
to keep him up to date even though he was unable to pay dues to
the lodge. With officers changing seats and other things that
happen the lodge stopped paying this member's per capita so his
going suspended was the fault of our lodge in the first place.
Heck of a deal huh?
When your seasoned members stop attending lodge the younger
persons have no idea who to contact or where they may be found.
What happened to the brother mentioned in the letter you received
happens all to often as the new secretary has no idea what the
lodge voted on ten years in the past as there is no one around to
To: Steve <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Funeral letter
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2005 20:28:45 -0400
Dear Bro. Brown,
It's a sad thing when a lodge lets its records fall apart like
that. Isn't it the responsibility of the grand lodges to make
sure lodge secretaries know the requirements of their jobs?
When a lodge lets older members "fall through the cracks" it
reflects badly on all of us. Once the lodge makes arrangements to
remit or cover a member's dues, that should be entered properly in
a ledger where a replacement secretary can easily see it.
Even so, in some lodges, when a member is about to be suspended
NPD, we make extraordinary efforts to contact him and find out his
situation. We send a letter return-receipt-requested, we call, we
contact other members of the lodge who may know him and how to get
in touch with him.
Only when a brother refuses to answer, or declines our
assistance, or has disappeared so that no contact information is
valid, only then will he be suspended. It's often a real pain in
the but-don't-you-know to go through all that, but we feel
obligated to make the effort.
I hope your lodge has better procedures since that problem.
You could certainly raise the issue in lodge and ask what's been
done to redress the problem. Have you considered that?
Thank you for putting light on an important issue.
sincerely and fraternally,
| Gary L. Dryfoos <firstname.lastname@example.org> | PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142 | PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA
| "A Page About Freemasonry" | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| now at http://MasonryPage.org/ | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
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